Today begins my quest to clear out everything I no longer want, need or will use in our home. After moving my parents last week, I realized we have far to much stuff. Junk really. And it adds nothing to the quality of our lives, it just clutters our lives. So I have decided to begin with my own stuff first. Today’s challenge is using up our scrap paper.
We all have scrap paper. We use it for everything. Scrapbookers have huge amounts of papers, artists also have paper collecting tendencies, art journalers also seem to have an abundance of paper scraps. So, what do we do with them?
Here are a few things I’ve made so far today:
Paper confetti. I punched many circles from my scraps with a punch from Paper Studios, which I found on sale for half price. It has three circles, 3/8″, 5/16″, and 1/4″ or thereabout. I gathered the scraps of paper I had on my work table and punched confetti dots from all of it with this punch. I placed those dots on two stacked scraps of fun foam and rolled a round ended highlighter into the center of each dot on the back side to make the dot a dome shape.
You can add a drop of glitter glue, fingernail polish, embossing enamel, whatever you would like to make the dots shiny. You can use the dots to create flowers on a scrapbook page, card or art journal. I made some blue ones from water-looking paper and they look like bubbles. If you prefer not to dome them and use them flat, they are cute that way too, They make cute ornaments on a Christmas tree for a card or page, snow balls, Snowmen, what ever you can imagine from circles-these will make.
You could also do this with any other punch shapes you have. Punch out a bunch of squares and make a checkerboard background for a page, or a quilt-looking layout. Use your imagination, cut up those scraps and put them in ziplock bags and store in a file folder, labeled and in a cheap, garage sale file cabinet or box.
I have also separated my scraps by color, after tossing out quite a bit of the truly ragged, and have them in an accordion folder at my feet. Close by, handy to grab to use first before cutting up new paper, and easy to add to when I have new scraps.
Another of my very favorite uses for old papers is paper beads. I LOVE to make paper beads and I use them in my art journals all the time. I find the uglier the paper the better looking the beads. Cut your strips-I use my paper trimmer and angle my paper slightly to start, cutting off a small piece from the edge. Then I just decide how wide I want my bead to be, usually about an inch, and cut the paper from one inch at the top to nothing at the bottom, then one inch at the other end to nothing, and on and on until that sheet is gone. I like the thicker paper for my beads the best, as they make a wonderfully chunky bead. The thinner paper works too, and I have made thousands of beads from very thin papers. Newspapers also work for paper beads, as do magazine pages.
I made paper pinwheels for quick and easy Christmas ornaments. I free-handed a shape-two long thin ovals with a circle of paper at each end and in the center. I cut four pieces from different papers and glued them together to create a pinwheel. You can attach them with a brad, but I want to put pictures of the kids in the center so I glued mine. Then glue a hook to the back and you’re ready to hang them on the tree.
Another good use for scrap paper is to cover styrofoam balls with paper you have torn and make ornaments that way. The kids and I have done this with napkins, tissue paper, wrapping paper, their art work for Grandparents gifts, anything will work. Since we’re using up our scraps-lets use up our scraps!
My parents had tons of boxes from their move. Some will make pretty good storage units, but they are unattractive. Another good use for scrap paper is decoupage. You can cover just about anything with decoupage. It can be a very pretty, frugal way to decorate an otherwise unpleasant but functional item.
Here are just a few ideas for today’s Bust Our Stash Challenge. Please feel free to add your own ideas and suggestions for ways to use scrap papers. We all need inspiration and encouragement!
Remember, we can live life well without spending a lot of money. Frugality, recycling, repurposing, reusing-these are all wonderful things! Let’s get more out of life by spending less.