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Scrap Paper Ideas For Crafters

As a professional scrapbook artist, paper crafter, and author, I have taught people how to turn family memories into legacies for 20 years.

scrap-paper-ideas-for-crafters

Getting Started With Paper Scraps

We all have them sitting around our craft space. The minute you cut something manually or electronically, you wind up with craft paper scraps.

You spend your craft dollars on card stock, so it is natural to want to use as much of each page as you can.

Being a responsible crafter also means that you want to be ecologically correct by using as much of each page as you can. But like the loaves and fishes, your pile of scrap paper keeps getting bigger and bigger.

So how can you manage that inevitable pile of paper scraps?

Create a storage system that works for you. You can use zip lock bags, which are reasonably priced. You can also use things like hanging files and boxes. Another way to store them is by using magazine holders that you can buy or make out of cereal boxes.


Scrap Strips For Greeting Cards

One of the easiest ways to use scraps is to make strips of paper in 3/4 " and then arrange them to decorate a greeting card

One of the easiest ways to use scraps is to make strips of paper in 3/4 " and then arrange them to decorate a greeting card

Magazine holders that are color coded are one way to hold your paper scraps- the great feature of this system is that you can see what you have and where it is.

Magazine holders that are color coded are one way to hold your paper scraps- the great feature of this system is that you can see what you have and where it is.

Organizing Your Scraps

A question that I am asked most often is, " How small a scrap piece of paper should be kept?" The answer really depends on how much storage space that you have.

Personally, I keep everything. Because I use the scraps for so many things, I really get them down to very tiny pieces before they go into my waste basket. Paper is a staple, so I want to extend the use of it as far as I can.

  • The first thing to do to get those pieces of scrap paper organized is to sort them by color. You may also want to separate them by pattern as well. It all depends what works for you !
  • Think about how you are going to use them. Lighter colors are perfect doe stamping. Even the smallest piece of light paper can be stamped. Darker colors and patterned paper is great for die cutting and paper punching.
  • You decode if you want to keep printed paper with the coordinating color or separate
  • Cut them down to squares and rectangles. Trim edges. They will be easy to store,
  • Purchase a large transparent envelope or an accordion folder to organize scraps by color or size
  • Store scraps in a bin or a tub, using hanging folders if possible
  • Purchase inexpensive magazine holders. Mark them by size and color
  • Use a crate to hold all your paper scraps
  • Store them in those nice picture shoe boxes that you can get at your box craft store.
  • Vertical organizers
  • 3 ring binder with page protector
  • Envelopes- size depends on your stash
  • Totally Tiffany scrap rack system
  • Plastic container with drawers labeled with the color


This system uses snap closure envelopes in a dollar tree bin,

This system uses snap closure envelopes in a dollar tree bin,

Punched Scrap Paper Flower

I created these flowers with a simple punch. They were colored with distress ink. Gilding flakes were added to the center.

I created these flowers with a simple punch. They were colored with distress ink. Gilding flakes were added to the center.

Punch Your Paper Scraps

Even though electronic cutting machines are all the rage, many paper crafters still like their paper punches. They can cut the smallest piece of paper. Positioned correctly, we can use these punches to cut down to the tiniest left over shards of paper.

  • Punch a group of circles and glue them together to make a title background
  • Use a scalloped punch in any size. Punch it. Then cut in between the scallops to create a flower shape. Layer several. Add a gem in the center toi create a flower
  • Punch borders for your cards, scrapbook pages and journals
Scroll to Continue
Use punches and scrap paper to create fillers for your shaker cards

Use punches and scrap paper to create fillers for your shaker cards

Using Paper Scraps On Cards

use those scraps in your greeting card designs.

