Friday, March 18, 2011

Planning for Scraps

Hey folks! Again, it's been another long stretch between posts. I promise I'm going to try to get better at this. A warm welcome to my new followers! I hope to visit your blogs soon to see what you have going on. This is a kind of quick post about something so simple, but so vital...scraps! I am a huge fan of scraps and using scraps. Sometimes (lots of times actually) I challenge myself to make entire projects from scraps. My favorite part about scraps? They save you money!!!!

Most of you are veterans in the crafting game, and you know all about this, but I recently got my sister into cardmaking and scrapbooking. It's really great to have conversations with folks who are new to paper crafting (I'm still pretty new myself) because there's a lot you know that you take for granted. I sometimes forget that I had to troll blogs and make mistakes to know what I know, so I thought I would share this quick tip:

When cutting, especially for a mass production project (like the wedding invites I'm doing now, that I will post I'm not getting married), plan your scraps. Figure out how much of your 12x12 or 8.5x11 paper you will need for your project and make your first cut the cut that will leave you with the largest scrap. The largest scrap is the most versatile scrap because you have more options with how you use it or cut it down. When you're left with lots of little scraps, they can only be used for layers, punches, die cutting, etc. Still not a bad deal, but how awesome is it to have a scrap that can be used as a base for an entirely different project?!

For example, I'm doing 5x7 flat (meaning they don't fold) invites from 12x12. paper. I could cut the paper at 5" two times to create two 5x12 pieces and one 2x12 piece. I could then cut each of the larger pieces at 7" to create two 5x7 pieces, which would leave me with two 5x5 pieces. So, that would give me the two 5x7 pieces I need, plus a 2x12 piece and two 5x5 pieces for my scrap drawer that will eventually get used. Or...

I could figure out that if I'm going to get two 5x7 pieces from a 12x12, I need to create at 7x10 piece that I can cut in half! That means I should cut my 12x12 at 7", leaving me with a 5x12 piece and a 7x12 piece. I would cut 2" off the 7x12 to create the 7x10, and then cut it in half (at 5") to create two 5x7 pieces! But wait...I still have a 5x12 piece. Cut that at 7" to create a third 5x7, leaving you with one 5x5 scrap. It leaves you with fewer scraps, but more invitations. If you don't need the third invite, you can leave the 5x12 piece as is because it is large enough to make a card (possibly a thank you card that coordinates with the invitation) or a layer or border for a scrapbook page.

For my invites, I'm making a belly band to go around the invite so if I leave the 5x12 piece as it is, I can cut it into strips for my belly bands. It's also large enough to run through my printer if I want to print the couple's names on the belly bands before cutting. So many more possibilities there than with a bundle of small scraps.

This is also useful when deciding between 12x12 or 8.5x11 paper. Sometimes 12x12 is more expensive, but you can get more items from it so the cost per piece makes more sense.

I hope someone finds this helpful. It takes a few extra minutes, if you're not good at math like me, but it definitely stretches you materials. Happy scrap planning!