Tuesday, October 19, 2010

What to do with paper leftovers and/or scraps

If you're like me, you have a paper stash bigger than you'd like to admit. Unfortunately, that sometimes means you have some papers that haven't seen the light of day in ten years or so.

Last month, a lady asked on Splitcoast about how to use the decorative paper she had hoarded so long that she didn't even like it anymore. After reading that thread, I don't feel bad about my paper stash. One of the ladies said she had 30,000 sheets of paper!

Anyway, I have a few sheets of paper that were given to me that aren't my style (as well as a few I've kept too long), but I can't bear to throw them away. One of the suggestions from Splitcoast was to make envelopes out of this paper. What a great idea! I immediately went through my paper and did just that. I got 36 envelopes out of this purge:

See? Even papers that would look hideous on a card or scrapbook page look cool as an envelope!

But you know me ... Even if I'm just trying to get good use out of otherwise-useless paper, I can't bear to waste it. :) So I figured out how to get two standard envelopes out of a sheet of 12x12" paper. Here's how:

  • Cut the 12x12" sheet in half to measure 6x12".
  • Score the 6" side at 1/2" and 5-1/2".
  • Turn it and score the 12" side at 2" and 7-3/4".
  • Cut off the sides from the top and bottom and round the corners of the flap.
  • Add adhesive to the outside edges of your bottom panel, then fold it up in place and press down.

There you have it - a cute decorative envelope made out of horrid paper. :)

You'll notice that these close on the short end, but you can still address them as usual (with the longest side horizontal) so you don't have to pay extra postage.

If you have 8-1/2 x 11" paper (I had two sheets), you can only get one envelope per page. Here's how to do that:

  • Cut the 8-1/2" side to 7-3/4".
  • Score the 7-3/4" side at 1" and 6-1/2".
  • Score the 11" side at 2" and 6-1/2".

Follow the directions above to finish the envelope. (This one will close at the longest end.)

Now that we've figured out what to do with all those full sheets of paper we're never going to use, how about we tackle those tiny scraps we can't bear to throw away? (I admire anyone who can throw away small scraps of paper, but I just don't have it in me.)

Recently I sat down with my tiny scraps, a small flower punch, and medium star punch and made a few months' supply of these cute mini roses:

I borrowed an idea I saw at my friend's house - store them in recycled plastic packaging. These came from manicotti, but my friend used an empty chocolate box insert (like Russell Stover's) to organize her brads by color and shape. Just store the plastic insert in a chocolate box (the whole box, or just the lid would work), and you're good to go! You can organize just about any small items in these.

Lest you think I have no more scraps to deal with, these are not all the scraps in my stash. They are just the small pieces leftover from making the dress box favors! :)

Have fun putting all of your supplies to good use!


Shore Girl said...

Great ideas for using leftovers! Now for time to do it!!!
I especially like the envelope one as decorative envelopes are something I've long admired, but never made. Maybe if I get a few extra minutes (and can find some paper worthy of this cause) I'll make some!
Thanks for the great ideas!

Ginny said...

We are redoing our craft room, and I told my daughter (she agreed) that before we put anything back in the room, we have to go through it. Making envelopes is a great idea. You could even make liners for plain envelopes. I will definitely give this some thought!

Sophia said...

I just did a complete reorganization of my craft room, too, so look for photos soon! :)