Saturday, March 10, 2012

10 Ways to use Ugly Paper

Ugly may be a bit harsh, but don't we all have some paper lounging in our scrapbook stash that just never works.  Maybe it is a bit thin, or too themed, or it just never matches anything no matter how hard you try.  It's nearly spring and time to weed out stuff we don't need so we can make way for lots of new goodies.  So, for the "10 Things" at, here are some ideas on what to do with paper you can't seem to place on a page:

 1.  Use as a background for paper piecing your 'real' background.  If you are putting together quadrants or strips of pattern paper for your page, use a cast-off sheet for the base.  Turn it over to the white side if it isn't printed on both sides for less distraction.  Using a base often lets me use less of my really good stuff and stretch it to multiple projects.

2.  Test out your die cuts.  Using the same weight paper can really help determine if the Cricut or other cutter will get you what you really want.
3.  Use old designer paper or cardstock to create masks or templates.
4.  Use plainer paper for a test print.  I have a wide format printer and often print my journaling right on my background paper.  I always do a test print, or 2 or 3 to get the printing where I want it in the right size and color.  The white backing of designer paper printed on only one side is perfect.
5.  Use as scratch paper for stamping off, painting, misting, etc.   This may seem obvious, but I sometimes hesitate to use my designer paper for scratch paper even when I know it won't make it to a scrapbook page.
6.  Practice your stitching.  Want to give sewing on your pages a try?  Grab some of that awful paper and some thread and practice away!
7.  Line an envelope.  If the paper has a pleasing print but it is just too flimsy or maybe not a perfect match for a page, it might make a great envelope liner for an extra special delivery.
8.  Use thinner papers to create treat bags like this one

Here is the template:

Take a 12x12 piece of designer paper and fold at 4" in from each side and then again at 3" in from each side.  
With scissors, trim off 1" from one edge all but the middle 4" section.  
Fold that 4"x1" section up and trim the edge with decorative scissors if desired.  
Tuck the sides in so that the bottom of the bag is flat.  
Glue the back one section overlaying the other side and glue the bottom flap up.  

9.  Cut out a design or some wording from a themed paper.  Maybe the paper overall is too busy to work on a page, but small portion may work on a page or a card.  For example "Happy" from Happy Birthday paper could be used for lots of layouts.
10.  Use as a backdrop for taking photos of completed projects.  I have some thin papers with pleasing distressed prints that are great to use as backgrounds for photographing my cards.
    Of course you can always donate to a school, senior center or other worthy cause if you just want that paper out of your way.  

    Thanks for dropping by!  Visit for other 10 Things list for this month.


    1. 10 fab uses for ugly paper thanks for sharing

    2. Some great ideas here....I have far too much 'ugly' paper!!

    3. Good ideas....I work in a nursery and tend to take my not so beautiful paper there for them to use in the art area. Maybe i will have to re-think that.

    4. Great list & good ideas...I make mine into note pads or notebooks. Your'e right, sometimes a smaller amount of something not so attractive, looks better.

    5. Great ideas! Love the treat bag. :)

    6. Great ideas...thank you Lisa:) I think i might try the bag one for small gifts.

    7. Some great ideas, thanks for sharing.

    8. had to laugh at your blog post title-oh yes we all have some of that paper dont we-thanks fo rsome ways to use it woithout actually throwing it away

    9. Great ideas! I have a box waiting to be donated right now. Didn't think of the other great ideas you gave!

    10. Great ideas. I give all of mine to a friend who scraps with five other women. I guess between them, all my rejects find a home!

    11. Excellent ideas that I had never thought of! Thanks for sharing! :)


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