Sunday, May 20, 2007

Scrapbook Organization - Paper


When I first started scrapping, I didn't put too much thought into how I'd store my paper. I saw people using the wire cubes (from Target) with zip ties to create 1.5" shelves to horizontally store paper.

This system works for a lot of people. It's easy. It's cost effective, and you can see your paper. You can also buy cubes (Michaels, Jo-Ann, Container Store, etc) that have paper shelves already in them. Purchasing plastic and wire paper shelves (like stores use) are also great options.

I decided that I didn't like that the paper was "loose" just sitting on a shelf. I needed it contained. I was SO thrilled when I found the Cropper Hopper Vertical Storage holders. They are perfect for me.

First I just used one or two for all my cardstock, and separated the colors by 12x12 tabs that you could buy to fit in the holders. Then I found the Cropper Hopper Paper Pouches, and they worked great! One pouch for each color.

This system worked wonders for me. If I needed yellow cardstock, I'd grab the yellow Paper Pouch. I had all my yellow cardstock in that one Pouch, so I didn't have loose cardstock floating all over my desk.

I soon outgrew those and moved on to the Vertical Storage holders, again, one per color (well, orange and yellow share, as do black and brown. I keep my cardstock in ROY G BIV order (pink after red and brown/black/white to follow violet).

These are just a few ways to store your paper. You can also keep them in page protectors in an album. Or a 12x12 accordion file. Or a hanging file folder solution.

If you have minimal time to scrap or you often scrap away from home, picking out your cardstock each time you get new patterned paper may also be an idea. Some websites have cardstock colors already chosen (takes out the guess-work) that coordinate with certain lines. So when you go to a certain kit or paper collection, you'd have the coordinating cardstock already there with it!

You could also keep all your red patterned papers with all your red cardstock... instead of having patterned paper and cardstock separated.

In addition to sorting by color, you could also sort your cardstock by manufacturer and/or texture. There are SO many textures out there now. At CHA, I noticed American Crafts have added several new textures (including silk!), and I can't wait to try them!

Organizing and storing patterned paper can be tricky, but there are two ways that are most common: organizing by color and organizing by manufacturer. I have most my paper sorted by manufacturer, but there is just a bit that I sort by color (lesser known brands, ones I don't use often, or the "by the sheet" from the larger chain stores).

I love project folders or envelopes to store my patterned paper. They can hold scraps and anything else that coordinates, and I love that. What's even better is that usually the Cropper Hopper Vertical Storage holders can hold folders or envelopes.

These project folders or envelopes are great for holding full collections (like those from Basic Grey, for example) or whole kits (like Studio Calico!)... so everything is together, in one place when you need it.

You can store your patterned paper in the same container as your cardstock... or not. Vertically or horizontally. It amazes me how the possibilities are endless when it comes to storage. Everyone is different... try different things to see what works best for you!


Unless you throw away all your scraps (does anyone do that?!), you’ll need to decide on a storage solution for your scraps… both patterned paper and cardstock.

I love keeping all my patterned paper scraps in their original home. I keep them in small acid free envelopes inside Craft Keeper envelopes or project pouches. If they’re larger scraps, you can just drop them back in with the patterned paper.

Patterned paper scraps can be incorporated with your cardstock scraps, or you can keep them separate. You can separate them by color, or keep all the colors together.

Accordion files work great for organizing scraps. You can buy a small accordion file (used for bills or coupons) to house smaller scraps and keep the larger scraps with the original patterned papers and cardstock papers. You can also purchase larger accordion files (8.5x11 or 12x12) for scraps. These are pretty easy to find, and they take up relatively little space.

You can also store scraps in hanging file folders. Most office supply stores… and The Container Store… these days sell portable or desktop filing systems. I found this works great because you can take out a whole file folder (full of, say, blue scraps) and bring it to your workspace. They’re all nicely contained, and you can keep it there until you’re finished digging through it to find just the right scrap. :) With both the hanging file folder and accordion file method, you can usually have enough room to hold both cardstock and patterned paper scraps together.

If you decide to store your cardstock in Cropper Hopper Vertical Storage holders or Paper Pouches, you can keep scraps in a 2nd Cropper Hopper Paper Pouch or a project holder (or sticker holder) to keep them close to your cardstock.

I find that the more accessible my scraps are, the more I use them. So the closer they are to my patterned paper and cardstock, the better.

You could also keep scraps in Sterilite drawers or clear plastic “project cases.” If you keep these containers close to your other papers, again, you’re more likely to use them.

How someone else stores their scraps may not work for you. You may use your scraps for only cards or mini books. You could create a special container/drawer/basket/bucket full of supplies for cards and mini books… and this place could include all your scraps.

Whichever route you choose, choose what’s best for you and how *you* scrap.

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