tips for using your scrapbook stash

Over the years one of the most common concerns I’ve heard from scrapbookers and papercrafters is how to balance using up items in your craft stash with purchasing fun new craft supplies. While it can be a challenge to use up your scrapbook stash, I’ve picked up a few tips over the years that definitely help with making a dent in your stash.

1. Output vs. Input

While scrapbooking and crafting is a creative activity, there’s definitely an element of math and science to it as well. If you don’t want your scrapbook stash to keep growing, you have to use it up at a rate that equals the amount of supplies you’re adding to it. Or, simply, your output has to at least equal your input.

We all know what input means–shopping, or otherwise collecting new supplies. However, output can be different things. It might mean that you’re creating scrapbook pages and adding them to your albums, that you’re making cards and giving them away to loved ones, that you’re making gifts to give away, or that you’re purging your stash and sharing the love with your crafty friends.

Just remember, to maintain your stash output=input, to reduce your stash output>input. Simple equations.

2. Share Your Creations

If you’re a scrapbooker, your creations are keepers. They’re going into albums for your family and loved ones to enjoy. However, if you’re looking to reduce your stash, consider making a few cards with the scraps left on your desk after you make a layout. Then, next time you need a greeting card, pull from your creations rather than going to your local Hallmark store.

If you’re a cardmaker, consider using your supplies to make gift tags, gift wrap, or home decor items to give away to friends for birthdays and holidays.

The more you give away items you’ve created with your stash, the less stash you’ll have in your creative space.

3. Participate in Creative Challenges

There are several online groups that sponsor regular crafting challenges where members create projects inspired by something and then share them with each other. Being a part of a group like this encourages crafters to create on a regular basis, thus digging into their craft stash on a regular basis. It’s really a win-win!

If you’re looking for something or someone to inspire you to create on a regular basis, take a look at my quarterly series Smash Your Stash over at Big Picture Classes.

Each class focuses on a different part of your scrapbook stash and includes three lessons. Each lesson has a different challenge to inspire you to create a meaningful layout using a certain part of your stash in a fun way. I love student Andrea Friebus’ take on the die cutting challenge, even though she doesn’t have an electronic die cutting machine. She used some patterned paper from her stash, and her craft knife. So clever, and all those triangles look awesome!

I’m putting the finishing touches on the next class in the series, Smash Your Stash | Embellishments, so keep your eyes peeled for that in the next couple of weeks!

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