Metal was the "safe" choice, back when we were more concerned about the longevity of our photos. Back when we were all shooting film. Now that we're digital, we're not so much concerned with that. We're okay laying memorabilia on a photo, putting wood right there on the page and we no longer search for photo safe buzz words in our products. (If the photos are one-and-onlys or heritage, care should be taken for obvious reasons.) Albums are still the residence of our memories, but with reprinting options just a memory stick away, we're having more fun, and less worry, about what we place on our pages.
Remember Making Memories? They had some of the best metal embellishments. They, along with more recent versions produced (left to right, top to bottom shown above): ribbon slides, decorative clips, bookplates/label holders, flat backs, tabs, corners, clips, flair, office-style clips. And I have a lot of those items sitting in jars in my studio.
I'm pretty good at using metal, but let's face it, there's only so much you can put on a page without some serious structure to hold up the page. Metal is dang heavy, so embellishments tend to become stash.
The license plates on this layout, found on Pinterest, could be any embossed metal tag or tab. Use them on the page as you would any paper tag. Group them. Layer them with flatter, lighter objects.
Metal tabs are easy to add to the top of a photo, but I hadn't thought of using them like an arrow (left layout). There's the more traditional use of a tab, hooked over the edge of a photo (right layout). Also think along the edge of a journaling block, border or paper tags.
Flair buttons and flat backs can be used like buttons. Pop them on the corner of a photo, a tag, the corner of a journaling block, near a title or the corner of the page.
Label holders add nice texture without being too much. Usually you see dates in them, but the layout of the left uses them for small details - in this case words and graphics (the hearts.) They could have held the birth date, weight, etc. of the newborn. Label holders, aka bookplates come in varying sizes, so you can slide just about anything in there, like a name (card on the right), simple word journaling, dates, times, sub-titles, or even plain cardstock or patterned paper.
Clips come in many forms, like the decorative version in the bow on the left and the coffee cups on the right. I love the added touch of ribbon under the ribbon clip on the card. Think about what else you can slide under a clip to give it more weight, especially on a layout. The clips (both decorative and tradition paper clips) on the layout of the left (a pocket-page, I might add) are decorating a tag. They also hold pennants, which I hadn't thought of, but is a super cute idea.
I managed to finish sorting out all my kits; even got them put away. Now I have a stack of embellishment packs to go through - they are what remain from the kits after I decided the paper wasn't for me. The paper is headed for the school. I'm sure there's a bit of the metal baubles in them. Besides knowing whether they appeal, I'll have the added inspiration of how to use them in new-to-me ways.