Guest Author - Kathleen Rensel
One of the natural by-products of scrapbooking is the scraps. It’s part of the name and part of the fun. No matter what supplies are used, there are going to be scraps leftover at the end of a project. Some scrapbookers keep a file or bin for their scraps. The scraps may be large or they may be very small. There is a philosophy or style or system to what scraps can be kept and what should be thrown away. And, there are a lot of questions about what to do with the scraps now that they are saved.
Almost every project will have scraps of paper. For example, many scrapbookers will start with 12x12 papers and cut down from there. Sometimes the cuts will be 4 – 4x6’s, but anything not divisible by 2 or 3 will most likely result in scraps. “Scraps” means more than just paper scraps though. There may be scraps of ribbon, embellishments and even adhesive. Another type of scrap comes not from the scrappers supplies, but from found items or even packaging. Some do scrapbooking that is considered “green” because it uses almost all recycled supplies.
So, how do scrappers store their scraps? Some sort them by type and then store like sizes or colors together. Most people wouldn’t store embellishment scraps with paper scraps – that’s an example of sorting by type. Whether it is paper or embellishments, it helps to sort them by size, to help protect them from damage, or by color to help find what is needed quickly and easily. The scraps can be stored in almost any kind of container. The important thing is to keep them safe and contained, because they can get wild and out of control!
What is too small? Well, some scrappers say nothing is too small. Paper can be punched into tiny circles or cut into confetti that can be glued on or used in a snow globe embellishment. That’s pretty small! A 1-2” scrap of ribbon can be tied in a knot and used as a bow. Or how about using the negative part of a sheet of foam dots just as well as using the perfect cut circles?
Most scrappers have their own system or philosophy about what to save and what to throw out. Whether it is a system or philosophy is determined by the individual scrapper. It may be a simple rule, such as, scraps must be bigger than a certain size. Or it may be more of a philosophy or style that nothing is too small to save.
Lastly, what do scrapbookers do with all the scraps? There are lots of opportunities to use scraps! Some people cut the paper into strips and make cards or small embellishments for layouts. Sometimes the scrapper just needs a little dash of color and the scrap pile is a great place to look! Another option is to make entire projects out of scraps.
Scraps can be a lot of fun. Make sure to store them so they don’t get damaged. And, consider going green and using some “found” items in the next layout. Or try completing an entire project using all scraps.