Groovin’ with the Go-to Gals – The Scrap Basket Challenge

Betsy headshot Groovin’ with the Go to Gals   The Scrap Basket Challenge

Betsy Veldman

It seems every time summer rolls around I’m in the mood to clean and purge. 

The kids are home all day and there’s generally more “stuff” around…baseball stuff, swimming stuff, toys, summer rec crafts, etc.! I don’t deal well with clutter, so I really get the urge to organize things! 

Today I thought I’d share with you one of my recent organizational projects: my dreaded (but well-loved!) scrap basket. 

Do you have an over abundance of scraps like me? Every time I think I’m going to do a project using my scraps, I feel like they actually multiply! But today is a new day. 

I was inspired by some of the ladies chatting on the Papertrey Ink board. They were cutting their papers into 6×6 blocks. Oh, the genius! I also scrapbook, so I could never do this to all of my paper, but my scraps go pretty much exclusively to card making. So why not? 

So that’s what I did. And when I finished trimming them neatly, I couldn’t just toss them all back in a bucket. So I sorted them by color. If a piece was double-sided, I tossed one piece into the pile that coordinated with the front side, and the second piece went into the pile that matched the back side. 

Oh, sweet mother of scraps…I think I’ve died and gone to heaven.

5959166940 debc7f6f21 Groovin’ with the Go to Gals   The Scrap Basket Challenge

I picked up these baskets at the dollar store. They fit the 6×6 pieces perfectly. I used my die cut machine to cut the dividers out of cardstock. 

This first basket is sorted by color.

5958607909 d0f9554db3 Groovin’ with the Go to Gals   The Scrap Basket Challenge

This second basket contains neutrals (cream/white, brown/black) as well as stripes, florals, dots, and Christmas.

5959166816 f9a6428525 Groovin’ with the Go to Gals   The Scrap Basket Challenge

Lookin’ good, don’t you think? 

Oh, but wait. After cutting everything down to 6×6 blocks, I was left with…


5958607957 5b943da86b Groovin’ with the Go to Gals   The Scrap Basket Challenge

Will it ever end?

I had a little devil on one shoulder saying, “Just throw them away!!!”

But a little fairy, aka my 7-year-old daughter, sat on my other shoulder saying, “No, keep them! They’re soooooo pretty!”

How could I resist? So I issued myself a challenge. They need to be used by the end of the year or they need to go. I told my little fairy that she was welcome to dig out of that basket anytime she pleased. 

So to get started on my challenge, my little fairy and I sat down together to work on a project to try and whittle down that stack of strips (the photo really doesn’t do it justice…there is A LOT of paper there!).   

I decided to pull strips that worked well together. You know I love to mix patterns and colors, so I really enjoyed this process. I covered an 8 ½” x 11” sheet of cardstock with adhesive and filled it with strips. I trimmed off any excess even with the edge of the cardstock (and yes, threw it away! Go me!). 

Here are the sheets I made…

5958608017 1223217a60 Groovin’ with the Go to Gals   The Scrap Basket Challenge

And here’s one my daughter made. She loves blue, so she mixed and matched a bunch of blue pieces…

5959166888 cdd523129c Groovin’ with the Go to Gals   The Scrap Basket Challenge

My thought is these sheets can be cut down to create card sets. I gave it a try and it was FUN! Here’s a set I made using a sheet from the photo above.

5958608041 c7cb3c2d48 Groovin’ with the Go to Gals   The Scrap Basket Challenge

I grabbed the Essential Sentiments stamp set from A Muse Studio, which contains tons of great everyday and holiday sentiments. 

5958608069 341d4c3c90 Groovin’ with the Go to Gals   The Scrap Basket Challenge

This allowed me to quickly put together cards for lots of different occasions. I just added a few die cuts, a little twine, and some buttons. This would also make a great on-the-go project to take along on vacation or to a crop.

To get a better look at these cards, stop by my blog!

I’m on an organizational roll, so keep me going! Share your best tip here and I’ll pick one winner to take home the Essential Sentiments stamp set (seen above). All comments must be received by midnight (MDT) on Thursday, July 28.

Happy crafting!

Betsy Veldman,
Paper Crafts Go-to Gal

5787495139 f602ff69b9 t Groovin’ with the Go to Gals   The Scrap Basket ChallengeP.S. Just a reminder…you have one more day to vote in Round 3 of Gallery Idol! Click HERE to view the Top 10′s cards and cast your vote. Voing will end at noon (MDT) tomorrow!