  1. Layer them up-Make layers on your cards with patterned and solid color color paper.
  2. Make a mini banner for your cards. Decide the size you want them. Cut them to size with your paper cutter. Adhere them onto your card.
  3. Use your larger scraps to make patterns with your dies
  4. Cut out shapes to add to your card. Make multiples of the same pattern to make a cohesive design.
  5. Stamp Them. Stamp a sentiment or a stamped element on your scraps.
  6. Add dimension. Layer flowers and shapes to create dimension in your design

Making Labels For Your Craft Or Any Other Space

You can create several labels for your craft space, your pantry or any other area that you want to organize. Grab your scraps and let's get started. You can use any medium weight cardstock that you have. You can use solid cardstock, printed cardstock or a combination of both.

Custom Cardstock Supplies

  • Medium weight cardstock
  • Nesting dies in any shape you want to use
  • Writing pens or markers
  • Zyron machine or wide double-sided tape
  1. Die cut the cardstock of your choice with the larger die
  2. Cut a piece of white cardstock with a size smaller
  3. Write the name of the items being organized on the smaller die cut.
  4. Run it through the Zyron machine or use double sided tape to attach it to the larger die cut.
  5. Then use the wide double-sided tape to attach it to the storage unit

Tips

  • There are decorative sticker papers that can be used
  • You can use packing tape over the label to make it last longer
  • You can use Mod Podge or decoupage glue to make the labels last longer


Using Basic Shapes

Using any kind of scraps, you can create basic shapes that can be used  as embellishments on scrapbook pages, greeting cards, journals and more. Cut squares, triangles, circles, hearts, and diamonds in different shapes and sizes.

Using any kind of scraps, you can create basic shapes that can be used as embellishments on scrapbook pages, greeting cards, journals and more. Cut squares, triangles, circles, hearts, and diamonds in different shapes and sizes.

Simple Ideas For Your Paper Scraps

  1. Make confetti. You can use any shape of very small punches to create your confetti.
  2. Make paper stickers. Cut shapes and letters. Affix them to double sided tape.
  3. Make collages with them in your art journal
  4. Fold small pieces in half to make gift cards
  5. Make candles from solid or patterned cardstock to use on scrapbook pages or greeting cards
  6. Use larger pieces to make mats on greeting cards
  7. Make imperfect circles of different sizes. Crumple them in your hand. Layer them. Add a gem, brad or button to create a flower.
  8. Create photo corners by cutting pieces into small equal triangles. Or use a corner pattern from your electronic cutting machine
  9. Make a paper bunting. Create uniform scrap paper rectangles. Fold them over twine. Glue and tape them to keep them in place
  10. Create a paper collage
  11. Create journal spots for your scrapbook pages
  12. Cover jar lids with Mod Podge and scrap paper
  13. Use larger scraps to line envelopes. Printed paper is especially pretty to line envelopes.
  14. Cut out letters with them-Use a stencil to create letters
  15. Make small butterflies
  16. Make craft room labels-label your supplies
  17. Die cutting is a super way to use your scraps. There are so many to use. I even have some that are about 1" square, so there id never any reason to throw away the tiniest scrap.
  18. Electronic cutting machines are perfect to craft with your paper scraps. You can make an unlimited number of titles, images and so much more. Rather than using a full sheet of paper for just a little bit for part of a project, you can pull out the scrap that you need.

Scrap Circle Christmas Ornament

Make this delightful Christmas ornament from your paper scraps

Make this delightful Christmas ornament from your paper scraps

Stamp Your Scraps

You can stamp even the tiniest piece of paper to make some easy embellishment for your scrapbook pages, cards and art journals. While you can stamp with acrylic blocks, I personally prefer to use a Misti tool for this type of stamping.

  1. Look in your stash for some small word, phrase and image stamps. Look at the size of your scraps to determine the size of stamps that you can use.
  2. Line up your paper on the Misti. Line your stamp up with the paper.
  3. Apply the ink and stamp the image using the Misti door
  4. Cut excess paper away and you have a neat embellishment to use
  5. Create sentiments to keep on hand for any time that you need a quick card
Use pieces of scraps to create banner pieces for a greeting card. Could be seasonal or other type of card

Use pieces of scraps to create banner pieces for a greeting card. Could be seasonal or other type of card

Make Chevon Patterns

Create a chevron pattern with bits and pieces of left over scraps. You can use solid color paper, patterned paper or a mixture of both; You can make scrapbook pages. greeting cards and use them in your journals.

