As a professional scrapbook artist, paper crafter, and author, I have taught people how to turn family memories into legacies for 20 years.
Using Free Scrapbook Supplies All Around Your Home
Who doesn't love to save money on scrapbooking supplies ? There is a treasure trove of scrapbook supplies in your home that you haven't even thought about.! It's right under your nose and costs nothing ! Not only will you save money using this hidden stash, but you will be helping the environment by recycling the things you use every day on your scrapbook pages !
I am a scrapbook artist. I love creating the pages of memories that my family has made over the years ! I am also an avid recycler. So combining my two passions was easily when I really took inventory of the stuff around my house and how I could recycle and reuse what I had on my scrapbook pages. There is a hidden treasure trove of scrapbook materials right in your house. Let's get started finding the materials that you can reuse for all your scrapbook pages
I keep my recycled scrapbook supplies in shoe boxes in my scrap place labeled so I can find them right away
Index Cards-A Wonderful Journal Idea and Embellishment Idea
If you have left over index cards laying in your home, either from the kid's classes or some other project, it's time to grab them for your craft space. They are perfect for your journaling. They come in colors as well as plain white. I like to use the lined side to keep myself neat! You can add a little decoration to them. A strip of washi tape, some flowers, a little sticker, or whatever you might have!
You can also do recipes on your index cards. Add treasured family recipes to kitchen pages for extra interest.
If you want to hide your journaling, decorate an envelope and slip the index card inside the envelope
Index cards are a great tool to journal on your scrapbook pages. You can cut them and size them to any shape or size you would like. They come in colors as well as white.
Tips For Index Card Journaling
1. Round the corners of your index card with a punch
2. Add washi tape or ribbon to match the colors of your pages
3. Stamp your cards in the theme of your page
4.Add stickers to enhance your cards
5. Ink the edges of your cards to make a more nostalgic look
What I like about them is that they have lines on them which makes writing easier. Some have blank sides as well. They are an economical way to add journaling that can be customized to your pages.
You Can also use old recipe cards as journal cards and tags too !
Cardboard-It's Everywhere In Our Homes
Start thinking about the cardboard that you throw away every day ! Wow what a stash for your scrapbook pages. There are cereal boxes and other boxes that our foods come in. There is packaging that our supplies and other things that we order comes in. Really look around before you throw anything cardboard away !
What could you use it for? Think creatively ! How about using it for a title block? Use it as a frame. It could highlight a piece of journaling or a picture. All you need to do is cover it with some pretty paper, paint, or markers and you have breathed new life into something you would normally throw away
Greeting Cards-Another Source Of Free Supplies
I never throw any greeting cards away! I recycle them into embellishments, titles and phrases for my pages. Any cards that you receive can be reused. Any flowers or shapes can be cut out and reused. Any patterned side of a card can be cut up for tags and embellishments. sayings and greetings can be used on themed pages. Even the poems and sayings on the inside of a card can be recycled. Those cards are a source of plenty of design ideas and resources if you look at them in a new way
Left Over Nail Polish - Use It Like Paint On Metal
That little bit of nail polish that you have decided to do away with, has a use in your craft room. Think about your brads and other metal embellishments. You can make them custom by painting them with whatever color nail polish that you might have been ready to throw away ! Experiment with different polishes. I especially like the glitter ones
Twist Ties-Save the Bread Ties For Your Scrapbook Pages
I never throw the bread ties away ! We have a whole bag of them that I use in my craft room. They really can be cut down for the centers of your flowers, I like to punch a little hole and run them through and tie them on the back side. You can also make shapes from them to emphasize a design on a title. They bend so easily so you could make swirls and other shapes
Cookie Cutter Embellishments
The cookie cutters lying about in the draws in your kitchen can provide a great deal of free embellishments. Trace the shapes and use your imagination to create pretty little theme adds for your pages. I like to sit down and play with my cookie cutters and make a bunch of them at once.
More Scrapbook Ideas From The Kitchen
If you really get creative, you can find lots of things to use on your scrapbook pages.
