working with scrap.

What do I do with the scraps? Well I tell you one thing – I don’t keep them. When I’m feeling done with anything from paper bits to stickers I get rid of them.

[I envision you all staring at me, mouths agape, shocked at my wastefulness]

Before you run away horrified at my waste, hang on. I didn’t say I throw them away.

I said I don’t keep them.

There are three courses that a remnant of product might take:

  • Put into service:
  1. die cut, punched, otherwise made into useful bits
  2. Paper cut into strips
  3. Item(s) used on a “bits and pieces layout” aka a “clean my desk and scrapbook” project.
  4. Used on cards/tags/gift items other non-scrapbooking projects
  5. As play time fodder for when I want to test out new ideas and techniques
  • Put into the kiddo “art bin”
  • Placed in garbage can because the bit/scrap is so small or so useless it will just clutter up an otherwise smooth running machine.

The bottom line is that it gets put to use. Long gone are the scrap bins I once had, the sticker drawer filled with sheets that only had 1-2 stickers left. NOPE! Use it up is my motto now. I love how it works out.

There is one exception, and something you might be wondering about too. What about project pieces? Tag backgrounds made for class videos, abandoned project bits, etc? Well those I do save. I have a little box I toss them into, and now and then I find a use for them. If I find something too ugly, too beyond saving well no big deal Рthat just gets tossed. But more often than not those pieces end up being a part of something else down the road.

Say, when I’m looking for a tag to mount my first stamping play attempt with the brand new Tim Holtz blueprint stamps

That’s the tag I made on video earlier this week with gel medium. It’s the perfect thing for my fall leaf, and grabbing a bit of fabric and a few stickers to finish it off – well I couldn’t be happier with how this came out!

In my mind, it encourages more creative play, mixes stuff together where you might not ordinarily tread, and is just a lot of fun.


Check out Blue Moon Scrapbooking for the latest releases – including the new Echo Park Everyday Eclectic line and new products from My Mind’s Eye – with new goodies coming in all the time.

11 thoughts on “working with scrap.”

  1. When you are at the point of done, do you immediately do your die cuts, cut strips, etc. or do you have a file system for these scraps? I invasion that it is a combination of both.

    1. I would say that about once a week I evaluate, or in other words at the end of a creative cycle. I tend to not put stuff away between projects but rather try to use up what is out… then after a number of projects I’ll go through and clean up. When I do this, if there are single stickers, etc. I will set back on my desk to use immediately. At this time too is when I either go ahead and punch/die cut scraps of paper or get them used.

  2. Good advice! I have 1 medium box which is always open and placed next to my desk. I toss in all paper parts that I’m not using on my current project and are to small to go back in my paper stash.
    For example; when I need a small piece of paper for die cutting (trying out new dies or punches seems to be going on a lot this month!) I’ll go trough that box and find a piece I can use. On the other side of my desk is my recycle bin in which I immediately trow stuff that I know I’m not going to use anymore. Every now and then I’ll go trough the box with left-overs to sort them out. However, sticker sheets with only a few stickers are a different story. I don’t just trow away something because there is only 1 left. Offcours I’ll find a use for it someday and yes I am using everything I have instead of saving it for later. Since discovering camp scrap I’ve noticed a chance. Before I was hesitating to use that one piece of beautifull paper I just adore or that one perfect embellishment scared of using it on the “wrong” project. I no longer do that! Somehow I feel more “free” in my crafting now. Thank you for helping me chance.

    1. Oh I don’t thrown stickers away for being the ‘last sticker standing’ so to speak! i just know that ‘someday’ almost never comes so I keep that sticker out on my desk and make it get used right away vs tucking it back away into a sticker cubby.

  3. side-note : I do realize that I need an extra box to keep my die cuts and paper embellishments in that I’ve made without having a project in mind to use it on. That’s 1 storage unit that’s still missing because before I would only make what I would use and therefor I didn’t have those lying around.

    1. for die cuts I have a shallow drawer I toss them into, then I go digging when I’m looking for one of those basic shapes (before I go cutting a new piece of paper)

  4. Love your tag.
    You’ve nudged me into doing something with my scrap piles. I usually punch out shapes from my scaps and pass them on to a friend that teaches preschool. I’ve let that go too long so it time to get after it.

  5. What great timing… I’m about to pack up my stuff to travel with, and just trying to work out whether or not to take all the offcuts and leftovers or just give up on them. Now they’ll go into one folder, and I’ll get down to using them up as soon as I’m unpacked again at the other end. Thank you. And, wow, what a great tag – so excited about the Blueprint stamps, and the Classics release as well – some scary spending in the offing!
    Alison x

  6. Good ideas. I am motivated to use the scraps for experimenting. I like to punch or cut shapes also, but then I forget to use them. I think keeping them handy might help. P.S. Just listened to your recent Paperclipping roundtable where your tattoo was discussed. My daughter just got a small ankle tattoo so I looked for your blog post about getting it. interesting comparisons! My daughter said she survived a c-section, she could do this and it turned out well. I want one too, but would rather spend the $ on scrapbooking…

  7. Great post and really good comments from your blog readers! I need to make better use of my scraps – I think Ill try to do a die-cutting/embellishment making session once every few weeks

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