It is very easy to reach for my double sided tape or any of my various glues when paper crafting. One of the things I love about paper is that there are often many ways to achieve the result you want. Adhering things with glues and tapes are just one way of making your elements stay where you want them. Come with me to look at a few other ideas for making things stick!
You can make your project without any adhesives at all. Taking a challenge to do so is a fun way to inspire yourself. Here are seven ways you could make your project without adhesives.
If you have been a paper crafter for awhile, you are probably familiar with brads. They are made of metal and come with a split pin backing that can be pushed through layers of paper to hold embellishments together. You often see them used in the middle of flower layers. There is no reason why you cannot use them in other ways such as to hold mats in place, to place tags where you want them, to bind together a small album or booklet, to make a swing tag to cover hidden journaling, to provide an anchor for ribbon or braid or cord, or as an embellishment in their own right. Use an odd number of brads in a row to draw the eye to a place on your page or card, make a curved line of them, or use them as corner points.
Hand sewing or machine sewing can add a great deal to your pages and cards as well as being a convenient way of holding your elements together. Stitch together layers of cardstock or designer paper using straight lines or decorative stitching. Stitch around a photo using straight stitch or zig zag or blanket stitch to hold it to its mat (use a paper piercer and grid template first to make way for your needle and thread when hand stitching). Sew buttons onto your layout to hold things in place. Sew pages of an album together to bind them, with threads or yarn or string. Make a folded paper book with a stitched spine. Sew on felt or other materials to make flowers or any other shape you wish and then stitch them in place. Sew ribbon to your page.
Hint: If you use your sewing machine for paper crafting, be sure to keep a needle just for sewing paper. Stitching through paper will blunt your needle a little and may cause snags on fabric items afterward.
3. Clips and Other Hardware from the Stationers
Fossicking through stationery stores can reveal wonderful items for you to use in your paper crafting. Paper clips, little bulldog clips, pins, coloured staples and the like can all be used in place of brads or glues or tapes. Manufacturers are constantly coming out with new little trinkets for the Office. Why not incorporate them into your paper crafting projects?
4. Paper Folding, Cutting and Paper Crimping
Clever ways of folding or crimping paper can help you get by without adhesives too. Make slits in your paper to hold photos or mats at each corner. Make a row of slits and thread through ribbon, paper or a feather. Fold layers of paper together a few times and then punch through to add a brad or stitching. Use origami techniques on your project, folding flaps of paper over and tucking them under other layers of paper. Crimp papers together with a paper crimping tool. Investigate the stationers shop again to find paper binding tools that do not use staples, cleverly cutting and crimping the papers together without metals.
Using magnets on a metal board or to hold elements in place can make for an interactive display. Using a magnet to hold a small book of journaling on your layout means people can pick it off the page, read it and place it back where it belongs. (Use another magnet on the reverse side of the page). Make paper pins that can be worn for special occasions and use magnets to allow people to wear them on their clothes (check to make sure no one has a pace maker before allowing them to wear a magnetic pin or it could interfere with the mechanism).
Use Velcro to close your tag albums, make childrens fun books with elements that can be pulled off and placed back on the page at will. Sew Velcro to your page or element to keep it in place. Use Velcro to close a small paper box. Use it to make paper pins that can be worn on clothing, instead of using magnets.
7. Sealing Wax
Back before they manufactured glues and tapes i such abundance, people sealed paper envelopes and scrolls together with wax. There were special stamps and signet rings for pushing into hot wax to make decorative or informative pattern before the wax cooled. Try your hand at using sealing wax to make a special paper project. Use the wax to seal wedding invitations, for example. You can also use it on your cards or scrapbook pages to hold small elements in place.
And there you have it – seven ways to adhere paper together without the use of glues or tapes! There are other ways of making cards, layouts and off-the-page projects without the use of tape and glues. I encourage you to challenge yourself to find new ways of paper crafting and to share your ideas with me if you know if another way or two to make things without adhesives.