Making cards from scraps

As promised, here is a bit of info on my method of taming my scrap pile. I have begun the process of sorting thru the bins I tend to drop all leftover bits of card and patterned paper into after completing a project and while sorting them my first step is always:

1. Set aside groupings of paper and cardstock that I think will work for a card. I shared three of them yesterday. Here they are again:


Card1 card3

The first thing to note is that I save all bits and pieces that I try, then decide against. Best shown here by the scalloped strips, but if I punch or die cut a shape, then don’t use it, that goes in the scrap bin as well.  I don’t have a photo of it, but I have a little bowl on my desk that I put all circles that are the result of a border punch (I have one that punches a really BIG circle) or a single or a three-hole punch.  I am always fishing out circles to use from it – they are great for adding to a tag then punching the hole thru for a ribbon hole that doesn’t look “raw,” IYKWIM.

2. Really LOOK at your scraps – note any punched areas or borders that you can use. Let’s look at Card One.  I had both a punched heart and that large bit of card with the circle punched out of it. a bit of vellum and some small scraps of yellow. The edge of the cardstock still had a bit of the printed border and corner on it.  I liked how careful placement of the corner pattern formed an arrow, pointing towards the sentiment.  See it?


I didn’t capture the whole process, but  note the button is filled with one of those little punched circles from my bowl.

3. For Card Two I decided on a Birthday card – probably for one of the many near-Christmas birthdays we seem to have in the family. The tip here is to fold a card blank if you are lucky enough to have a piece of cardstock that works, size-wise.  I had a large rectangle of the bright red, so perfect.


4. If you can create something using the bits that square off your paper or card, do it.  What I mean by that is if you have a mostly square piece and you can lop off the extension, look first at how you can use that bit.  Unfortunately the photo doesn’t actually show all the hanging off bits, so you’ll just have to trust me on this.  My reasoning for that is that I don’t want to create MORE scraps.  If I can use up the better part of a chunk then I might be left with something I am happy to throw out.


Start layering things – see what you can come up with.  I love dots and stripes together so this was perfect. The card?


And what was left?


All the big bits are squared off.  The pale green is big enough to make another card blank and I could even use these scraps to get a whole other card.

5.  For Card Three, my tip is Use a piece that ALMOST covers a card front and hide the flaw. You can see that the cardstock has a bit punched out but mostly covers the card front.


I could have tried to use the punched out area as a feature but I already did that on the first one.  THIS one, the missing area was pretty small so I just covered it. I started moving around the bits till I liked what I saw.


And ended up with this!


I used almost all of the orange leafy paper, and almost all of the cardstock.  I used a never before inked stamp and a bit of Baker’s twine I had cut then never used.

Now these cards are never going to win any awards, but it isn’t about that!  It’s about using up scraps in a creative way. Note I say USING UP, not just using.  I want to get rid of the scraps, not just make increasingly smaller scraps, unless they are small enough to punch some circles from and then bin the rest. So sometimes there might be a compromise on the design, but I am OK with that.  I think this process would be ideal for charity cards, where anything you make is a blessing and turning near rubbish into a decent, if not always stellar, card to sell for charity HAS to be a win/win situation.

I hope that all makes sense and maybe that it helps you look at your scraps in a different way.


WOYWW 191 – scrap cards

Hello WOYWWers.  Desk back in a state, but I am using those organized stamps already, now I can actually find them! Woo Hoo.


I’m working on some cards, in an effort to explain a method I use to make scrap cards (ie cards from scraps) so will be working on them today.  Here are the sets of things I have set aside:

card2 card3 Card1

I hope I will be able to share in a clear way what I do!

Now, having tamed my stamps, my ribbons, and my stickers, I need to get my cardmaking things sorted and finish up with my pile o’ scraps.  And desk hop of course! See you at yours…..


Bold title cards for Project Life style albums

Again, I made these for me but am sharing them.  Of course mine ar the 2.5 x 3.5 size but the download is the more common PL 3 x 4 size.


Now, a word about the rounding of the corners.  I used the more pointed rounder for all but the blue one, just to show the difference.

boldtitles2As you can see the softer rounder cuts in to the letters a little too much IMHO.  Here you can see it looks much better with the more pointed rounder:


I could shift it over a bit, but I liked the letters right close to the edge, and for me, the rounding isn’t essential.

