Thursday, February 10, 2011

Keeping Up With The Scraps

Hello, Rhonda Merry here.

How is the sorting coming along?

Do you have all of your solid cardstock
and printed papers organized?

No matter where you are in the process
it is going to be fantastic when it's done.

But, let's talk SCRAPS.
My current system for scraps is an 11x14
hanging file tote that I purchased from
Office Depot.  Just a standard file box for the
legal size hanging file folders.

You could also us an expnading file if you keep fewer
scraps then I do.  Make sure it is large enough to
accomodate the 12 in pieces of paper.

I file the scrap pieces by color families:

I use to have two totes, one for printed and the other for solid cardstock.  I found that one was always roomy and the other was always overflowing. So, then I decided to combine the prints and solids and balance out the weight. Well, that just made both totes overstuffed with paper.  That's when I realized I was not utilizing my scraps properly.  They were organized but not very usable.  Everything was torn or bent.  And I couldn't fit anymore in the file.  Something needed to change.

Here's some tips for maintaining the scraps tote:

  • Decide what the smallest size of scrap pieces you want to keep.
This will help you keep only the things you will actually use.
 It saves space and keeps papers in better condition.

  • Clean up the edges of your scraps.
After using punches or cutting out shapes our scraps will have crazy edges that catch and lock onto each other.  Then when your pull one out they will either tear or spill. Squaring off the crazy edges will keep the papers usable and again, saves on space.

  • File by color.
Most paper is double sided.  Sometimes its hard to decide what side to use because they both appeal to us.  When filing your scraps decide which side you are more likely to use.  It may be because you like one side more then the other or, that you already used side A on a project, next time you want to use side B. file them facing the same way and when you pull that folder you can see exactly what you have in that color.

  • Go to First.
When looking for that little "POP" of color, need to punch a small element or back a picture.  Go to the scraps tote first. Make it a habit.  By going to the scraps first, you may find that piece of printed paper that gives your project a little more interest. It saves on breaking into the 12x12's and making more scraps.  Which also saves money since you won't be replenishing as often.
  • Thin the Files
Periodically it is important to thin out the folders.  That means sorting through them and pulling anything that may have gotten damaged, is too small per your sizing minimum, or needs to be squared off  again. When working to complete a project its OK to get a little messy and sometimes we need to clean up quick and that's OK too. Thinning out the files regularly will remedy this and set things back in working order.

  • Make Flowers
If your files are all cleaned up and there is still too much of a particular color, get out the flower punches and start punching flowers...or tags, or circles, or butterflies.  Use what ever the latest trend is and make cards or a layout to help thin out the overcrowded file. There are lots of examples of Monochromatic projects available online to get those ideas flowing.

It took a while for me to get into my routine
and once I did I have been a happier crafter for it.

I hope these little tips help you to
"Get It Together"

Merry Organizing Everyone.



  1. I use the file folder (Thanks Angie) for my works fantastic... I do need to clean this out..I will have mine with me at thanks Rhonda

  2. Great ideas! I hadn't of trimming off the crazy edges first but you're right. They make the paper catch on each other. Good tip!

  3. Fabulous ideas, Rhonda!! Love the uses for the scraps!! I'm going to start cutting the crazy edges off the papers so they will be easier to file!!

  4. Lovely, Rhonda! I do keep scraps; when I was "only" a cardmaker, I filed the scraps in a little drawer unit, in cello bags, by colour. Since I have also been making scrap pages, the scraps have got bigger (I now buy 12" paper of course) and more chaotic. Time to do as you suggest and re-vamp the scraps collection.
    Thanks for the hint!

  5. Thanks so much, Rhonda. Your tips were very helpful.

  6. Exactly what I do but the idea of punching flowers and butterflies and tags is a great one. Now to find a storage system for those. haha


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