31 Days to A Frugal Papercrafter

It’s time again!!  If you are new to Amazing Paper Grace, read about our 31 Days Challenge to get started.  We’re into a new month, so we have a new topic!!!  You might ask what happen to the last topic?  Well, we had almost 300 fabulous tips submitted, yay! I’m attempting to read through them and rank them.  I hope (strong emphasis on hope) to have them done within a week.  In the meantime . . .

This is the topic of conversation for March – 31 Days To A Frugal Papercrafter.  Now we’ve played with this one before in blog candy and the tips were a.mazing!  You all share frugal tips every day in emails to me and in your comments, so here’s your chance – leave your best tips on how to conserve, economize, be frugal in your papercrafting here to become a part of our ongoing peer to peer tip base.   Here is an example of how all the tips will look, once edited, when they are published after 31 days.

1. Never throw away baby wipes when done cleaning a stamp where you’ve

used vibrant inks.  They can be used to create backgrounds for cards.

Submitted by Becca Feeken at www.amazingpapergrace.com

Add your comment (more than one is acceptable) some time during the month of March. I’ll edit and publish 31 of them at the end of the month. One randomly selected name will get some goodies.

Access to this conversation throughout the month can also be found at the top of the blog under Features and on my sidebar under “To a Frugal Papercrafter”.

  • HeyGirlyMarch 3, 2011 - 1:15 am

    Keep a good portion of your paper pre-cut. I make cards, journals and ATC’s. So I find that if I precut card stock, chipboard and corrugated board in the sizes I use most often I have more time to be creative.ReplyCancel

  • Susan GMarch 3, 2011 - 1:19 am

    I make cards for OPERATION WRITE HOME, so there are a small handful of sentiment stamps I use OFTEN, usually with memento tuxedo black ink. I do not clean them off when I am done making cards that day or whatever, the next time i use them (each one) I simply huff on the stamp, and I get one good stamp out of it before I have to hit the ink pad again.ReplyCancel

  • Yo GlennMarch 3, 2011 - 1:26 am

    When I have small snippets of paper (pieces that would normally go right in the trash) left over from cutting larger pieces, I immediately glue it on to a piece of cardstock that will eventually end up as a mosaic collage. The background color of the cardstock acts as the grout in between the pieces. I have several going at one time. A page can be done with monotones, color combos, like patterns such as florals, polka dots, stripes, or any other combination, and when the page is full, I can use it as a background for a card/scrapbook page or for any other ideas that are usually floating around in my head. I hardly ever throw a piece of scrap paper, no matter how small, away.ReplyCancel

  • Debby WalkerMarch 3, 2011 - 1:28 am

    Make sure you know what you already own, so you do not buy duplicates…I have done this…opps…lol

    Debby WReplyCancel

  • Merrily SchulzMarch 3, 2011 - 1:30 am

    Love that idea, forget when I am stamping, Thanks.ReplyCancel

  • TrishaMarch 3, 2011 - 2:11 am

    Instead of buying chipboard I use cereal boxes, tissue boxes, or other solid type cardboard box. Depending on what the product is the cardboard can be thinner or thicker, so keep several thicknesses on hand. Generally I cut the boxes into pieces on the seams, into useable pieces and store with my cardstock. I know it is not quite the same as chipboard but I find it works for me and is free, which is exactly the right price ;-)ReplyCancel

  • JudithMarch 3, 2011 - 2:18 am

    I save my brown paper bags and make flowers out of them. I always recycle.ReplyCancel

  • Mrs. HamMarch 3, 2011 - 2:20 am

    Great tidbit. You learn something new everyday.ReplyCancel

  • RenateMarch 3, 2011 - 2:21 am

    I use really cheap transparant nailpolish to add glitter onto things. It is a perfect glue and the scent will quickly disappear if you put your card on display for a couple of hours before packaging it. A small jar can last a long time


  • FernandaMarch 3, 2011 - 2:26 am

    I will be making an inventory of all my papercrafting supplies and documenting the info in a journal. I plan on having the supplies listed in separate catagories ex. punches, dies, ink pads, glitter, and so on. This will eliminate duplicating items and make shopping so much easier. Now let’s see how fast I can do this as I have trillions of supplies lol!ReplyCancel

  • FernandaMarch 3, 2011 - 2:32 am

    oops forgot-I use my magazine pages with my various punches and would think that Spellbinders would work just as great!ReplyCancel

  • DebraMarch 3, 2011 - 2:43 am

    I index my stamps in a 3-ring binder with the images stamped by set, as well as singularly, for future reference. Before I buy a new stamp, I check to see what I already have, in case I already have one that will meet the “need” just as well, or even better than the one I’m considering buying. I’m often surprised at how many stamps I don’t end up buying because of having this reference! I’ve been so surprised by how much $$ I’ve saved!ReplyCancel

  • pamelaMarch 3, 2011 - 2:46 am

    I use the patterned insides of used envelopes for backing papers ,flowers etc
    they are usually thrown out into trash but many are beautiful….and they are free !!ReplyCancel

  • BernieMarch 3, 2011 - 2:50 am

    Woo Hoo I was hoping this topic would come up! I’m cheap. LOL
    I make my own stamp cleaner.
    2 Tablespoons glycerin (in the Rx dept.)
    8 oz. filtered water
    1 teaspoon baby wash
    Place in a small spray bottle ($1 Store)

    I made my own stamp scrubber. I put some cheap paint edger refills (hardware store) in a Huggies baby wipe travel container ($1 at WM)
    My cleaner and scrubber work great together.
    When using Stazon ink I stamp on my Versamark pad first. My stamps look like new.
    Blessings BernieReplyCancel

  • cynthia beynonMarch 3, 2011 - 3:00 am



  • Rosemarie MenassasMarch 3, 2011 - 3:57 am

    I use parts of cards I have received as embellsihments on new cards I am making. For instance, punch out a poinsettia from a Christmas card and back it with green card stock, then add it as an element actross a ribbon on a new card stock base. Or a bouquet of flowers from a birthday card. Look at those cards you receive to see how you can reuse at least parts of them.ReplyCancel

  • Dianne CMarch 3, 2011 - 4:20 am

    I keep a file on hand for scraps of paper, one for white, one for darker colours and one for the lighter tones. You never know when you will need a smaller piece of paper. This way they are easier to find. DianneReplyCancel

  • ReneeMarch 3, 2011 - 4:33 am

    I use the cardboard that comes inside the pantyhose packages to make mini albums. They are thin and with round corners.ReplyCancel

  • kathy sMarch 3, 2011 - 4:34 am

    when i’m cutting out matts for my projects I usually do a double matt and if there is an image on top then all that the paper which is hidden under each layer is cut out using the same shape- I then have smaller matts for different projects and if I want to make a set they all coordinate with less work.ReplyCancel

  • ReneeMarch 3, 2011 - 4:35 am

    I reuse all the Prima flowers packages. The shapes are beautiful,. You can paint them and use as embellishments.ReplyCancel

  • shortscrapperMarch 3, 2011 - 4:39 am

    When I get a new shirt or any piece of clothing that has buttons, I save the extra button that comes with it to use with my crafts. Also, any jacket or sweater that has buttons but is not salvageable, I cut off the buttons and save them. I also cut the pockets off old jeans that can’t be salvaged to use on scrapbook pages or covers.ReplyCancel

  • shortscrapperMarch 3, 2011 - 4:40 am

    Here’s another one . . . for those of us who have a Cricut, I use the cheap plastic putty knives to scrap bits of paper off my mats. I can get them in different sizes for $1.00 at the dollar store.ReplyCancel

  • Edna TaylorMarch 3, 2011 - 5:12 am

    When cutting background dp’s I always cut the largest first e.g. 5 1/2″ x 5 1/2″. I then cut out the centre to use as a smaller mat and if I need it I cut the sentiment mat from that piece. In effect I get three mats for the price of one. The others are covered up by the layer following, so my handiwork is not visible.
    It’s really helpful when I have only got a small piece of a particular paper left and don’t want to waste it. :)ReplyCancel

  • JennyS (UK)March 3, 2011 - 5:25 am

    I cut the ribbon hangers out of tops and jumpers as I never use them and they always seem to pop out of your clothes and not stay hidden. I’ve got a box of lovely satin ribbon pieces doing this.
    I also save the tags off new clothes as they can be covered with paper pieces etc to use as tags for your projects.ReplyCancel

  • AnneMarch 3, 2011 - 5:30 am

    Great topic this mont Becca.
    I never through out any acetate type packaging. I use it to cut shapes with my cricut or cuttlebug. Snowflakes especially look wonderful if you add some glitter
    Anne xReplyCancel

  • Martha HMarch 3, 2011 - 5:33 am

    I save all my scraps of paper. After sorting the scraps by color, I place them in large envelopes. On the side of the envelope, I put a piece of paper that has the corresponds with the color of paper inside. When I need a small piece to add, I just go to the envelope with that color paper enclosed. Saves on cutting up a large piece.ReplyCancel

  • FranCineMarch 3, 2011 - 5:43 am

    I’ll take my scraps of cardstock and punch them out with different shape punches ,stamp a sentiment on the punch out, so then I always have sentiments ready to mount and place on my cards.ReplyCancel

  • HeatherMarch 3, 2011 - 6:11 am

    I like to purchase dowloadable papers so I can print them and use them whenever I need to … buy once, have forever :)ReplyCancel

  • HeatherMarch 3, 2011 - 6:11 am

    *downloadable* LOLReplyCancel

  • Ann WallMarch 3, 2011 - 6:12 am

    I keep corrugated cardboard packaging and use this instead of using sticky pads (dimensionals to you in the US) to raise layers, cut the cardboard slightly smaller that the layer stick it on the back and hey presto!!!! you can use different thicknesses to get differing heights. Much cheaper.ReplyCancel

  • HeatherMarch 3, 2011 - 6:19 am

    I save toilet paper and paper towel rolls to use for my crafting supplies – such as my craft mats. I have 2 sizes of mats – large and small. I cut the papertowel roll down so I could have my large mat sticking out when rolled up inside and used the remaining piece for my smaller mat. I covered the rolls with dp (even covering the bottom so the mat didn’t slide out) then using velcro, put the two rolls together. Then used velcro to stick the rolls to my cabinet door. The mats are out of the way but accessible.ReplyCancel

  • PattyMarch 3, 2011 - 6:31 am

    Great idea, thanks, never thought of this.
    Have a great day Becca!ReplyCancel

  • lois skiathitisMarch 3, 2011 - 6:35 am

    Keep your scraps to be used for flowers and maybe even a mosiac style card. Great topic Becca. As always Becca, TFS!!! :-DReplyCancel

  • ileanaMarch 3, 2011 - 6:36 am

    Hi Becca, this is my first time participating on these challenges of yours, hope my tip helps somebody!

