If you are a paper crafter of any kind, you create scraps any time you create art. Do you have a good method for organizing them? Do you actually use them? Are you like many of us and just toss them into a container because you feel guilty for throwing away perfectly good paper but then that is where they stay? I am certainly guilty of letting my scraps pile up. I can’t bear to throw anything away because I am sure I will eventually find a use for it.
When I first began scrapping several years ago, before I really had a stash of any kind, I stored my scraps in an accordion style file folder. It was divided by color. As my stash of paper began to grow, I bought a cropper hopper hanging file system. I had a file for every color and for various themes like Christmas and baby and school. Inside of each color file were three folders. One was for cardstock. One was for patterned paper. One was for scraps of that color. This worked for me for a while when my file cabinet was next to my table. Sometimes I would go through the scraps but mostly I didn’t. They continued to multiply.
When I was able to move my materials into a room of my own and my stash had outgrown a table and a file cabinet, I needed something new, again. I had so much cardstock that it went into its own system. The patterned paper stayed in the original file. I added files for certain manufacturers that I had lots of paper from. The scraps, however, came out of the files and went into a plastic storage box that I could keep on my desk. I found that having them right there beside me as I worked meant that I would actually go through them. I often find myself pawing through the box seeing if anything catches my eye rather than looking for something in a particular color. I pick up small pieces and hold them against the layout I’m working on to see if I like it or not. Sometimes, random pieces I never would have put together in full sheets look pretty good in small doses. I cut letters from scraps. I punch die cuts from scraps. I use scraps to matte photos.
I generally keep the medium sized pieces in this shoebox sized box. If I still have at least half a sheet left, I generally put it back in the file with the color or manufacture it belongs with. Smaller pieces get used for punching out things either with my Quickutz or my punches. Got a piece that is only a couple inches square? Hate to throw it out? Punch a flower out of it, or a butterfly or some stars or even photo corners. You can do this with solids and prints. Keep a small butter tub or a plastic bag on hand to store those little things in. Next time you need just a little something extra on a layout, look through them to see if you can use one.
I used scraps to outline this layout. I had three 12” strips of paper about 3 inches wide. Two of them were Cosmo Cricket and one was October Afternoon. All were double-sided which gave me even more options. I cut them into smaller strips an inch to an inch and half wide. I put a strip of adhesive down one side of the background paper and just started laying the strips down, overlapping each other and using both sides. Then, I used my paper cutter and cut them off along the edge of the base. I put a strip of adhesive down the next side and did it again. Those three strips got me all the way around this layout. Even the strip on the bottom (you make me smile) was in my scrap box.
Have you got a good way to organize your scraps? What kind of things do you do with yours? Tell us about it in this thread.