Oh.  My.  Word.  The Itop, by Imaginisce has got to be one of the most fun tools that I have used for scrapbooking in a long time.  If you don’t know what an itop can do, let me show you!

I have to admit.  I was a little challenged at first as to how to use the tool.  I’m pretty much a visual learner, so to read the instructions…even though they had photos, still was a tad on the challenging side for me.  Yeah.  I’m slow.  I’ll admit it.

I found this great tutorial on the Imaginisce web site, which really helped me to understand how to use the tool, and what I was doing wrong.  (psssssssssst….if you use a large brad, you need to change out the head!  I learned that the slow way!)

Once I figured the basics of the tool out, my mind started spinning on the possibilities that I could create with it.

I really wanted to make something absolutely custom for a scrapbook page.   Something a little out of the ordinary.  I was contemplating this thought over a piece of gum and it smacked me up the side of the head how fun it would be to do a layout about my gum obsession, and use the cute wrappers as embellishments.

I will walk you through the step by step on how to use the tool.

1. Select the desired brad size that you’d like to create.  Remember, if you are using a large brad, you will need to switch out the head.

2. Use the punch to cut out the ‘topper’ from a medium of your choosing.  If you are using something other than paper, you will have to cut it out by hand.

2.  Place the top of the brad on the top of the itop piece that is round and silver.  Without the rubber portion.  Place it so that the is face up.

3.  Place the desired ‘topper’ on top of the silver brad.  In my case, the punched out portion of my gum wrapper.

4.  Give the handle a squeeze, so that the top of the brad pushes up into the pink rubber top.  Release the handle and use your fingers to gently push the edges of the paper into the center of the brad top.

5.  Next insert the bottom of the brad into the hole in the silver portion of the tool.  The same part where you just placed the brad top.  (The heads of the tool pull out and swivel for ease.)

6.  Align the tool head pieces and squeze.  This pushes the bottom of the brad into the top of the brad, securing the paper.

7.  Release and you have a custom covered brad!  You will need to be gentle in removing the brad from the pink rubber end of the tool.

I am so pleased with how the brads turned out for my layout!

There are so many other fun things you can do with the Itop.  I decided to have a little fun and make some hair accessories for my girls.  Because I wanted to cover the brad with fabric, I just cut a circle in the approximate size that I needed.

I then layered the flowers.

The added the fabric covered brad to the center.

You can add a clip to the back, or create a headband to attach it to.

I had little fun making a Halloween headband for my daughter to wear to school.  She was super excited.  One trick I found when wanting an exact placement for the ‘skull’ in the fabric was to use some glue dots to adhere the fabric into place exactly where I wanted it.  You will notice that I used the ‘pin’ back for this one as it was easier to pin it to the tuelle.

I also had some fun making my little band geek some magnets for her locker.  She happens to share lockers with the Drum Major of the band so I made them some that they could share.  I just had to be sure when punching out the images to center them as closely as possible for cutting.

So there you have it!  The Itop is so much fun!  The possibilities are truly endless.