Ladybug Layouts Weekend Retreat

2011 Retreat Dates

June 3-5 (CANCELLED due to location issues)
October 21-23, December 2-4 (BOTH CANCELLED due to family committments)

Sunday, April 25, 2010

Today's Tip! - Scrap Paper Organization

Scrap Paper Organization

Scrapbooking can be an expensive hobby. There's paper, tools, embellishments, and all kinds of things we "need".  Like you and I, many paper crafters cut expenses in a variety of ways.

One way to cut expenses is by saving your scraps of paper.  I admit, I am a scrap paper horder! While I used to save every little piece…I am trying to be a little more realistic.  After years of scrapbooking, I ended up with PILES of scraps!  I had plastic folder set up for each color and tried really hard to keep them "organized".  But to find "just the right color" was still an onerous task.  Generally, I knew where the perfect color was in a full sheet, and off I'd go, creating more scraps that I would add to my collection.

I know I was wasting lots of money and only creating more scraps.  Those scrap folders were bursting at the seems… literally!!!!  And all that paper going to waste because it was so hard to deal with.

I've thought, and researched and even asked others and in the end, decided to make cards..... use up all my scraps and I won't have to deal with storing them, right?  While not a perfect plan, I cleared out a lot.

In the end, I can't stop saving scraps, but I can do so wisely.  I started being picky on the scraps that I save.

First, I cut all the "big" scraps into 8"x8" or 6"x6" pieces.  I know that I will use these.  Then I created a supply ot 2"x2" and 1.5"x1.5" squares.  These are great for mounting stamped images, verse, journal blocks, titles, etc.  Anything else, is pretty much relegated to the recycling bin.

I do have a little stash where I put small paper strips…they aren’t big enough for a journal box but they work for captions, "ribbons", or a few other handy uses.  There is no rhyme nor reason to these strips, they are all just thrown into this little box and I do use them quite often!  Especially the white and kraft paper pieces!

I found this solution, as well, and this may help you.

How to Organize your scraps so you can use them in 3 easy steps!

  1. Find a storage tote to hold your scraps. Take a look at your scraps and decide how big your container needs to be.

    For example:

    - File totes are available at local supply stores
    (You will need hanging file folders for this method.  Standard hanging files will work; larger scraps stick up above the files but this way you can see at-a-glance what color that file is)
    - Rubbermaid Containers
    - Sterilite drawers / bins

    If you tend to not have enough scraps to fill a filing tote…you may find this smaller option more appealing:
    - Crop-n-File
    - Durable 13 Pocket expanding file
  2. You may wish to label your folders:
    - Red Pattern
    - Red Solid
    - Orange Pattern
    - Orange Solid
    - Green Pattern
    - Green Solid
    - Blue Pattern
    - Blue Solid
    - Pink Pattern
    - Pink Solid
    - Purple Pattern
    - Purple Solid
    - White and Creams
    - Brown pattern
    - Brown Solid
    - Black Pattern
    - Black Solid
    - Specialty
    - Heritage

    Analyze the colors or styles of paper that you tend to use the most and then label your files.  Perhaps you would rather sorty by theme?  Make it work for you.
  3. Now it is time to dump out all those scraps and start filing them!  Consider setting a size limit.  Above all, stick to your guns!
  4. Now, make it a habit to look into your new scrap file each time you are scrapping and need a smaller size of paper so that you do not always find yourself cutting into a brand new sheet!
You will really be surprised how much you will use your scrap papers once they are organized! You will also be surprised how much money you can save by utilizing all your scraps! Now you can take that money you saved on paper and buy some more awesome embellishments!


  1. Great ideas all! I hadn't thought of precutting my scraps for cards - that is a SUPER plan. I can't get my mojo going for scrapbooking right now so this is a great project to get me back in the creative spirit.

  2. Great ideas Denise for organizing the scraps. They sure do accumulate.