31 Days: How to Use Up Your Patterned Paper and Cardstock Scraps

by Lain Ehmann on July 5, 2012

If you’re a paper-based scrapper, you’ve got tons of scraps sitting around that seem to multiply faster than a Tribble on Star Trek! You’ll love today’s question from Lynnette:

What do I do with all those leftover scraps?

Watch the video, then leave a comment with your own suggestion.

simple scrapbooking layouts

P.S. Oh, and here are two amazing classes that can help you use up your paper scraps:

First, check out Kelli Crowe’s super-fun class on paper piecing. You’ll never look at your scraps the same way again!

Going to Pieces with Kelli Crowe (scroll down to see her class)

Next, Shimelle Laine will teach you how to use your favorite paper collections down to the last scrap!

The Perfect Collection with Shimelle Laine (scroll down to see her class)




  • Ginny

    I’m loving this video series! Thanks, Lain! Do you have any tips for storing bulky tools like punches and dies?

  • Lynne

    So many good ideas. A couple of things that work for me… I keep my scraps close and my full paper across the room. Just so I will “make the habit” of going to the scraps first to supplement my pages. It was a big decidion to do that and i love how it works for me. Also, I decide what size is appropriate to keep (to me it is 4×6 and larger) and let anything smaller goes in the recycle bin or to the giveaway bag. And I do have a regular place to donate to  - since I know it will be leaving on a regular basis, I feel good about the donation, I have less stress about letting it go.
    Great series Lain!

  • http://www.facebook.com/sktbaker Susan Traub Baker

    I find myself going to my scraps when I am making the gift card holder for a birthday gift for the party that my son needs to be at in 20 mins.  I grab a masculine/youthful looking patterned scrap then look for a healthy sized piece of solid paper. I fold the solid paper and accent with the patterned paper. I then have a “go to” Happy Birthday rubber stamp to finish it off.  I suppose I COULD make these cards ahead a bit when I find myself with good scraps. It’s not like the size of a gift card changes. 

    Thanks for taking the time to think through all of these questions. Great work so far! Looking forward to continued inspiration this month!

  • Lainehmann

    I love that! I do that with tags, too. Stay tuned for tomorrow… :) 

  • Lainehmann

    Ooh good tip!!!!

  • Becky Ellis

    I know everyone is different but what are some good ways to organize/store embellishments? I’m always wasting so much time looking for embellishments to use on my layouts and I’m in need of a better way to use my time.

  • Jenny Leonard

    Lain,  I was just looking at the circle punches at Michaels but I was wondering what sizes you recommend getting if you are on a tight budget.  

  • teri

    Lain, I’m looking for a way to to combine photo books with hand writing and actual ephemera. Is it possible to add these into photo books? Has any one done it that you know of? Have you?

  • Lynnette Nagle

    Thank you, chica!  Great tips here.  I’m looking forward to just punching away at some of those scraps.  I’ll post some of my progress soon.

  • Jenny Leonard

    By the way this just a general question, not one for your 31 days. :-)

  • http://twitter.com/qjting Cheryl Ting

    Lain, do you have any suggestions to speed up my scrapping? I think I’m a slow scrapper and I want to hurry up! What can I do? Do you have any suggestions?

  • Lynnette

    Jenny…I love my 2 inch circle.  It’s big enough to fill up some space or tuck underneath other papers in a cluster.  I also have a scalloped circle that is really a go-to for me.  It is slightly bigger than the 2 in. circle and coupled together makes a flower of sorts or add ribbon and it looks like an award ribbon.  It’s very versatile.  Hope that helps.

  • Jenny Leonard

    Thanks Lynnette!  That’s exactly what I was looking for.  I just found out I have a Marvy Uchida Outlet store nearby so I’m off to see what they have any punches. 

  • Janet

    love, love these videos! I am one of those gals who cuts down scraps to certain size and file by color…I know too organized, right???lol…but it helps when wanting to reach for something fast. If smaller than 6×6, I do what Lain suggested- I get out the punches or take the small scraps and make notecard sets for family/friends or even for my own stash. GREAT Q&A’s…and I like reading everyone’s responses too!

  • Renee J.

    This is a great video, Lain!  It’s filled with great ideas!!

  • Johnsonv

     I am just getting started, but I do anguish over the scraps that I cannot use.  You mentioned that you donate the smaller pieces…could you give me some ideas on where I might donate?  Schools…other suggestions?

  • Lynne

    Preschools/day care, church groups, Ronald McDonald House (scrapbooking and to decorate lunch bags so when the families make lunches they have something cheerful), day camps, private schools, women’s shelters…
    anyplace where kids might be that need creative or busy time. Kids don’t care if it’s a torn piece, a strip, even alphabets or stickers that are 1/2 used. They will just use what they have because it is what they have to use.
    In my case, I go to a crop at a church with a school 3-4 x a year and I just keep a box going and then bring it. 

  • Lilola

     I store my punches in an ArtBin 12 x 12 x 3 plastic container from Michaels.  I can fit most of my Martha Stewart and Fiskars punches in there.

  • Carol

    I find that narrowing down choices to ‘it’s good enough’ rather than ‘it has to be perfect goes faster than when I feel I have to go through every piece of paper, embellishment, ribbon, etc. that I have.

    If a page isn’t working it usually means I’m trying to put too much on the page, so taking something off the page will mean improving the look almost every time.

    If I have another picture or two I just must put on the layout, I add a flip up card (you can cut the page protector for the interactivity with the viewers) which then accomates two more surfaces and helps clear up any clutter.  The top of the card could also be your journalling spot. 

    I don’t put titles on every page.

    Journalling with a few key words, or in point form is quick, too.

  • Carol

    Stacy Julian’s Project Life, and PaperClipping’s Noell Hyman have fabulous examples of this. 

  • Carol

    Have you tried storing by colour–e.g.Stacy Julian stores all her embellishments plus ephemera, new photo albums, etc., by colour– it depends on your thought process, i.e. “This page needs something red, vs this page needs a ribbon, and you want to compare a few choices.” 

  • Angela Asmus

    Thanks so much for this series.  I love the idea about going ahead and punching shapes and borders into the scraps.  I am going to start doing that.

  • Ruth G

    I LOVE your suggestion to pre-cut circles and borders from those pieces that would otherwise be hard to use or look “useless”! What fun it would be to look into my scrap bin – it’d be like Christmas or shopping for new embellishments! Thanks so much for sharing and thanks to the wise scrapper who asked this awesome question!!!

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