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248 Responses to Groovin’ with the Go-to Gals – The Scrap Basket Challenge

  1. Ohhh I am sooo stealing this idea!!! I stay your strips should be put in a “borders” box. I design the insides of my cards as well and those would be perfect for inside borders. :-)

  2. Sally says:

    I love these ideas. AND, I would totally use those 8.5×11 mixed pages as a “piece” of patterned scrapbook paper AS IS for my 8.5×11 pages! I’ve done pages like that with random squares and rectangles & that’s a cool look too!

  3. Amber Benike says:

    LOVE this idea and the pics. First I thought the “challenge” was a good idea, and would look pretty as a page background too. Secondly, when I have a scrap piece that doesn’t seem to meet my criteria but I can’t bare to throw it away, it goes in my 7 year old up and coming scrapbooker’s drawer. She LOVES the surprises and I feel good about not wasting.

  4. Terri Robison says:

    Love this idea, but I cannot bring myself to cut my scraps down that small, maybe I can figure out a way to keep my bigger pieces and do this with the ones that are close to 6 x 6 already.

  5. T Andersen says:

    This is SUCH a fabulous idea! My old system was an 8 1/2 x 11 file box, and it was such a mess that I wouldn’t look in it any more. It took me three days, but my scraps are neatly trimmed, sorted and organized. The dollar section at Target had some orange baskets that fit perfectly, and my handy-dandy label maker helped me with the sections. Thank you! Thank you! I’ve already made 10 cards from scraps alone! :)

  6. Alison says:

    Your cards are so pretty! What works for me and my space is just to put each colour in a 12 x 12 plastic bag – I use this for card backgrounds, die cutting, matting journalling spots – whatever! My tip for waste not want not is to reuse old/printed on photo paper – I cover it with alcohol inks and then emboss over the top to create “arty” style cards for my friends – or if it is a strip of photo paper, I border punch it instead of white cardstock – works a treat! :)

  7. Rachel Millington says:

    What a fantastic idea! I am so impressed and think I’ll be doing this too. Thank you!

  8. Helen says:

    Gosh what a clever, clever idea! Off to sort ‘n play RIGHT NOW! TFS this great idea.
    Helen — Firenze Cards

  9. Lynn sheff says:

    This worked so wonderful! What a great idea.

  10. Kathy says:

    A few times a year, I go thru my scraps. I seriously used to save anything bigger than my thumbnail. (Think tiny punches.) Things got pretty outta control!! Not I cut them in bigger pieces. The pieces that are too small, but useable, or ones I just don’t want anymore, I either give to nieces and nephews or donate them to the preschool where I work. The kiddos like to cut and glue. At times they will glue a stack of papers together, and are quite proud of themselves. Never throw away good scraps. They are treasures to someone!! : )

    Love the cards, by the way.

  11. Kathy Rupp says:

    This is an awesome idea for scraps. Right now I have mine stored by color in an 8 1/2 x11 manilla folder in hanging folders. After you would cut the 6×6 I would use the scraps for borders, etc. on scrapbook pages. I have tons of really small scraps that I let my grand children use to glue when they come to my house. If I have paper that I no longer want to use or it is to small I give it to my daughter. She is in charge of a group of ladies that get together and make cards for parents that have lost a child from birth, still born, etc. (My daughter lost her baby to still born. This gives her a chance to be with a group of ladies that have gone through the same thing.) She is hooked up with a hospital and they will let her know when there is a mother that needs a card and support of her group that she is in charge of. (So, if you have other scrap paper that you are not interested in PLEASE do not throw away. I will take the scraps and give them to my daughter for her support group. Sorry this got kind of long. If I would win the stamp set I would most definetly give it to her for her card making. Thank you for this great idea.

  12. Alicia says:

    What a great idea! My scraps are pretty organized but I hadn’t thought about using up a lot of those strips just making new papers! Oh the possibilities! And I love the cards you’ve make with them!

  13. Michele says:

    Well ladies, you are not going to believe this, but my Scrap box is finally empty! My daughter and I did All our projects this year using only scraps… gotta break out the new product and start a new box for the scraps, and this will be the one I use… Thanks!

  14. julie says:

    i use small scraps to punch, do this in bulk and they’re ready for cards and the scaps are gone!

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  16. Doreen Cruz says:

    I feel like u have shed light over my scraps,,Thank you soo much…

  17. KeriAnn says:

    This is a great idea! I wonder if it would work for fabric!