There is a bit of space if you wanted to journal on the cards but I like the big, bold titles on their own.

Enjoy.  Me? I have a stack of cards to make from my scrap sorting.  I am also doing the free class one of my commenters, Barbara,  mentioned on my Stamp re-org post at My Creative Classroom and looking out for more organizational tips and tricks.  I still have a lot of stuff that needs sorting and re-arranging, the stamps were just the first step.  Just call me the Mighty ReArranger LOL!


Project Life stylee spread – and some printables

I have finished my first spread for my strange little 2.5 x 3.5 sleeve PL album.  I think the whole thing is going to take me some time to come to grips with.  At least it has done what I intended, which it to get me to actually take some photos of daily life things and get them into an album of some sort.


Most of the printables are either ones I have made and shared already or are ones I made specifically for this (like the THEN and NOW ones – which I think I will make as a set this week in the standard 3 x 4 size. I’ve documented DDs skating progress, the excessive snow, my possible change-of-heart over e-readers, as well as by fab Christmas gift from DD. and a Skype screen capture from a conversation we had with my very dear sister and her girls.  I’m happy with the moments I captured but not overly happy with the layout.  It sort of came into being as I worked on it – I think I may want to plan better for future months, both in placement and colour combos.  Some of the charm of PL is the random nature of it, I think, or at least for me, but I will either need to let go of the whole things should “match” idea or pre-plan better.  Not sure which way it will go the be honest.


Organizing my supplies

Doing the organization of my stamps seems to have set me off on an organizational journey.  Boring, I know, but the end result just makes everything easier.  Plus, as with the stamps, simply handling all my stash reminds me of what I have, and sometimes teaches me something.  For example, am I the biggest numpty in the world and the only person on the planet who DIDN’T realize that Cats Eye pads can be stacked?? I mean, I had seen them in stacks before, but just never thought I can do that with mine! – I thought they had to come that way.  DOH!

Nice of them to have the CHALK inks with white bases and the PIGMENT ink ones with black bases!


Now all I have to do is list the colours on my Mac, print the names on sticker paper, and ink over them, as I did with the Distress Inks, so I don’t have to open each one to see what colour it is.  And they can be grouped in colour families to make it easier.  That lets me take full advantage of my RUB surrounds. Cool.


The Chalk ink large pads (see them at the far left?) are the only ones that are too tall to get more than two in the opening.  How annoying is that?  The rest fit four to a compartment easily. Thinking the Chalk ones have to go back in the drawer, where they fit better.  Then I can house the chalk ink petal pads (the ones with 8 teardrop pads in a flower shape) with them.

Cost: £10 for the two RB trays

Next, ribbon storage.  This was just a problem for me.  I am so cheap, I hate to spend money on organizing when I COULD spend it on goodies.  And I totally DO NOT CARE about my craft room looking like a model home.  I buy stuff if I have to, but it is rarely “pretty.”  I had all my ribbons in old laundry-pod containers and coffee jars and it took up the most enormous amount of shelf space.  I had seen many people who organized their ribbons in Zip-lock Baggies on a big book ring but really I had too many to do that.  One day, while at the grocery store, I was looking that those things they have hanging from the shelves.  You know, like in the soft drink aisle they will have a hanger with straws on it, for example. Well, one of the store worker-bees was swapping out nearly empty ones for full ones.  I looked at them and thought Huh.  I asked what she did with the old ones and she said they put them in the recycling.  So I nabbed a handful of them.  They proved the perfect way to use unusable space.  I had some of those stick-up hooks to add to the little hook thingie on the back of my door and hey presto!


This is what the hangers look like – people in the UK will know exactly what I am talking about, because every store seems to have them (ok, maybe not Waitrose, but pretty sure I have even seen them in M&S) but not sure if they have a similar thing in the USA? This shot sort of shows how they work:


Cost: more or less free.  I had a tub of binder clips anyway, and baggies, and the sticky hooks, but even so I expect we are talking less than £10

Next, stickers.  A while back I got fed up with having to paw thru every sticker set I had.  I had some of those really old binder things, with the divided page protectors, that they used to sell for sticker storage, but they took up too much room, never seemed to be the right size to effectively store my stickers and with the stickers inside them it was totally a case of out-of-sight, out-of-mind! I tried storage boxes as well, but same problem. Ditto the magazine holders.  They took up a lot of space and I was forever pulling them out, rifling thru, putting them back.

