Happy To’sDay everyone!  Have you been thinking what on earth you might give your significant other for Valentines day?  Let’s face it, we are all creative minds, so odds are pretty high that something handmade is on the agenda.  When I saw the darling project that Charissa Miller made using her iTop, I asked her if she would mind sharing a How To with us.

Thank you Charissa for sending us your fantastic How To.

I-Top Gift

I saw this idea on the Imaginisce blog not that long ago, and though it was awesome.  So I took that idea thought about it a bit and made it my own.  My version is a Valentine’s Day gift for my darling husband. I honestly have just started branching into the wider world of paper crafts and this was the first non-scrapbooking paper crafting project I have completed!

The first step is to make the brads.  I chose to use all three sizes of brads for this project, but you could certainly do it in all one size.  If you did only the small ones, you could get more complete coverage of your shape.

The I-Top is pretty easy to use.  You put your brad top on the corresponding size metal half of the tool.  Then you place your paper on top and press both into the pink rubber headed side.  Push down the edges of the paper so they will be hidden away inside of the brad head.  From there, put your brad daddy back into the metal half and push it into the rubber half that still contains the now covered brad top.   Pop the now completed brad out and then rinse and repeat.

Paper folded over the brad top.

Attaching the brad backing.


Be patient when using this tool.  Make sure your paper is lined up as much as you can so it folds over evenly in the back.  Also, use the pink rubber heads.  They are fantastic for shifting the brad head slightly if needed before applying the back and for helping to get the paper folded down.  There is no “click” when you have successfully attached the brad backing, but you can definitely “feel” it.  If you don’t feel it, try again.  If it still doesn’t work, check your brad head.  If it is bent or warped at all, it will not grab the backing.  I had a few of those and just had to toss them and remake those brads.

When I did this, I initially made less brads than I thought I would need.  I think I started with one box of each small, medium, and large.  I knew that wouldn’t be enough, but it made sense to make more as needed.  So once I ran out, I just made a few at a time until I finished.

To assemble the project you will need your completed brads, a piece of chipboard cut to whatever size and shape you want your project to be, paper and embellishments and I also used my brad setter to save my fingers after placing all of those brads.

1)      Adhere your background paper to your chipboard.  From this point you have some options.  I chose to cut out two hearts – one for adding brads and another for journaling.  You could simply trace a shape onto your background paper to fill with the brads.  This would eliminate the issue of seeing the edge of your shape if that is something you want to avoid.

2)      I inked both shapes.  Since I used black paper is doesn’t matter as much, but I still think it helps.  Then I chalked the big heart that was getting the brads.  This made it match the project better since I cut the heart in plain white cardstock.  Then I stuck down my journaling heart.

3)      At this point, the brad-ing began.  I would use each brad to mark where I was going to make my hole.  Then I would use my brad setter to actually poke the hole and then spread out the prongs on the back . The chipboard does make this a thicker project, so the small brad daddies in particular don’t come through as far as the larger brads.  It still works and I think that the chipboard gives the project extra sturdiness since after placing the brads there are a ton of holes in the chipboard.

4)      After getting my brads in, I just started embellishing.  I used Martha Stewart sparkle glitter glue to emphasize the edges of the journaling heart.  I added stickers from my wonderful Echo Park Be Mine kit and then made the pink swirls by stamping the project with my Hampton Arts Glue Pad and used the new Hampton Arts Flocking Powders I got from ScrapbookSteals.

While my project and the Imaginisce blog project both were hearts, I see so many options here.  You could do a star, a circle, or just about any shape you could imagine.  I had a great idea of doing a birthday cake that could actually be decorated using the different size brads (Akiha’s 2nd birthday in October may involve such a project).  And, of course, color choices, paper choices, and embellishment choices give this project an endless variety of options.


I look forward to seeing others give this project idea a try!

Charissa, thank you SO much for sharing your amazing project with us.  It’s truly fantastic and your husband is one lucky man to be receiving such a lovely, heartfelt project from you for Valentines Day.

If you’d like to see your how to idea featured on our How To’sDay blog post please send me an email with directions and photos to kristy@stealnetwork.com.  I think if we all put our creative heads together and share our ideas that we can make this the best outlet for creative reference on the planet!

Make sure you check in next week for part one of our two part How To’sDay series on scrapbook space organization.  If you have a great tip you’d like included please be sure to send me your ideas along with photos.

Well, I guess that’s it for this weeks how to!  I’ll see ya tomorrow with our next Mid Week Mojo!  One step closer to Ruby!  :)

Have a wonderful day.