Tutorial of the Week: What to do with those Paper Scraps…Part 1

Good morning, everyone, and a very happy new year to you!  If you’re anything like me, you’re already “pulling up your socks” and starting fresh on a number of things.  You may choose to put more effort into eating healthier (would be nice), or exercising more (would be even nicer).  Perhaps you vow to walk the dog every day for an hour instead of every week (guilty).  Well…I went into purge mode!

By the time Christmas hit, it had looked like a bomb went off in my crafty space.  There was almost no floor space to walk in my room!  I did finally get around to cleaning my space (for the most part) over the holidays.  However, now I am scrutinizing everything…like that horrid scrap drawer.  …tell me you’re not guilty of always grabbing for some fresh paper when you’re working on a project.  I totally am!  …so that drawer keeps getting more and more full.  Then it’s getting all jammed up when you try to open and close it.  Finally, it starts overflowing into other drawers and boxes…all because you can’t bear to throw anything away.

I don’t ever really remember making any concerted effort to use any of my scraps.  Well, that’s all going to change!  …and I thought it would make a great tutorial series.  So, I challenge you to pull out all those scraps and use them up instead of allowing that pile to continue to grow and collect dust.  Here’s a look at some of the scraps I have to deal with:

Honestly, this picture really doesn’t do the massive pile of my scraps any justice.  It looks completely manageable here.  You gotta trust me on this…it looks quite overwhelming in person!  Anywho…there are a couple of rules I plan to follow:

  1. Start big!  I plan to start working with my largest scraps first.
  2. File any large solid color “scraps”.  I have a wire shelf unit that holds all my solid color cardstock, so I opted to file any “scraps” that were 6″ x 12″ or larger.  After all, these really aren’t scraps, are they?
  3. Throw nothing larger than 1/4″ away.  (I know…sounds crazy, but trust me on this 😉 )  The goal is to recycle as little as possible.

Let’s get started, shall we?

Card Bases and Mats

I decided to starting working with all my neutral colors – whites, creams, browns and blacks – and decided to use the larger pieces for creating card bases and the mats.  I like to make my cards 5″ x 7″, so cut all of my largest pieces down to 7″ x 10″ and scored them in half.  If you prefer to make smaller cards, you can cut your scraps down to 5 ½” x 9″ and score them in half to create 4 ½” x 5 ½” cards.

If you’ve seen any of my cards, you know that I like to double mat them with a different neutral color.  Therefore, I decided to cut as many 4 ¾” x 6 ¾” card mats as I could from the remaining neutral cardstock.  If you’re making the smaller sized cards, you’ll want to cut your mats down to 4 ¼” x 5 ¼”.

Pop-Up Gift Card Holder Bases

If you’re anything like me, you often give gift cards as gifts.  I know they can seem a bit impersonal, but at least I know the recipient will choose to buy something they will treasure.  I also don’t live near much family, so I send alot of gifts in the mail.  Gift cards just seem to make the most sense.  Lastly, I’d just rather give more to my family than to the shipping company 😉

Anyways…I thought I would browse Pinterest for some ideas for gift card holders and I found a nifty tutorial by Kristy Coromandel of how to make a pop-up gift card holder.  Kristy did make her card base slightly smaller than I did.  You can check out her tutorial for her dimensions and instructions on how to put this cute little card together.

I ended up just using up more of my neutral colored scraps, and cut them down to 4 ¼” x 10″.  I then scored along the 10″ long edge at 3″, 4″, 5″ and 8″ 🙂

Gift Card Envelopes

Next, I decided to make some cute little envelopes for giving gift cards…or even cash if I decide.  I got this idea from Diana Carr.  You can check out her tutorial right HERE.  The envelop base takes one piece of 3 ½” x 8 ½” cardstock scored 2″ from one end and 2 ½” from the other…easy, peasy 🙂  For the medallion on the top flap, I used a 1 ¾” circle punch.

I took these little envelopes one step further and used some small scraps of patterned paper to wallpaper them while I was at it.  I did deviate from the plan a bit, but I’m sure the scrap paper gods will forgive me 😛  The wallpaper measurements I used are:

  • 3 ¼” (wide) x 3 ¾” (high) – back of the envelop
  • 3 ¼” (wide) x 1 ¾” (high) – front and back of top flap, and above the pocket
  • 3 ¼” (wide) x 2 ¼” (high) – front of the pocket
  • 1 ½” circle – back of medallion on top flap

Here’s a closer look at a couple of the envelopes I prepared:

I did leave the front medallion plain so that I can add an appropriate sentiment when I’m ready to use the envelop.

