I admit, I am a very 'green' scrapper. I like to use every bit of the paper I cut up, whether on a page as an embellishment, as a mat, as tags, etc. I use paper all the way down to the smallest piece. I hate throwing paper away, especially pretty paper. Don't get me wrong, I don't hug trees and sing kumbayah, but I do like to be conservative and reduce, reuse and recycle when I can. Scrapbooking is no exception.
In the past, I used to save every scrap, even when it was ridiculously small, in an envelope. However, it seemed that I would sometimes not pull out the small pieces and not use them very often. I banished this poor paper to vellum envelope purgatory....never to be seen or heard from again. So, I devised two ways to reduce that paper stack. 1) Use all of my paper scraps on the current layout (make mats, flowers, pinwheels, tags, etc.); 2) If I cannot use all of the paper, turn it into something else immediately. The key word is: immediately. I know, I know, this sounds so much harder than just tossing a piece of paper in the trash can or storing it. But, I want to show you my paper scraps:
In the top pict, that is all the big scraps I have. In the bottom one, you see a few small paper scraps and a lot of 4x6 mats. Reason being, when I am finished with a project. Anything over six inches goes into the Cricut pile (I have a 6x12 Cricut Create-top pic) to be used later on a project the cardstock scraps under six inches go in the drawer above and the patterned paper gets converted into an embellishment immediately. The small scraps are immediately punched or stamped and sorted. Here are some examples. You see my hand a lot in the pictures. I was trying to give you some perspective on how big the scrap is.
This was a long strip. I use these a lot for borders, but I needed the butterfly "negative" for a project. In my next post, I will show you what I do with punch negatives. I store the punched butterflies for a future project.
The above is a small piece of paper that I am likely not going to pull out and use again. But it is a pretty cardstock with glittery flowers. Too pretty to throw away. This is what I do, I use the two below punches to convert this scrap into something that I can just grab and use for a future layout. Notice that the only piece of paper left is the very small scrap I am pointing to. I put this in the paper recycle bin and store the punch outs for future layouts. The squares I use to layer underneath a journaling spot or on a tag.
Here is another idea:
And another idea:
Again, very little is thrown away. The second negative, the grey butterfly, I will use to make a tag. That will be in my second blog post about using negatives. Lastly, some other things I do with paper scraps are to stamp and then punch them. I have several small stamps that I do not use very often on layouts, so this is a good way to utilize those little stamps. It is also a good way to sneak a little stamped embellie onto your layout or tag. Also, since I participate in a lot of swaps, I have an unending supply of embellishments to pull from.
At this point, you may be saying, where do I store all of this? I am glad you asked! I save every small container that comes through my house. I am very much an advocate for reuse, recycle and upcycling. So, I have an unlimited supply of altoid tins, embellishment packaging, small containers I get from consultants (like the little Stampin' Up trinket packaging) and that is what I store all of these little scraps in. Also, I keep clear bags handy. If I do not want to put them away so soon, I will put them in a clear bag and hang them on my magnetic board. Don't forget to throw those small pieces into the recycling bin.
I hope this has inspired you to upcycle and recycle, as well as given you some ideas on how to manage that avalanche of paper scraps.