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Scrap Paper Ideas For Crafters

Updated on August 24, 2019
linfcor profile image

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

Getting Started With Paper Scraps

We all have them sitting around our craft space. The minute you cut something manually or electronically, you wind up with craft paper scraps.

You spend your craft dollars on card stock, so it is natural to want to use as much of each page as you can.

Being a responsible crafter also means that you want to be ecologically correct by using as much of each page as you can. But like the loaves and fishes, your pile of scrap paper keeps getting bigger and bigger.

So how can you manage that inevitable pile of paper scraps?

Create a storage system that works for you. You can use zip lock bags, which are reasonably priced. You can also use things like hanging files and boxes. Another way to store them is by using magazine holders that you can buy or make out of cereal boxes.


Magazine holders that are color coded are one way to hold your paper scraps- the great feature of this system is that you can see what you have and where it is.
Magazine holders that are color coded are one way to hold your paper scraps- the great feature of this system is that you can see what you have and where it is.

Organizing Your Scraps

A question that I am asked most often is, " How small a scrap piece of paper should be kept?" The answer really depends on how much storage space that you have.

Personally, I keep everything. Because I use the scraps for so many things, I really get them down to very tiny pieces before they go into my waste basket. Paper is a staple, so I want to extend the use of it as far as I can.

  • The first thing to do to get those pieces of scrap paper organized is to sort them by color. You may also want to separate them by pattern as well. It all depends what works for you !
  • Think about how you are going to use them. Lighter colors are perfect doe stamping. Even the smallest piece of light paper can be stamped. Darker colors and patterned paper is great for die cutting and paper punching.
  • You decode if you want to keep printed paper with the coordinating color or separate
  • Cut them down to squares and rectangles. Trim edges. They will be easy to store,
  • 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
  • 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.
  • 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


Green Is A Favorite Scrap Color

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

This system uses snap closure envelopes in a dollar tree bin,
This system uses snap closure envelopes in a dollar tree bin, | Source

My Scrap Storage System

For me, it is all about the hanging files for my scrap paper. I have a 2 file drawers in the desk that I use. In these I use hanging files-one for each of the major colors. Within each file, I use zip lock bags to keep all the scraps organized.

You have to decide what works for you in your craft space.

Punched Scrap Paper Flower

I created these flowers with a simple punch. They were colored with distress ink. Gilding flakes were added to the center.
I created these flowers with a simple punch. They were colored with distress ink. Gilding flakes were added to the center.

Punch Your Paper Scraps

Even though electronic cutting machines are all the rage, many paper crafters still like their paper punches. They can cut the smallest piece of paper. Positioned correctly, we can use these punches to cut down to the tiniest left over shards of paper.

Punch a group of circles and glue them together to make a title background

Using Paper Scraps On Cards

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

Scrap Circle Christmas Ornament

Make this delightful Christmas ornament from your paper scraps
Make this delightful Christmas ornament from your paper scraps | Source

Simple Ideas For Your Paper Scraps

  1. Make confetti. You can use any shape of very small punches to create your confetti.
  2. Make paper stickers. Cut shapes and letters. Affix them to double sided tape.
  3. Make collages with them in your art journal
  4. Fold small pieces in half to make gift cards
  5. Use larger pieces to make mats on greeting cards
  6. Make imperfect circles of different sizes. Crumple them in your hand. Layer them. Add a gem, brad or button to create a flower.
  7. Create photo corners by cutting pieces into small equal triangles. Or use a corner pattern from your electronic cutting machine
  8. Make a paper bunting. Create uniform scrap paper rectangles.Fold them over twine. Glue and tape them to keep them in place
  9. Create a paper collage
  10. Create journal spots for your scrapbook pages
  11. Cover jar lids with Mod Podge and scrap paper
  12. Use larger scraps to line envelopes. Printed paper is especially pretty to line envelopes.
  13. Make a curled paper Christmas Ornament. This is an easy way to use your paper scraps. Check out how here.
  14. Cut out letters with them-Use a stencil to create letters
  15. Make small butterflies
  16. Make craft room labels-label your supplies
  17. 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.
  18. 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.

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

Make Chevon Patterns

Create a chevron pattern with bits and pieces of left over scraps. You can use solid color paper, patterned paper or a mixture of both; You can make scrapbook pages. greeting cards and use them in your journals.

Paper beads are the perfect use for all your paper scraps. Even the tiniest scrap can be used to make a small bead
Paper beads are the perfect use for all your paper scraps. Even the tiniest scrap can be used to make a small bead | Source

Make Paper Beads

Paper beads are so much fun for both kids as well as adults. They can be made in so many sizes, colors and shapes.
All you need is a thin wooden dowel, a pair of scissors and some white craft glue to get started.

It is basically a rolled piece of paper.in widths from about 1/4 inch to 1inch. You can cut them straight or in triangles. Once they are rolled, they are glued together.

