Episode 41: 10 Ways to Use Scrapbook Paper You Don’t LOVE Anymore

Alice Boll
Alice Boll
Show Notes

Why do you want to identify your ‘unloved’ papers?

If you clear out the supplies you aren’t excited to use you’ll have an easier time finding things that you really want to use!

Use papers for:

  1. layering
  2. paint it
  3. mix it up with other papers to make it feel fresh
  4. fussy cut it
  5. make envelopes
  6. make cards
  7. use as a foundation for thin papers
  8. wrap small gifts
  9. make party supplies like place cards and decorations
  10. donate it!

Try this!

Create a box in your crafty space to put supplies you don’t love anymore. Whenever you’re looking through supplies move the ‘less-loved’ papers and supplies into the box. You can let scrappy friends have first dibs from your Give Away box. Then find a place to donate the whole box!

Potential Donation places:

  • therapeutic scrapbooking programs at hospitals
  • children’s organizations
  • elementary school teachers
  • senior’s homes

What are your best ways to use unloved scrapbook paper? 

Tell Alice about it! Click the Start Recording button and leave a voice recording… it only takes a moment!



I’d love to hear your thoughts on this episode!

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Welcome to the ScrapHappier podcast, where we share quick tips, tricks, and techniques to help you create scrapbooks you love, and be happier while doing it. I’m your host, Alice Boll.

So glad that you’ve joined me today. Let’s talk about paper. If you’re a scrapbooker that’s been at it for any length of time, one of the things that builds up in our stash is scrapbook paper. And who could blame us? It is so beautiful? But it happens. Sometimes papers sneaks into our stash, or it’s been sitting there for awhile, and it doesn’t really fit with the kind of scrapbooking or our aesthetic style that we have now.

So I thought we should talk about a few things that we can do with these scrapbook papers that we have just fallen out of love with. But before we dive into that, I think we should talk about the first, most, important thing. Why do we want to identify these unloved papers anyways? When you’re sitting down and you are ready to create a scrapbook page, the last thing you need to do is be looking through all of these different scrapbook papers that just don’t suit your personal style. If it’s a paper you just don’t like, you’re not going to want to use it. Trust me. You probably have a lot of other options that are just so much better. So let go of these papers that you just don’t like so that you can make room and find the papers that you do. By dealing with our scrapbooking supplies and making them easier to deal with that will make our scrapbooking easier as well. So let’s kick this off with 10 solutions to use papers that you just don’t love anymore.

Number one, layering. I think one of the greatest things to do with paper that I don’t like is to use it in my layers. You know those layers where you’re covering up most of the paper and you just need a tiny little edge around the edge of the paper, or you’re creating multiple layers of mats for your photos? This is where your ugly papers can shine because sometimes there’s a certain color that we don’t especially love, or it has a strange pattern on it that we don’t really love, but the papers that have those often have a B-side that is really neutral. So I encourage you to flip those papers over, look at those B sides, and look at how that really subtle pattern, those ones that are more like a solid card stock, these are perfect for creating thin little layers where you don’t need to see a lot of the paper, you just want to add that little pop of color. Papers like this I like to sort in my scrapbook room by color so that when I’m looking for a shade of teal or a shade of green or a shade of pink, I can just pull out one of these papers and make some great layers.

Number two is paint it. Some of these papers just need a quick little whitewash to make them all better. By adding a thin layer of paint or gesso you’ll be able to transform this paper into something that’s a lot more usable. Maybe it had a crazy, bold pattern, and by putting a thin coat of gesso over top, you’re able to make it into a much more subtle and muted pattern.

Number three, mix it up with other papers to make it feel fresh. Sometimes the paper isn’t terrible, it just doesn’t have the right buddies to hang out with. If you find some other papers in a similar color palette, this might be that extra little print that you need to get the effect that you’d like. And by mixing papers from different collections, this allows you to create a feeling that’s a little bit more eclectic, a little bit less matchy-matchy, and it can feel a lot more natural.