While at Staples one day, I found these desktop organizers in the sale section. I grabbed two.


I divided my stickers my colour.  The  BLACK and WHITE sets are in the left-most sections black top rack (actually the black stickers take up two sections!) white bottom rack.  Then the rest of the colours, logical to me (like yellow/orange is next to brown because some of them work either way.) One section is multicoloured sets, but when I am looking at the sets in some cases they make sense in a particular section. Like this set.  The Pinks and reds are next to the yellows and oranges so it goes between.


The thing is, I can stand in front of the rack and flick thru the ends to see enough of the set to know if I want to pull it out or not.  No opening boxes or pulling out full holders.  The rack stays in place and I only take out the ones I am auditioning for my project.


See?  I even used old blocks the kids don’t play with (well they are adults now after all) to divide the shelf area in two.  That lets me add all the oversized sheets (like the Basic Grey sticker sets, although I did consider cutting each sheet in half to divide the two colours and mix them in with the smaller ones, I’ve not tackled that …. YET) to the right, and even a little tub full of the tiny letter sets – again, when I need tiny letters, I need TINY LETTERS.  There is no need to mix them in with the other ones.

Cost: Can’t recall how expensive they were but I think they were pretty cheap. I’m thinking no more than £10 each and maybe a lot less.

So those are three things I have used for storage that work brilliantly (FOR ME) and cost me very little.  They work efficiently in MY space and may work for you too.

And now I have decent photos of them when it comes up over on UKS I can share easily.  Result!



Stamp re-org – so close!

I am so very close to being done!  I need to print some labels for the binders and boxes and finish up stamping my wooden stamps.  I decided NOT to stamp certain ones – like I have a whole drawer of little scenic elements (tufts of grass, sandy hills, rocks in a stream, etc) and I know I would want to look at ALL of them so I don’t see the point of stamping them to add to different sections of the binders because I am very unlikely to use them unless I am stamping a scene. I also have a very small pile of unmounted stamps that I need to mount. Otherwise, I am done.

Here is my revised shelf with the binders:


I’ll do the labels for each binder – what I have is three of stamps and one smaller one of text and sentiments. I still have my boxes, too – one with my stamp tool stamps (like the Stamp Around the Page stamps, and the stupid roller stamp think from Fiskars – god I hate that and wish I had never spent the money on it but can’t bring myself to throw it out or sell it on.  I just use the stamp sheets on a mount), one with all my STEAMPUNK images, and one with all my texture/background stamps.  You can see them above the CD cases in the photo. The CD cases have stamp sets or groupings that I don;t use often, like the Mona or Alice stamps.  The big backgrounds are all in a group, like my 6 x 6 overall patterns.


The baseball card sleeves worked a treat for this!  I can immediately see like text and I have grouped them in ways that make sense to me.

I also have stamped MOST of my wood mounts.  I grouped them too, but where there were stamps that went together I added the pair.  For example, you can see I have the little monk trimming something. He is one the sheet with the MEN and also on the sheet that has the nuns. Likewise Bald Bill has Bald Hillary stamped next to him – just to remind me they are a matched set.


I am also grouping things on the sheet – I feel comfortable doing this with the wood mounts because I KNOW it is very unlikely that I will buy many more of this sort of stamp in the future.  That makes me less concerned about “fitting in” new stamps that belong with an existing group. So for example, I often use the three crying girls together, so they are together on the sheet.


When I have a set of stamps I am stamping them in a group, like the Gorey set at the top here.


I still have my alphas in a drawer.  I thought about stamping a sample (maybe just A B C 1 2 3) and putting them in a binder, but again, it seems pointless.  I would still go to the drawers and look at them.  I’ve grouped them by SIZE where I can as that seems like it would be the criteria for choosing an alphabet.


I also have all my Stampotique stamps in one large drawer.  No need to change that, based on how I use them.

Now I just have to decide if I want to tackle the mounting NOW or put it off for a bit.  Having touched virtually every stamp I own, I am more anxious to USE them.

Phew.  That was exhausting, but very very satisfying!



