If you only buy a few papers from a collection, how do you choose?

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Posted 3/9/2013 by Rhonda in TX in General Scrappin'

Rhonda in TX

PeaNut 339,706
September 2007
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Loc: Houston, TX

Posted: 3/9/2013 6:29:16 AM
I've decided I need to stop buying collections. I end up with so many papers, and then I can't afford to buy any of the new, pretty stuff. I wonder if those of you who do only buy a few sheets have a method you use to choose. Do you just buy what you like, or do you try to vary print size and such?

I wonder the same thing about embellishments from those lines, so any input there would be appreciated as well.

Been scrappin' for 15 years
Homeschool mom of 2 - DS (16) and DD (15)

Duchess of Stuff

PeaNut 449,226
December 2009
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Posted: 3/9/2013 6:44:02 AM
I just buy what I like. I do not scrap by 'collection'. I mix and match old/new/whatever and seldom have more that one thing from any one mfg. on a page.

That can lead to some interesting (to some) layouts but 'it's all good'

~ "full price is a F-word" ~


PeaNut 565,904
September 2012
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Posted: 3/9/2013 6:45:46 AM
I buy just what I like, usually the B side has a neutral/smaller print to coordinate with the larger prints. Embellishments-it has to be pretty versatile for me to spring for those...I tend just to go for brads, as stickers aren't really my thing.

As you decide what embellishments you want, ask yourself if there are things you tend to reach for in your projects-do you really like having a variety of alphas, or do you use stickers a lot? Do you like having the layered chipboard pieces? Are there so many pieces of xyz product in a package that you'll never use once you've finished up the papers? Is it a versatile embellishment that will work well with other papers/products in your stash? I think it all comes down to what you like/use, this will help guide your decision about what embellishments to get!

Happy shopping!


PeaNut 7,774
November 2000
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Loc: Midwest

Posted: 3/9/2013 7:11:30 AM
Yes, I buy what I like. If I buy paper I feel like I "have" to use it so...I am not going to be happy with a layout if I don't like the paper. I usually only like a few pieces so in the long run it is usually cheaper for me to pick and choose. Juat my 2 cents.


PeaNut 14,286
April 2001
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Loc: the 80's

Posted: 3/9/2013 7:13:56 AM
I buy what I love or what catches my eye. I don't worry about having certain prints, then I get sidetracked & am no longer just going with my gut instinct of what I like.

I was recently buying single sheets of Studio Calico prints & I picked anything that was a chevron, muted kraft tones or was a design that just really jumped out at me...I think I was really into that look when I was picking them out. I am not a shopper with a specific idea in mind, I just grab what is really pretty.

For embellishments, I get it if it's something really different & special. Again, if it's amazing & catches my eye & I know I want it in my scrapbook room.


PeaNut 154,780
June 2004
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Loc: Poland

Posted: 3/9/2013 7:21:43 AM
I just buy 4 or so sheets that I like the most. That would last for 3-5 layouts plus embellishments from the line.

formerly ExpatInIndia
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PeaNut 98,081
July 2003
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Loc: Ohio

Posted: 3/9/2013 7:24:45 AM
I try to buy a floral, a stripe and a polka dot plus whatever is the "signature" sheet from the line. I know those are the patterns I am always drawn to, so why fight it? Plus I'll buy the chipboard shapes or stickers to match. I don't bother with ribbon or flowers, I already have plenty in my stash. I don't bother with the fancy doo-dads because I'm cheap and can usually make them myself from scraps, like banners and pinwheels. For example, last night I picked up 3 sheets of Lucky Charm and the matching pack of shapes.

Ancient Ancestor of Pea

PeaNut 395,153
October 2008
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Posted: 3/9/2013 7:28:21 AM
I pick the patterns that appeal to me, that I can reasonably see myself using, and that work well together. I like to at least have the option of using all the papers together on one LO. For example, if a collection is mainly blue, green, and yellow I may grab a sheet of a green pattern, a blue pattern, and then maybe a pattern that has both of the colors in it to pull them together on an LO.

As for embellishments...if I'm not buying more than a few sheets of the paper I might skip them unless they seem really versatile.

For example, I bought four or five sheets of Pebbles "Family Ties" but none of the embellishments because they all seemed very family-themed and I don't scrap many family LOs. On the other hand, I bought five sheets of LYB "Winterings" paper and the pack of transparent shapes because they included some non-winter elements, like flourishes, as well as winter-themed elements in neutral colors like white and brown that I can easily mix with other collections. I bought the washi tape pack for MME "Lost and Found 3" when I picked up that collection because it had colors, like gray, that would play well with other collections.