    I never throw away the waste of my colored pencils when I sharpen them, I use these to rub on paper to make backgrounds or color the background of an image (hope it makes sense…).

    Have a great day! Hugs,ReplyCancel

  • Beth B.March 3, 2011 - 7:03 am

    What a great topic, and so many tidbits posted already! Ya know all the envys you receive with your bills, to mail your payment in? If you pay online like I do, use these (they have patterned insides) on cards, or cut into strips for iris folding projects. A great way to recycle, and the price is right! :)ReplyCancel

  • AnneMarch 3, 2011 - 7:05 am

    I save the cord handles that come on some bags when you buy clothes or shoes and re-use them on bags I make. I haven’t looked yet, but I wondered if I could find some inexpensive flexible transparent tubing at a DIY store, to encase the cord so that the handles look really professional.
    Anne (UK) xReplyCancel

  • Gill AllardiceMarch 3, 2011 - 7:14 am

    Cut through egg shells to sharpen your craft scissors. Works every time. :-)ReplyCancel

  • Sue OMarch 3, 2011 - 7:29 am

    Instead of buying multiple colored ribbon, color your own using Tombow markers! Simply use anything that water won’t absorb into, such as a Teflon mat, freezer paper ( shiny side up ) or even recycle a meat tray once washed…….scrub your colored Tombow onto the surface and spritz with water till you have a colored puddle…simply roll some white ribbom of your choice into the color. You can either leave the ribbon is a ball to dry so it looks crinkled, or iron it after dry. This way you will have ribbon that matches the marker you are using. Good idea to wear gloves when dying the ribbon or you’ll have pretty colored fingers!
    If using Copics, you can simply run your marker over the ribbon kind of coloring it in, again ribbon that matches your marker and no need to run around looking for that perfect match!ReplyCancel

  • Maureen ChandlerMarch 3, 2011 - 7:32 am

    I never buy stamping supplies without a coupon. I also save small pieces of patterned paper and paper that I have painted or colored myself. I attach them together and emboss and have a beautiful background that is different every time. I recycle almost everything – including plastic packaging which can be run through the Big Shot with embossing folders. I use jam jars on a turntable for pens, markers, paint brushes, etc.

    Thanks for sharing all the wonderful ideas – we can all save the planet and create art at the same time! Hugs!!ReplyCancel

  • holly ThompsonMarch 3, 2011 - 7:46 am

    wow such great ideas! I go to the local hardware store to get “metal tape” its much cheaper then at the craft store. You can also find neat cheap handles if you make any boxes.ReplyCancel

  • Mary JaneMarch 3, 2011 - 7:47 am

    My favorite way to save money is to punch something out of the cardstock you are using when you layer to make a card. Example — folded card, layering piece that has a punched middle, then the top layer of cardstock that you have decorated. You can’t see that the midde is missing, and you get free punches.

    Mary JaneReplyCancel

  • Marlene IacuzziMarch 3, 2011 - 7:50 am

    I picked up a large accordian manilla folder in the dollar store. I alphabetized the sections. All of my smaller paper and cardstock leftover pieces go there: etc. The B section gets black, blue, brown; the P section gets purple. It stands up on the floor and saves me time when I need a little bit of a certain color.ReplyCancel

  • Deborah HooperMarch 3, 2011 - 7:54 am

    I have a binding system that makes little square holes. I keep those little square pieces and when I have enough, I spread glue on a piece of cardstock and place those little squares down. You can them cut a shape from the cardstock. It reminds me of eggshell mosaics we used to make in vacation bible school.ReplyCancel

  • Kim KramerMarch 3, 2011 - 7:56 am

    When I first started scrapbooking and card making, I didn’t have and couldn’t afford many supplies. But everywhere I looked from kitchen junk drawers to my husband’s tool box held a wealth of goodies to use on themed projects. I began to look at everything, especially flat objects, as how I could use them on my projects. Like bottle caps and the little spoons that come in tuna snacks. And washers for vintage projects. Later, I began to see reproductions of that exact same stuff from the tool boxes and junk drawers, selling in stores. Then I just asked friends and family to save their stuff for me. Now I have a ton of it and never paid a dime for it.

    Good luck and have fun on YOUR treasure hunt ;)
    -Kim K.ReplyCancel

  • CarrolMarch 3, 2011 - 7:56 am

    I keep an inventory of all my supplies. Sometimes I see something and can’t remember if I’ve bought it already or have just seen it on a website. It took a long time to do initially. Once it’s done you simply update everytime you make a purchase. I never buy duplicates anymore.

    Also, being in Canada supplies can be very expensive. I plan day trips to the Niagara Falls, NY area periodically. On one of the main streets right in a row is AC Moore, Joanns and Michaels. I get coupons sent to me from each of these stores via email. I print off a few from each store and my husband will take the more expensive items to different checkouts. You can save a ton of money this way.ReplyCancel

  • AnitaMarch 3, 2011 - 8:05 am

    When I punch flower petals out of measured CS, I leave a slight edge so the remaining CS can be used for layering when only the edge will show. Is that clear as mud?ReplyCancel

  • Jeanielou KaufmanMarch 3, 2011 - 8:08 am

    I have several…I clean my dauber on a piece of paper and use as background layer, looks like bubbles and… I do use old dryer sheets as mulberry paper. I color them with food coloring. I use the candy papers from boxes of candy as fans for my Oriental cards. I use the inside of envelopes for the iris folding theme cards. I use clean nail polish for a glassy look, and I have used the cosmetic cakes found in dollar stores for painting.
    Happy crafting.

  • Heidi GoreMarch 3, 2011 - 8:15 am

    I made my own shimmery watercolor paints by taking a regular child’s watercolor paint box and pearl ex. I popped out the hardened watercolor paints and put them in little containers (that formerly had embellishments in them). Add about 2 T of water and let them dissolve overnight. Once they are completely dissolved add about 1/4 t of pearl ex and stir. Now let them sit on a windowsill to evaporate all the water (may take a couple days). They are now ready to use. You can create your own colors by mixing paint and pearl ex.ReplyCancel

  • Kim KramerMarch 3, 2011 - 8:19 am

    Also, I buy Classico Italian Sauce for my pasta dishes. Those jars are Mason jars! They even have just a one piece lid. I use them for ribbon, buttons, tiny pieces of anything I have a lot of. Thanks for this topic, Becca, I’ve read everyone so far. I’m hooked on all the great tips. -Kim K.ReplyCancel

  • Fonda TottenMarch 3, 2011 - 8:27 am

    Nothing to share right now, but wanted to say thanks to everyone else for the great ideas!ReplyCancel

  • robyn mooreMarch 3, 2011 - 8:27 am

    instead of buying pop dots, I use styrofome trays and cut to the size I need then use a touch of glue on both sides, works like a charm and is cheap, cheap, cheap!ReplyCancel

  • Nancy SandersMarch 3, 2011 - 8:29 am

    When I finish a scrapbook page, I take my remaining scraps and cut as many as I can into either 4 7/8 x 6 7/8 or 4 1/8 x 5 3/8 pieces. I keep these in a box so I have ready-to-go backgrounds for my 5×7 or 4 1/4 x 5 1/2 cards.ReplyCancel

  • Judy CoveyMarch 3, 2011 - 8:30 am

    I use removable double sided tape over and over until it has no more stick to it. Once used, I just remove it from my paper/cardstock and tape it somewhere on the roll for future use. Used removable tape is great when you want to tape a Nestabilties die to the paper to insure that it doesn’t move when placing it into your Cuttlebug, or any other time when you don’t want it to take the chance of it sticking to your paper so tightly that it takes off a layer of your paper/cardstock when trying to remove it.ReplyCancel

  • Cindy LouMarch 3, 2011 - 8:32 am

    I have a little book that I carry with me when I go shopping for supplies, each section has a couple of pages every page has a stamped lower left corner with the name of the punch. Each page (s) has a list like ink pads, with several sections: type, color, refill, have, want. I do the same thing with stamps, papers and pads, copics, pencils, etc. Almost everything I own is at my fingertips in my purse, rarely do I purchase duplicates, and I always purchase on sale, at Michaels with their coupon, on line at cutathome with their 40% off coupon, even overstock.com with their specials. Clearance bins are my favorite friend!ReplyCancel

