Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Waste Not!

Lillian over at 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!


  1. You are amazing! I was hoping someone would have a clever idea for me and "poof" there you were! Thanks for sharing your tips, I'm definately going to use this!

    Oh, and thanks for visiting!

  2. I got blisters on my thumbs from punching so many scraps at one time! Thankfully, I now have more punches for a better variety but never again will I punch for over an hr straight w/those teeny tiny punches~

  3. @Raina: You're welcome! I'm glad that I could be helpful and actually put forth some of my own thoughts and ideas into the crafting community. I always feel as if someone has already done it before ... and better! I'm just really happy that there's a way for me to get through my scraps with the least amount of waste!

    @kay: Yeah, I had to punch and pause, punch and pause because my thumb was hurting too! I just alternated between that and the die cutting. What teeny tiny punches do you have? I only have a star and a flower. That's why I'm always checking those clearance sections for new punches! The EK Success slim line punches are very easy to use.

  4. I love it! When I taught art last few summers at my program, I gave them a paper cutting assignment and every detail had to be used with colored paper - no pencils, crayons, or markers. I could not stress enough that every little piece of paper could be used for something. Of course they didn't get that and at the end of the day, big sheets of paper were crumbled and in the trash just because someone decided to cut a square in the center of the page and felt that was all they could do with that. "RAWR" (quoted from your card)

  5. @um ... I'm not sure who you are, sorry!: Yeah, kids don't understand it at all! I always get upset when my students throw away paper from their binders for absolutely no reason! If they make a mistake with their heading, they throw the whole thing away. And the thing is, they use scrap paper for math and such. I tell them, "Can't you save that for math instead of starting a new sheet?" and they're like, "Well, I already crumbled it up." SO ANNOYING!

  6. My kiddos LOVE doing this (and it keeps them busy for the longest time)! The only downside is that they do it while sitting on my bed, so my husband is always confused as to why he wakes up with hearts or something stuck to his head! I tell him it is a reminder that his kids LOVE him..hehe! Thanks for the awesome comment you left! It made my day!

  7. I wish I had kiddos of my own who were willing to punch out all my scraps! Haha, I had to laugh about your hubby waking up with hearts stuck to his head. At least it's not glitter!