I have an amazing coworker, Cynthia Coulon, who is an extraordinary graphic designer AND an amazing paper crafter. She’s also very efficient, organized AND hates throwing away left-over scrapbook supplies.
I’ve asked her to share her thoughts on using “bits and pieces!”
I love putting my paper-crafting leftovers to good use! It’s one of my favorite creative activities, and really satisfying. While I’ll freely admit to throwing out a jar of peanut butter still containing some salvageable spoonfuls, that is not my way with scrapbooking supplies.
To be clear, I’m not a hoarder. I don’t just buy and stash. I don’t have alpha stickers from 1997. And while you may find a stray sock or two in my hallways, they are not crowded with stacks of paper.
Over the years I have learned how to shop wisely, organize my supplies, and most importantly, use what I have.
Right now, let’s just focus on that last part—using up the bits and pieces that remain after the main project(s) is complete. Here is my approach to using paper-crafting leftovers:
- I like to clean up after a project, but if I have leftover scraps and pieces I want to use, I leave them out where I see them, or at least put them somewhere easy to access. Remember the spaghetti casserole someone shoved WAY back in the fridge on the lowest shelf? That’s exactly what I’m trying not to do. Keep the scraps in sight to keep them in mind.
- Using leftovers is a decision I commit to. I try not to move on to a new batch of supplies until I’ve made the best use of what I have out. (Of course, I almost always end up needing other supplies as well…it’s rare that JUST leftover scraps can make a complete project.)
- While the details and cuteness of a particular group of leftovers are fresh in my mind, I actively think about and search out (Pinterest) ideas for their use.
- When I’m ready to start creating, I spread out all the bits and pieces and get to work. I arrange and rearrange elements until I’m happy with what I see. New ideas for special touches often come when I’m playing around with the pieces.
Below are some projects I made using leftover supplies from the Anthology Christmas Wishes Paper Collection. After making some scrapbook layouts, I had a chipboard foil alphabet leftover along with some chipboard and cardstock diecuts. Way too cute to toss, here’s what I created:
These super-easy greeting cards are just the right size to feature 4 x 6 photos. I love how clean, simple, and festive they look. I used Anthology white cardstock for the card bases.
The second project was my way to use up the cute snowflakes, twine, and other pieces from the collection.
This charming rustic wall hanger with three clips is a really fun way to display seasonal photos. I simply mounted the photos onto cardstock, made the center square, stapled snowflakes to twine, and clipped it all in place.
Thanks for the amazing ideas and advice, Cynthia!