Oh, Scraps! (Dealing with paper scraps)

Oh, Scraps! What to do with paper scraps? That is the question!

Good Thursday morning my friends!  I’m very excited about today’s post, because I have a tip to share with you that could make your life easier, set you up for quicker, easier card making AND…save you money!  Today, we’re talking about paper scraps!  Every crafter has them, and for the truly devoted paper crafter, paper scraps can become a proverbial albatross around our necks.  But there is HOPE!  With a little time and effort all of this can change.  No more, “Oh, Scraps!”  Here’s how:

Paper + Paper Clips + Paper Scraps = Organization!

I am a true paper addict…which means I save every little scrap of paper.  I don’t do anything with it because digging through my scrap drawer(s) has always felt like a waste of time, and left me frustrated.  See what I mean?

012 (2) And…(true confession time here) this is just one drawer!  I have 2 more like this PLUS a deep file cabinet drawer full of scraps.  I have tried all kinds ways to organize this mess.  I sorted the paper scraps into plain cardstock and designer paper.  Then I filed them into folders by color and stored them in a plastic file drawer.  But I would get totally frustrated sifting through all the folders looking for papers that went together.  So I abandoned that method, bought a 3 drawer cart when that drawer was full and started all over again.  Oh, Scraps!  (She hangs her head in shame.)

But wait!  This is not the end of the story!  There is a happy ending!  This week, while I was down with a cold and feeling a little low on Mojo, I decided to tackle this problem one more time.  I had taken an Online Card Class called “Pattern Play”  earlier this spring.  During the course of the class (which I highly recommend, by the way) Jennifer McGuire shared her method of dealing with paper scraps.  Angels sang, light broke through….my little paper lovin’ heart went pitty-pat….Here’s what Jennifer does with her paper scraps:

019 (2) See this nifty little bundle of papers and images all held neatly together with paper clips?  This is a scrap bundle that I will turn into a fabulous card.  All the sorting has been done…all the colors and images work together.  Instant card: just add cardstock and embellies!  Here’s another for your viewing pleasure:

018 (2)Does this excite you as much as it does me?  I now have a wonderful little bin of neatly packaged paper scraps that I can dip into and quickly turn into super cute cards like this one:

002 (2) Yes, friends…this card was made entirely with scraps!  They were banished to the scrap drawer where they languished away, hoping to be ransomed.  Honestly, this is the most exciting organization project I’ve undertaken in ages.  All it cost me was the price of a box of paper clips!  (Which I ran out of…but as soon as I get some more, I am going to tackle the big file cabinet.  I know there are some awesome paper scraps in there!)

006 (2) I had printed this sweet image from Creating With Vintage Illustrations from Crafty Secrets, one of my all time favorite companies.  I had tossed it in the drawer and forgot about it.  But when I paired it with these other scrap pieces, it was redeemed big time!  

007 (2) Believe it or not, all these pieces were in that scrap drawer!  008 (2) Even the paper on the envelope flap and liner!

 011 (2) And the papers on the inside, too!

I’m not going to lie to you, this took some time.  But you could easily do this while watching TV, or on those days when inspiration is running low.  Who knows, you might even get some great ideas for cards while sifting through your scrap bin.  I looked for monochromatic color schemes, as well as pairing patterns, colors, cardstock and images that played well together.  I’m amazed at the fun little scrap bundles I put together. 015 (2) (Just a few…isn’t it exciting?)

These would also make great little gifties for someone who is just getting started with paper crafting.  Or, they could be donated to a school or retirement center.  The bottom line is this: liberate those papers that are locked away! 

Well, that’s it for me today folks.  I have another little scrap bundle sitting on my desk, calling my name and I want to get busy creating.  See, I’ve gone from “Oh, Scraps!!!” to “oooooh….scraps.” LOL Thanks for stopping by today.  I’d love to hear from you; what do you do with your paper scraps? Share it with me here, won’t you?  You know your comments make me happy right down to the tips of my crafty little fingers.  Until next time,



Product used in this post: Crafty Secrets Creating with Vintage Illustrations, Sentiments stamp; Stampin’ Up Artisan Embellishments Kit; All other items from my scrap drawer…how cool is that?


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12 thoughts on “Oh, Scraps! (Dealing with paper scraps)

  1. Anita Houston

    Okay…so not only can you make the most gorgeous things, but you can also organize the trash in coordinating piles, neatly clipped, and then use them to make more gorgeous things??? Not fair! Your art space is probably magazine perfect isn’t it? I’m so jealous! You are amazing, and so is this card…just beautiful! You are just wonderful and so inspiring! I need to be better organized!

  2. Tanya Turner

    You make everything so much fun! Who knew sorting scraps could be that hysterical!? Amazing what you can make with gibblets and bits…!

  3. Glenda

    Now that you have your paper situation under control, maybe you would like to come visit me and take care of my little mess! I promise to talk to you and bring you tea as you work! In all honesty, you have given me food for thought. I donate a lot of cards and supplies to the nursing homes were my sister works…this would be an awesome project to do and send to them as well.

  4. Nancy

    “Oh, Scraps! (She hangs her head in shame.)”
    Made me laugh out loud, as I could just envision you (or Sophie!) saying/doing it. 🙂

  5. ncguygirl

    Oh how I wish I had your organization genes. Please, can’t you come organize my life? Seriously, this is a GREAT idea!

    1. kathycNC Post author

      Melody, it is time consuming but the payoff is huge. You will love it once you do it. I’m actually USING my stuff. So cool!

  6. Gloria Stengel

    Awesome tip. You know I have tons of paper and paper scraps, right? Just like you, I was DROWNING in them. Then I got ruthless. If the scrap is really too small to become anything, I toss it in the recycle bin! (GASP) The other scraps I keep with the paper collection. I have all my paper sorted by MANUFACTURER – cardstock and printed – so I just keep the paper together with its “friends.” I sometimes go through the containers and weed out the small bits or the prints I don’t care for. In fact, I need to take a week off and sort paper as I have not done it in a while….. I wish I had the time to make little paper kits like this. Maybe you can come visit and help me???? LOL

    1. kathycNC Post author

      Gloria…send me a ticket, and I’ll be there! I love to organize. I do keep my major manufacturer’s together. I put all the scraps in a large ziplock bag…the 12×12 size, and file them with the paper collection. But I have years and years of paper…from all kinds of places. That’s the mess I was addressing here. And I am really loving the little kits. They work! Woot!

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