Cut it, Scrap it, Punch it, Tag it

I seldom throw away small scraps of paper. Not because I don’t have enough product to work with, but because I don’t like the waste, especially with product that has doubtlessly has left a global footprint (even if it is made from recycled paper).

That little piece of pretty paper has been through a long journey to end up in my box of scraps. I mean, think about it: How much energy and resource is used for producing the basic paper, print it, package it and then ship it? Add in the fact that all the components in the product has possibly been hauled half across the globe at least twice before they make it to the end product… And then there’s me, the end consumer, in a country that mostly import the things we use in this hobby. That’s yet another transport.

So you see… I don’t often bin scraps. I try to use them, as much as possible. And that includes the scraps of “non-pretty” paper as well. All testers and experiments can always be reused and repurposed. I often use plain, unbleached paper when trying out mists or paints or any sort of mixed media experiment. Or if I am spraying the edge of one paper, I put down a scrap piece of paper edge by edge to catch the excess. They can then easily be used as an accent layer on a layout or a card, or for making a handmade embellishment, or for making tags.

I have a tag punch that is one of my favourites, for example. It punched three tags in different sizes in one go. I grab it, punch it, pierce it and hang it on a binder ring where I keep loads of other tags I’ve sort of collected (the ones I like from clothes of packaging that can be recycled). I use them when organizing my storage, for gifts, for layouts, for cards, for flowers, as bookmarks…

There are so many things you can do with the scraps. Punch out shapes, fold them into something, layer them and sew them together. Ink them or distress them and turn them into something new. Good material can always be turned into something new and useful. Good material can always be turned into art.


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