scrapbook project
Click here to save with this month's special offer!

Using Your Scraps
By: Tessa Bundy

Making the most of your scraps is a great way to economize your favorite papers, but it's also a fun chance to try a great new look. Or maybe you are just searching for a technique to get as many of your favorite patterns on one page as possible!

Rather than starting with a patterned paper background and building our spread around it, we'll start with a plain cardstock backdrop and begin adding layers of patterned paper elements to build our layout. Assembling patterned paper quilts and collages requires less method than you'd think. This technique allows you to throw together papers you'd never think of combining, and they look great! You'll want to pick a mix of patterns as well as lighter and darker colors.

This page uses scraps from 9 different papers out of the Retro Sarapapers™ book, blending two different color schemes.

Best Friends Page
Designer: Tessa Bundy

scrapbook project
Click to enlarge



  1. PATTERNED PAPER QUILT: Start by choosing about 7 patterned papers. Cut one or two 2 1/2" squares of each paper (you will need 9 pieces total). Add pen-work borders to each piece, drawing double lines along each edge. Don't worry about making the lines straight - keep your hand loose and let the lines wobble, weaving in and out of one another. Now cut an 8 1/4" square of brown cardstock matting. Arrange your pieces spaced evenly on the matting. Experiment with the arrangement until you find the best balance - you can repeat a pattern more than once. Similar patterns don't need to be kept in the same orientation. Once you've found an arrangement you like, glue the pieces in place.
  2. COLLAGE PHOTO FRAME: Cut a 5 7/8" square of brown cardstock matting. Attach a 5" square photo to the center. Now choose about 5 patterned papers. Cut a 1" wide x 4 3/4" long strip of each paper. Stand each strip on end. Make a mark 1/4" in along the top edge and another 3/4" in along the bottom edge. Use a straight-edge and your X-acto® knife to cut each strip in two, running your knife diagonally between the two marks. (*For a simpler version you could forego the angle and just cut each strip in half down the middle). Now match up halves of different patterned papers. Arrange the new strips around the edges of the photo, starting your first strip 1/8" in from the upper left corner and working clockwise so that each strip extends to one corner of the frame, leaving 1/8" border brown cardstock all around. Once you've found an arrangement you like glue to pieces in place. Add pen-work, drawing a double line around both the outer and inner edges of the frame. Lift this finished piece on a double layer of foam tape.
  3. PHOTO FILMSTRIP: Cut a 3 1/4" strip of brown cardstock. Trim three black and white photos to 2" wide by 3" tall. Attach two of the photos next to each other against the left edge, and the remaining photo against the right edge.
  4. BORDER WITH RIBBON SCRAPS: Sometimes we end up cutting away the beautiful border of a paper in order to use the solid portion for matting on our page. If you have any of those left-over borders lying around, here's a chance to put them back in the spotlight. (I've used the brown ribbons and dots border from the pink paper.) Trim the border to 9" wide. Using 1/4" hole punch (standard sized) punch holes across the top of the border. I've used the dots as guides, making holes every 9/16" (you could also make marks along the edge of your border every 9/16" to 3/4" and use your marks as guides for punching the holes.) Now here's a chance to use any ribbon scraps you've been holding onto. Often times we end up with trimmings and left-overs of ribbons that aren't quite long enough to tie a bow, but are still too long to warrant being thrown away. Put those odd and ends to use now by tying a simple knot of ribbon through each hole. Alternate with different colors and types. You'll want pieces that are close to 3 1/2" long. The tips can be trimmed at angles to even off frayed ends. Now punch out two ivory monograms. Cover with patterned paper - but don't go all the way! Apply glue to the back of the paper then turn and place over just the right portion of the monogram (the tiniest of scraps can be used here!). Cut away the excess. On the blank portion of the monogram, journal a word in black pen. ("B" – "best"; "F" – "friend"). Attach monograms along right portion of border strip, about 1/2" from the bottom of the strip.
  5. TEMPLATE SHAPES: Another idea is using a template to turn your scraps into quick and easy shapes. Using Easy Circles Template, trace lines for 5", 4", and 3" circles onto gold glimmer paper. (If you don't have enough paper for the entire shape, don't worry, most of it will be overlapped with other elements on the page!) Cut lines of each circle (for the inner circles, clip into the circle from one side – this side can be covered up later). When done, you should have two circle frames and one inner circle – you can set the inner circle aside as a scrap for later. Finish the circle frames by drawing broken lines around the outer and inner edges.
  6. BACKGROUND AND ASSEMBLY: Start with a piece of white cardstock. Draw a double line border loosely around the outer edges. Now attach the different layers you've prepared (You may want to lay them out first to get a feel for their placement.) Start with the smaller circle frame and the border section at the top of the page. Leave about 3/4" from the right edge and 1 1/2" from the top of the page. Then add the quilted square, 3/8" in from the left edge and about 1" from the bottom. Layer the larger circle frame over the bottom right corner of the quilted square. Add the photo filmstrip across the page, 2 1/2" from the bottom. Foam tape framed photo between photos on filmstrip, leaving about 3/4" of quilted square showing along bottom. Once pieces have been placed, add journaling to the circles.

FREE project ideas - Join our email list