I have used it as a border on a solid piece of cardstock. I just cut or tear a strip however wide I want and then adhere it to the cardstock. I have also used it to back titles, journal blocks etc... just used a wider edge around them so you can see the pattern. You can also use it in blocking (cutting squares/rectangles of different papers and adhering them to the background)
If you look at Websters Pages or other elaborate pp in the superstore and look at the sample layouts, you'll notice how many people seem to cut out elements from the papers and use parts of the papers rather than the whole piece.
In fact, if the paper you want to use is relatively new, try searching for it in the Superstore. You may find some ideas in the examples people have linked.