Chevron Patterns-Make Them With Your Scraps

Paper beads are the perfect use for all your paper scraps. Even the tiniest scrap can be used to make a small bead

Paper beads are the perfect use for all your paper scraps. Even the tiniest scrap can be used to make a small bead

Make Paper Beads

Paper beads are so much fun for both kids as well as adults. They can be made in so many sizes, colors and shapes.
All you need is a thin wooden dowel, a pair of scissors and some white craft glue to get started.

It is basically a rolled piece of paper.in widths from about 1/4 inch to 1inch. You can cut them straight or in triangles. Once they are rolled, they are glued together.

You can make all kinds of necklaces and bracelets with them, once you learn how to create the beads. You are only limited to your imagination where you can go with this craft.

Paper bows are perfect for paper scraps

Paper bows are perfect for paper scraps

Make A Paper Bow

These bows are a perfect way to use those left over scraps. Many electronic cutting programs have bow making patterns. That makes it super easy to create a bow in minutes.

No matter what the size or template for your bow, glue dots are the perfect way to adhere the pieces. Less messy than glue and they hold together right away.

Create A Paper Bow

Die Cut Flowers

Die cut flowers are the perfect way to use even the smallest crafts.

Die cut flowers are the perfect way to use even the smallest crafts.

Die Cut Flowers, Butterflies And Shapes

Die cuts come in all shapes and sizes, so using scrap paper to create die cuts is a perfect idea. From the tiniest to the largest, there are so many options to chose from. These die cuts can be used on greeting cards, scrapbook pages, altered books, wreaths and just about any paper craft.

The dies are cut with a manual or electronic die cutting machine. You can save a lot of time by cutting several in one pass.

I set aside one session a week to just work with my scraps. It's fun to get out my dies and create from the stash that I have

Die Cut Sentiments

Die cut sentiments can be used as a single layer or in multiple layers for more demention

Die cut sentiments can be used as a single layer or in multiple layers for more demention

Die Cut Sentiment Banners

I almost always create shapes with my larger left over paper scraps. I generally make these right after I complete a project. I keep them stored in my scrap rack system in a separate section called shapes. That way I always have them on hand.

You can use a manual die cut machine to cut your shapes. Personally, I prefer to use either my Cricut or my Gemini electronic cutting machine. That way I can do a number of them as quickly as possible. I often have my Cricut running the cutting project and my Gemini cutting the scraps.

The nice thing about the Cricut, is that you can size the cuts as small or as large as you want.

The Gemini is great to use with different sized nesting dies, You can get a lot done in one pass.

Once cut, you can either stamp them right away, or store them and use them as you need them. You can either store them by color or by shape. If you do not have a scrap rack, you can store them in zip lock bags in a box , in filing folders or in drawers.

You can also cut multiple of the same die cuts and stack them one on top of another for a 3 D look,

Paper Quilling -Easier Than You Think

scrap-paper-ideas-for-crafters

Give Paper Quilling A Try

Paper quilling uses thin strips of paper to create all kinds of designs.. These shapes can be used on cards, scrapbook pages, journals and even wall art. You can buy pre-cut strips of course, but why not use your paper scraps to create your own paper quilling strips?

All you need is an inexpensive quilling tool,(this can also be used to roll paper flowers ) some scissors, some white craft glue and of course your paper scraps.

Quilled shapes can be used on gift bags, greeting cards, wall art on scrapbook pages, in altered and art journals. The uses for these projects are endless.


How To Make Quilling Strips

Paper Quilling Tips and Tricks

Stenciled Card With Paper Scrap Embellishments

Making embellishments and layering them is a great way to use paper scraps

Making embellishments and layering them is a great way to use paper scraps

Make Gift Tags For Any Occasion

You can cut gift tags from most scraps that you can. These are perfect for just about any occasion. You will want to use a stronger card stock as your base. After that, use your imagination to create unique and personal tags.

