//Ways to Use Up Your Scrapbook Stash + Example Pages

Hello. My name is Justyna and I'm a scrapbook supply hoarder.

I have been subscribing to all three of Studio Calico's main kits--scrapbook, card, and Project Life--for almost a year. That means that once a month, I get a box of lovely and unique craft supplies to play around with. "Justyna, so far this does not sound like a problem," you're probably saying to yourself. Well, it wouldn't be...except that I have a tendency of holding onto supplies for one of two reasons: A) I love the item so much that I'm scared to use it up and never have it again, or B) I hate it because it doesn't go with my style or it's not something I would ever use. This makes me feel so guilty because there is no reason why I should be holding on to all this stuff with virtually no intention of actually using it. That's why I decided to make this post. For additional detailed photos of the these pages, hop on over to my gallery page on Studio Calico's website!

I have come up with one or two ideas for using up your papers, embellishments, and alphabet stickers so that, like me, you can work through your issue of supply hoarding. Let's begin!


First things first: I don't just have a ton of patterned paper. I also have a lot of card stock, but card stock is something so versatile that I never consider it an issue having too much of it. If you purchase your card stock or patterned papers individually, then you probably don't have the problem of "too much" because, well, why would you specifically choose something you know you won't use? Right? BUT if you subscribe to any kits OR you have a paper pad...well, there may be some in there that you just ignored. That's always a good tactic: pretend you never saw it. Oh, what? This ream of patterned paper I now have because I only liked two designs out of the whole bunch? How'd that get in there?! Yeah, I know how that one goes...Never fear! I'm here to join you in this journey and together we WILL use up this paper so we don't feel like wasteful human beings.

I think the best option for using patterned papers that you're not so keen on is to punch them. No, not physically hit them. Take it from me, that doesn't solve anything. No, you want to use a paper punch and work with repetitive shapes. This is a great move because you can use the punched shapes as a background, for tags, or journaling spaces. Also, you can use your paper scraps with a small punch (like a tiny heart or star) and create a cool embellishment similar to sequins that you can layer all over your page! See? FUN! Below I've created some pages that use these techniques.

//Here I used patterned papers and a butterfly punch to create my own embellishments//

//I punched circles and overlapped them to create a background//

The other dilemma I run into with patterned papers is getting one that I love so much, I constantly avoid using it for fear of "ruining" the page and therefore losing my chance to finally use that gorgeous paper! Who knew that paper would make me feel so emotional?! The best way to get over this--and you're not going to like this--JUST USE IT! Seriously. Just use the dang paper. If you are anxious about using the entire sheet, cut it in half and back it with another patterned paper or a solid card stock. Worst case scenario there is you mess up your page somehow and still have the other half of your beloved paper to try again! That's what I did with the beautiful Cocoa Daisy exclusive paper from their Weathervane (November 2014) collection.

//I love this patterned paper and was able to "extend" its use by utilizing only half of it for this page//


I don't know about you, but embellishments get me really jazzed about scrapbooking. I have tons of divided plastic containers devoted to their storage and I'm constantly rearranging them on my layouts-in-progress--adding, moving, taking away--until I'm satisfied and can finally glue them down. As wonderful as most embellishments are, there inevitably winds up being a collection that I deem the unlovable losers. For whatever reason, I can't seem to like them and therefore they stay in their container until I run out of space and scramble to find somewhere to use them! I would be lying if I said that some didn't accidentally-on-purpose find their way into the trash. I know. I'm a horrible person. But at least I'm an honest horrible person.

Anyway, the best thing you can do with these embellishments is to go the route of monochromatic layering. The good news? You can use this in conjunction with the punched patterned paper technique above! I have seen this kind of arrangements-by-color on so many pages and for some reason, I have waited until now to try it. And I love it! It's a great way to put my supplies to use when I otherwise wouldn't have found a place for them. Sometimes, you have season-specific sentiments or the like and figure you missed your chance to use them when the time has passed. With this technique, you don't have to worry about that. What's important here is grouping by color, as shown below. On this layout, I used the embellishments in a rainbow-like arrangement to create a background for my photo. I kept the rest of the layout very minimal and clean to avoid clashing with all of the colors and embellishments on the page.

//I used an entire Heidi Swapp ephemera pack and layered the elements by color to create a mat for my photo//

//Here are the color-arranged embellishments without the photo//

Another thing you can do, particularly with chipboard embellishments, is PAINT them! WHAAA?! I know, I'm rocking your world right now. The solution is so simple and yet it eludes us. You can see a before and after of what I'm talking about below, as well as its use on a layout.

//I applied gouache  thickly on the frame. It cracked a little when it dried, but I really enjoyed that//

Finally, you can finish up an entire pack of ephemera by clustering them into a halo or wreath, as I did in this layout. I love this effect because it creates a mat for your photo and you know everything is going to coordinate because the elements came packaged together.

//I finished off a pack of ephemera by creating a circle, adhered my photo on top, and continued tucking in embellishments and paper around the photo//


Oh, alpha stickers. I love you. You make my world go round. I can't tell you how many different kinds of alpha stickers I have used as titles over the years. They're just so perfect for that purpose! But you know what? Eventually, you run out of the "popular" letters and you're left with the loners. You know what I'm talking about--the Q's, X's, etc. You're likely not a Scrabble champion (and if you are, remind me never to play Words with Friends with you), and therefore you're left thinking, "I was so close to finishing this alpha! DANG YOU, Z!" Luckily for you, I have a couple of tips if you're in this situation.

First, go to Word Finder. Type in whatever letters you're left with and it will give you a list of words you can make using them. You will likely also get more options if you combine different alpha sets, FYI.

Which leads me to my second tip: COMBINE ALPHA SETS. So you probably don't want your title/journaling/whatever to look like a ransom note. I get that. BUT here is what you do: take your sheets of unused alpha stickers, cut the letters apart (if feasible), and sort by letter OR color. This does one of two things for you. One, it allows you to quickly see how many of each letter you have (if you sort by letter, that is). Two, you can use the different alpha sets that are in the same color(s) and have a coordinated, more cohesive look (if you sort by color). Bonus: you can go the way of color grouping with the alphas and use them as a design element, like I did below. I think the thing with the unused alphabet stickers is knowing what you have to work with in the first place and going from there in whatever direction feels more comfortable for you.

//similar to the embellishments above, I created a photo mat out of green alpha stickers//

//here is the alpha sticker arrangement without the photo//

So I hope this helped you somewhat, and if you have any tips of your own, please feel free to share them below! Thanks for reading!!

1 comment:

  1. I'm envious of how creative you are. The pages you produce are beautiful!