SDC84 – Love art

Not done the SDCs for a few weeks but had an idea when I saw this one.  I was itching to do some stamping, after spending so much time getting organized (no, not done quite yet – got sidetracked!) and one of the stamps I re-discovered was a tiny Stampotique one, that had found its way into a wrong box. More on that in a minute.  I wanted to do more t-shirt transfer art and at first I thought I would use THIS image, and sew on the little charm, to get the LOVE requirement in there.


You probably can’t tell but the image was stamped on the t-shirt transfer paper, then painted with Distress In and water (not too wet!) then I cut him out.


The more I looked at him, and the charm, the more I thought first, that the charm, sewn on, was always going to rattle in the washer (no dryer with t-shirt transfers!) and annoy me.  Second, I thought the BOY image wasn’t what I really wanted.  I played around with one of the BIG HEADS but the one I liked best had lots of wispy hairs, so not ideal for close trimming.

Then I remembered the little men-on-sticks.   I just love this stamp for some reason, and I guess the last time I used it I just stuck it with with my box of homemade stamps, rather than putting it in the drawer with the other Stampotique ones.  Lucky I was sorting and organizing stamps or it could have been months before I stumbled on it!  I did the same as I have done before, inked and stamped and painted, on a circle.  Sequin waste smudges, then I printed the text (reversed) right on it.


It worked OK, although I think I could have made the text slightly bigger for better readability.  Can you see it says LOVE ART – MAKE ART – WEAR ART?  – that’s how I got the LOVE bit in there!

And on the shirt? Just a small circle near the neck. The circle is only about 2 inches so it’s quite small.  And the framing is wonky, not the iron-on, I promise!


So that’s my crafty fix for the day – now I have to get back to the sorting and filing.


WOYWW 190 – still with the stamps….

Happy snowy WOYWW day.  Not sure at this point if DD will be home or not. Since she had a sore throat yesterday I am thinking that she may be home anyway, even if the roads are clear – with a 40 minute trip to her school it wouldn’t be the worst thing….

I am slowly making my way thru my stamp stash and getting it all organized.  Gosh the comments on the last couple of posts have been SO informative and I am amazed at how other people organize their stamps!  The number who do spreadsheets to capture every bit of info about a stamp is astonishing, even in my small sample. And when did blogging become a conversation?  LOL!  I don’t often reply to comments, unless someone asks a direct question, but the last few days I have commented on MY OWN BLOG more than I have in the last 4 years (well, maybe not, but darn close!) and it has all but fascinating … to ME anyway!

People have taken the time to add so much information, and it has been such a help in fine-tuning my not-original idea.  Deeply appreciated.

So that is what is on my W this W.  I am now working on collecting up the stray clear stamps from various places, and stamping index sheets for my wood mount and foam stamps (except alphas) to add to the binders.  I figure a good effort today and I’ll be nearly done!


I already know that the Lever Arch binders solve one problem mentioned by a few people, and that I have seen mentioned elsewhere on the net – that of the page protectors slipping down due to the weight.  The clamp over the holes holds them, even full of stamps, pretty well so far.

Anyway, trapped in the house is a good thing when there is crafty work t be done – thank goodness the fridge is very well stocked and no reason to go out for the time being.  That means I can take a leisurely stroll in cyberspace and check out all the lovely desk.  Fun for me – see you at yours soon!


Adding Wooden Stamps – this will work!

A lot of comments from the last post regarding how people organize their stamps – thanks for all the info.  It shows clearly that everyone finds success in a different way.

One commenter, PeeJay, mentioned her “catalogue” of stamps, and while I initially thought so much work! the idea stuck with me.  In discussing the need to search through multiple storage solutions, especially regarding wood mounted stamps or even foam mounted ones that are too bulky to fit in a binder, it occurred to me that a mix of what I was doing, and her catalogue idea would suite me perfectly!

My wood mounted stamps are all in drawers in those rolling stacks, all sorted into loose groupings, like SCENIC (leaves, trees, grass, etc with a corner devoted to SEA related things like waves and sandbanks), ANIMALS (including odd animals like winged pigs or cows with globe-spots or purely fantasy animals as well as bees, butterflies, spiders, etc), HOLIDAY (pretty much all Christmas), Weird People (like Gorey-dancers, hairless Bill and Hilary, shocked nuns, and all my Stampotique stamps)  and TEXT.  So they are all in one place and I know the WHERE of them pretty well as I have not changed that is a decade.