  • Amanda R.March 3, 2011 - 8:38 am

    I reuse tissue paper from gift bags – some of them have patterns that look really pretty when used with the faux silk technique. I cut the handles off too. While Mary Kay is not frugal, their tissue paper is a beautiful shimmery pink and the bag handles are a lovely black satin ribbon… and my sister in law sells Mary Kay. How convenient! All of my cardstock is stored in hanging folders in regular file cabinets in ROYGBIV order with file folders for the scraps. It makes it very easy to see all my reds to decide which to use, then see if I have scraps so I don’t have to cut more. All the ideas on here are great so far – I’m totally showing my family as some of them think I’m insane when I ask them to save bits of packaging that I think I can reuse. But I’m not alone!ReplyCancel

  • charleneMarch 3, 2011 - 8:44 am

    I took a file box paid 2 dollars for it and a box of hanging folders,1 dollars and filed all my small pieces of cardstock. The lid locks and has a handle and I can carry it to a crop and share with others. I also keep all of my die cut
    and embossed cardstock, I haven’t used yet. Its a traveling “card making/scrap goodie box”ReplyCancel

  • SusiMarch 3, 2011 - 8:46 am

    Once you’ve used up the actual “dots” on a package of Pop Dots, don’t throw the sheet away! Usually the filler around the dots is the exact same thing, so simply cut into little pieces and use as pop dots too!ReplyCancel

  • GksnodMarch 3, 2011 - 8:57 am

    Great ideas–I see a lot of things I’m already doing, and lots of new ones. My contribution: I never use my high-quality card stock for the insides of my cards–I use cheaper bulk white card stock for those and adhere my main design to the front. That stretches out my supply of the more expensive stock as much as possible.ReplyCancel

  • LeanneMarch 3, 2011 - 9:07 am

    Never throw away chocolate trays especially the gold ones like those of LINDT away. You can make a flower embellishment using it. ReplyCancel

  • Sandy O.March 3, 2011 - 9:09 am

    I use magnetic photo sheets to store my spellbinder dies. We have a recycle shop in our town where I can often get large sheets of this magnetic material. Wallpaper books can also make great designer paper. Shop garage sales for old dictionaries, books or music sheets for background paper.ReplyCancel

  • JessicaMarch 3, 2011 - 9:11 am

    Very good idea! I sometimes save them till they’re dry, They’ll pick up everything left on your work surface. Sort of an anti-static cloth. Works well after glittering or embossing.ReplyCancel

  • JessicaMarch 3, 2011 - 9:12 am

    I use ordinary copy paper for the insides of my cards. It keeps the postage down because it’s so thin.ReplyCancel

  • Tina Van EickMarch 3, 2011 - 9:20 am

    My husband gave me the Willy Wonka candy bag his candy came in. The inside is holographic, just waiting to be paper pieced…ReplyCancel

  • emilyMarch 3, 2011 - 9:22 am

    I like the little leaves and branches punches and when I have pieces of paper not really big enough to be worth saving but big enough I can still punch a few shapes out and then I save them sorted out in clear small bags from the dollar stores or what ever…as long as they are easy to see into. Then when I am making a quick card or tag, I have lots of different colours to chose from and I don’t need to use from a large sheet of paper. This works with flower shapes from pretty colours (even patterned pieces), hearts from pinks and reds, snowflakes from whites and blues and vellum and metallic scraps (way to precious to throw away!) And besides being all ready to go, they look so much better and neater than odd shaped snippets of paper!ReplyCancel

  • JessicaMarch 3, 2011 - 9:26 am

    I keep my scraps of paper/cardstock in 1 gallon sized zip lock bags. When I’m creating they all go in a pile, then when I’m finished I put the pieces in the appropriate baggy. There are 8 bags, labeled : Reds/pinks, Blues/purples, Greens, Yellows/oranges, Blacks, and Nuterals/Whites. Then one for Multi-Colors and another for Stripes/Dots. When the envelopes get too full, I go through them and make sure there aren’t too many little pieces lurking …taking up space. I keep all the bags in a drawer, out of sight, but right next to my chair within easy reach. I always look there first when I start to create.ReplyCancel

  • AndreaMarch 3, 2011 - 9:29 am

    Use old dryer sheets when embossing. First use the dryer sheet to rub on your stamped area, removes excess embossing powders in areas you do not want the powder to stick.ReplyCancel

  • Nancy MashburnMarch 3, 2011 - 9:35 am

    I also do digital scrapbooking and have found this to be an excellent way to make my own embelishments or do a lovely insert for a greeting card. I think the inside should be beautiful also. I have also used my digital paper as paper for my cards.ReplyCancel

  • JackieMarch 3, 2011 - 9:51 am

    I use Penny Duncan’s home made glimmer spray recipe to make glimmer mist: Take cheap pump hairspray and fill up a mini mister or other small mister 3/4 full with the hairspray, use about 2 to 2-1/2 eye droppers of alcohol ink or distress ink refills, put about 1/4 tsp of perfect pearls or pearl ex into that mixture and shake well. Viola! Cheap glimmer mist. Love the idea of this month’s tips! Thanks, Becca for thinking of this.ReplyCancel

  • RubyMarch 3, 2011 - 9:55 am

    Wow… wonderful tips tks for them. When I make an A2 card (i.e. BDay), I will cut the 8 1/2×11 sheet in half and instead of putting the 1/2 sheet back in my scraps I make two cards. I just won’t stamp the final sentiment, and its ready to add that the next time I need that last-minute card.ReplyCancel

  • Darlene LMarch 3, 2011 - 9:56 am

    I use every last bit of the pop-dot sheets, the outer edges are awesome for skinny branches etc. I also water down the stamp cleaners some and they still do an awesome job of cleaning. Left over wrapping paper makes wonderful backgrounds on cards. I cut-out embellishments from store bought cards I receive and re-purpose.ReplyCancel

  • sandi ackermanMarch 3, 2011 - 10:07 am

    Obviously some of the paper you use for scrapbook and items, you need to be careful with.Make sure it is the acid free stuff so you photos do not get destroyed over time, but I have been looking around the house for other types of paper, even sacks that can be cut down. Then what I mightl do is use my crimper and make corrugated journals covers. Maybe I will look for something that was a little heavier than the sacks for the covers, but then I found some brown paper that I cut down to use as my pages. Rather a rustic flavor. Certainly not too frilly.ReplyCancel

  • bethann dMarch 3, 2011 - 10:11 am

    i am a scrapper as well as a stamper/card maker. so when i make a layout i’ll lightly trace where my matted photo will go and remove the paper from that area, leaving enough to attach the photo to,,, the removed cs or dp can then be used elsewhere on the layout or on another project. the back of the layout is never seen since it is in a page protector/ frame etc. acid free tape can be used on the back to more securely attach the photo or focus point.ReplyCancel

  • Naomi ArmentaMarch 3, 2011 - 10:13 am

    Use those baby board books to make altered scrapbooks. They are already bound with the touchest glue. You just have to add your special touches. Great way to recycle!ReplyCancel

  • meemee48March 3, 2011 - 10:17 am

    I don/t know if anyone else has noticed tissue boxes are really colorful and have very pretty designs. When they are empty, I cut them up for backgrounds and to use with my die cuts. Very unique designs!ReplyCancel

  • Judy I, St. Louis MOMarch 3, 2011 - 10:21 am

    Repurpose Christmas or other greeting cards by cutting them apart. Sometimes the back of a card will be metallic or patterned to be used for layering. Cut the sentiments into decorative shapes for layering or to use on the inside of cards.ReplyCancel

  • LynetteMarch 3, 2011 - 10:30 am

    I went to Target (which we don’t have here in Toronto) and bought a gray vinyl file sorter that spreads out like a fan from front to back, with 26 clear, tabbed, vinyl compartments for sorting. I put all my scraps in this, sorted from lightest colours at the front to darkest at the back, and patterned scraps that are similar colours in the very back slots. The whole thing closes up with a handle that pops through for carrying and locks. It was probably $15.00 Because the inside compartments are clear, you can see every section and what colour is in it. It is wonderful when scrapbooking or card making and holds full pieces up to 8 1/2 x 11. It packs up into about 4″ deep so it doesn’t take much room under my desk in my scrap room. I also use keep the flimsy plastic trays from cookie tins and chocolate boxes to use as dividers/holders for embellishments in stackable plastic drawer units. Great topic Becca. Love the dryer sheets for mulberry paper idea!ReplyCancel

  • AudreyMarch 3, 2011 - 10:32 am

    When you have long skinny scraps of paper &/or card stock, save them and then weave them together for a background. i.e. plaid shirt type card, easter card, and the list goes on.ReplyCancel

  • Sandy GrupkaMarch 3, 2011 - 10:42 am

    I use the leftover wrapping paper from packages and I make the envelope to match the gift wrap. My family laughs when I save the wrapping paper from gifts, but a portion of the wrap makes beautiful envelopes, you do have to use a label if you are mailing, since most of the papers have designs on them and the address will not show up unless you use a label. My friends love the envelopes and I think they dress up the card.ReplyCancel

  • Sherry LowmasterMarch 3, 2011 - 10:54 am

    Wow, what good ideas here! I have read every one so far and some I am already doing like cutting up the leftover pop dots and using coupons. I think when this is done I want to print it up or save it someplace to keep on hand for future reference, lolReplyCancel

  • Sue McWhorterMarch 3, 2011 - 10:54 am

    I’ve saved some envelopes and have vellum, metallic and pearlized paper waiting to be used. Any book falling apart has wonderful paper. Sometimes used book stores will give you these since they really aren’t sell-able. Quarterly Sunday school books often have a quotation or scripture set apart that make good additions to cards.ReplyCancel

  • KayMarch 3, 2011 - 10:56 am

    I do many of the things already suggested. Another idea is to do “shares” of ribbon, paper, etc. with a friend or two. It’s cheaper to buy in bulk!ReplyCancel

  • Sue McWhorterMarch 3, 2011 - 11:00 am

    In parking lot this week, I saw some “sheets” that had fallen from the trunk of a shag-bark hickory. I collected the ones on the ground and have lots of rustic pieces to use on cards.

