The trouble with Scraps

Anyone that dabbles in paper crafting, of any sort or kind, knows the end result of creating is scraps.

Looking at a pile of scrap paper causes an utterance along the lines of “Oh Crap”.

Pile of scrap paper

Pile of scrap paper

Scraps.  I decided to check at dictionary.com for the definition of “scrap” and this is what I found.  There is a lot to be said about this one little word – SCRAP.

I have made a pledge to myself that my home is not going to be a wreck any longer.  I will clean up after myself.  Tackle the problem and get it over and done with.

There is a burning question I frequently hear or read.  What to do with all the left over scrap pieces of paper?  The most asked question is “How small of a piece do you have to keep?”

The answers to these two questions are numerous.  Some people keep the teensy tiny pieces left over from a hole punch.  Frankly, I don’t want to even be bothered by those pesky tiny pieces.  Another person might only consider keeping pieces that are 5″x7″ or larger and the smaller pieces are given away.  The answer to this part of the question is up to you and your personal preference and the available space you have.

Paper scraps breed.  I kid you not 😀  They sit in the place where they have been dumped and they create more.  Okay, a bit of exaggeration there, but it sure does seem like it to me.

A friend of mine, Lynn, lives in the UK.  She has created a “Junque” Journal using her scraps of paper and other items destined for the trash.  You can read her post here.  Lynn asked if it were time for me to venture into Junk Journals.  Looking around I found another blog entry by a Linda Jo on the subject of Junk Journals.  You can do a Google search for Junk Journals.

I’ll have to investigate this a bit further.  I have tons of scrap paper that I could use.  First though, to begin answering some questions I’ve seen about what to do with the scraps in the first place.

What do I do with the paper scraps?  First I sort them.  I start several piles.  Each pile represents a length.

I sort by length

I sort by length

Some people sort by color, or manufacturer, or something else that is important to them.  Me, just the size.  I don’t care about the color or the manufacturer of the paper.  Sadly, most of these papers won’t see the light of day again after they have been put on a shelf.

After I have sorted all the scrap paper by size….

Sorted by size 1

Sorted by size 1

Sorted by size 2

Sorted by size 2

I had to go into my kitchen/dining room to see what scraps were hiding beneath my giant trimmer I’ve been using in the Post-It-Note Holder project.

Scraps at the paper trimmer

Scraps at the paper trimmer

I sorted these and took them into my craft room.  Yes, I put the trimmer away so it is no longer on my table.  Good girl 😀

Sorted scraps at paper trimmer

Sorted scraps at paper trimmer

I’m going to catch all heck from some friends about this.  The long skinny strips left get thrown in the trash or recycling bag.  When I first began this journey, long ago, I kept all my scraps.  Especially these long skinny strips.  Never used them but I kept them.  So they get tossed now.

Toss out long skinny strips

Toss out long skinny strips

The small bits get tossed as well.

Toss out small pieces

Toss out small pieces

Those little pieces won’t even fit in a paper punch.  Well, they would go in one of those tiny punches but I’m not going to save these pieces.

Once the sorting is done, I do keep the large pieces of scrap.

Storage for large pieces of scrap

Storage for large pieces of scrap

These long pieces are excellent for using in a die cutting machine, like the Sizzix Big Shot.  They are long enough to make multiple cuts and they are wide enough to fit through the machine without cutting down more paper.  These pieces are stored in a 13″x13″ plastic sleeve and stand up with my other papers.

Next are the smaller and “square” pieces.

Smaller square scraps

Smaller square scraps

I save them in a box that sits upon a shelf.

Scrap box

Scrap box

Pretty storage

Pretty storage

All of the extra die cut pieces are saved.

Extra die cut pieces

Extra die cut pieces

These are stored in a clear plastic container.

Die cuts stored in a container

Die cuts stored in a container

On the shelf

On the shelf

What remains behind is sent off to the trash.

Last of the scraps

Last of the scraps

The next pile I had to deal with were the scraps left over from using my Cricut to cut out names, left over pieces from my die cutting, and scraps after using a hole punch.

Cricut and die cut scraps

Cricut and die cut scraps

Using my giant paper trimmer I will lop off the cut out pieces.

Cut off the cut out part

Cut off the cut out part

I will save the scraps and throw away the name cut out.

Cleaning up the scraps

Cleaning up the scraps

All of the die cut scrap pieces have been trimmed up and the waste has been tossed.  Now all I’m left with are the boxes that didn’t quite make it.  The ones that were too small, too big, too something not right.

Boxes that didn't make it

Boxes that didn't make it

I will trim off the sides and keep the inner base part of the boxes.

One final thing.  If you choose to NOT keep any of your scrap pieces of paper don’t throw them in the trash or the recycling bin.  Dump them all in Ziplock bags.  Ask your children’s teachers if they would like to have your scraps.  A lot of teachers use their own money to purchase papers for their cork boards and would appreciate your donation.  How about  your church?  Ask the Sunday School teachers if they would like to have your scraps.  Take a trip to, or call,  a Senior Center and ask if they would like to have your scrap paper for any projects they do with the seniors.  Contact your local library and see if they would like to have your scraps.  They decorate the children’s area and they use craft papers.  Do you have a friend or family member that is just getting into paper crafting and can’t afford to purchase much paper?  That person would welcome your gift of paper.

What do you do with your scraps?

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4 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Maureen Mathis
    Dec 21, 2011 @ 13:29:51

    Finally, I have a good answer for you! http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DAptRZ_6FKU&list=UUsIGa8efcbNiqcWoATBAN9w&index=8&feature=plcp

    It’s a video on my long neglected You Tube Channel, one of my first, which is obvious when you hear me cover up the microphone part of my daughter’s camera that shot the video! If the link doesn’t work, the channel name is maureencmathis (I know, SO imaginative…!) and it’s one of the first videos.

    Reply

    • Message In A Fold
      Dec 23, 2011 @ 06:00:41

      I remember your video 😀 Your dining area is so pretty, and the secret in that room is an awesome bit of genius 🙂

      Your first video for YouTube is really great. You are too hard on yourself. I love your video.

      Reply

  2. gardenpinks
    Dec 24, 2011 @ 09:18:23

    You do the same as me with your scraps! In my junque journal I used those papers that were too nice to be used for anything else 🙂 The ones I wanted to keep all to myself!
    Anyway this is to let you know that I haven’t abandoned you all but our telephone line is out of commission and won’t be back up and running until 28th! Much swearing going on here that BT can’t be bothered to do any repairs when the fault was reported to them last Wednesday.
    Hope you and Joe have a great Christmas and I will catch up with you hopefully afterwards.
    Love and hugs
    Lynn xx

    Reply

    • Message In A Fold
      Dec 24, 2011 @ 20:44:31

      Drat, double and triple drat 😦 Being without phone service is a bummer 😦 I hope it all gets sorted and your BT people shake a leg to have it finished by the 28th. Enjoy your family over Christmas. You will have to spend some time with them before you go hide out in a room with their computer to catch up on everything you’ve missed 😀

      Merry Christmas to you, my Friend, and to Rod.

      Love you – Leslie

      Reply

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