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Quick and Easy Ways to Get the Most Out of Your Scrapbooking Paper

By Jessica Ackerman

If you enjoy scrapbooking, you probably sometimes feel as though you throw away more paper than you actually use. Once you cut a couple of photo mats or flower shapes out of a piece of paper, it's hard to know what to do with the scraps. It can be difficult to store a piece of partially cut-up paper, and yet you hate to waste it. If you frequently have this problem in your crafting room, here are some easy tips you can use to help you make the most of every piece of scrapbooking paper you buy.

Invest in a Few Paper Punches

Even if you have already cut several larger shapes out of a piece of paper, you might be surprised how many smaller shapes you can still cut out of the scraps. One of the easiest ways to utilize your scraps is to simply buy a few paper punches in various sizes and shapes. Look for punches that you could use for a variety of different purposes, such as a punch shaped like a gift tag, a flower or a heart. Make sure you have punches in several different sizes, so that you can take advantage of every little scrap of paper.

For example, if you have a large piece of scrapbook paper that you've already cut two photo mats out of, you might be able to cut three or four gift three inch gift tag shapes from along the one edge of the paper. Then, you could use your two inch heart punch to take advantage of the larger scraps, and then your one inch flower punch to take advantage of the smaller scraps. You could then use a half inch or quarter inch circle punch to cut out flower centers. Once you've done this with multiple colors of paper, you'll be able to make multi-color flowers, hearts and pretty gift tags, all with paper you would have normally thrown away.

Make Gift and Greeting Cards

Making your own gift and greeting cards from leftover scrapbook paper pieces is also a good way to use up scraps. Of course, it's also a way to save money, since you will no longer have to buy gift and greeting cards at the store. You can make two small three by three inch greeting cards from a leftover three inch strip of 12x12 inch scrapbook paper. For each card, simply cut a piece of paper measuring three inches by 6 inches. Fold the piece of paper in half, and voila, you have a cute little gift card. You can then embellish the card with rubber stamps, or some of the small paper cutout shapes that you've made in the past from your scrapbook paper scraps. To use the gift card on a gift bag, simply punch a hole in the corner of the card and attach to the bag with a piece of ribbon or string. You could even sell your card creations at a neighborhood craft show, thus making money from your scraps.

With signature design style, Jessica Ackerman, an online writer with, describes bold approaches to wine wall hangings and tropical art decor.

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