Lillian over at kweenzzone.blogspot.com accidentally bought 2 Best of Pixar cartridges. As a contest, she asked how to use scrap paper because she has two boxes of it that she doesn't want to waste! That's the difficulty of paper crafting. There really can be a lot of waste if you don't find a way to be wise about how you use your paper (especially really pretty paper!!!).
Well, I just happened to organize my scraps the other day since there were people outside redoing the sidewalk and driveway, and it was too loud to concentrate on any card making. I have a few Iris 12x12 paper storage boxes. One of them has all the papers that I used in my Cricut, so they have the oddest shapes cut out of them! I saved them just like that in the box, so when I needed a piece taken out, all the cut pieces would be intertwined with each other! Very difficult to use! And it definitely wasn't encouraging me to use my scraps!
I finally decided to organize it. I got my trusty Cutterpede paper trimmer out, and trimmed off all the pieces so that I would be left with only rectangles. The big pieces are still in the 12x12, but every other piece was tossed in one basket so that whenever I needed a layer or border for a card, I'd dig through this stash first.
I know many people sort scraps by color, but I don't have the space to do that OR the patience! I think it might actually be more of a hassle to do that to store AND to use. I don't think I'd want to take out my pink folder or baggie to look for a certain size. Plus, I am TERRIBLE with color schemes at this point. I'd probably take out the pink, put it back in, take out the purple, put it back in, and take out the green before finally settling on BLUE! Haha. This way, I can take whatever color and if it's not used, I just toss it back into the basket. On the card I made in the previous post, the yellow strips were from this basket of scraps.
Of course, there will still other pieces that I didn't want to throw away, so I needed to do something else with them. I recently bought labels dies from Papertrey Ink, so I was able to get really good pieces from those! I cranked my Cuttlebug (with my scratched up B plate!) over and over again to get all of these pieces in so many different colors. It'll be nice to have these ready to use whenever I need to attach a sentiment to my card. I'm also thinking about using a bunch of different colors lined up for a background or something. The plain white rectangle for the sentiment from that same card that I posted in the previous update was from this container. It's a Ziploc container that my mom didn't want anymore (we use mainly glass for food storage now). I "inherited" them for my scrapping supplies!
Even after trimming and using my dies, there was still residue leftover. Well, the only thing I had smaller than those things were punches! I have an EK Success square punch (clearance at Michaels!), a Marvy Uchida lever punch in the shape of a puzzle (clearance at Michaels!), and a REALLY small star punch ($1 bin from Target a LONG time ago). That meant I punched and punched like there was no tomorrow! I can use these on cards and scrapbook pages too. I like it because if I need something, I don't have to start punching a fresh sheet of paper.
Here is an example of what I was doing to my pieces of paper. The letters were cut out a while ago for my brother's science project. Then you can see where I cut out the 2 pieces using the label dies. The rest was punched out using the itty-bitty star punch. In this pic you can see the star punch to the right, of course, but you can also see the smallest label die that I have from PTI. To get the paper out, I put a bit of Fun Tac on a craft stick to get it out of the die without bending it.
Now that I'm all organized with my scraps (haha, until I do more Cricut cuts at least), I actually find it easier to craft. I don't have to feel bad starting a new sheet of paper because I have so many scraps right there at my fingertips! Waste not!