  18. Pumpy says:

    What wonderful ideas, especially sticking all that match onto an A4 sheet. xx

  19. Eleanor Williams says:

    Such a great idea. I would use it too & look for crates that would hold my 12×12 papers. Will be looking for the 6×6 ones at The Dollar Store. And the cards you made from pages with all the strips are just fantastic. Thank you for sharing all these wonderful idea!!! If you are into ATC cards the little scraps would work great for them too.

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  21. Susy says:

    this is great.,.. I was having a lazy day and then I read your wonderful organizational system… I am ready to start, thank you for sharing. God Bless.

  22. Kathy says:

    Great idea. Other uses for small scraps are bookmarks, gift tags, and decorations for plain gift bags.

  23. Misty says:

    I’m doing this too. Off to the dollar store to buy my little crates:) I just love what you did with the long strips. I don’t make cards usually, but yours just turned out so beautiful, that I might just have to give it a go. Thanks for the wonderful inspiration!!

  24. Heather K. says:

    I saw this post in 2011 and Pinterest brought me back again. I use small scraps to do iris folded cards. The more variety of scraps you have makes the prettiest cards. I love paper with texture in the iris folds whether it’s torn or had been stamped or even the perforation marks on some of the larger paper tablets (I’ve even used fabric and felt scraps.)

  25. Lynette says:

    That is so smart! I usually use my scraps for cards and things too. I have a binder I filled with sheet protectors and most of my scraps, but when I use a small piece of 12X12′s, I get into trouble and have to fold the papers to make it fit! I have bins this size already, and will have to try this trick! Thanks for the solution. I also made several cards with the strip method, and will have to do more once I have all the scraps from the scraps! :) Oh what a mess! :)

  26. Barb says:

    What a great idea! Thanks!

  27. What a great idea! This should clear up a lot of space in my craft room that is currently cluttered with piles of scrap paper. I also like to cut them into 2 x 3 squares so they will be ready to stamp with an image for a card.

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  29. 914985 631989Very efficiently written story. It will be useful to anybody who employess it, including me. Keep up the good work – can

  30. Judi Bixler says:

    I teach 3rd grade. Next time you have “strips” left over I’m sure there are teachers in your child’s school that would love them for bookmarks. I know I would.

  31. Marjon says:

    I am a kindergartenteacher in Amsterdam and I love to get left overs of beautiful papers. The children love to make art with it! I think the teachers of your children will love it too!
    The box for your papers is a very good idea! Thank you for sharing it.

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  34. Lynnette says:

    Great ideas! I too have trouble tossing out scraps. Love the way you put the strips together and made cards.

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  37. Casey L says:

    You say you covered a piece of cardstock in adhesive. Just wondering which adhesive you use?
    I love this idea!

  38. Jennifer Williams says:

    I just stumbled on this blog today — it’s wonderful!

    You mentioned in this post that you used a die to cut the dividers. Did the die have the nice tabs? Which die did you use? I’ve been searching for something like this for a long time.

    Thank you!

  39. Casey says:

    Just wanted you to know that I LOVE your scrapbook strips idea and I featured it on my new blog!

  40. sarah says:

    How did you make the tabs?? Is it just colored cardstock??

  41. Beverly Crews says:

    Love your idea! What die cutting machine did you use to make the dividers? I have the Cricut Expression II.

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  43. adrianne z says:

    W hat a horrible thing to come across a post like this that is so full of ideas, right before bed. My mind is now turning over what kinds of things I can use my scraps for! Thanks for the inspiration, hopefully I can sleep!

  44. Julie Blake says:

    Great ideas. The small scraps I keep in a zip lock bag. When I need mindless work I punch flowers out of the scraps. I keep those in a box. I also glue them together and add embellished at this time. They are usually the smaller, filler flowers, so a little goes a long way. Filler flowers might be all colors, so I find this really helpful. Julie

  45. Candy Barnett says:

    Here comes a real shocker….I don’t save my patterned scraps. I use what I want, which is usually most of it and then toss. I do save my plain pieces but I purge them often. Keeping all those scraps just got to be overwhelming!!!

  46. Darla Welch says:

    I hang onto any strips that are 2″ wide and use them with the Stampin-Up “tag toppers” punches. Just loop a pretty ribbon into the top hole and you have a darling bookmark to include with your cards or gifts. You can even laminate them if you want to get really fussy!

  47. Debbie says:

    What type of adhesive do you use and recommend? Love the scrap organizing idea.

  48. Nancy Rose says:

    Awesome thanks for solving my problem scraps.

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