PeaNut 6,587
September 2000
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Loc: Southern Louisiana

Posted: 3/9/2013 7:31:01 AM
I usually pick one pattern that has multiple colors, then I try to pick two or three supporting papers with one of the colors in it. I also try to alternate pattern size by picking a small print(dot), medium print(stripe), and large print(maybe a cut apart). I find this method gives me good variety. I am a sucker for alphabets, so I usually always pick up that, but have decided that it is time to stop since I have two full bins of letters.

dani gaudet


PeaNut 3,602
April 2000
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Loc: Massachusetts

Posted: 3/9/2013 7:37:32 AM
I tend to go for simple patterns like stripes or dots. I also look at the B sides.

Christi in MA
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PeaNut 281,136
October 2006
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Posted: 3/9/2013 7:58:35 AM
I just buy what I like and trust it will come together somehow.

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Living life on the left

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February 2003
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Posted: 3/9/2013 8:07:17 AM
I buy only what I can see myself using.

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Posted: 3/9/2013 8:36:42 AM
I just buy what I like, no rhyme or reason. I will say since I started PL this year, if I really like a collection- I buy the 6x6 pad and only a few 12x12 pieces. I used to buy entire collections of 12x12 and hardly ever buy the 6x6 pads.

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Manic Mom of 2

PeaNut 274,243
August 2006
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Posted: 3/9/2013 8:57:37 AM
I buy a pattern(s) I like and then add a couple of smaller patterns to go with it (stripes, polkas...). I have rarely ever bought a whole collection!

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likes shiny things

PeaNut 114,614
November 2003
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Loc: Ontario, Canada

Posted: 3/9/2013 9:19:33 AM
I never buy entire collections. I just buy what I love!

See things that shine on Pinterest, Instagram, and YouTube.

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PeaNut 535,520
January 2012
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Loc: Nova Scotia

Posted: 3/9/2013 9:32:13 AM
I usually look at the "B" sides and buy papers with smaller pattern. I'm another one who loves stripes and polka dots. For embellishments lately I've been getting label stickers and die cuts that I can layer.


What are you looking at?

PeaNut 477,798
August 2010
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Posted: 3/9/2013 11:54:13 AM
After years of buying collection packs, I've started a list called "Pick and Choose" that I will be using when unfrozen. I pick 3-4 of my very favorite papers from a line, and my favorite pack of embellishments. I mix lines a lot, so I'm not too worried a out scale right now - I can always find something from another collection I'm buying from or from my stash that will work.

Rhonda in TX

PeaNut 339,706
September 2007
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Loc: Houston, TX

Posted: 3/9/2013 12:17:49 PM
Thanks for all these excellent ideas/thoughts. Lots to think about.

Been scrappin' for 15 years
Homeschool mom of 2 - DS (16) and DD (15)

Ancient Ancestor of Pea

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January 2001
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Posted: 3/9/2013 12:48:24 PM
usually a stripe, a dot and some solids. I rarely buy the embellishments.


Ancient Ancestor of Pea

PeaNut 471,001
June 2010
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Posted: 3/9/2013 12:59:04 PM
I only buy what I love.

It's not unusual for me to buy only one or two pcs from a collection. I don't scrap "by collection". It's so much more fun and creative to mix it up sheet by sheet.

I have so much paper, I don't need to buy filler paper just to have a whole collection. I ONLY buy what I absolutely love.


PeaNut 188,761
January 2005
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Posted: 3/9/2013 3:51:09 PM
I always buy cut-apart sheets. I have learned over the years that I rarely ever use embellishments, so the cut-aparts are my embellishments. I have also learned to purchase card stock to match at the same time I'm shopping for pp and store together - kit style.
I went to LSS this week and happened to find CrTe 14 for 50% off. I have already bought some of this line b/c it is so pretty. Now thanks to Glitter Girl I checked out the b sides and found it to be useful for LOs other than love/valentine

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Cindy March

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November 2010
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Posted: 3/9/2013 4:23:53 PM
I buy what looks good to me or if I am looking for a specific theme. Today in order to finish a layout I needed patterned paper with clocks on it. Went to my local scrap store and found it. I don't even know if it's part of a collection.

from New York
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PeaNut 407,397
January 2009
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Posted: 3/9/2013 4:47:54 PM
I usually pick stripes, cut aparts or papers that I just really love.

