studio clean-up: organizing scraps!

DEFINITION| Scraps; the pieces of card stock or patterned paper you have left over after you make a card


I’m sure that most of you stampers save your scraps. There are many ways to do this. Often, the key to keeping your workspace organized and efficient partly lies in the way that you choose to do this. Organizing is a very personal thing. What works for one person or even many people, might not work for others, you just have to find what works for you and your space.

For as long as I can remember I have been storing my scraps in a basket, like this:

scrap storage

As you can see, it’s overflowing with scraps. I make a lot of cards. I feel like there should be a lot less scraps in my basket because of this. I’ve been working on a project in my studio to try to reclaim some spaces that have not been the most functional and to re-work some areas that have become less efficient and when I got to my scrap basket I realized that this system is clearly failing me.  The whole point of saving scraps is to USE THEM LATER. I stopped for a minute to think about why this isn’t happening as often as it should, why my first instinct during the card-making process isn’t to “go through my scrap basket?”

In giving it some thought, I realized that the basket is SO FULL and the scraps are in there randomly so although I often DO look there for a color I need, I can never find it!  OR I can’t find a large enough piece of it… so I grab a new sheet and make MORE scraps!  YIKES. This basket system is really not working for me. I had to come up with something else… and I’m happy to say that I did and I’m going to share my new system with you now!!

ideas for storing scraps

I love those little plastic drawer sets you can find at discount department stores like Target or WalMart or even online. For many years I have been using several different sizes of those to store all sorts of stamping and scrapbooking supplies, from my Nestie dies, to my small embellishments sorted by category… those drawer sets work great for so many things!  When I was thinking about how to store my scraps so I would use my scraps I decided that the drawer system might be just the way I should do it.

I picked up two sets of drawers for less than $9 each when I was out running errands, took my scrap basket and started sorting the scraps by color into piles/stacks. When I was finished sorting and tossed out all of the “crumbs” I combined a few of the colors I had less of so the 6 color drawers I have are organized like this –  pinks & reds, yellows & oranges, greens, blue-greens, blues & purples and finally, neutrals…

ideas for storing scrap paper

I don’t have or even use a lot of patterned papers. The patterns I use are mostly A Muse|Studio and even the patterns with A|S are monochromatic so for example, I put my cherry polka dot scraps in the pile with the pinks & reds, I put my french roast wood grain in with the neutrals, etc. Keep in mind that this part of the organizing is really personal. It all depends on what you have in your scrap stash and also what makes sense to you. There is no wrong way to do it (unless it continues not to work for you). You can sort your patterns by prominent color, all together in one drawer, or not in the system at all, maybe put them in a folder instead! What ever you think will work for you and get you using those scraps is all that matters. The same is true for the way you combine your piles. I wanted to limit my drawers to six so that they will fit on my counter between the counter surface and the above-cabinets. Because I limited my number of drawers I needed to combine a few of the colors. I have lots of green and I also have lots of blue-green, so I knew they’d need their own drawers. on the other hand I don’t use as much yellow or orange so combining those scraps is no big deal for me. You may have all kinds of space and could do a drawer for each individual color–totally fine! Whatever works for you is the right way to do this.

The end result was very neat and looked very organized. I was very pleased when I saw the results!

craft organization scrap paper organization

I have to say that I was even MORE pleased when I went to make a card for this past week’s clean & simple Sunday (yes, that cute rhino card in bermuda, slate and saffron) and used SCRAPS to make the entire card!

I got out the stamp set, thought about the colors I wanted to use, went to my scrap drawers and pulled out the colors I needed. It was easy to find the big sheets of color, like for the bermuda base card, but also just as easy to find that piece of slate card stock that I needed as well.  When I finished the card there were a few reasonable scraps left next to my trimmer, I just popped them into their color-drawer and my work area was immediately cleaned up! THIS SYSTEM WORKS (at least for me!) and I could not be happier with it. Just wanted to share my new system in case you too, need a little inspiration to get using your scraps.  Have a lovely day…





  1. Kristine~ thanks for the peek inside your studio! One of my new year’s resolutions for this year was to be more organized, so this fits right into my plan. The drawer sets that I have are far too big, so things end up still getting lost in them. I love the idea of having these small ones!

  2. I love using my scraps too! I like your new system. Right now I have mine in plastic page protectors held together by a ring (which has flown open or I’ve turned the protectors wrong side up – both very messy!). 🙂

  3. That scrap basket looks exactly like mine. I so identify with all that you said – especially hardly ever looking through the scrap basket for scraps. Thanks for these ideas and sharing your photos. Have a blessed day.

  4. I love this idea. I have my scraps in folders that are bulging plus all over my work table…. I need to be able to see what I have at a glance, and those clear drawers offer the perfect solution!! Wild Bills, here I come!! XXOO

  5. Great tips! I do the same thing- endless cycles of scraps! Thanks for the idea!