Gift tags can be made in all sorts of sizes, so you are not limited there. You can use printed paper over a tag base and adorn your tag for the occasion that you are planning for.

They can be in almost any shape that you want to use. Remember, to punch a small hole at the top so that you can loop a ribbon or string

Make A Paper Quilt Card

Make A Paper Quilt

Paper Quilts are one of the best ways to use paper scraps. You can use them on cards, journals and scrapbook pages.This is a good way to process all those tiny scraps that you generally throw away !

  1. Save all your paper scraps in a big bag
  2. Search quilt patterns to find something that appeals to your eye
  3. Select the size of the paper base that you are planning to use
  4. Using a ruler and a pencil, draw your pattern on your base paper
  5. Glue the pieces onto your pattern

Note-start with simple squares and triangles. Diamonds are also easy to work with. Then try more difficult patterns

How To Make Paper Quilts

Make A Bookmark

All you need to make a bookmark is a 2" by 6 " piece of scrap paper as your base. This is a perfect enclosure when you are giving a book as a gift. They can be used as party favors, gifts for a classroom and a lot more.

I would tend to use heavier paper for these so that they can last longe


Book Mark Projects

scrap-paper-ideas-for-crafters

Make A Pocket Page Card Or A Scrapbook Page Pocket

If you do pocket page scrapbooks, then you have a wealth of potential inserts amoung your paper scraps. Start with 3" by 4" paper scraps and design away !

You can also make a pocket for your scrapbook pages from scraps. They can be done in smaller sizes to hold journal notes or as large as you need them

Pocket Page And Scrapbook Project Ideas

Create A Scrap Paper Collage

We all have those small or even tiny bits after doing die cuts, punching, or just cutting on our electronic cutting machine. More times than not, we just heave the paper into a waste bin.

Instead of tossing them away, why not use them to create a lovely collage. Your pieced collage could be framed to hang on a wall. Or you could also use the same idea in an art or junk journal.

You can go monochromatic (all the same color), you can mix colors, and/or you can add printed cardstock. You can also use corrugated paper too. Paint it or leave it plain.

Just gather all the pieces from different projects in a bag or box. Once you have enough, you can start your project.

If you are doing this project in a journal, make sure to glue some pages together to make a strong base for your collage. You could also use gesso or paint as an undercoat to your art.

Supplies

  • Paper scraps
  • Cardboard (in whatever size you would like) or a journal page
  • Glue gun or tacky glue
  1. Leave the cardboard as is or paint over it if desired
  2. Lay out all the pieces of scrap paper on your cardboard base until you have the design that you like
  3. Using a warmed-up glue gun, Start gluing the pieces to the cardboard. If you are doing a journal page, use a tacky glue instead. You could also use the tacky glue on the cardboard if you would like to avoid using the glue gun
  4. Allow the project to dry
  5. Frame and enjoy

Tips

  • If you are doing a journal page, place parchment paper or waxed paper behind the page so that it protects other pages in your book.

More Scrap Paper Ideas

Patterned Paper Scrap Ideas

You can use different patterned paper scraps to create a new quilt paper.

You can use different patterned paper scraps to create a new quilt paper.

How To Use Patterned Paper Scraps

If you are like me, you hate to throw away your favorite patterned paper scraps. Rather than tossing them in the trash, use these ideas to save some of that wonderful paper to use in some other projects.

Here are some suggestions

Mosaic Card Background

You can use your paper scraps to create a mosaic background. These are white cardstock strips that you make into patterned paper. Then you weave it into a lovely mosaic background. Learn more here

Foam Dot Greeting Cards

Another idea used circles of patterned cardstock. Create circles of patterned paper with either a paper punch, die cut or electronic cutting machine. Attach the circles to a card base with foam dots to add dimension. Add a sentiment and you have a colorful greeting card or notecard. The same idea can be used to create a background on a scrapbook page. Use tape or glue to hold down the circles.