    Once we open our eyes to it, there are freebies all around us. Thanks for sharing yours.

    I’m flat-pressing a magnolia leaf now to see if the velvety back will keep it’s color. I think a strip or die-cut of that would be a great texture on a card.ReplyCancel

  • Donna SicafuseMarch 3, 2011 - 11:05 am

    I am new to this so I was reading up on how to emboss with heat tool. I read about the little static bag for rubbing over you paper to remove anything that would not let your project come out clean looking, and told someone about the bag and she said save all your USED dryer sheets and rub over your cardstock with them and sure enough they do seem to work good and are cheap.ReplyCancel

  • JulieMarch 3, 2011 - 11:10 am

    Instead of buying stamping blocks, I go to our plastic store and they’ll cut any size I want. I paid only $4 for a 8×6 for my large cling stamps.ReplyCancel

  • CandyMarch 3, 2011 - 11:20 am

    I think one of the most frugal things one can do is exchange supplies with another crafter….old supplies. For example, I received 6 x 12 sheets of all brands from a crafter who had already used the other half of a 12 x 12 and really wanted to move on to new stuff. I am still using the stash she gave me as I love adding bits of paper here and there. This is an amazing way to add variety to your ‘art’. I would trade by giving away ‘girl’ stuff (anything pink) as I have two boys.ReplyCancel

  • Becky GreenMarch 3, 2011 - 11:21 am

    Hi Becca!!! I have SOOOO missed being able to comment here on your blog!!! Our computer crashed!!!! The last couple of days, since getting a “new” computer, I have been having trouble leaving comments!!!! I have been able to OBSERVE only over these weeks! As usual, YOU’RE GREAT with your BEAUTIFUL CREATIONS! :)

    So, here goes with my Frugal comment! Buy only products that can be used more than once on your creations! Example: Now, may be the time to invest in a tool you’ve just been putting off. Like a Scor-Pal/ Scor-Buddy! That’s what I did! And I’ve been VERY PLEASED with myself for having done this! I use it on EVERY card!!! It enhances my crafting & I look forward to pulling this little tool out! And it makes my crafting easier! :)ReplyCancel

  • Donna SicafuseMarch 3, 2011 - 11:27 am

    I use to cut and paint on wood before card making, and had some crackle medium left. I used glossy cardstock as it was sturdy, painted what ever color or colors I wanted for bottom color, let dry and put on layer of crackle medium, let it go til almost dry–not dry completely and layer your last paint color down–as it dries you will see it crackle and can use as your back ground for card. Is not hard to do.ReplyCancel

  • SueMarch 3, 2011 - 11:30 am

    This is not MY idea but I think a good one. For anyone who uses a Cricut mat or a SLICE glass mat, you know it needs to be sticky to work well. Even using a regular glass mat is better when it’s slightly sticky. So …

    Instead of buy the expensive spray or liquid stuff to make the mat sticky, buy Aleene’s Tack It Over and Over. Using a small container (kept for the purpose) put a small amount of the glue and a small amount of water (about equal amounts) and mix together.

    With a foam brush, brush this onto your clean mat. Let it dry for about 1/2 an hour and voila! Your mat is ready to go. Not TOO sticky but just right and you get a lot of reuses out of one bottle of the glue.

    Hope this is an inexpensive idea for those who need it.ReplyCancel

  • DonnaMarch 3, 2011 - 11:32 am

    I use to cut and paint on wood before card making, and had some crackle medium left. I took glossy cardstock and painted on a color or colors of craft paint, let dry, then paint on the crackle medium let go til almost dry–do not let dry completly, and then paint on last color. As it dries you will see it crackle and you can when dry use as your background for card.ReplyCancel

  • Donna SicafuseMarch 3, 2011 - 11:43 am

    I use to cut and paint on wood before card making and had some crackle medium lef. I took a sheet of glossy cardstock and painte a color or colors on it, let dry and then painted on the crackle medium allow to almost dry and then paint on last color. As it dries it will crackle and you can use for your background of the card.ReplyCancel

  • Donna SicafuseMarch 3, 2011 - 11:49 am

    WOW, says I have submitted but is not here, tried 3 times, so here goes the last time LOL. I use to cut and paint wood and had some crackle medium left. I used glossy cardstock and painted on a color or can be several for rainbow effect, let dry, then painted on the crackle medium, let ALMOST dry and then paint on last color. As it dries it crackles and you can use this as background for your card.ReplyCancel

  • Becky GreenMarch 3, 2011 - 11:56 am

    Hi Becca!
    Oh how I’ve missed commenting on your blog!!!!!! Our computer CRASHED!!! I’ve only been able to observe with my daughters’ computer!! And trying to get this “new” one up & running & be able to USE IT… is proving a challenge! :/ Anyway, AS USUAL, your creations have been GORGEOUS!!! I’ve enjoyed seeing them!!!

    Now, we’ll see here if this thing will let me leave a comment! For FRUGALLITY….. my comment would be, Buy things that can be used on more than one card! Example: Now, may be the time to “invest” in that tool you’ve been wanting & putting off! For me, it was the Scor-Pal/ Buddy! I can use it on EVERY card! I look forward to pulling it out! And it makes my crafting easier!!! :)ReplyCancel

  • alsmouseMarch 3, 2011 - 12:00 pm

    If you have a MS type of score pad, go to a plastics supply place & have them cut a piece of acrylic to fit the top & ask them to add a bevel to fit the top edge. This makes a solid surface to work on & you can still see the measurements if you need them. Since the MS score pad is in 1/8 inch measures it is sometimes hard to see where you are scoring. Take 2 different colors of fine point Sharpies & alternating 1/4 &1/2 inch spaces, ran the pen down the score tracks. It makes it easy to keep an eye on the measures that way.

  • Katie K.March 3, 2011 - 12:06 pm

    The suggestions above sparked some ideas for variations: A number of people mention cutting out the centers of papers used for mats. If I’m already running it through my BigShot with a Spellbinders rectangular/square/circle die, what could be easier than adding a second, smaller size of the same shape inside (like a frame). It’s still one pass to cut and another to emboss and then you have a spare mat with embossed edges to use for a sentiment, journaling mat or for a mat on another project—all ready to go. Now why didn’t I think of that?

    I love Yo’s idea about saving all those tiny paper scraps I usually throw out. Even if you don’t immediately attach them to cardstock, you could toss them in a sandwich baggie to use all at once on a later project. Anybody remember serendipity squares. And wouldn’t all the scraps from the “polished stone” alcohol ink backgrounds I make look pretty mixed up as a mosaic?

    I will now be trimming the fancy cord handles from shopping bags from

    Judith, I never thought about brown paper bags for distressed flowers, even though I already use newsprint, book pages and scraps of fabric. How clever.

    Of course, I never spritz anything with my pricey glimmer/shimmer/pearly sprays without first laying down a piece of white or other neutral piece of acid-free cardstock. The overspray is gorgeous for backgrounds or punched pieces.

    I can’t wait to do an Iris folded card with envelope liners. I also scavenge pretty papers from cards and invitations to repurpose for mats or punched pieces.ReplyCancel

  • KarenMarch 3, 2011 - 12:23 pm

    I had read you could use Aleene’s Tack It Over and Over to make your own glue dots. It really works. I have not had much luck using wax paper but it works perfectly on the left over sticker sheet backing, or my favorite the backing sheets left over from Xyron stickers. Try just a few on different backing sheets to see which works best for you. I took it all a step further and found I could make my own embellishments by covering dots of Tack It Over and Over with micro glitter while the glue dots are still wet. Set aside your glue dots with or without glitter and let dry overnight. I store the sheets of dots loosly stacked in an empty plastic box.
    Thank you Becca for another fun, informative blog month.ReplyCancel

  • Katie K.March 3, 2011 - 12:28 pm

    OK, sorry to be so long-winded, but I’m inspired:

    I’ll now be saving the fancy cord handles from department store shopping bags I’m recycling. I already keep those pretty small bags from sturdier paper that you get when you buy cosmetics or jewelry (OK, not so cheap), but a sticker or a stamped piece to cover up the store name and you’ve got a lovely new gift bag. Ditto for small gift boxes. I’ve covered up the store name with a gold sticker and really impressed the gift recipient.

    I always buy ribbons, lace and cords in white or ivory, as Sue O. suggests. You can use lots of things in addition to Tombow markers to color them. An ink pad is great: Just drag your ribbon across it a few times or squish some onto your craft sheet, spritz on some water and rub a crumpled piece of ribbon into it for a trendy vintage look. Reinkers work just as well.

    Different inks work differently on different materials (cotton, rayon, polyester silk), so play around. I tried a whole bunch on scraps and stapled them to a file card with notations about the ink used and ribbon content. Some aren’t color-fast and may even rub off on your hands. (Not so great for a card you’re giving someone.) I do know that Distress inks and Memento pads work very well. Various color and glimmer spritzes and daubers work well. I can recommend the color/shimmer daubers from Lindy’s Stamp Gang that I buy at my LSS or online. Copic markers make great stripes or contrasting edge colors, but they make the ribbon stiff. Polyester and natural fiber ribbons take color well; rayon, not so much. Even just a spritz of glimmer or sparkle on a white ribbon looks fantastic.

