Quick Tip: How To Organize Scrap Paper

Scrapbookers, card-makers, and other paper craft creators can relate…

After finishing a project or two, you find yourself left with miscellaneous strips of paper in all sizes, shapes, and colors. You no longer have full sheets of paper, just bits and strips of leftovers. How can this mess be organized??

Well, I had the same struggle too. I figured there must be a better way for me to stay organized and streamline my crafting organization. So, I came up with a method…

I had to figure out what the top 5 sizes of paper were that I used most often (aside from 12 x 12″ paper). I tried to think of the most standardized sizes, also, to help me when it is time for crafting. Also, it’s nice to have standard sizes so that if I get a new paper pad, I can just add it to the stack of the same existing size.

20160915_213004The top 5 sizes I use most often (apart from 12 x 12″) were:

*8 1/2 x 11″ – This is a standard size of copy paper and a lot of cardstock paper will come in this size also.

*6 x 6″ – Many cardstock paper pads will come in this size. That way, when I get a new 6 x 6″ pad, I can easily add the new papers to the stack which I already have cut to size.

*4 1/4 x 5 1/2″ – This is the standard A2 card size that most card-makers use. This makes it easy because I can decorate this size of paper and simply adhere it to the card base – and I’m done!

*2 x 6″ – This is a good size to cut the long, skinny strips of scrap paper down to. It makes a great bookmark size! It can also be trimmed and used to stamp sentiments on or cut to use as a banner.

*3 x 4″ – This size is great to use for journaling cards (Project Life card size). It can also be altered and cut down for making gift tags and/or inserts for Pocket Letters!

Once all of the papers are cut to a standard size using my Fiskars Paper Trimmer, I can neatly stack them on my bookcase shelf for easy access. At this point (with limited space), I find that stacking the paper by size works well and saves room since I don’t have the space for a large paper organizer. I put the largest 12 x 12″ paper on the bottom and go from there.

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Organized by size

But, I found myself in another quandary… What about when I have an odd size paper that doesn’t exactly fit any of the standard 5 measurements I have?? That’s where my color-coded file folders came to the rescue! I had these scraps of paper that were too small to fit any of my sizes, but too large to waste by throwing in the trash. So, I put my smaller scraps in the color-coded file folders that I made. I just taped 2 pieces of 8 1/2 x 11″ paper together and rounded the edges with my corner punch to form a file folder (in various colors). There’s probably a much nicer way that I could have done this – but it didn’t really matter how fancy they looked since they weren’t going to be on display anyhow.

Color-Coded File Folders

Color-Coded File Folders

I store my all of my color-coded file folders in a 14 x 14″ storage container. If I need a small scrap for something but don’t want to cut into a fresh sheet of larger paper, I will reach for my scrap bin… my ORGANIZED scrap bin! I’m not up to fishing through a sea of scraps for the right color of paper while I’m mid-project, that’s why I love organizing by color! 🙂 It streamlines the whole process. I can do what I love (crafting) with more joy and ease when things are organized.

I hope this helps with your craft organization! Enjoy the companion video below! ↓↓↓

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*FTC Disclosure: This post contains affiliate links and I will be compensated if you make a purchase after clicking on my links at no additional cost to you.
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Paper Piecing Technique

For this month’s project, we will be learning a technique called “paper piecing” – not to be confused with paper piercing. This can be done in a simple way (as shown here) or you can go more elaborate by using a sewing machine and the whole nine! I learned this technique from a wonderful crafter on Youtube. Here is her link: http://youtu.be/fnJD6r0iNqU

I began by finding an image online and printing it on my printer. I printed about a half-dozen copies of the same image for this technique. The image I used was Hello Kitty, but you can use any image you like. Okay, okay – so here’s my disclaimer: If images are found online, please restrict it to personal use only. So, now that the legalities are out of the way – let’s get started!

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Finished project

Supplies Needed:

*Light pink cardstock

*Dark pink cardstock

*Pink glitter cardstock

*Ribbon (You choose color/ribbon sentiment)

*Printed images on white computer paper or cardstock

*Glue runner and Glue pen

*1 small pink gemstone (flatback)

*Glue Dots

*Foam Squares

*Thin black ribbon

*Fine Point Sharpie in black

*Fiskars Paper Trimmer (or scissors)

*Scissors

*Rubber Stamp (with sentiment of your choice)

*Purple ink pad

*Corner Punch

Instructions:

*Step One – Cut light pink cardstock base to desired size. Cut coordinating dark pink to go in center and adhere down with glue runner (see image above). Cut 3 thin strips of pink glitter cardstock; this will frame your ribbon up top and the bottom of the dark pink cardstock. You can adhere ribbon with glue runner as well as the glittery strips.

 *Step Two – Stamp your sentiment on the bottom of the card in the center. I used “Happy Birthday” but you may use whatever you like. I also used purple ink – but again, you can use whatever color you like the best. Now that the base of the card is complete, you may round your corners with a corner punch. I used a Martha Stewart corner punch I bought at Michael’s craft store, but many brands make these.

*Step Three – Now it’s time for the paper piecing technique. Look at your image in sections. For example, I looked at this Hello Kitty image as a bow, a dress, a shirt, and balloons and picked out the colors I wanted for each section. Using the color of cardstock you choose, place the colored paper under the image you printed and cut out (tracing lines on printout) one section at a time. This is why I printed more than one copy of the image. After you cut out all sections, adhere down onto a whole/uncut image with glue runner or glue pen (see images below for detail). Use your fine point Sharpie to finish the edges or to outline.

*Step Four – Place some Pop Dots (dimensional foam) under the image to “pop it up” off the card base. This will make your image stand out. I also used Glue Dots to secure her gemstone in her bow and the tiny black ribbon to her balloons. Depending on your image, you can decorate as you like.

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Tips/Ideas

~For small pieces, it is best to adhere with a glue stick or a Zig 2-Way Glue Pens.

I HOPE YOU ENJOYED THIS PROJECT. PLEASE LIKE, COMMENT, AND SHARE IF THIS POST WAS HELPFUL.

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*FTC Disclosure: This post contains affiliate links and I will be compensated if you make a purchase after clicking on my links at no additional cost to you.