Using Real Scraps in Scrapbooking

by | Scrapbooking Ideas, Scrapbooking Supplies | 11 comments

Remember when you were little and you collected all sorts of things like napkins, receipts, and candy wrappers?

Remember when you started scrapbooking, before you let your scrap space be overrun with the latest and greatest (not to mention all the old products you probably will not be using)? A month ago, Ronnie gave you some tips on how to downsize. I guess the theme of my post today is a little bit the same: making pages with less.

A little over two months ago, we moved into our new house. Moving and settling in requires some trips to IKEA (am I right?), and with it – scraps. After getting curtans for our living room, I figured I’d hang on to the scraps, knowing I wanted to use them for something, sometime.

Tips for Using Real Scraps

1. Don’t save it all. If you don’t have any ideas, don’t keep it.

2. Don’t be afraid to try. Not everything you make have to be the best you’ve ever made. Sometimes it’s fun simply to experiment.

3. Don’t worry about using “fake” real scraps. If you see something that wasn’t intended for scrapbooking, but you want to use it for a layout or a card, do it.

Let’s take a look at some layouts using real scraps…

For this striking layout, Aimee Maddern used Studio Calico packaging, real music paper and a doily from a restaurant. Plus, all the papers are from her scrap bin. Now that’s what using real scraps are all about!

On her next layout, Aimee used tags from her recent purchases plus paper from her scrap bin.

One of our new team members, Pam Lozano, has many layouts using scraps – deliberately saved for particular layouts or scraps that would serve a purpose.

The card from the title is a piece of propaganda that came with her Persnickety Prints order that she made work for her layout. I think it looks awesome!

The flower embellishments are actually broken hair clips. Now, that’s scraps!

All the Pepsi-related ephemera is authentic and collected for this layout.

Jess Forster used scrap paper on this very beautiful layout. I love how she kept it simple, yet so striking with the identical photos. It really works with the title!

Lisa Corbin-Polak scanned all the bits from her trip and arranged and printed out on cardstock for the background. In fact, she says this layout made her go digital!

Remember those curtains I told you about? I’ve used them on two layouts so far. They’re excellent as backgrounds! (For this I also used one of June’s Premium Membership sketch templates.)

On my next layout, I used a brown paper bag as “cardstock” and some white wrapping paper as a mat under the photo. You see that rose-paper all the way at the back? That’s wrapper from a lint roller. I saved that wrapper for over two years!

Thank you for joining me today. I hope this post has inspired you to use some of the things you’re hoarding! If you already have, please share your real scraps layout in a comment.

Of course, if you want to scrap now and don’t have any scraps to use, dig into your waste bin and pick out those left-over paper scraps you’ve thrown away?



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  1. Nat

    It kind of makes me chuckle a little bit. To me, scraps are what make a scrapbook more than a photo album. It’s much harder to design around scraps or keepsakes, but the bits that I save are really important (map from our honeymoon, ticket stubs, my wedding bouquet ribbon). I’ve managed to work these into layouts and I think it makes them more timeless.

    • Margrethe


      I know! It’s hard to incorporate real scraps, although it’s what’s scrapbooking is really all about. I totally get you on that using them makes the layouts more timeless. Thank you for commenting 🙂

  2. DorothyCC

    I totally agree with including ticket stubs and other significant items in a scrapbook layout. But I’m having trouble with decorative items such as doilies, wrapping paper, etc. Since they’re not archival, couldn’t they end up damaging your photos years from now? Isn’t it better to use scrapbook supplies that you know are acid and lignin-free? (I assume that anything sold by reputable scrapbook manufacturers is archival and safe to use – at least, I hope so!)

    • Margrethe

      I definitely see what you mean, Dorothy. I think it’s up to each person. I don’t worry that much about it as I never scrap one-of-a-kind photos. If I want to scrap an old photo of a family member, I do so with a copy.

      I also get what you mean when it comes to making sure the photos last for the next generations, really…! I can’t promise that my layouts will be as beautiful i 50 years as they are today, but at least I had fun making them, and for me, that’s part of this hobby too 🙂

    • Nat

      I did a lot of scrapbooking with non-archival bits 10 years ago when I was in high school. The only thing that’s posed a problem are balloons that I deflated for some event and taped into the book.

      The little bits of non-archival stuff here and there like wrapping paper don’t seem to have hurt things thus far.

      • Margrethe

        Good to know, Nat! Thanks for letting us know 🙂

  3. Zaira

    Just like Nat, it made me giggle a bit.

    “Remember when you were little and you collected all sorts of things like napkins, receipts, and candy wrappers?”

    Oh my! Was I supposed to stop doing that already? Please don’t look at me!

    “Remember when you started scrapbooking, before you let your scrap space be overrun with the latest and greatest (not to mention all the old products you probably will not be using)?”

    Funny, because I have never been extremely into the fashions and fads of the industry, but when all was said and done, I came full circle to my initial style of scrapbooking (which I prefer to call, plain and simple, “album making”). The most “latest and greatest” I have ever had was a Cricut E, and 18 months after getting it, I sold it because I had used it just 3 times. (I know how weird I am!)

    Point is, my style of scrapbooking relies on scraps! And even when I save all sort of scrapbooking paper scraps (the bulk of my supplies corner), I’m actually talking about the napkins, and tickets stubs, and labels, ant that kind of sorts. Those pieces of memorabilia are the supporting evidences (the “exhibits”, perhaps?) of the stories I’m telling. They make my books complete.

    I have discovered, though, that in my very personal case, when it comes to memorabilia the first tip (“Don’t save it all. If you don’t have any ideas, don’t keep it.”) works the other way around. If I save everything, in a few weeks the stack “purges itself”. My brain gets past the initial excitement of the event/moment, and I can clearly see what could be a good addition to my layouts, and what would be just wasted space.

    I wish more people saw the value of this kind of scraps into their albums. These put a lot of heart on the already beloved story.

    • Margrethe

      Zaira, you bring up very good points! And I love how you are able to naturally incorporate memorabilia 🙂

    • Nat

      I agree with Zaira in that I do the opposite of Step #1. I don’t expect myself to have ideas right at the outset. I collect items and store them in neat boxes per year. When I get to scrapbooking something, I don’t use everything I saved, but I like having lots of options. What doesn’t get used gets tossed and I reuse the box for a new year.

  4. Claudya Rizhman

    Wow! Great post. In fact, these days i´m seeing more about everithing, and less of scrapbook! This´s the real deal with scrapbooking! xx

    • Margrethe

      Thanks for the nice comment, Claudya! 😀



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