The 4 Stash-Digging Practices That Generate New Scrapbook Page Ideas

Got stash?

Whether that pile of scrapbook supplies is paper or digital, these 4 approaches will have you looking at your supplies in new ways–with two goals: 1) to use your stash, and 2) to make scrapbook pages with new looks you’ll love.

Get ready to:

  1. Rethink function,
  2. Find strength in numbers,
  3. Make an arrangement, and
  4. Be transformative!


1. Rethink function

Duct tape was originally developed to keep military ammunition cases dry during World War II. It was referred to as “Duck Tape” because of its ability to repel water. When soldiers returned home after the war, many of them worked in the booming housing market–on building sites. They remembered this strong tape from their military work and recommended its use to hold heating and ventilation ductwork together. Soon it was made in silver to match the ductwork — thus the evolution of its name to “Duct Tape.”

Take out one of your scrapbook products: What have you typically used it for? What could you use it for?


The foundation on Tami Taylor’s “Giving Credit” was made with a pack of rub-on alphas that were missing too many crucial characters.

Tami says, “I laid down a piece of paper that was cut on a curve, used that as a guideline and just started putting the letters down.”

(One more stash-busting tip: With four sons, Tami doesn’t have a lot of use for floral embellishments, so she covered a floral chipboard circle with a bingo card and used it to mat her photo.)

Giving Credit by Tami Taylor


2. Find Strength in Numbers

Not only does using a whole bunch of something get you using up your stash, it can be the design choice that makes these products look good on your page.

Combine product by unifying around:

  • Color: Gather elements that share a color scheme
  • Motif: Gather all your heart (or flower or hot-air-balloon) embellishments of different materials and styles and combine them on the page.
  • Theme: Gather all of your elements that have to do with a theme like Halloween or sports or beach and use them together.

Emily Pitts says, “Sometimes the best way to use up your stash is to go all out and use every last bit on one page.”

“I had this great pack of chipboard and started with just the bird shapes, but decided I needed more so I added the flowers. At that point, I had used half the pack so I decided to simply add the rest and call it good. When that even didn’t seem enough, I added all the periods from a red alphabet. I love how it ‘punctuates’ the design!”

Chubby Knees by Emily Pitts


3. Make an arrangement

Grab a whole bunch of those leftovers–be they tags, brads, alphas, flowers, ribbons or something else–and arrange them:

  • in layers
  • in a cluster
  • in stacks
  • in a series
  • outlining a shape

Got a stack of manilla tags? Use them to create a border or foundation for your page. Debbie created a vertical border on the left side of her layout with 4 tags, and she made a horizontal border with four more of them on the right side of the layout. She also dug into her stash to use buttons and bows to top each of the tags on the right side.

Happy 15th by Debbie Hodge

4. Be transformative

One of the easiest ways to make product work with any page is to “change it up!”

You can paint, ink, distress, re-cover, re-color, and even dismantle supplies to give them fresh uses. Try any of these:

  • Take it apart.
  • Cover it.
  • Recolor it.
  • Distress it.
  • Collage old bits to make a new whole element.

The pom pom banner on “Beautiful Bride” by Emily Pitts was originally a ribbon of pom poms.

“I didn’t like how it looked,” said Emily, “with each pom pom hanging down from a string all attached to a heavier looking anchor.”

What’s more, Emily found that the pom poms didn’t lay on the paper right. She said, “I made it work for me. I cut each of the pom poms off and strung them on bakers twine to make my own banner. It was exactly the look I was going for and shows that it’s OK to dismember your products if need be.”

Beautiful Bride by Emily Pitts

Consider posting these 4 suggestions near your workspace:

  • Rethink function
  • Find strength in numbers
  • Make an arrangement
  • Be transformative
And be sure to let us know how you next use your stash in a new and pleasing way.

3 Responses to The 4 Stash-Digging Practices That Generate New Scrapbook Page Ideas

  1. Linda Bailey Bizjak February 18, 2012 at 11:56 am #

    Wow! these were some really cool ideas. Makes me want to get right in there and start using up some stash. Thanks for the boost Debbie. Linda

  2. Peg in CO February 21, 2012 at 8:18 pm #

    Oh, my gosh, that tag idea was just what I needed to see. I was just commenting to my crafting buddies about these vellum tags that I said I was going to die owning and lamenting a bad purchase even if they were on clearance(the way sooooo many long time members of my stash have come to live there). Maybe not! Will be trying this out very soon!


  3. Cathie in Ut February 22, 2012 at 3:06 pm #

    Thanks for the great ideas for making “new” from the “old”.
    I will be sure to keep the 4 words in mind as I scrapbook with my stash

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