I went around my house with my little digital camera snapping shots of vintage hardware: cupboard hinges, glass knobs, i.d. plates, old lunch box hinges & latches. I brought them into my computer and placed them on a page, covered over the label wording on a few i.d. plates and printed them out onto label stock. (Feel free to grab my hardware image, you may want to zest it up a bit in Photoshop.)
If you choose to make paper hardware, find a burnishing tool to emboss areas of the image- around the screws, frame, outline the edge of the hardware image itself, etc. You can use many different things to burnish. An actual burnishing tool, end of a paintbrush, tip of a crochet hook or knitting needle, or my personal favorite, the signature pen I begged my UPS guy for years ago when he delivered packages to my design firm. He was cool- said he had more. I use my rubbery-soft mousepad to lay my image on to get a good, deep embossing.
After burnishing the image and cutting it out, run a colored marker around the paper’s edge to remove the white cut area.
Then start sticking your paper hardware on stuff. I added hardware to a couple of mini sketchbooks, and hinged and latched a small gift box.
If you don’t have label stock handy, print to card stock and use spray adhesive or glue. You can add more reality to your labels by painting white glue or Mod Podge to some of the image to create a sheen. Paint glass knobs (avoid painting the rusty screw in the middle), i.d. plates (again, avoid painting the paper area for writing.) You get the idea.
Now, go look through your house for some fun, old hardware!
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