Friday, February 24, 2012

Scrap organisation

Debbi asked the CSI: Color, Stories, Inspiration  team so share something about their space. I wrote a little article on scrap organisation, and I thought I would share it here too.

Scrap organisation

Debbi asked us to give a little peak of the places where we scrap. My study is almost always in a state of total chaos, so instead, I thought I’d write a little article about the organisation of my scraps and little bits and pieces. I keep my scraps fairly well organised because it helps me find pieces quickly.

I use my scraps a lot and save almost the smallest piece of paper. I always check my scraps before cutting into a new piece of paper. I find that using my scraps speeds up my scrapbooking and cardmaking a lot, because the scraps are close at hand and I don’t need to go through a lot of products to find something fun to use. I also often find unexpected little gems among my scraps. It is like a box of chocolates…you never know what you are going to get.

Patterned paper scraps
For my patterned paper scraps I have a 12 inch file folder with 20 pockets, that I have had for a really long time.

Most of the scraps are organised according to manufacturer, with more than one manufacturer in most of the pockets. There is one pocket only for ledger and text papers and it is probably my most used scrap pocket.

A few of the pockets are organised according to colour, and there is one for transparencies. When I need a paper, I always check the scrap folder first, and although it looks pretty full, this is its constant state – I use about as many pieces as I add to it.

Cardstock scraps
Oddly sized cardstock scraps go into a shallow box which sits on top of one of my drawer units.

Bigger sizes (for matting and card bases for example), go into a separate folder. I use this folder a lot and it doesn’t really grow. I always check it before cutting a new full sheet of cardstock. I also have a separate folder for Core’dinations cardstock scraps, since I don’t want to mix it up with ordinary cardstock.

White and kraft cardstock scraps
Since I love to stamp and play with ink and paint, I use different types white papers (watercolour, glossy, smooth), more than any other papers. I keep those scraps in a separate folder, and even the smallest of the white paper scraps are used. This folder is never very full, because I reach for it almost on a daily basis. I keep kraft scraps in the same folder (but in a different pocket), since kraft paper is also one of my basics.

Inked and stamped papers
I have a lot of inked and stamped scraps since I often make more than I need, especially when experimenting with a technique. I also use watercolour scraps to wipe up remaining Distress Ink from my craft sheet (misting with water first), so I have a lot of those and I love to use them. Inked and stamped scraps have their own folder.

I use the same type of folder as for the white cardstock scraps – it is from Cropper Hopper – I think it was originally meant for stickers. It has one 12 inch pocket in the middle and two smaller pockets on each side, so I put larger papers in the middle and smaller ones in the side pockets. It is kept underneath my desk, together with the white cardstock scraps, so it is within very easy reach.

Tiny bits and pieces
Tiny bits and pieces go into a container – because they would get lost among the bigger papers. Lonely buttons and flowers, chipboard pieces, little pieces of ribbon, die cuts and other little things also end up in this box. I look in it often and sometimes make a card using only the scraps in the little box, together with other scrap papers.

Treasures on the desk
My final place for ‘storing’ scraps is on my desk. I make a big mess when I scrapbook and lots pieces end up on my desk, until I decide to tidy up. I actually prefer not having a completely tidy desk, because I love finding a little something straight in front of me that just jumps onto my page. The other day there was a tiny little star die cut on my desk, a leftover from my Christmas cardmaking, and it made the perfect little addition to a card I was working on.

I hope you find this a bit useful and that it will encourage you to use your scraps. I am sure there are many much better ways of storing scraps, but this works pretty well for me at the moment. Try using at least four scrap pieces on your next project. It’s a lot of fun.



  1. Jij hebt veel scrap papier, en veel werk om het allemaal te gebruiken. Groetjes.

  2. Wow, so well organized! Very inspiring this!

  3. way to make me feel better about my mess!! Love your process. I have a "folded" similar to yours and I need to spend more time rooting around in!

  4. im a huge believer of scrap use. it's the first rule of thumb i tell students when teaching a craft class. this seems like a great, very organized way to go about it. not at all like me! but inspiring, so thank you!

  5. hi Anna Karin I was browsing through your blog,your work is amazing....I love your paper system and I agree with the little box of treasures on your desk, I have one tooand I often gather goodies from there!!


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