A Method for Making Typewriter Looking Keys

From Jeweled Brads


Copyright 2011 by James P. Riser


This is a modification of an idea I found on the web using slightly differently made brads. This method will work with brads that I have found in the United States.

The brads start out like this (16mm size)

Actually the facets look OK, there was a strange reflection when I took the picture.

The first step is to pry the gem away from its metal backing. It is just lightly glued to the metal brad plate.

These are the folder tab labels that I used. For this example I printed the numbers on my laser printer. For some items I will hand calligraphy them.

Notice that permanent adhesive labels were used - not removable.


A few printed labels looked like this.


I used long lasting storage tape for this example. Library tape is also good.


Tape is put onto the label.


This is the hole punch set I used.


I used the 9/16" punch.

A rubber pad was placed under the label sheet. A nylon pounding pad is better and wood end grain is fine. None of these will dull the punch.


The punch is centered over the desired number and tapped with a hammer.


The result is a round tape protected label.

Notice the hole part way through the rubber. This is why a nylon poundng board or wood end grain is better. I was too lazy to haul out my pounding board.

The backing paper of the label got removed next...

... and the label applied to the brad plate. Done!

The brad clips may be used or cut off as needed. If an aged look on the labels is desired, the labels may be "dusted" with colored ink using an airbrush.

If this info was of any use, please drop me an email. No emails = no more such tips.