Number four is to fussy cut it. Now I’m almost laughing when I say this, because I’ve always said that fussy cutting is the F-word of the craft world. It’s just not something that I enjoy doing. Although I have heard from many people that they find fussy cutting to be very relaxing. So if that is you all the more power to you. And this might be something that you quite enjoy. You don’t have to love the whole pattern paper to like part of that pattern paper. So feel free to chop it up, fussy cut it out, and use this paper in a way that really suits you. And if you’re thinking, “Well, not all of my paper has patterns that are great for fussy cutting.” Maybe you’re going to cut it into strips so you can have strips of certain colors. Maybe you’re going to stamp something on them and fussy cut those out. So there’s a lot of different ways that you can still use that paper while you’re fussy cutting it. One thing that we often need paper for is backing paper for cut files, and it can be hard to cut into a giant 12 by 12 piece of paper that’s totally beautiful when you only need a tiny little piece of it. So feel free to use those papers that maybe aren’t your favorites overall as a pattern, but it can make a perfect color fill for a cut file.

Number five is to use that fancy paper to make envelopes. Envelopes, envelopes, no matter how you say it, using your pattern paper to make your own is a really great way to use up some of those patterns that you’re just not going to use in your scrapbooks. I use an envelope punch board from We Are Memory Keepers to make custom envelopes in different sizes. And I’ll confess the first couple of times that I used the punch board it wasn’t the easiest thing to do, but once I got the hang of it, now it’s super fast and super easy. So I can grab a piece of the patterned paper, I can cut it to the right size, and then I can whip up an envelope really quickly. One important thing to remember when you’re making a custom envelope is to make sure that the address section is nice and clear and really easy to read. With this in mind I actually usually put the fancy pattern on the inside and the keep the more subtle pattern to the outside.

Number six, make cards. Just because a patterned paper isn’t right for me to use in my scrapbook pages doesn’t mean that it wouldn’t be the perfect choice to use on a card. Now I might’ve mentioned before that I don’t particularly love making cards, and that’s totally okay. One thing that I often do is use cards as a playground to test techniques that I want to try eventually in my scrapbooks. So I still do find myself making cards. And just because a paper doesn’t feel right for my scrapbooks doesn’t mean that it couldn’t be the perfect choice to make a card.

Number seven, you can use it as a foundation for thin papers. I’ll confess, I’m a bit of a paper snob. I love getting a piece of card stock that is thick and luxurious. And I hate using really thin patterned papers. From time to time some thin paper does sneak its way into my scrapbook room. And when I use thin paper I’m always mounting it onto a thicker paper, and often that’s a card stock, but it doesn’t have to be a card stock. It can be a patterned paper that is a thicker weight that I just don’t love that much. And so I can use that as a layer that just gets totally covered up by a different paper. And that frees up my card stock for different projects.

Number eight, wrap small gifts. There are a lot of different ways that you can wrap a small gift. If you have a Cricut or a Silhouette machine, you probably have access to a lot of different box shapes that you can cut out using your cutting machine. There’ll be square boxes and pillow boxes and all kinds of little fancy little gift boxes. You can also just use the paper like a wrapping paper and wrap the gift regularly.

Number nine, you can use your paper to make party supplies. DIY projects are a great way to use up some of that scrapbook paper. From invitations to place cards to medallions or paper fans to decorate the walls, banners, word art, cake toppers, and featured walls, the sky is the limit when it comes to decorating for a party, and if you need inspiration, pop over to Pinterest, type in DIY party supplies, and you will have so many ideas on ways that you can use up some of that scrapbook paper.

Number 10 is to donate it. Maybe working with this paper is just not something that you want to do anymore. And that’s totally okay. You have other great options, I’m sure. In my scrapbook room, I have a donation box that I keep in the corner of the room at all times. If a friend comes over to my space, I always give them the chance to look through it and claim anything that they think that they would like to use. And eventually that whole box gets packed up for my giveaway. Potential donation places include therapeutic scrapbooking programs at hospitals, children’s organizations, elementary school teachers, and seniors homes. I recommend calling first to make sure that they accept these kinds of supplies.

And there you have it, 10 different ways that you can use that scrapbook paper that you just don’t love anymore. If you have a great suggestion that’s not on this list, if you have a brilliant way that you’re using up your unloved scrapbook paper, I’d love to hear about it. You can leave me a SpeakPipe message or contact me on Instagram and the links for that will be in the show notes. If you’d like to see the products that I recommend for scrapbooking, I know today I mentioned the envelope punch board from Your Memory Keepers, I’ll have that link on my favorites page, which will also be linked in the show notes. Thank you so much for joining me today. I hope that our tips today will help you not only use up that unloved paper, but also help you make pages that you do love. Happy scrapping.

Fussy cutting. It’s like the F-word of the crafting world.


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