I wanted to save myself the senior moments of forgetfulness, grabbing the binder of clear stamps to work on a project then realize halfway through it that I had the PERFECT wood mounted stamp that I had forgotten all about.  The catalog aspect would help me get the INFO, if not the actual STAMP,  co-located with the clear ones.  Since I have not-a-ton of wood mounts, it didn’t seem that daunting a task, not like cataloging all my clear stamps would be. Here is what I did:

I took a plain white sheet of good weight cardstock, A4 like the protectors are, and grabbed one sub-set of my stamps.  I stamped the image with brown ink (as an immediate visual cue that it was a wood mounted stamp – maybe I will use something like blue for the foam ones) on the sheet, punched the holes to correspond with the ring binder and now can add those sheets right mixed in with the sleeves of clear stamps!  No more forgetting – when I go to a section to look at the clear ones I can easily see that I should be looking at my wood-mount drawers if I see something I like better.


Then in the binder with the clear ones in the same group:


The best thing is where I have wood mount stamps that might best be sorted in two places I can stamp it on two sheets and have the reminder in every section.  Not sure if it is worth stamping the clear ones so I can put the image in another section as well. It might be one of those occasional things – let’s say I am looking for a circle with text in it.  I THINK I would go to CIRCLES first, but if I had a momentary lapse and went to TEXT instead, when I then eventually found the stamp in CIRCLES I could take a fresh sheet, stamp it, add it to the TEXT section.  Then I would be doing it as an ongoing thing, but not a huge undertaking.  And if I NEVER get confused about where something is, I never have to take that step IYKWIM.

But that’s not all – another commenter, Lillian, and I talked about Pokemon sleeves (the same ones I am using for my Project Life style album) and we both had the same idea – using the sleeves for small stamps.  I had the particular idea to use them for my very small sentiment stamps.  I had taken one of the report covers and cut it to ATC size.  I stuck the sometimes quite tiny stamps to it then inked the entire set.   Pressing a piece of cardstock to it, I got the impression of the whole set of sentiments.  I slipped both of them into the sleeve and BINGO!


For small ones, this let me group all the like ones together, so if I want a Birthday greeting I can see them all at a glance.  When I get new stamps, I think I would do what I’ve done here and cut up the backing sheet that has the image printed on it, and leave the stamp on there when I slip it in the sleeve.  The sleeves do have a different hole spacing on them so I have to re-punch them, but that is not a hassle to do at all.

I would do wood-mount or foam mount sentiments stamped on the plain card, and just locate them with the sleeves.  Larger sentiments would go on the report covers.  Cling stamps seem to cling to the report covers as well so I am adding in the few of them I have (when I have just one or two – I do have a whole box of what I call TEXTURE stamps, like for adding mesh or dots or a checkerboard to an art journal page or card background, that I will keep in the boxes) Some things are so unique (like sets of MONA LISA stamps, or Alice or the Lil’ Grumblies) they are well housed in the CD covers.

Still only about halfway through but at least I am sure of the process and the rest of it is just working thru the boxes and CD covers, stamp by stamp.  Well worth it to familiarize myself with what I have!  I have a few ideas already, just from refreshing my memory about ones I haven’t used (or even thought of) in YEARS.

Hope the ideas help you out – and JOZARTY, I mean YOU!  So glad I caught you BEFORE you went down the CD case route.  At least it gives you something to think about and your decision will be an informed one LOL!


Clear Stamp Reorganization

I have been somewhat unhappy with how I am storing my stamps.  While I love the CD cases on the one hand, I found that I had 4 (5,6,7 or more!) cases full of swirls and circles and flowers.  A while back, I removed those from the CD cases and reorganized them into small craft storage boxes.  That took up less space, but was a nightmare to riffle through to find what I wanted!  I found myself settling for the first somewhat appropriate stamp I came across, rather than really looking at them all to find the “right” one.