Wallpaper for Cards

This is where I really started diving into the patterned cardstock.  Again, I started working from largest to smallest, and cut a whole bunch of wallpaper for my cards.  Since I double mat my cards, I cut the patterned paper down to 4 ½” x 6 ½”.  If you prefer the smaller 4 ½” x 5 ½” card size, you’ll want to trim your wallpaper down to 4″ x 5″ 🙂

Paper Envelopes

The last effort I made to use up some of my thinner patterned paper scraps was to make some small envelopes.  My We R Memory Keepers envelop punch board was perfect for this 🙂

I made some envelopes for 3″ x 3″ cards because I like to give this size for “thank you” cards.  I also made several envelopes for 2 ½” x 3 ½” cards, and made some with the flap on the long edge and others on the short edge.  My thinking on this one was that they would be a perfect size to add to a mini album page, and fit a matted 2″ x 3″ photo 🙂  Finally, I only made one envelop for a 3 ½” x 5 ½” card, thinking it could hold a matted 3″ x 5″ photo.

Junk Journals

Believe it or not, I have boxes of pre-cut junk journals in my closet right now.  So…I opted not to cut any papers for making more, but that does not mean it’s not a good way to use up more of those larger paper scraps.  The beauty about junk journals is you can make them any size you like.  You can even add different sized pages into a single journal.


Well, this concludes this week’s ideas for using up those paper scraps.  Here’s a complete look at how far I got this week:


I thought I had managed to transform alot of scraps into usable items, but my scrap pile/hoard really doesn’t look that much smaller.  You know what they say, though…you eat an elephant one bite at a time 😉

I hope that I’ve inspired you to break open that scrap drawer, dive in and start turning them into something to be used instead of avoided.  One last thing before I sign off for today, though…as you well know, CHA is coming up in a few weeks.  And…I will be going for the first time…squee!!!  I am so excited, but this does mean that my next tutorial will be in four weeks instead of two.  I would love to get another tutorial done before I leave, but it is just me, myself, and I…and I just can’t be stretched any further.  Thanks a bunch for your understanding and your continued visits to my blog 🙂  Cheers and enjoy the rest of our week!

Reader Interactions


  1. Liette Lafontaine says

    HI!!! thank you for the great ideas!! It’s fun for quick projects!! You’re going to the CHA!!?? Lucky one!!! I wish you a happy new year 2017!!

  2. Sandy C. says

    CHA? You lucky girl!! Enjoy:)
    Ah the woes of scraps-do they multiply in bags??? I am forever going through my colour-coded bags to see if something will ‘fit’ the size of mat I want. The little ones are great for quilted fronts on cards:) But…no matter how many I use, the bags never seem to be empty!!!

  3. Debbie A Smith says

    I hope you have a wonderful time at CHA! Ugg…I hear ya about using up the scraps. For me mostly whole colored cardstock pieces go back into their perspective file folder and smaller pieces go into scrap file folder for its color. Patterned paper goes back into its folder. I have a broken paper holder that has all small scraps that I think I can use again. When I think I can no longer use a piece of paper, I place it in a paper bag that I dump into the recycling bin once a week. This is what works for me. Try it out or modify it to you so you don’t overwhelm yourself with all of your leftovers.

  4. Martie Rollin says

    Talk about working toward a major goal! I really like your gift card holders…I’ll be watching that tutorial you mentioned. thanks for inspiring us to take care of our scraps! Happy New Year 2017!

  5. Marianne Vakiener says

    Great ideas! Thank you for the level of detail you provide.

    I am SO EXCITED that you are going to CHA! I hope you have a wonderful time.

  6. Susan says

    Thank you so much for the great ideas. My scrap drawers are overflowing too. I’m so tired of having so many scraps but every time I start to purge them my “I might use that for something” kicks in and I end up keeping it all. By having a plan with your ideas I really will be using them for something. Thx

  7. karyn knowler says

    Thank you ! You have given me some great ideas . I dont have alot of scraps but i can use these ideas for quick projects,