    Fabric samples from discarded interior-design books make great backgrounds and can be die cut into flowers, leaves and such. Even a small swatch, maybe cut with pinking shears, adds a nice texture to a card front. I’ve found books like this at recycling stores and they can be very cheap: 25 cents – 75 cents for dozens of samples of all types of fabric, leather and faux leather.

    And why have I never thought of using the patterned papers left over from a card to line the envelope? Great idea for a special touch.

    Whew, enough already! Thanks Becca for offering these great forums for tips and ideas.ReplyCancel

  • Billie AMarch 3, 2011 - 12:31 pm

    With my left over scraps I save and then grab some of my dies and cut out for future use. I also keep small light scraps so that I can stamp words or other embellishments. Flowers are also a great thing to make with scraps.
    Cant wait to see what others say as I am always looking for ideas.
    This is awesome that you are doing this. ThanksReplyCancel

  • Katie K.March 3, 2011 - 12:34 pm

    One last thing: Old eye makeup powder or cakes can be used as paints if you use a wet brush. Sometimes I find something I bought awhile back where the color is too intense or the frosted look highlights my wrinkles. Presto! Very cool paints. Most already have some kind of binder in them, so they shouldn’t smudge off paper easily.ReplyCancel

  • CherylMarch 3, 2011 - 1:04 pm

    I save appropriate Christmas cards that I have received, and I use the fronts of them to make lids for small gift boxes. I make the bottoms of the boxes out of coordintating card stock, add a ribbon and a tag and voila! – a pretty gift ready to give. Because cards are generally no bigger than 5 X 7, you are limited in the length and width of the box, but the depth can be whatever you want because you are making it out of cardstock. If you really want to increase the size of the lid, adhere the card front to a larger size piece of cardstock and then make your lid the size you need.

    I also discovered something the other day when I became frustrated because I want to emboss just a portion of a piece of cardstock but I could not fit the EF and the cardstock through my Cuttlebug – no matter which way I turned it. After trying several methods to emboss outside the Bug, I found that if I took a regular hammer and pounded lightly on the embossing folder (with the CS inserted in it) that it embossed just fine. I’m going to try to see if I can use a small block of wood in the center of an embossing folder and pound directly on the block of wood to see if it embosses only that section. If it does, it could then be finished off with score lines on each side of the imbossed square. I think that could be cool! One could do several small squares of different embossed patterns in the center of a card front.ReplyCancel

  • Barbara AKA GardenladyMarch 3, 2011 - 1:12 pm

    I don’t have any tip but I thought maybe I could reach you Becca through this comment since I have sent two previous comments through your Contact Me link. You had your 3 year Blog Anniversary and I was the Grand Prize Winner. I was so excited that I won something! I wrote you and you responded to my email by reaching out to you! Anyway, if you mailed the package I have never received it. I don’t know if it got lost or what since I haven’t heard back from you! I did send you my address but maybe you lost it. Could you please contact me again! Thanks so much!

    I have followed your blog for several years and have loved all your wonderful and creative cards!ReplyCancel

  • ConniecrafterMarch 3, 2011 - 1:46 pm

    I use the color catches sheets that you put in your laundry when you have an item your afraid will transfer color to your other clothes, and make flowers out of them, they have great texture and feel like your making fabric flowers, I have used them with my dies and my cuttlebug, now I am wondering how they would stand up to stamping on themReplyCancel

  • Janna SmithMarch 3, 2011 - 2:06 pm

    Make your own glue dots with Aleene’s Tack-It-Over-and-Over. I’ve saved so much money by making these myself!ReplyCancel

  • Carol ( Southport England)March 3, 2011 - 2:08 pm

    I recently bought 30 eye shadows at a bargain price (approx $10) – lovely selection of colours and some glitters – each in their own little pot.

    I mixed the colours/pigments with a tiny bit of water and ‘gum arabic’ which is used by artists as a pigment binding medium – and use them to paint.

    I save a fortune this way and don’t need to spend 10 x the money buying products like’Twinkling H2O’s’

    There are a couple of clips on You-Tube for this.ReplyCancel

  • Janna SmithMarch 3, 2011 - 2:09 pm

    Oh, sorry! I see someone just posted the same thing a little earlier!ReplyCancel

  • Donna SicafuseMarch 3, 2011 - 2:16 pm

    Wow, did go through each time but never seem to register and then kept kicking me off so now it is the in quads. LOL–computersReplyCancel

  • Darlene JMarch 3, 2011 - 2:50 pm

    My tip is to save all the paint color sample cards for paint and wall textures from all the home improvement stores, like Lowes, Home Depot, Walmart, etc. The samples have so many colors, textures, wood grains, crackle, etc. Make great pieces to cut up and use just like CS on cards. Probably are not archival safe tho., Some of these samples are a good size, and the MS ones at Walmart already have a small square cut out, a tiny ready made frame to use with a small stamp.
    Also you can use the thin little wooden $1.00 frames from Michaels in your embossing folders. When they are run thru, only the frame part is embossed, leaving you with a circle, rectangle, square, etc in the center. Have also used the wood small circles, stars, ovals, etc laying them randomly in the folders with the cardstock. Then run a ink pad over if you want to just highlight the embossed area. A couple layers of chipboard glued together will also work to make your one-of -a kind embossing folder. Also chipboard letters can spell out a name, etc.
    I also use the silver tape that is used for taping ductwork together, comes from the home improvement stores, run that thru the CB and then pull off the backing and stick to the CS. I also sometimes save the netting from bags of oranges or onions, a little piece can add texture to cards.
    I also asked for a few little paper cups that you put ketchup in from the fast food place the other day, they look sorta like a tiny cupcake holder, want to play with those to see what can be made from those.
    Also the Buff Goldham texture tiles from the cake making section at Michaels can be used as a EF. They are intended to be used with fondant. I have also used the Sculpey Texture Makers from Michaels in the CB, these are normally used to add texture to clay.Just be careful not to add too much shim and break your CB or Big shot.
    Oh, if I just had a cook and maid so that I could play the rest of my life. SighReplyCancel

  • Ree DonnellyMarch 3, 2011 - 2:53 pm

    Loving all the FABULOUS ideas people are posting here!

    One thing I do is, I use the colored plastic lids from cans of nuts, powdered drink mixes, coffees, etc. Cut the rim off so it’s flat & use the plastic for a die cut. They also emboss beautifully!ReplyCancel

  • LisaMarch 3, 2011 - 3:00 pm

    Wow, what great tips! I learned a lot of new ones, and most of the ones I know are on here. Anyhow, you can make your own glue dots by taking either wax paper or the backing of sticker paper and put dots of Aleenes Tack it Again and Again on it. Make some rows in small dots and some in larger dots. Let it dry and you won’t need to buy them any more. One jar makes a million (OK well maybe not a MILLION) glue dots. Use a second sheet of wax paper or sticker backing paper over the top when dry and I store mine in an evenlope.ReplyCancel

  • Susan BugalskiMarch 3, 2011 - 3:04 pm

    Instead of purchasing stamp cleaner I just put some liquid dish soap and water in the same bottle.ReplyCancel

  • Susan BugalskiMarch 3, 2011 - 3:05 pm

    Saw something on another blog and thought what a great idea for background paper. They put rubberbands on an acrylic brayer. The possibilities are endless.ReplyCancel

  • Susan BugalskiMarch 3, 2011 - 3:07 pm

    After you’re done using a coffee filter – let it dry. It becomes this beautiful shade of beige and could be used for a great flower.ReplyCancel

  • ClelieMarch 3, 2011 - 3:09 pm

    The tulip tree leaves when left to disintegrate leaves a beautiful “skeleton” of the leaf (like we buy colored in packages in the craft stores :)). Collect the skeletons and press in phone book, etc. They can be used as “natural” or sprayed with adhesive and glittered. Beautiful and free (just look around for them in the neighborhood).ReplyCancel

  • Mary L.March 3, 2011 - 3:21 pm

    Oh! WOW!! I’ve already passed some of these ideas on & am going to forward the whole site to many.
    My tip: If you have a stamp too large for your acrylic blocks, just use your “C” plate from your C.Bug.
    Of course you know if the stamp is this large you apply the paper to the stamp, not the stamp to the paper.
    Thanks Becca, this is a wonderful idea. You could make a CD encyclopedia
    of this.
    Thanks everyone for sharing.
    mary l.ReplyCancel

  • Nikki BrownMarch 3, 2011 - 4:03 pm

    Gut your paper/card so when matting and layering you cut out the middle of any paper/card which is going to be covered to use in another project.ReplyCancel

  • ClelieMarch 3, 2011 - 4:05 pm

    The tulip tree leaves, when left to disintegrate, leaves a beautiful “skeleton” of the leaf (like we buy colored in packages in the craft stores :)). Collect the skeletons and press in phone book, etc. They can be used as “natural” or sprayed with adhesive and glittered. Beautiful and free (just look around for them in the neighborhood). They are the deciduous magnolia tree.ReplyCancel

  • ClaudiaMarch 3, 2011 - 4:05 pm

    That’s a new one on me to use baby wipes to clean a stamp. I use them to clean my Cricut mats but never thought about cleaning stamps. I’ll try that.ReplyCancel

  • Nikki BrownMarch 3, 2011 - 4:07 pm

    Use solid plastic packaging to make shaker cards (packaging for brads, bows, etc) anything which is a solid sided shape.ReplyCancel

  • ClelieMarch 3, 2011 - 4:14 pm

    Since my dinning room table is my work table it is important to clean up my glitter and embossing powder messes. I have found that “tacky” cloths from the hardware department (Fred Meyer, Ace, etc) does a wonderful job and can be used over and over again. The best part is they are much, much cheaper to buy from the hardware department than the “glitter cloth” is from the craft store.
    Thank you all for the wonderful ideas.ReplyCancel

  • Cheryl S.March 3, 2011 - 4:21 pm

    I read this tip somewhere awhile ago so can’t remember where – save the plastic packaging many of the stamping supplies come in. These can be used as windows for shaker cards, use with a die-cut machine to make a shape then use that for a mask or pounce alcohol ink on the back to make a wonderful one-of-a-kind embellishment.ReplyCancel

  • Ginny K.March 3, 2011 - 4:26 pm

    Whenever i make cards and have scrap pieces of paper left over, I NEVER throw them away. Some go into a scrap container for when you need just a bit of something for color. Others I use right away, like when I have coordinating papers and card stock, I just use the pieces to make postcard greetings, They already coordinate and usually all it needs is to go through the cuddle bug to get an embossing and I have a nice little decorated post card to use for sending a friend a quick note!! Some times I cut out shapes with a punch for the small bits and then I have ready to make flowers or tags at the ready!! It is hard for me to throw away any paper, I just love it too much!

