Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Scrap Wranglin'

This past Friday, while wandering around the Operation Write Home website, I discovered a tutorial about dealing with all those pesky scraps of cardstock we paper crafters tend to hoard for some unknown reason. Since this was a problem that was currently annoying me to no end, leaving me feeling irritable and unsettled (you know how I love to organize and be organized!) I decided to see what the Scrap Wrangler had to say. This is a hilariously helpful video, but if you don't have time or the privacy to watch it, the entire text is written out at that link.

The first element of wrangling your scraps is to go through and cut out card-sized (i.e. A2 or 4.25" x 5.5") pieces. That is the biggest your OWH cards for heroes to send home can be. If you're like me and send larger cards to your friends and family, you can do what I did: since most of my scraps wouldn't have been big enough for those cards (5" x 6.5"), I decided I would use whole sheets of paper and cardstock for the larger cards. Simpler that way. Anyway, above you can see my upcycled baby wipes box (which believe it or not - and if you know me at all you will surely believe it - I have saved since there was an actual baby living in my house. Note that my younger daughter is now 15. 'Nuff said!). Ahem. The box is filled with card-sized pieces of paper and cardstock that were cut from my scraps. Yes. All of that came ONLY from paper that had already been cut into and partially used!! Believe me, I still have tons of whole 8.5" x 11" and 12" x 12" paper and cardstock, too.

You can not begin to imagine how thrilled I became, watching my enormous herd of scraps become corralled and easily organized. Now I know what I have and what is more, I am using it! Since I finished filling the wipes box on Saturday evening, I have used up about 20 of these sheets of paper in the making of seven cards.
Another piece of advice from the Scrap Wrangler is to toss out whatever is left after you have completed the step mentioned above. But. I just couldn't do it. She then advises (since she knows us so well!) that we set a deadline of one week to use up whatever is left over, and then make yourself toss what's left. I am fudging on that a little; since the timing works for me, I am giving myself until 31 December 2012 to use up this pile of scraps you see in the photo above. Just as a note, the Scrap Wrangler provides many great ideas for card designs that are perfect for using up these smaller scraps. In fact, those pastel colored strips you see at the top right have already been used to make a Scrappy Background card, which I will share with you soon, probably in my next post.

Whatever does not get used up by the last day of the year will be going on a scrappy cattle drive to the recycling bin around the corner from my house (but first, we'll have a fabulously festive New Year's Eve Paper Purging party! Gotta have a party, right?).
Here is just one of the cards I have made in the last few days. It is loosely based on OWH Sketch #150 and as you can see it uses three different pieces of paper from my scraps corral. The cowboy is a stamp by Darcie's, colored with my BIC Mark Its, and I printed out the sentiment from Microsoft Word (Playbill font). Whatever bits and pieces were leftover were immediately tossed into the holding pen (uh, I mean recycling box) that sits in my crafts room. I think I'm getting the hang of this!

I really had a blast getting my scraps wrangled, and even if you don't love organizing, I can guarantee you'll enjoy having all of that paper cut and ready to use in manageable pieces. I can't believe how many cards I've made since I did this. Usually I only manage to do a couple per week. I realize now that what was slowing me down was the mess of scraps. So, thanks Scrap Wrangler!


Donna said...

Hi Amy, I love this little cowboy! Your coloring is Beautiful. I got my scraps wrangled too and it feels so good! It truely does simplify cardmaking
I love your card and have a wonderful Christmas. Blessings, Donna

AllisonG said...

I have bought a beautiful box to put my pieces of paper in once I've wrangled my scraps. I've had it for months and months and months. How did you find the time to sit down and wrangle? Whenever I have free time, I just want to make cards!

Linda said...

Fun card. I have yet to wrangle! You might have inspired me. Tfs!!!

Operation Write Home said...


Unknown said...

Cute card! I got a lot of tips from that video too and you're right - it does give you a big mojo boost once those scraps are cleaned up. I organized mine by color recently too and now I'm super happy with my scrap bin. Glad to here you got over some of your hoarding tendencies lol (you're not alone!) and TFS!