Brown paper bags make some great embellishment and scrapbook resources. First thing to do is to cut the seams and lay out the remaining paper. If it is really wrinkled, you could iron it with a dry low temperature iron between two pillowcases or kitchen towels.
- Punch them or cut them with an electronic cutting machine. You can easily make embellishments and shapes using the paper.
- Die cut them into just about any design you can think of
- Stamp the paper to create a design or element
- Age the paper withe distress ink
Brew a tea bag and let the bag dry for about a half hour. Then carefully press the bag in random spots on your scrapbook page. It will give your scrapbook spread a vintage appeal.
Use toothpicks to create little flags with scraps of paper
Sponge ink on cardstock to create designer paper
Punches Are Perfect To Use Every Scrap Of Paper - Get Every Inch Of Use From Your Craft Paper
I never throw any scrap of paper away ! The minute that I cut a piece of paper, the rest of it goes into my scrap drawer to be used later. Scrapbook paper is an expense, so I make sure that I get the most for my craft dollar. Paper punches are a perfect way to use all that leftover bit of paper. You can cut flowers, embellishments and shapes from every bit of leftover paper from your projects. Take a look at your paper in a new way ! Think about using what you have and saving a tree. AS I work with a piece of paper, I take time to cut a few flowers, leaves and shapes. I keep them in a basket so that I have them when I need them. Investing in a few basic paper punches, will save you money !
Repurpose Envelopes On Your Scrapbook Pages
Every day you get those lovely envelopes with bills and statements. If you look inside those envelopes and you carefully pull them apart, you will fund a hidden treasure. Each of those envelopes has a patterned paper on the inside. That paper can be used on tags and as small embellishments. You could punch them out into small flowers. The acetate or clear part of the envelope can be used as a window. It can also be used as a place to put a dab of glue or some ink when you are working with small amounts to color or glue small buttons. Save them up and you will have a box of free patterned paper.
I also reuse colored envelopes from greeting cards. I cut them up to make photo corners. They can also be used behind journaling pieces. I also like to cut them up into little flowers!
You can also reuse envelopes from greeting cards on your scrapbook pages. You can decorate over them or turn them to the back side where any writing may not show. Add some washi tape or other embellishments to give interest to them. Just attach them to the page with some double sided tape.
Chipboard is so much fun to work with. You can decorate even the smallest left over elements to create something special. I save left over letters and small pieces in a shoe box. You can use a left over letter as the first letter of a word or title. Small words or elements can be used throughout your layouts. Use the left over sheet from chipboard letter pages as stencils to create more letters. You can paint them , color them with markers or glitter them
Duct Tape-Add Some Color And Glammer To Your Pages
Everyone had duct tape somewhere in their home. For scrapbook artists, duct tape can add a lot to our pages. It can cover cardboard to make a frame or a title. It could be used like ribbon to separate sections of a page. Strips of it could be used under pieces of journaling or phrases. Its use is only limited to your imagination. There are so many different patterns available.
When I hit the dollar store, I am always looking for duct tape. Not just the silver color anymore, duct tape can be used for borders, titles and as a decorative touch on your scrapbook pages
Leftover Part and Holiday Supplies
Have you ever given a party for one of your kids and had left over napkins, party hats or decorations. Well, it's time to think about those leftovers in a new way ! I always save and include the invitation to an event on a scrapbook page
Cut up those party hats and use them on your pages as backgrounds and tags. Napkins can also be used on your pages. Little bits of confetti or dÃ©cor can also be used creatively on themed pages.
You can do this with almost any party dÃ©cor. Think about graduation parties, weddings, showers, picnics. Once you get in the recycled mode of thought, you will look at your parties differently
Toothbrushes -Make A New Custom Background Paper
I have been using toothbrushes for years to make custom color on paper and tags. It's really simple. First you will want to give the old toothbrush a good cleaning so that there is no residual toothpaste on it. Let it dry ! Scribble on a piece of paper with a marker, Add a drop or two of water. Dip the toothbrush in the ink and flick it on to your paper. You can get custom paper in the colors of your choices !