  • jamieMarch 3, 2011 - 4:35 pm

    When I need fancy ribbon (something patterned) to match my ink I swipe ink straight from the pad onto a piece of white cardstock and keep it in my purse. Then I can pull it out when I’m at Michael’s when the ribbon is on sale and get a perfect match instead of going by memory on a color.ReplyCancel

  • KathMarch 3, 2011 - 4:38 pm

    you can use your rolling pin to emboss in the middle of a paper if it doesn’t fit into your machine… Always save the little bits when punching out lacey things and then use those bits in shaker cardsReplyCancel

  • KathMarch 3, 2011 - 4:39 pm

    forgot to add that you use an embossing mat when using the rolling pinReplyCancel

  • Kay LusnakMarch 3, 2011 - 4:54 pm

    I hope this isn’t a duplicate; but I buy boxes of Christmas cards when they are 75% off or more. I have 12 to 24 brand new envelopes for a $1 or less.

    Great ideas from all of you!ReplyCancel

  • Judy McMullenMarch 3, 2011 - 4:55 pm

    Becca, I love your “31 Days to Frugal Papercrafter” tips. The tips here are fantastic and some of them I already use like storing my paper scraps in folders by color family. I also look to reuse items like buttons and ribbon that I get from many sources. I also extend the life of my Cricut cutting matts by gently cleaning them with a very light soap and water solution (which was recommended by a Cricut demonstrator at Michaels) and by increasing the tacky surface by using a repositional adhesive on my mats. The one I use is a roll on but I’ve seen other in spray form.
    Thanks to everyone for sharing these great money saving tips!!!ReplyCancel

  • Wanda ThomasMarch 3, 2011 - 5:02 pm

    Buy what you can from “guy” places because it’s cheaper
    Storage Containers – Harbor Freight & fishing tackle boxes
    Pop Dots – roll of foam tape from the hardware store
    Feathers – Fly fishing area of Sporting goods (also have some great fibers!)
    Sticky mesh – drywall patch material with some ink on it
    Adhesive remover – WD-40 beats them all and cleans stamps without harming rubber
    Silver tape in heating/air conditioning
    Thin brass metal circles (for metal tags) – see roofing
    That’s a few…….ReplyCancel

  • Gloria WestermanMarch 3, 2011 - 5:14 pm

    I put a couple of BB’s in my glimmer mist bottles and mini mister…..it helps to mix it all together…..ReplyCancel

  • judy baileyMarch 3, 2011 - 5:33 pm

    you know those beautiful vintage cards that have a pin stuck threw the center of a bow ? you can take a corsage pin, put recycled beads on it and run it threw the bow, snip off the sharp end and superglue a recycled earing post on the tip to protect the reciever from injury. I like to buy a bulk pkg of those earing backs at the craft stores that have those clear flat disks on them and pop off the clear disk. Its even cheaper to make by avoiding the corsage pin and replacing it with a jewlery suppy finding of a strait head pin and placing beads on it , then apply and glue the earing post on it when done. I also take wild flowers in my yard and press between sheets of paper towels in a heavy book, once the flowers are dry you can lay them on a piece of cardboard covered with wax paper and brush the flower with modge-podge, once the flowers are dry they become plyable ! so you can add them to a card and they will not crumble! I also save old cards, not only do i reuse the fronts to punch out shapes but the back of the card that is plain white can be used in replace of white card stock and if it is coated enough , it will work great with the alcohol inks ! so there is no purchasing all that expensive coated paper!. I have alot of great ideas, if you own any form of die’s , once you use the die, look at the left over parts- most of them can be used as flourishes or tiny detailes on a card, store them in a 3 ring binder with those baseball card pockets. I save all my left over strips of paper that you have after using a boarder punch, they are great for framing a card or using for quilling. To make any paper product archival safe all you have to do is spray the paper with a clear acrylic sealer, this is the only thing archival safe has going for it and all these companies that are pushing archival safe on the consumer are making a killing off of you ! I go to my local glass cutting store and bring my CB “B” plate to them and they cut me as many more as i want and for a forth of the price. You can go to the local wallpaper store and get free discarded books, look for kitchen and bath and you can find unique foam type paper. I store all my rubber stamps in CD cases on a shelf, i take off the rubber from the block and adhere double sided tape on them and when you go to use the stamp just adhere it to a clear mounting stamp block and then just put it away when done–saves space from all those wood blocks and you don’t have to buy that pricey foam to re-mount them. I make my own stamp masks the usual way – just stamp a pic and cut it out and use it to cover the same stamped image and then you can stamp a background image on top -this is the usuall proceedure, but i store the mount for another time in one of those small photo books that alows you to write next to the pic and i write the pic of my mount on it and which cd case its in–after all, once you use the mount so many times, its hard to see what the image is .You can also go to the dollar stores and find a large sheet of childrens stick on earings, you get alot of them for nearly nothing, also look for the finger nail stick on art the dollar tree is my favorite place for these. I save thin plastic from purchased items and run them threw my CB embossing folders, you can use plastic as thick as the pkg’s from the spellbinders dies, the plastic can also be inked up with alcohol inks and then place the inked plastic upside down on the card so you can see the ink but it is protected from wear and tear of handling. For shaker cards, i use this scrap plastic for the front window; you can get free foam sheets at the grocery’s produce dept. and cut it to fit a shaker card and glue it down – it looks incredibly neat , there are no patches of foam dots or strips and the foam is one solid piece so you don’t have the risk of some of the shaker parts from falling out ! you can also put micro sead beads inside the shaker window, or even tiny punched out shapes from colored plastic or paper. I have a card ministry at my house in which I make and send cards to those in need of encouragement so I am having to be a frugal serious card maker or it will put me in the poor house ! so i am enjoying all the tips everyone has sent in , and i hope i have been a blessing with my tips to you ! GOD BLESS and remember those who are not as fortunate as we are and invite them over to your home and let them make a card to give to someone else– after all, its alot of money to make stuff just to give it away and not everyone has a die cut system to use. Besides , you will be surprised at the blessings you will recieve if you make cards and give them to someone and it came just in time when they needed it the most. If you know of someone in need of serious encouragement do so there is no blessing greater and on both ends !!! JUDYReplyCancel

  • […] Don’t forget to have a look along my sidebar and weigh in on your frugal tips under 31 Days to a Frugal Papercrafter.  For today’s card I went with soft, soothing classic colors.  The paper I was using is […]ReplyCancel

  • Dolly/scrapthatMarch 3, 2011 - 6:37 pm

    Okay…here’s a few I didn’t see.
    -One replenishing cutting mats-buy Large Chisel ended zig 2 way pen from WM wet entire Mat and let dry…watch it’s ultra sticky for a while!
    -In the Chocolate bars I buy from WM there is gold Chipboard inside the package…I keep that! LOL wipe down with a baby wipe.
    -Check your thrift stores and flea markets for one of a kind embellishments and vintage items I got some embroidered stick pins for a dollar each, just bought a “bliss” embellishment that was a charm from a necklace but no necklace. Also if you are loving the configuration or shadow boxes keep in mind little items I have teapots, standing clocks, candlesticks…don’t forget the kids toys! Dice, game pieces…there is a ton of goodies to be had!
    -buy white flowers (paper ones work best some silks don’t take the color well) and ribbons and die with Glimmer mist.
    -Look for pretty silk flowers like Gerber Daisy in nice colors pull apart and you get a TON of pretty flowers for cheap! (dollar stores…one dollar)
    -When you glimmer mist if you use paper towel to soak up the excess to avoid warping the paper towel can be used also to ink the edges of the paper by rubbing in a circular motion as you would do with an inking tool/sponge. Make flowers out of the toweling when dry.
    -If you go shopping at or similar attractions which offer gift cards Disney don’t pay cash for your items…work out the price with tax (or ask the cashier what it would be) buy a gift card for that amount- now you have paid and it’s worthless as far as the card goes but you have a one of a kind embellishment. (I have made mini accordion albums with magnets with these as well- attach CS to the back and stitch a clear pocket on your page and use the back for journaling!)
    -Also in theme parks/zoos etc. check out the children’s jewelery section you may find animal necklaces hold a wealth of usable charms!
    – here’s one…why let a bad rub on ruin a LO? use a scrap or a die cut shape and run your rub on through your Big kick, cuttlebug, big shot, vagabond etc. rub on is said to rub on perfectly every time…no moving or messing it up!
    -For the lady that buys the Christmas cards on sale for the envies…KEEP the cards! buy one with a nice sentiment and just reface the front on them with your own design!
    -Always look with fresh eyes in stores non scrapbook related! I have found the most beautiful embellies in stores you would never think of like Pharmacies etc.
    -I can’t tell you how many already “distressed” rusty washers I have found by keeping my eyes open when I’m out walking…lots of other goodies too, just pretend to tie your shoe if you are embarrassed by picking it up! LOL
    your family will become trained too, LOL my DH brings me napkins from restaurants, matchbooks etc. etc.ReplyCancel

