Get your space more organized with our paper scrap storage ideas.
If you are like many people, a new year feels like a fresh start in some ways. What better way to get that feeling than with a tidied up crafting space? And with these paper scrap storage ideas, we can tackle the number one thing paper crafters say is their biggest challenge – all those little pieces we can’t bear to throw away!
First, you have to decide what you define as a “scrap”. For some people it’s anything less than a whole sheet of paper of card stock. For others, it’s slivers. So take a look at what you save and see if there’s any sort of pattern in what you toss in the scrap stack.
Next, take a look at the largest sizes of the pieces you’ve saved in your scrap piles. This will help you decide what size container you need to store them. If you are one of those people for whom anything less than a full sheet is a scrap, consider using full sized file folders, large zipper bags, paper keepers or even hard plastic clamshell style containers. If your pieces are smaller, you can scale your containers down.
Anne from RI told us that she considers anything smaller than a half sheet of either 8 ½” X 11″ or 12″ X 12″ a scrap. The half sheets she tucks back in with her full sized sheets and the other pieces are stored in her scrap bags which are 6″ X 8″ cello bags, organized by color in a basket.
Now, you get to choose your containers for your scraps. And before you do, think about how you USE your scraps. Do you sift through those first? Or do a lot of detailed die cutting? Then you will want them close, handy and easy to get in to. Are scraps something you hold on to even though you hardly every use them? Then they can be tucked away.
Paper Scrap Storage Container Ideas
- Cello bags
- Accordion Folders
- Hanging Files in a Rolling Paper Cart or Pretty Box
- Mini Pizza Boxes
- Hinged Stacking Boxes or Document Keepers
- Paper Sleeves
- Magazine Files
- Plastic Drawers
- Custom Systems
Cara from WI said that she actually tapes a plain envelope – regular for the small and catalog envelopes for the bigger – to the back of her paper pads and stashes the scraps in there. She said this works really well for patterned papers since they all get kept together.
Now, sort! However you’ve decided to organize all these little gems, spread out and get them sorted into the containers you’ve chosen.
Remember, the simpler the system the more likely you are to use it!
For almost everyone we talked with, sorting by COLOR made the most sense. And most people said sticking to basics was easier when searching for something. So think “red”, “pink”, “orange”, etc. rather then “light pink”, “rose”, “hot pink”, “pinky peach”. Too many containers take up too much room and take too long to browse!
Now if you work with only one company you may want to sort your scraps by their color name or catalog release. Whichever way you choose, think about how you LOOK for something rather than how you stash it. Because in the end you won’t use it if you can’t find it!
Identifying Your Scraps
Now that you’ve sorted everything into your containers, there’s one fun step left – identifying what’s in them! This can be as simple as writing it on a plain label or using the color – assuming that’s how you’ve chosen to sort – as the label itself.
Bea from MA sorts her scraps into cello bags and punches a folding tab in the same color to staple to the top of the bag for instant grab and go.
- Washi tape
- Colored masking tape
- A decorative panel of patterned paper
- A punched or die cut element such as a label, flower or arrow
- Strips of matching card stock/paper
- A tiny bow of twine or ribbon
- An embellishment such as a button or sparkling gem
Sammi from CA uses old DVD boxes and ran a length of colored masking tape down each spine so she can spot the right box no matter where it is!
Hopefully these paper scrap storage ideas will get you thinking about how you, too, can wrangle your cherished pile of little bits of goodness into an organized thing of efficient beauty!