At the time I began sorting them into the boxes, I had bought some clear Report Covers from Staples.  I took a clear stamp with me so I could test out if they would stick to the folder with some grip, and not fall off.  I cut up some of them to fit the box, and attached groups or sets of stamps to them in an effort to make finding the one I wanted a little easier.  It wasn’t easier.  I tried sticking them to the full report covers but wasn’t happy with the potential for them to slip off, if the “sticky” had worn off the back of the stamp.  I washed them, which brought it back, mostly, but not quite enough for me to feel secure storing them that way.  Then I promptly forgot all about it and just carried on with the boxes and the finding issues.

While tidying up last week, I stumbled on an entire box of A4 page protectors.  No idea why I bought them – maybe to house pages ripped out of mags into my own idea book? It hit me that storing the stamps on the report covers then slipping them into the PPs and into a binder would at least make the flipping through far easier.

I went to Staples and lucked into a whole pile of report covers (and they HAVE to be the smooth ones, not the cheaper dimpled ones) that where in a heap in the shelf slot, all out of their packaging, and in a right old mess.  I took all the empty packaging and the pile of covers to the check-out and ended up getting the entire stack for the price of three packages and at 20% off since some were crinkled at the corners!  Woo Hoo! These are the ones I got:


The colourful binders, nice quality and BIG, were priced 3 for 2 so quite cheap as well.


I split the report covers down the spine (cutting off about 1/4 inch at the fold) which made them fit the page protectors perfectly.  And I started sticking the stamps to them.  When I found one that didn’t seem to adhere well, I just washed it and it stuck.


I found I could get quite a lot of them onto a sheet!  In cases where I hadn’t thrown away the original packaging, I simply taped then together so they fit the sleeve, forgoing the report cover step entirely.


You can see on the left the two taped sets – actually one set, one background stamp. The real appeal to this is that the stamps, if they DO come loose from the report covers, they only fall into the page protector and not out onto the floor or in the bin!

I am LOVING this method.  And of course I had to have a look and see if someone else had the same idea – and of course they had.  This video is pretty much the same thing, although she uses the report covers whole rather than cut in half, uses them specifically for her PTI stamps and she takes the extra step of adding the image labels from the stamp set.  I think that helps, if you have them, although sticking together sets like on the left above accomplishes the same thing.  In future I suspect I would be more inclined to save the  packaging than I have been.  At some point, I MAY be tempted to stamp all the images onto paper and add them, but I find I can tell enough about the stamp to know if I want to use it from the stamp itself, so that may be just more work than it is worth.

I have three binders and a load of dividers (also from Staples) and I think that should accommodate all my clear stamps. It also means I can then use the CD covers for any of my cling mounted stamps.   Wood mount ones I have a LOT of but most of them are very specific (like the Stampotique ones) and as I will always have to look at least two places I feel adding the cling ones to the CD cases, which can be stored on the same shelf as the cling ones in binders, I still have a better chance of finding them.  If that makes sense.  No matter HOW you do it, I simply cannot see a way to mix wood mount stamps in with the rest – you will always have to look at both storage methods.

I love the lever binders – the can store so many sheets! – yet flip so easily.

At this point I am unclear if I will have a smaller binder for my clear alphabets.  I am leaning towards NOT, as I have only a few alphabet sets that are clear – MANY more that are either cling mount or foam or tiny wood mount ones – and the clear ones I tend to use as a full sheet for art journal-type things, instead of a stencil as more of a background than to spell out text. They fit in a couple of rolling drawer stack drawers and that has always worked well for me so no real point to changing them.  The danger of reorganization tends to be that you get swept away, think something is going to work well then when it doesn’t you find you have wasted time and money and are still unhappy!  I am already happy with this set up (it took me a while to be able to get out to Staples to find more of the raw supplies but I could see from just a couple of weeks of this new method, with only a few stamp styles, that this was working) so taking the plunge and the time to do them all.

I really hope I won’t be eating my words in 6 months.  If so, you are invited to laugh and point and make any derisory noises you like.

Sorry that was all a bit wordy.  But now I have a date with my CD cases – between getting them sorted and sorting that massive pile o’ scraps (still only dented, I fear) I am going to be very busy. At least, knock wood, there is no driveway shovelling to do today.  DH has done it all (saving me and my back from further injury) but the poor guy has been exhausted and I would have felt compelled to go help had it needed doing AGAIN. With the Y of the drive I would bet it’s 60 metres at least! I hope it warms up soon and no more snow…..