Katie Scott
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Pea with a Pen

PeaNut 70,644
February 2003
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Posted: 3/9/2013 5:30:15 PM
That's something I do fairly often. I buy things I feel I need, that is with specific projects in mind. And for two reasons, that limits how much of a collection I will buy. First of all, I don't do online shopping, it's at an LSS. The LSS may or may not have ordered the whole collection, but even if it did, I am not rushing out to buy whatever new stuff it has that I like, but that which I think I need for a specific project. So...it may have sold out of some parts of the collection by the time that collection catches my eye. And, of what's left, it may not all be the color I like, so that which isn't a color that appeals to me that very day I will pass on.

One collection that I think was the all-time best example of this, although this is a vintage collection now and not at my LSS or probably anywhere else, is BG LilyKate. Everyone here either loved LilyKate becuase it was pink and flowery, or they hated it for that reason. But the truth is it had a lot of papers that were in blues, yellows and greens, and many of them not flowery. Those were the papers I was using for some spring and summer pages that year, and I don't think I ever owned a single sheet of LilyKate that had pink on it.

I will say though that I usually buy enough of a collection to give me several options for one project, so I do end up with a good chunk of stash that I may or may not use right away.

Pea, Glorious Pea

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Posted: 3/9/2013 6:10:24 PM
I hardly EVER like every single sheet in a collection, so I just buy the ones I like.

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Just Me the Pea

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Posted: 3/9/2013 6:45:47 PM
I am a sucker for flowers so I usually buy the flower print and I find I use plaids/ginghams & polka dots a lot and stripes not so much. I recently bought some Pebbles paper that had flowers on one side and a matching gingham color on the back which was perfect for me, but then I had to buy a few sheets of the paper so I could use both sides so I still am buying too much paper.

I am still waiting for the Echo Park new baby line to come out...


PeaNut 439,654
September 2009
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Posted: 3/9/2013 6:57:52 PM
I rarely buy collections any more either. I look at both sides and I have to love at least one side. I also go through my 'by color' drawers before ordering to see what colors I'm low on. Mostly I want tone-on-tone prints now but I still love a good multi-colored stripe or chevron.

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PeaNut 399,301
November 2008
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Posted: 3/9/2013 10:36:03 PM
I buy what I like. I really enjoy the process of pulling from my stash for a project and find that this system makes me more creative than using a collection does. Don't get me wrong - I still buy a collection if I love it - but I find that I have more fun when I create my own "collections."


PeaNut 453,032
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Posted: 3/10/2013 12:30:19 AM
If I love almost all of the papers, I'll buy the 6 x 6 and one 12 x 12 (hopefully one with border strips or a muted pattern) Then I buy the alphas or cardstock stickers to match.

Otherwise I just but whatever piece I like!
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Ancient Ancestor of Pea

PeaNut 302,969
March 2007
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Posted: 3/10/2013 1:10:51 AM
I usually will buy the most distinctive papers in the collection. Or the cut apart papers because you can get a lot of mileage from them. I don't scrap by collections but will buy a collection pack if I get a good deal on it and that's how I round out what I have as far as basic patterns go.

Hey! Where's my theme music?!?


PeaNut 268,680
July 2006
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Posted: 3/10/2013 7:52:15 AM
I tend to like the B sides of papers and then I choose a few multi colored patterns that will pull the B sides together.

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izzy b

PeaNut 431,441
July 2009
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Posted: 3/10/2013 9:09:43 AM
I do like having the whole collection because VERY often, I find that I use sheets that I would have never picked had I been cherry picking my favorites.

But if I am buying just a few sheets from a collection, I usually buy around 4 - 5. I do pay attention to scale and make sure to choose a big print and a small print and something neutral. If the line has journaling cards or border strips, I almost always include them. If a paper line has a paper strip at the bottom branding part(like Pebbles does) then sometimes that influences my paper choices. I love those extra patterns on the branding strips (where the barcode is).

For embellshments, I usually chose what's most versatile and what I tend to use most often. For me, that's stickers and chipboard. For others, it might be buttons or flowers. If I like the alphas in the collection, I'll get those too. Can't have too many alphas.

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Posted: 3/10/2013 10:16:49 AM
I've never bought an entire collection, I just buy what I love, mix and match.

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PeaNut 90,289
June 2003
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Posted: 3/10/2013 3:24:53 PM
A story-focused, simple, linear, cardstock-intensive, actual memorabilia type scrapper, I tend to use patterned paper as embellishments/accents. I only purchase the pattern(s) from any given collection that I like & will actually use, which are typically classics (e.g. stripes, plaids, dots, chevrons), woodgrain, or small repetitive patterns. I can always coordinate any pattern with cardstock or another pattern from a prior line of the same manufacturer that I already have in my inventory.
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