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Paper Scraps: Saving, Storing and Using

Updated on February 27, 2018
linfcor profile image

Professional scrapbook artist, paper crafter, and author, I have taught people how to make family memories into legacies for 20 years.

Paper Scraps-We All Have Them

No matter how hard we try, there is always left over paper from our crafting project. Sometimes it only seems like a little bit of paper- a smidgen so to speak. We stare at it thinking about saving it or tossing them.

Hey, paper is not cheap, even when we buy it on sale. I hate to toss anything away. I feel a little responsibility when it comes to the trees that contributed to my love of all things paper. So I try to use as much of every sheet as possible. I suppose that might make me a hoarder, but I will wear that label proudly.

Decide How You Will Store Your Scraps

Most people store their scraps by color. But their are other choices. You could store them by size or intended use ( like rectangles for mats, thin pieces for borders, ect.)or a combination. Make your choice based on what will work for you. I keep a small baggie in each color with smaller pieces

The best and easiest way to get those scraps organized is to cut them into squares or rectangles. They will be easier to use and store.

Setting Your Boundries

Step one is deciding what sizes you want to keep. The smallest piece of scrap may be 2" by 2" or 4" by 4". decide where you put the limit and stick with it

Scrap Paper Embellishments

Easy Ways To Store Paper Scraps

  • Purchase a large transparent envelope or an accordion folder to organize scraps by color or size
  • Store scraps in a bin or a tub, using hanging folders if possible
  • Use zip lock bags and store by sizes
  • Purchase inexpensive magazine holders. Mark them by size and color
  • Use a crate to hold all your paper scraps
  • Store them in those nice picture shoe boxes that you can get at your box craft store.
  • Hanging files in a mobile cart or in a file drawer
  • Vertical organizers
  • 3 ring binder with page protector
  • Envelopes- size depends on your stash
  • Totally Tiffany scrap rack system
  • Plastic container with drawers labeled with the color

How To Use Paper Scraps

There are as many ways to use your paper scraps as there are scraps. Here are some of my favorites

  • Green is one of my favorite colors to save. You always need extra leaves ! So I never throw any green away. Some days I will spend time just cutting different leaves on my Cricut or from my die cuts
  • Paper Punching is another way to use my scraps. I will use border punches to make edges for cards and scrapbook pages. I also punch flowers with my scraps.
  • Die cutting is a super way to use your scraps. There are so many to use. I even have some that are about 1" square, so there id never any reason to throw away the tiniest scrap.
  • Electronic cutting machines are perfect to craft with your paper scraps. You can make an unlimited amount of titles, images and so much more. Rather than using a full sheet of paper for just a little bit for part of a project, you can pull out the scrap that you need.
  • You can make your own photo corners with just a little paper. Just cut 4 matching triangles sized to fit your picture.
  • Make a tag. Use a tag punch or an electronic cutter to make a tag. You can size it to fit your paper scrap
  • Use scraps in your art journal. Using Modge Podge to affix pieces of scraps to create your own designs.
  • Use larger scraps to line envelopes. Printed paper is especially pretty to line envelopes.
  • Cut circles and adhere them together to create a title or journal area.
  • Make paper beads. They are a terrific way to use your paper scraps.Learn how to make paper beads
  • Try your hand at paper quilling. It's a fun way to create a piece of art from scraps of paper. Learn how to quill.
  • Create chevron patterns or starburst patterns using larger paper scraps. See a tutorial on making a chevron pattern.
  • Create a paper cake by using different rectangles for a card or scrapbook page
  • Make a curled paper Christmas Ornament. This is an easy way to use your paper scraps. Check out how here.
  • Cut into strips to use for quilling projects
  • Make gift or embellishment tags-cut them from a punch or on an electronic cutting machine
  • Use the pieces for small dies-we all have those tiny dies.Scraps are perfect to cut them.
  • Make a paper quilt.- Create a paper quilt for a card front or a scrapbook page
  • Cut out letters with them-Use a stencil to create letters
  • Make photo corners with them- Cut triangles in the same size
  • Make mini butterflies-Use your imagination
  • Make craft room labels-label your supplies



Flowers Are A Perfect Way To Use Your Scraps

You can cut flowers with a punch, a die cut, or on your manual or electronic cutting machine. They can be cut in all kinds of sizes. Keep a stash of your flowers to use as you need them

How To Use Scraps On Scrapbook Pages

There are plenty of ways to use paper scraps on your scrapbook pages.

Start by looking at what you have. Don't overthink the process. Start with a strong paper as a base. At least 85 lb. card stock in a color that appeals to you. A neutral color works best. Look at your scraps and determine what color or colors tell your story. Arrange the pieces here and there until you get a pleasing design. Adhere the paper to your design.

Add pictures and a title. You can use matching letters in your title or mix them up, it's up to you.

Making Cards Using Scraps

Stamp Your Scraps

You can stamp even the tiniest piece of paper to make some easy embellishment for your scrapbook pages, cards and art journals. While you can stamp with acrylic blocks, I personally prefer to use a Misti tool for this type of stamping.

  1. Look in your stash for some small word, phrase and image stamps. Look at the size of your scraps to determine the size of stamps that you can use.
  2. Line up your paper on the Misti. Line your stamp up with the paper.
  3. Apply the ink and stamp the image using the Misti door
  4. Cut excess paper away and you have a neat embellishment to use

Tips For Using Paper Scraps

Using Scraps On Cards

Cards are the perfect place to use some scraps. Your creativity will shine when you use those scraps in your greeting card designs.

  1. Layer them up-Make layers on your cards with patterned and solid color color paper.
  2. Make a mini banner for your cards. Decide the size you want them. Cut them to size with your paper cutter. Adhere them onto your card.
  3. Use your larger scraps to make patterns with your dies
  4. Cut out shapes to add to your card. Make multiples of the same pattern to make a cohesive design.
  5. Stamp Them. Stamp a sentiment or a stamped element on your scraps.
  6. Add dimension. Layer flowers and shapes to create dimension in your design

Layered card made with scraps
Layered card made with scraps

Every few months go through your scraps and get rid of the ones that you know you won't use

How do you use the scraps from your paper projects?

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    • linfcor profile image

      Linda F Correa 7 weeks ago from Spring Hill Florida

      Thanks for stopping by. The cost of paper is one reason ...I can be frugal about my supplies. But I also feel a responsibility to nature too. My husband laughs at me because he will often empty my wastebasket. And he says how small will today's scraps be.

    • sparkleyfinger profile image

      Lynsey Harte 7 weeks ago from Glasgow

      Great hub. As a crafter, I often have lots of little pieces. Your tip about setting a limit is something I will need to do, but throwing some things away seems like such a waste!!! Also some great ideas on how to use the scraps too! Now following, and can't wait to read more of your hubs!

    • linfcor profile image

      Linda F Correa 8 weeks ago from Spring Hill Florida

      You are welcome. I love to use my scraps. I am a confirmed scrap hoarder. I hate to throw any of it away. I feel like I am helping the keep the trees in tact if I use it all

    • purl3agony profile image

      Donna Herron 8 weeks ago from USA

      Great hub with a lot of useful information and ideas! I tend to save a lot of my tiny bits of scrap paper, especially if the paper was expensive or particularly unique. I probably save more scraps than I should. Thanks for the great ideas on how to store and use these little pieces of precious paper.