Although traditional scrapbookers will often use some special adhesives to hold photos, papers and embellishments, there are other ways to fasten the various elements. In digital scrapbooking, you can use more types of fasteners simply because it will not add any weight to your layout. This allows more creativity in ways to hold your elements although you will find some that are more common than others.
Although staples might not seem like a good choice for fastening papers and photos because of how they would damage them, they are used more and more in digital scrapbooking. You can find some ordinary straight staples used as one would expect but scrapbookers have found some more creative ways to use them. You can now see the underside of staples, some “missed” or twisted staples, and some with different colors. They can be used to fasten photos, papers, but also ribbons, tags, even strings.
Brads are probably among the most used fasteners in traditional scrapbooking, but they are much less common in digital scrapbooking because of the other choices that are available in the digital world. Brads can be as simple as a bare circle, or they can be elaborate in shape or texture, or be rich looking like gemstones. The colors and types of brads are as numerous as the uses you can think of.
Buttons are so easy to find everywhere! They can be used on layouts in the same way that brads are used. You can find some small ones, and some larger ones, some very simple ordinary buttons and some very ornate ones, some will be modern, some will be vintage. The various types and styles of buttons will surely complement the style of the layout. You will sometimes find buttons that are just “glued” to the layout, while others are stitched or tied.
Paperclips are used in most homes and offices to hold flat elements together. It would just be normal to expect those to be used also in scrapbooking. Although paperclips might add some weight to a paper layout, in digital scrapbooking, this is not an issue, which is probably why we will see a lot of paperclips. They can be found in traditional metallic colors but also in various painted colors. The shape of the paperclip is also varying from the usual ones seen in offices, to some very creative shapes that might even match a specific theme.
Whether it is supposedly done by machine or by hand, you can find all kinds of stitching. They can be used in straight line to hold papers or photos, but also in other shapes to create frames at the same time as hold the element in place. Stitching can also be used to hold various embellishments in addition to flat paper pieces. Some of the tools used for stitching can include picture tubes, ready-made stitched lines or even fonts.
You would rarely see tape used in traditional scrapbooking because of the damage it will cause to the page, and also because this type of fastener might not look very refined, but in digital scrapbooking, we can often find some “not-so-elegant” fasteners simply because they can be used with no impact on the quality of the layout. Transparent tape or thick colored tape can now be found in digital layouts everywhere, even with some creases, tears, rips, etc. Depending on the theme of the layout, these types of fasteners can be very appropriate!
You can find straight pins and safety pins. These can often be included in kits and easily themed with some decorative elements on the end. As for most fasteners, these are more commonly used in digital layouts since the scrapper does not have to worry about the weight or the thickness of this type of fastener, or the wavy end result.
Eyelets or rivets are somewhat similar to brads but they also differ as they will create a visible hole in the paper or photo, letting the underneath layer show through. Eyelets can be used as is but since they can have a hole, they can also be combined with the use of strings to tie other elements like tags.
Although the use of “digital” glue is still common, and no visible fastener is noticeable, more and more digital layouts are now incorporating a wide variety of common fasteners, either in traditional or in very creative ways. Digital scrapbooking has opened the door to the use of elements that would otherwise be too bulky or inconvenient, or also damaging the precious treasures you want to showcase with your layout. The limitations are almost gone and you can now use not only some of those fasteners, but also several of them in one single project without any worry.
What are you using to fasten your elements to your layouts? Which one is your favorite? Our next article will look at some less traditional types of fastening in digital scrapbook layouts.