Tuesday, August 2, 2011

SNT Tuesday - Organizing those Scraps

Quick & Scrappy TOY card
So many scraps, so little time!  I'm finally sitting down, with a cuppa Typhoo tea (my favorite English tea to drink when I need to get a burst of energy), for my Sip n' Tip Tuesday tutorial.  I totally missed the month of July for my SNT Tuesdays--so I'm making up for it this month.  Instead of my bi-monthly tutes, I'll be sharing an organizational tutorial for each Tuesday this month!  And so, without further ado...let's organize those scraps! 

I have so many scraps that I can always make a quick & "scrappy" card just from my scrapped cardstock (CS).  Everyone has a different idea on what works best for their scraps -- but I'm going to share what I found that has worked best for me.  For years I just threw all my paper scraps into a plastic bin -- and while fun to go through, it took too much time to find something to match whatever I happened to be working on.  But then I found this 'little beauty' -- my handy vertical paper filer called the Cropper Hopper Value Pack is the first place I go when I need to color match a project or card, and it is so easy to set up and actually keep organized.  I keep it completely accessible right next to my desk and have it organized by color.  This particular Cropper Hopper product is a plastic 12x12 vertical file pocket that holds 4 - 12" x 12" smaller width pockets with three dividers for each pocket. That's 12 tabbed pockets...plus the extra pocket behind the third tab of each pocket gives you an additional divider area.  The value pack runs about $25 retail, but if you get it at Michaels or JoAnn Fabric's you can almost always find a 40-50% off coupon.  Amazon.com usually has them at a discounted price as well...sometimes even more that 50% off.

My scraps are organized into the 4 tabbed pockets as follows:
(Note:  I use the term 'Deco' for decorative/patterned CS)

1. Blue/Green Solids
    Red/Pink Solids
    Yellow/Orange/Purple Solids
2. Brown/Ivory Solids
    Black/White Solids
    Specialty/Release Papers (ie. mulberry, mirror, coated, etc)
3. Blue/Green Deco
    Red/Pink Deco
    Yellow/Orange/Purple Deco
4. Brown/Ivory Deco
    Black/White Deco
    Glitter/Embossed *
* Behind the Glitter file tab is where I keep my vellum & transparency papers.

It's always subjective how best to file decorative/patterned papers when there are a variety of colors present.  I usually try to file them according to the dominate color.  If it's two-sided CS and one side is a solid color, I still file them with the Deco CS but according to the color on the solid side. 

I always reach for my Scrap File first when I'm looking for coordinating papers for a variety of projects--which has really helped me use what I have, without so much scrapbook paper wasted.  Periodically the file will get full, so I'll go through each tabbed divider and pull out the larger pieces of  CS and cut them into 8 1/2" x 5 1/2" pieces--I'll fold these papers in half for quick cards later; or cut a variety of papers into 4" x 5 1/4" for quick card mats.  I'll then file these card components in a separate storage area.

The number one question I usually get asked in my classes about saving scraps:  "How small are the scraps you save?"  For myself,  I rarely save any scraps smaller than 2"x2", which is still pretty small -- most of my usable scraps run larger than 4". 

If you already have a lot of scraps, you might want to purge the smaller ones out, and cut some of the larger ones down -- When I purge my scrap file of the larger pieces (as stated above), I also end up throwing away any smaller pieces I don't think I'll use.  But if you're a papercrafter that does a lot of paper-piecing you might want to save extra small pieces into a separate storage compartment so they don't get lost amongst the larger ones.

I hope this helps you to develop some organization for your scraps -- you'll be surprised how much more you'll be able to do when your scraps aren't flying in so many directions.  If you have a specific way you like to organize your scraps, I'd love for you to leave it as a comment. 

And finally, I've made a new Page for my SNT Tuesday Tutorials.  You will now be able to find the complete list of tutes by clicking on "SipN'Tip Tuesdays" under my Title Header.

Thanks for popping in -- Lisa


  1. Oh you are just the brilliant one! I have a mini system, but not like that! Love your card and the butterfly is just as pretty as can be! Glad the weather treated you kindly in Alabama! I would not mind the heat as much if it would just rain and clean the dust from the air!

  2. My you are an organized artist! My paper is not anywhere organized like that. lol.You must have sent the heat up here since its been in the hi 90s and even hit 100 for awhile! take care , gerri

  3. Love how you've organised those scraps! x

  4. Such a fantastic idea, great organizing

  5. This is great! I have been staring at my overflowing bin for weeks dreading organizing it I will be picking one of these up on my craft run today :) Thanks a bunch!

  6. Hey Lisa this Bree. I have the name for my blog now. It's Crafy Scrapper. I love this idea and this organizer. I think I will be ordering some of these very soon for my scraps. Love your blog so far and look forward to getting together again very soon.


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