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Using Hinges In Scrapbooking

by The Scrap Pack

Many types of everyday metal objects have become popular scrapbooking embellishments. Hinges, whether those packaged for scrapbooking or everyday ones from a hardware store, can make great interactive additions to a page. This article can get you started.

You can use hinges in scrapbooking in three main ways:

  • to hide journaling or additional photos behind a paper panel,
  • to create interactive pages,
  • and as fixed embellishments.

You can also use hinges to create book or journal covers. This works especially well on a post-bound or hand-sewn binding where a larger margin is required.

Before You Begin

Metal items such as hinges and charms often have an oily residue left over from the manufacturing process. You can wash the hinges in warm soapy water. Rinse well and then dry with a towel to prevent water spots.


Hinges For Hidden Journaling and Interactive Pages

Hinges can help hide journaling or an additional photo behind a paper panel. This is useful when you don't want the journaling or photo to be readily apparent to all viewers.

You can also use this technique to create an interactive page where viewers can move portions of the page to see more information. Here hinges are used to conceal the answer to a joke.

In this layout, the hinges were attached through the layers of paper with brads.

Attaching Hinges

You can attach hinges with brads or eyelets that have a long shank. Most small decorative hinges will hold mini (1/8") eyelets, rivets (flat-top eyelets), or brads. To attach the hinges:

  1. Position the hinge and mark a dot in each of the holes.
  2. Use an anywhere hole punch to punch holes that match the size of the hinge holes and the eyelets or brads that you are using.
  3. Set eyelets or rivets as usual, or insert brads and fold back tabs. You may wish to add another layer of paper to conceal the back of the eyelet or brad.

If you do not have eyelets with long shanks, the eyelet will likely not be long enough to go through both the hinge and one or more layers of paper. Don't despair! Set an eyelet or rivet directly into each hinge hole. Affix the hinge with a metal glue or glue dots. Be sure to glue only the flat arm portion of the hinge rather than the part that bends.

TIP: If you are using a thin paper, you may want to reinforce the whole piece or the portion where the hinge will attach with a second layer of heavier paper.

Hinges as Embellishments

Hinges make interesting fixed embellishments. They work well in shabby-chic or architectural collage style pages, or let your imagination run wild with the many shapes that are available.

On this card, a hinge becomes the body of a butterfly. Wings were cut from vellum. The outlines were heat embossed with silver embossing powder, and the inner portions were colored with markers. The hinge was attached to the paper with GlueDots.

Painting and Inking Hinges

You can paint hinges with any craft or metallic paint. Paint the entire hinge (avoiding the bending portions) or add decorative accents. Any inexpensive craft paint will work. For solid coverage, you may need to apply two coats.

Here, green accents were painted with acrylic paint and then black outlines were drawn with a fine-tip permanent marker. Blue rivets were set into the hinge itself before gluing the arms of the hinge down.

You can also give hinges an aged look by using a dark brown or black ink or paint. Simply dab on the color with a brush, sponge, or rag. Rub off excess color. Or, allow the paint to dry and then scrub off portions with a toothbrush or wire brush.


ScrapGoods™ is a monthly scrapbooking kit that includes technique instructions, plus supplies to complete the project. You can learn more about the monthly kit and other ScrapGoods club features at www.scrapgoods.com.

Copyright © 2003 The Scrap Pack. Printed here with permission. All rights reserved.

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