Magazines And Flyers- Look At Them Before You Heave Them
Outstanding Opportunities For Pictures, Letters and More
There is a lot of material right in the magazines that we read every day ! Before you throw away those magazines and flyers, really look at them as an artist and you will find some very special things in them. First look at them for the letters and phrases that they contain. A lot of them you could cut out and use them for journaling or titles on your pages. Often they are in color and cam be used to pop a theme page that you are developing. Think about the pictures that you could use. Look at the printed materials that you have as a new source of embellishments for your scrapbook pages and art journals
- Make A Recycled scrapbook From An Old Book
Oh I really like the thought that went into this one. You remove the pages from an old book and repurpose the book cover to make a new scrapbook. I would also reuse the pages from the book for scrapbook quotes and paper craft projects
Love These Recycled Scrapbook Ideas - More Thoughts On Recycled Scrapbook Projects
I am committed to recycling on my paper craft and scrapbook projects. So periodically, I will be updating with new projects, so check back often to get more inspiration from my personal favorites. Each of these projects use the things that you have around the house or would be able to find very easily.
More Recycled Scrapbook Ideas
Repurpose Any Clothes Or Leftover Materials
There is a treasure of things to repurpose from your closet when you are getting rid of clothes that you may be disposing of.
- Buttons-Never through a button away. Take them off of clothing that you are getting rid of. They are terrific on a scrapbook page. They can be used as embellishments. You can create a banner with them. Add a drawn string and they become a balloon.
- Felt-Felt is lightweight enough to be turned into flowers, leaves and other embellishments for your scrapbook page. Use buttons as the center of your flower. Make sure to use a strong tacky glue to add these to your pages or a good glue dot. Make sure not to over glue or you will add too much weight to your page.
- Leftover Material-Create flowers and other embellishments with any lightweight material.
- Suede-While suede cannot really be used on a scrapbook page, it can be used to create a scrapbook cover
- Cloth Belts-Lightweight cloth belts can be used as a border or divider on a scrapbook page. Use fabric glue to adhere it to the page
Pieces of Old Jewelry
Another Hidden Treasure
If you are like me, you have a few old earrings that are not a pair ( they must go to the same place that those socks go ) You may also have old holiday pins, broaches ect that you no longer wear. Look at these pieces in a new way. Holiday pieces can be taken apart and used on holiday pages as embellishments. Little earrings can be used as embellishments as well. Think about necklaces and other findings in a new way !
Cupcake liners are a staple in most households. They are great to use on your scrapbook pages. They come in all kinds of colors and themes. They are also very economical. They can be flattened out and used for a frame or a background piece. They can be made into flowers, with a scissor- decorative pinking shear or plain. They are only limited by your imagination.
Why not share your thoughts on recycling scrapbook supplies with the community ! We'd love to hear from you ! Say hello or share a thought ! Either way, thanks for stopping by !
© 2014 Linda F Correa
We'd Love To Hear How You Recycle When Scrapbooking - Share your tips, ideas and thoughts !
Linda F Correa (author) from Spring Hill Florida on January 11, 2019:
Thank you! I always believe in using what we have at our fingertips, I love to recycle in my paper crafts.
Adelaida Black from Canada on January 10, 2019:
Wow! so many ideas!! i found of scrapbooking, but some ideas was new for me. Thanks!
Corrinna Johnson from BC, Canada on July 03, 2014:
Great ideas! I use lots of these ideas already. I have a box that I keep all kinds of odds and ends for crafting and scrapbooking with including old cards, clothing tags, old clothing and any interesting bits and pieces that I come across.
gottaloveit2 on July 02, 2014:
I don't scrapbook but have recently got back into pottery. I look at things with a different eye these days and have recycled stuff I couldn't believe I'd keep.
Ibidii on July 02, 2014:
I have used all of the above for years as I learned from my Grandmother Mother how to recycle from the 1950s as a child. I still save things to recycle. I reuse the brown paper that comes from Amazon packing sometimes to make my own patterns for sewing and crafts. I use the cereal and cracker boxes for many things. I love those pastel colored index cards. They did not have those before but I have used the white ones for years for greeting cards that I cut out old greeting cards and made a decoupage for years. Love it! Great lens!