Do You Have Tons of Scrap Paper and Nothing to Make?
Organizing, Cutting, Using Scrap Paper Fun
Do you make lots of crafts and always have left over paper? You may find that you have plenty of thin strips, odd shaped pieces, and even long narrow ones on top of having some larger ones as well. It just so happens that creating cards that are 5 x 7 will give you a lot of scrap paper for later use when you are using those gorgeous 12 x 12 sheets. You probably have noticed that it piles up really quickly and the colors and patterns get mixed up fast as well.
Now, I know that most people do not like the term organizing as it sounds like a lot of work. And in reality, it is, especially when you only do it once in a while. They key here is to make it easy and to do the organizing when you put away your mess at the end of the day. Yes, mess - I am totally guilty of this as well and I do not have a lot of room where I can work.
Here are some ideas that may help you along:
1. When you have finished a project, take the scraps and cut off the thin strips, the flaps (those pieces that hang down from the main scrap), and the larger pieces then sort them into piles of approximately the same size.
2. Take each pile in turn and find a container where you can store them. I use those plastic scrapbook boxes from Michael's and have enough on hand for at least 4 different piles of paper.
3. For the thin strips, you can use a quilling tool and make some quilled pieces for later use. Keep those in the same container. I actually made a little pencil box to keep my quilled pieces together - you can make one as well - here is the article: Easy Make Pencil Box.
4. If you have paper punches, you can take a pile of smaller pieces and punch out some shapes for later use. I punch a bunch of shapes and keep them in old clear plastic take out food containers (if there are enough of them). Otherwise, place the shapes in an envelope and label it with the type of shape it is (for example, snowflakes or butterflies). You can eventually move these into a binder that has zip pockets that are clear so you can see everything. I found binder sheets that have 3 pockets on one side - those are just perfect.
5. Some of the larger scraps (up to 5 x 5 in size) are perfect for cutting out greeting embellishments. I love these for the front and insides of cards as you can really decorate them later. If you are ambitious enough, you can precut some ovals, circles, rectangles, and even add some edgings like lace in the cuts then store them in your binder.
6. As for the larger pieces, decide if you can use them for making smaller cards or shapes. Often they make great smaller cards - and once again, if you are up to it, you can precut the cards with the score lines ahead of time so you have a stockpile of ready to go cards.
7. For long narrow pieces, create some bookmarks and add the 3 hole or disc punches on the side. I love these for marking my projects in my binders. Kids love them as well as they can decorate them with stickers and label them for their own school work.
If you are serious about keeping your paper scraps and want to find a way to organize them for future use, here are some items you may want to add to your buy list.
Organizing can be a pain but once you know how to do it right at the start, it is extremely easy. The biggest issue I have seen is when stuff does not get put away for a long period of time and then the organizing seems like a big mountain! We have all been there.
By utilizing your scraps in different ways, it is much easier to feel that you are not wasting a lot of material and money at the same time.
Have fun with this!