You can make all kinds of necklaces and bracelets with them, once you learn how to create the beads. You are only limited to your imagination where you can go with this craft.

Paper bows are perfect for paper scraps
Paper bows are perfect for paper scraps | Source

Make A Paper Bow

These bows are a perfect way to use those left over scraps. Many electronic cutting programs have bow making patterns. That makes it super easy to create a bow in minutes.

No matter what the size or template for your bow, glue dots are the perfect way to adhere the pieces. Less messy than glue and they hold together right away.

Give Paper Quilling A Try

Paper quilling uses thin strips of paper to create all kinds of designs.. These shapes can be used on cards, scrapbook pages, journals and even wall art. You can buy pre-cut strips of course, but why not use your paper scraps to create your own paper quilling strips?

All you need is an inexpensive quilling tool,(this can also be used to roll paper flowers ) some scissors, some white craft glue and of course your paper scraps.

How To Make Quilling Strips

Tip For Multiple Die Cutting

If you are doing multiple cuts of die cuts in one pass on a die cutting machine, be sure to attach the piece of paper and the die to your plate with a piece of low tack tape or washi tape, so that they stay in place on the run

Stenciled Card With Paper Scrap Embellishments

Making embellishments and layering them is a great way to use paper scraps
Making embellishments and layering them is a great way to use paper scraps | Source

Layered Paper Scraps On Cards, Scrapbook Pages And Journals

You can use your paper scraps to create dimensional layers on all of your paper projects

Die Cut Sentiment Banners

I almost always create shapes with my larger left over paper scraps. I generally make these right after I complete a project. I keep them stored in my scrap rack system in a separate section called shapes. That way I always have them on hand.

You can use a manual die cut machine to cut your shapes. Personally, I prefer to use either my Cricut or my Gemini electronic cutting machine. That way I can do a number of them as quickly as possible. I often have my Cricut running the cutting project and my Gemini cutting the scraps.

The nice thing about the Cricut, is that you can size the cuts as small or as large as you want.

The Gemini is great to use with different sized nesting dies, You can get a lot done in one pass.

Once cut, you can either stamp them right away, or store them and use them as you need them. You can either store them by color or by shape. If you do not have a scrap rack, you can store them in zip lock bags in a box , in filing folders or in drawers.

You can also cut multiple of the same die cuts and stack them one on top of another for a 3 D look,

Source

Make Gift Tags For Any Occasion

You can cut gift tags from most scraps that you can. These are perfect for just about any occasion. You will want to use a stronger card stock as your base. After that, use your imagination to create unique and personal tags.

Gift tags can be made in all sorts of sizes, so you are not limited there. You can use printed paper over a tag base and adorn your tag for the occasion that you are planning for.

They can be in almost any shape that you want to use. Remember, to punch a small hole at the top so that you can loop a ribbon or string

Make A Paper Quilt

Paper Quilts are one of the best ways to use paper scraps. You can use them on cards, journals and scrapbook pages.

Make A Bookmark

All you need to make a bookmark is a 2" by 6 " piece of scrap paper as your base. This is a perfect enclosure when you are giving a book as a gift. They can be used as party favors, gifts for a classroom and a lot more;

I would tend to use heavier paper for these so that they can last longer.


Make A Pocket Page Card Or A Scrapbook Page Pocket

If you do pocket page scrapbooks, then you have a wealth of potential inserts amoung your paper scraps. Start with 3" by 4" paper scraps and design away !

You can also make a pocket for your scrapbook pages from scraps. They can be done in smaller sizes to hold journal notes or as large as you need them

© 2019 Linda F Correa

We would love to hear your thoughts. comments and experiences with paper scraps

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    • linfcor profile imageAUTHOR

      Linda F Correa 

      4 weeks ago from Spring Hill Florida

      I love crafts too. Because we all have a craft budget, especially with children, it is always good to use what we have on hand. Thanks for stopping by.

    • nonaweeks profile image

      Nona Weeks 

      4 weeks ago from Florissant, CO

      Having 2 kids, these tips are very useful. Thank you for sharing. We love crafts

    • linfcor profile imageAUTHOR

      Linda F Correa 

      4 weeks ago from Spring Hill Florida

      I appreciate all of your comments. We are always adding to our resources so please stop by again.

    • VirginiaLynne profile image

      Virginia Kearney 

      4 weeks ago from United States

      Lots of fabulous ideas. I've done many of these myself but I have not tried the chevron papers or the paper bows. Thanks for the ideas!

    • sharonbellis profile image

      Sharon Bellissimo 

      4 weeks ago from Toronto, Ontario, Canada

      These are great ideas, very useful information here, thanks for this! Now I know what to do with all my scraps, and organizing them would be a great beginning.

    • RTalloni profile image

      RTalloni 

      4 weeks ago from the short journey

      Such an inspiring resource for using decorative paper scraps. Thanks for these tips and ideas. I'm wanting to make paper beads and will be looking at your links.

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