Saturday, November 10, 2012

Current trends and the noble art of Stash-busting. (Ten things on the Tenth)

Hello and welcome to my November contribution to Shimelle's "ten things on the tenth".  This month I wanted to focus on some different ways of using up those piles of paper off-cuts we all have lurking in our stash.

There are so many paper-crafting trends right now that are compatible with the noble art of stash-busting.  Before you pay top dollar on the latest embellishments, or purchase every latest release paper collection, consider these ten ideas to give your budget a break and your stash a bit of breathing room:

1. Banners, bunting, flags . . .
The more I like an individual patterned paper, the smaller the off-cut I'm willing to keep.  Sound familiar?  Recently I challenged myself to dig out some of those small pieces and make some bunting.  The only problem?  If I was going to use every piece of paper, I would probably have enough bunting to decorate my whole house, rather than just a scrapbook page or two!

2. Rosettes.
These guys are a great way to use off-cuts that you love the colour of more than the design.  Back here I discovered a way of using an argyle print that I wasn't too fond of, by turning it into a rosette.  And since  discovered a cut-file for my Silhouette for making them . . . rosette bliss!

3. Layered embellishments
When I first saw cute embellishments like these layered circles on this cute card by   Lynn Gahary it never occurred to me that they were a purchased embellishment.  Surely someone had just cut the same shape a few times and sewn down the middle!

4. Flowers
Flowers never really do out of style . . . do they?   I made this flower using my Silhouette, but even the oldest, most basic flower punches or of course hand-cut shapes come up a treat with a bit of layering and distressing!

5. Cut the whole sheet of die-cuts
In the past I've always been one to cut my die-cuts on a strict as-needed basis.  But that does produce some rather odd-shaped off-cuts that I end up storing!  So lately I've been experimenting with the idea of cutting the whole sheet.  My parameters: only basic shapes or shapes I tend to use often (think pinked circles, scalloped circles . . . and of course butterflies!) and secondly, I'm storing them in a fairly small container (it's a smallish Stampin Up stamp set box).  If or when that box fills up, I'll stop cutting until it empties out a bit.  So far, it's working great!

6. Copy the technique of your favourite designer, not the products they've used.
My stashbusters board on Pinterest contains many Pins which are actually pages by designers using the latest products.  How does that work?  Because when you try and showcase as many papers as possible on the one page, you probably haven't used too much of each one!  Think layering, think grids, think strips of paper at the top and bottom of the page and think off-cuts first!

7. Titles

I am absolutely in love with this page by Wilna (as I am with every single page of hers I've ever seen) and I totally recommend you watch the video at Studio Calico to learn how she made this cool, layered title, a technique I am dying to try.  But you know what, she cut into three brand new sheets of paper to make that title, and then misted over the top.  Can you tell? I reckon I could use some of my older stash and still feel like I'd achieved the same effect!

8. Welcome back vellum!
I don't even have to think off-cuts when it comes to vellum! I stocked up on so many sheets of the stuff, I don't like to think about it.  So I, for one, am very excited to see all the ways vellum is being used at the moment! On this page, I made a vellum banner and a pocket for my journalling cards.  I've also used vellum in my layering recently, and made vellum confetti pockets (both on this post), as well as making vellum feathers.  Although I haven't used them yet, I've cut some  vellum speech bubbles for my latest Counterfeit Kit.

9.  Project Life
I am so totally excited about starting a Project Life-style album next year. And the good news?  I'll hardly have to buy any supplies. I figure my off-cut stash plus my Silhouette plus my stamps is really all the supplies I need.  I already have a bunch of landscape-oriented photo protectors, so at the most I'll be buying some in other orientations, maybe some neutral cardstock and I'm good to go!

10. Mini notebooks, mini albums, mini anything!
By their very nature, nothing "mini" requires you to start with a full sheet of paper!  My mini notebooks (inspired by Elsie here) were a fun project using only the left-overs of my September Counterfeit Kit and some home-made die-cuts.

Could your bank balance do with a break from spending?  Could your stash benefit from a little busting?  I hope you're feeling a bit inspired! If you do manage some on-trend stash busting, I'd love to hear all about it!


  1. Great ideas here. i have a scraps box which is overflowing so I think i might have a session making embellishments

  2. Thank you for some great ideas will try some of those out for myself

  3. Great tips I love using little offcuts and bits to create my own stash too!

  4. Great ideas, I especially like the layered embellies one, and the idea about cutting whole sheets of die-cuts! x

  5. Fab ideas...I've used a good few of them, so why does my scraps box keep growing? :D