  • Kelly GMarch 3, 2011 - 6:41 pm

    I’m loving these ideas!! Never thought about using the corrogated cardboard for dimension and I’ve definitely never head to cut eggshells with your scissors to sharpen them. I will have to try both of those ideas! Thanks ladies!!ReplyCancel

  • Dolly/scrapthatMarch 3, 2011 - 6:46 pm

    oh yes and you can buy brads at staples or plain metal small ones at the LSS and use your embossing powders (use tweezers with long handles heat with heat gun dip in embossing powder and heat again, nail polishes, alcohol inks, perm. markers to create your own colored brads)
    Also you can take the brads that have pics on them and repurpose them by adding a thin layer of glossy accents recover with Patterned paper and add more glossy accents or add a double sided tape and glitter over, rub in and if desired glossy accents if you don’t like the loose glitter.ReplyCancel

  • f lynn rushMarch 3, 2011 - 6:49 pm

    use what you have…leads to fewer duplicates, better organization, provides more space, no out-of-date papers and embellishments, etc.ReplyCancel

  • Debora RinesMarch 3, 2011 - 7:02 pm

    I sure am enjoying this but I think it could be a habit. Maybe I should time myself each day and make it last longer.
    I keep a small zip top plastic bag taped to the side of my work table. When I use the last piece of a color of cardstock, I put a small snip of it in the bag. Then when I go shopping for supplies I grab the plastic bag and I can perfectly match all the colors of the cardstock I need to replace.


  • Yo GlennMarch 3, 2011 - 7:18 pm

    I buy the $1 journals/notebooks from Michael’s and redo the cover with my own papers, embellishments, etc. They look homemade, but you don’t have to worry about the actual construction of the book itself. I am then able to sell them for $10-15 – a pretty good profit margin.ReplyCancel

  • Vickie KrivacsMarch 3, 2011 - 7:28 pm

    Did you know that JoAnn’s will price match from competitor’s ads? It must be the identical product and you need to bring in the sales flyer to receive the discount.

    I also save tissue paper from gifts and iron it (low heat, no steam) to reuse it and make it look new.ReplyCancel

  • Lesli FieldsMarch 3, 2011 - 7:55 pm

    Save the little negative space cutouts when you use your die cutter or Cricut, they make great little fillers in your layouts. I’ve used them for leaves, wings, petals, even birds from little comma shapes–just add a dot where an eye would be and a little beak!ReplyCancel

  • JJzJMarch 3, 2011 - 7:57 pm

    1.) My husband is a wood worker/carpenter. I’ve raided his supplies for:
    a) metal duct tape and used alcohol inks on it, and punched out shapes or cut out designs w/scissors;
    b) self-adhesive mesh (for sheetrock) and colored it w/ink pads versus buying magic mesh;
    c) used his huge roll of foam self adhesive tape rather than buying foam pop dots;

    2.) Bought my own double stick tape and dispenser from an office supply store rather than using the more pricey one-handed version from the craft stores.

    3.) Many stamp/scrap stores use decorative bags – I reuse those for stamping backgrounds and embellishments. I do not use them for scrapbooking b/c I’m not sure they’re acid-free, though.

    4.) Some mail order companies use the most wonderful brown paper as packing material – it’s perforated and stretchy… Can’t describe it, but I NEVER throw it away! It can be used in so many ways on cards and crafts.

    5.) Clear, plastic egg cartons. Cut apart the egg cups and stack them. Save them for mixing paint, glaze, whatever! Then you can rinse and recycle them when you’re done. The same goes for the little clear plastic fruit cups from applesauce for lunch boxes.

    6.) The clear plastic, ZIPPERED case pillowcases come in. SAVE IT! Use a punch every inch or so, then thread your fibers through the hole. You have a nice little “pillow” with your ribbons and yarns threaded, ready for your uses. If you are like me, you have hundreds of them. So do one for each color range – or one for vintage and one for modern, etc.

    7.) Storage is always an issue. My local mini-mart saves their cigar boxes for me and I use them for storing little, tiny things. All I have to do is label the boxes. Perfect Pearls, Pearl-Ex, WaterColor Pencils, Make-Up sponges, etc…they all have their own cigar box on a shelf. And all I had to do was buy my gas and milk at the store and talk to the clerk.

    8.) To keep from purchasing duplicate art supplies, I have begun keeping an inventory book. It’s a hassle, but it is better than buying duplicates of gloss medium when I really needed matte medium. When I am getting low on something, I note it in the book and put a sticky note on the edge of the page. I always keep the book in my purse so if I’m shopping and find a sale, I know what I’m low on. (Next I need to inventory the stamps, but I haven’t figured out how to put them all on a microdot and be able to read it in the stamp store yet!)ReplyCancel

  • CindyMarch 3, 2011 - 8:07 pm

    I have been stamping for going on 20 years now and I hear about people spending money on baby wipes and stamp cleaners, etc. I simply wet a clean wash cloth with clean cold water and wash my stamp!!! It works perfect. Then I use one of those flat paint brush thingies to dry it with (not sure what they’re called – you attach them to a handle if you’re painting). Or, you can simply use a clean dry wash cloth to dry them. When you’re done, simply throw the wash cloths in the laundry and reuse!!! Just think of all the money you’ll save that you could be spending on MORE STAMPS – HELLO!!! P. S. I don’t use soap as soap is drying to the rubber on the stamps. A lot of my stamps are almost 20 years old and stamp like they are brand new!!!ReplyCancel

  • Cheryl HaleyMarch 3, 2011 - 8:07 pm

    I cut off the ribbons or clear plastic hang tags on the inside of shirts that you’re suppose to use on the clothes hanger and use them as ties on my cards, etc.ReplyCancel

  • Vicky SchmidtMarch 3, 2011 - 8:23 pm

    When I have little pieces of cardstock lefr after I makea card I save them in a folder with pockets so I can keep the colors together then when I layer I usually have a piece in the color I need & then I don’t have to cut a large piece of card stock. VickyReplyCancel

  • Bette SMarch 3, 2011 - 8:49 pm

    Wow! Such neat tips! I can use them all! All I can add is to save scraps of paper and use when punching out small items. Also, I use paper bags and tissue for punching out flowers. This Christmas I was running low on my handmade cards, (and running low on time!) so I went through last year’s cards we had received and cut off the fronts and then adhered them to my “handmade” cards!ReplyCancel

  • Jan GavinMarch 3, 2011 - 9:17 pm

    I save metal canisters for storage. I have large ones (Boy Scout Popcorn came in them), tall ones – etc. I spray painted them with basic rust resistant paints from the hardware store (cream, black, etc. worked for my “artsy” room) and then used coordinating dp’s (I used Anna Griffin papers), ribbons, flowers, etc. to decorate them. I printed content labels by computer and made tags out of them which I put on each with more ribbon, twine, etc. I use them to store reinkers – regular or distress – by colors (one for reds/pinks, one for orange/yellow, one for blues/purples, etc.), glue sticks, stickles, distress pads or anything else that I want within easy reach but “hidden”. Since my artsy room is also used as a guest bedroom, this trick worked well to keep the room looking nice while still being functional.ReplyCancel

  • BernieMarch 3, 2011 - 9:26 pm

    I find lots of rubber stamps, paper, silk flowers and nearly all my storage in thrift shops and yard sales. My collection of ribbons doesn’t rival Becca’s but I do find a lot, amazingly most of the time the rolls are new.

    I carefully open containers (like nuts) and save the heavy foil seal. They emboss beautifully and add dimension to a card.
    Blessings BernieReplyCancel

  • ShawnaMarch 3, 2011 - 9:46 pm

    My biggest money saver has been my index of stamps, embossing folders, ink, EVERYTHING. …. it’s a work in progress, but I am always thumbing through it when I think it is time to purchase something. Not only does the index show me what I haveso I do not duplicate, but it is a wonderful creative inspiration for projects because I can quickly and easily see if “this” would look good with “that”. I also utilize coupons and browse for free shipping whenever I purchase on line.ReplyCancel

  • CindyMarch 3, 2011 - 9:53 pm

    Another idea I came up with years ago was cutting butterflies, etc. out of material to use on your cards. Leave a little space around the edge of the butterfly the first time you cut it out and then glue it onto a piece of card stock. This will give the image stability. After the glue has dried then cut out the edge butterfly like you normally would. I have a sample of one I’ve done, but can’t seem to paste it into this area. You can buy salvage scraps in Wamart or other stores pretty cheap and some of them have LOTS of images on them.ReplyCancel

  • CindyMarch 3, 2011 - 9:56 pm


  • FernandaMarch 3, 2011 - 9:58 pm

    I cut out different punches and spellbinders with the strips of paint samples found in paint stores. AWESOME colors and sturdy paper!ReplyCancel

  • JudyMarch 3, 2011 - 10:33 pm

    Go to flea markets, tag sales and garage sales to look for just buttons/ribbons/lace/flowers on clothes. So many times clothes are thrown away and discarded or sold for next to nothing that have awesome embellishments for card making. Dye your own white ribbon to match your paper projects. Just save those little empty pudding cups , dye , dry and iron. Some trial and error but most turn out awesome.
    This was a good idea Becca !ReplyCancel

