Don't Toss Your Scraps!
by Andrea Steed

You've finished the layout you've been working on for a couple of days, but somehow instead of all of the paper being ON your layout, you're left with a pile of extra paper that you've cut photo mats, titles, journaling blocks and embellishments from. It's a mixture of cardstock, patterned paper and vellum. You could just toss it all and start fresh with every layout, but let me give you some reasons why you shouldn't toss those "scraps".

Why should I save my scraps?

Scraps make great borders, decorative squares, and mosaics.

You can use them to make punchies with your large collection of punches.

You only need a little bit of paper to cut out the letters for a title.

Small pieces of paper can be used to create accents on handmade greeting cards.

Your children will love to "scrap" with you! Give them a pile of your scraps to get started.

It saves you money! (so you can buy OTHER scrapbooking things!)
How should I organize my scraps?

There are a few different ways you can organize your scraps, and whatever system works best for you is the one you should follow. My personal system includes separating your scrap paper into three categories: cardstock, patterned paper, and specialty papers. You can also get really ambitious and color code your scraps by storing them in separate file folders. I recommend a drawer or folder that is large enough to hold 12 x 12 paper, so that you don't need to cut your scraps down even more before filing them. You never know when you'll need a 12 x 12 border!

It is a good idea to clean out your scrap folders or drawers every once in a while. When my scrap supply gets out of control, I get rid of the smaller pieces of paper and hold on to the larger ones. It's actually kind of fun to go through my old scraps. Just like a quilter knows her fabrics, I can tell you how each paper scrap was used.

I've been saving my scraps since I first started scrapbooking. It's amazing how often I go to my scrap drawer and find the perfect paper to use on another layout or card. So often I find that I need just a small piece of paper in a certain color, and don't want to cut into a brand new piece. So don't toss those scraps; they can be used.