Panel Greeting Card

If you have scraps that in the same color or tone, you can create a patterned paper panel card. Use a piece of white cardstock that measures 5 1/2" by 8 1/2" folded in half. You need 3 – pieces of patterned paper measuring 1 1/4″ x 3″. And you need solid cardstock 3 – pieces of cardstock measuring 1 3/8″ x 3 1/8″. You can emboss the card base or not. Tape or glue the patterned paper to the solid cardstock. Then glue or tape the pieces to the card base. Add a sentiment. This is a great idea for masculine cards.

Die Cuts

There are endless ways to create embellishments to create die cuts with patterned paper. You can create hearts, flowers, sentiments, shapes, and a lot more. Nested dies add even more opportunities to create embellishments to use later on.

Cover A Journal

Strips of patterned paper can be used to create a cover for a plain journal, composition book and more. You can use a chevron design, vertical or horizontal stripes, or lay them any way that pleases you. Cut and lay the paper out. When you are happy with the design, adhere the paper to the project with double sided tape or PVA glue. This creates something special that could be a gift or be sold.

Decorate A Clipboard

You can also decorate a clipboard using strips in any pattern that you would like. For this project, you need Mod Podge or any other decoupage medium. Lay your pattern out. Then use the Mod Podge to glue the paper onto the clipboard. Allow the project to dry overnight. Then apply another coat of Mod Podge over that and allow it to dry overnight. Add another coat of decoupage medium if you would like.

Decorative Clothes Pins

Use little scraps of patterned paper to decorate clothes pins Measure the flat part of the clothes pins. Cut the paper and apply it to the pin with a decoupage medium like Mod Podge. Allow it to dry overnight. Then add another coat of Mod Podge over the paper and allow that to dry overnight. Add a magnet to the other side and use as a refrigerator magnet. Or you could use thm in your craft room.

Create tags using patterned paper scraps to create colorful tags

Create tags using patterned paper scraps to create colorful tags

More Patterned Paper Scrap Ideas

Storing Your Scraps

Storing your scrap paper can b challenging. Here are our best ideas to stay organized. Keeping ahead of those pieces will cause less frustration and more craft time

Storing your scrap paper can b challenging. Here are our best ideas to stay organized. Keeping ahead of those pieces will cause less frustration and more craft time

There are dozens of ways to store your scraps to keep them organized. Making the extra effort to stay ahead of the game will have its rewards. Once you take the time to organize all those bits by color, you will have less frustration and more craft time.

Here are some suggestions to get those scraps organized:

  • Zip lock bags-very budget friendly. Chose the size bag that fits your needs. You can see what you have.
  • Magazine holders. You can store these on a shelf
  • Bins
  • Baskets
  • Shoeboxes


© 2019 Linda F Correa

We would love to hear your thoughts. comments and experiences with paper scraps

Linda F Correa (author) from Spring Hill Florida on August 22, 2019:

I love crafts too. Because we all have a craft budget, especially with children, it is always good to use what we have on hand. Thanks for stopping by.

Nona Weeks from Florissant, CO on August 21, 2019:

Having 2 kids, these tips are very useful. Thank you for sharing. We love crafts

Linda F Correa (author) from Spring Hill Florida on August 20, 2019:

I appreciate all of your comments. We are always adding to our resources so please stop by again.

Virginia Kearney from United States on August 20, 2019:

Lots of fabulous ideas. I've done many of these myself but I have not tried the chevron papers or the paper bows. Thanks for the ideas!

Sharon Bellissimo from Toronto, Canada on August 20, 2019:

These are great ideas, very useful information here, thanks for this! Now I know what to do with all my scraps, and organizing them would be a great beginning.

RTalloni on August 20, 2019:

Such an inspiring resource for using decorative paper scraps. Thanks for these tips and ideas. I'm wanting to make paper beads and will be looking at your links.

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