  • CindyMarch 3, 2011 - 10:44 pm

    One of my favorite techniques is stamping on photos of clouds.
    I’m sure you’ve all seen the awesome clouds that float up in the sky during the months of March and April. Springtime is the best time to take these photographs.
    You want to make sure most of the white part of the clouds is from the bottom to 3/4Th’s the way up the photo because that’s the area you are going to stamp and color on. If you have blue sky at the bottom of the photo then your image comes out too dark when you stamp and color it. So you want to make sure your card is mostly white clouds with a little bit of blue sky towards the top. Click on my name and it will take you to my web site where you can see my cloud photo cards and can visually understand what I’m talking about. It does take a little practice getting the right photo but the cards are stunning when it’s right!ReplyCancel

  • Debby WalkerMarch 3, 2011 - 10:46 pm

    I think trading/ swapping your extra stash with fellow “collectors” certainly would save money and build friendships. Great idea this frugal stuff Miss Becca


  • BernieMarch 3, 2011 - 11:00 pm

    I watch of those adorable tiny baby dresses at thrift shops and yard sales. They have ribbons, bows, lace, tiny buttons and even flowers. All matching colors, cheap and perfect for cards.
    Blessings BernieReplyCancel

  • DonnaMarch 3, 2011 - 11:10 pm

    You are so nice to start this tip section. It is so helpful to everyone! The tip I use almost daily is for holding paper…almost all inexpensive plastic crates have runners on each side which hold filing folders. In each folder I put separate leftover colors, prints, photo papers etc. I even have a pad of kids construction paper just to use for practice cuts or punches. If the leftover papers are small they can be put in large ziploc bags or clear envelopes in the folders. But the best part of all it is on a dolly I had purchased from a Fiskar sale one year. It makes it so convenient to keep it where I work then roll it away keeping my scraps safe and organized.ReplyCancel

  • CindyMarch 4, 2011 - 12:09 am

    If you would like to try your hand at making your own backgrounds, etc., there are some REALLY cool and fun sites out there. A couple that I really like are:
    1. COLOR lovers (No space between the words.) In this site you can design and/or color your own backgrounds or color backgrounds that are already designed. And, you are free to use the backgrounds for personal use. One really neat thing about this site is that you can find a background you like and color it the colors YOU want to match whatever you’re doing. It’s an awesome site!
    2. Another one is Kaleidoscope Painter. You actually make little kaleidoscope images that you are also free to use for personal use. Every image is different – no two alike. They are smaller backgrounds but are very cool and are good for mounting butterflies/flowers/etc.ReplyCancel

  • Barbara PMarch 4, 2011 - 12:11 am

    One of the most beautiful things I have ever done is making a card with a fairly large window cut out on the front ….then inserted an acetate “window” which is large enough to tape or glue around the edges . Leave enough room so that you can insert a vintage hankie or doily into the window. I find them at thrift stores and flea markets and Ebay…You could use a new one, but the ones from pre- 1960 are best. Then, your card truly becomes a GIFT card all in one ! WIth the help of beautiful papers and stamps, the possibilities are endless .ReplyCancel

  • Kathy BohannonMarch 4, 2011 - 1:10 am

    I am forever taking a second look at boxes before tossing them into the recycle bin. Regardless of what they once held, I consider how they might be repurposed into little gift boxes, large storage boxes or even as templates so I can make more! Covered with paper and embellished, my new boxes look as if they came from an expensive boutique.ReplyCancel

  • Debbie D. DoddMarch 4, 2011 - 3:01 am

    I only buy UTEE in clear and FlowerSoft in white. both can be colored with a minute drop of alcohol ink and match your projects inexpensively.ReplyCancel

  • Marlene IacuzziMarch 4, 2011 - 8:54 am

    I store my spellbinders thusly: I use a rather tall narrow shipping box that came in the mail. I cut the very top off the plastic packaging of the spellbinders(in fact, I even make a downward oval cut, sort of. I staple the bottom of the plastic holder, as well as making a lower side staple, making sure to stay on the outer edge . Then I made dividers out of cereal box pieces (or any tall cardboard will work) which I labeled- circles; rectangles; pendants; frames; etc. I keep all of my spellbinders uprite in this box, which makes them easy to grab and find. They stay in the original containers, which lets me know how many should be in the packages due to the info on the packaging insert.ReplyCancel

  • JoiMarch 4, 2011 - 10:53 am

    I have been using the clear plastic containers with the organic spinach (bulk-size) to hold my finished cards that I have made. They also come in handy to store your sizzix dies, clear SU stamp sets, SU rolling wheel stamps or even embossing folders. They are about the size of a shoe box & have a clear lid so you can see through them-which is a plus, not to mention free!ReplyCancel

  • GrannieRMarch 4, 2011 - 3:08 pm

    When my old dryer could no longer be repaired, I noticed that the smooth side panel that had been removed had rounded edges with holes in the flange underneath, I nabbed it to mount on my wall in the craft room. I bought a cheap roll of strong round magnets and positioned them all over the clean white surface. I can store my spellbinders and metal dies without lifting the magnets, and I also positioned a few clamps to store projects I’m working on.ReplyCancel

  • Elana BaberMarch 4, 2011 - 3:46 pm

    If your scrap of paper is more than 1inch square, don’t throw it away. You just might need it on another project. ElanaReplyCancel

  • Catherine from London, UKMarch 4, 2011 - 3:54 pm

    What a great supply of frugalities! Thanks, ladies – and you, Becca! I was looking for background paper for some jungle animal stamps, when I saw that left over pieces from unmounted stamps were in interesting shapes. I cut up some in rough, wavy rectangles and put them together (leaving a little bit between the shapes) on sticky stamp mounting foam. When stamped, it looked like the kind of pattern on a giraffe. Just the right kind of feel for the animal stamps, not too fussy, and almost free! I’m going to experiment with left over rough circles, for paw prints, next. I can feel a theme coming on.
    I have noticed quite a few clothes are now sold with very solid card tags, attached by lovely ribbon. It makes the clothes seen very up-market, but it also has another benefit: the tags and ribbons, once covered with DP, stamped and/or decorated and slipped inside a pocket on a card, makes a wonderful bookmark/embellishment. A card and present in one!
    For an even more special present, box a book (recycled box, covered with DP, of course); make the card as above, but adhere a long length of satin ribbon under the pocket for the bookmark; stick the card on top of the box lid, then pass one end of the ribbon under the box and around to the side before tying in a big bow. This closes the card as well as the box and makes the card a part of the boxed book present. You could theme the box and card top to the book, too, for example, a book on travelling using old maps, vintage stamps of famous landmarks, etc. A very special present for very little money.ReplyCancel

  • Ginny K.March 4, 2011 - 3:54 pm

    Since I am no longer working I have to be a very frugal crafter, and since my husband doesn’t understand why I like to craft so much and why it always costs him money when I do, I tend to be frugal as well. Recently my husband splurged and got me some nice new outfits that were 85 % marked down from original, and the frugal part of it was I saved all of the neat tags that were on the clothes to use on craft projects, Several shirts had clear plastic tags with pictures of birds and flowers that will make unique accents on pages. Some had ball chains and some had twine and cloth tags, they all will make fabulous accents with just a little bit of altering and they were basically free! My frugal tip is , keep your eyes open to the possibility of using something for crafting that otherwise would have been just a throw away item. I recently went to hallmark and our bargain basement area and got boxed set of cards for a buck and guess what , when the cards are gone, I have a really pretty keepsake box to use for yet another project or to store memories in, always look at the possibilities to reuse, or use differently daily items!! ~Gin~ReplyCancel

  • Catherine from London, UKMarch 4, 2011 - 4:12 pm

    Another! There are such pretty paper napkins around. If you find a special one, machine sew over the design into card, then dampen and tear off the edges for a beautiful vintage look topper for very little.
    Also, black and white photocopies of old photos cam be ‘transferred’ onto card by placing it on the card, dabbing the photocopy with nail varnish remover and then rubbing with the back of a spoon. Do it onto a pre-distressed card topper for the best effect, then ‘knock back’ the edges further with distressing ink. Use the photocopy while it is ‘fresh’.ReplyCancel

  • Harriet in NCMarch 4, 2011 - 4:25 pm

    Make your own REMOVABLE TAPE, which is always more expensive than regular “Scotch’ tape. Just stick the regular tape several times to your jeans to remove some of the tackiness, and then you can use it to hold stencils in place temporarily without tearing up the paper you’re working on.

    STAMP CLEANING–i”ll bet nearly everybody already knows this tip, but for any who don’t–save your old toothbrushes, run them through the dishwasher, then use them to scrub your stamps when cleaning them. Gets down into those little crevices really well. .

    Thanks to all who are sharing ideas, and especially to Becca, who enriches our lives daily with her creative ideas and sweet spirit!ReplyCancel

  • Becky JohnsonMarch 4, 2011 - 4:55 pm

    For my ribbon storage I use washed out baby wipe and Lysol etc. containers. I thread the ribbon thru the tops of the bw and other containers.
    I use the bw bottoms to hold spools of ribbon. I store everything in steralite file cabinets, easy to see.
    Re: the toothbrush hint for cleaning stamps: I use a denture brush, too.
    The super wide brush on it is great for stamps. I always give new stamps a swipe with that, too.
    Peace, Becky JohnsonReplyCancel

  • Leadonna KimmelMarch 4, 2011 - 5:25 pm

    I love a little bling now and then and have found that the nail art rhinestones in the Dollar Store are perfect for just the right touch here and there. You can find the ones that are adhesive backed already or you can buy them loose in the package. Either way, you come out ahead!ReplyCancel

  • Lisa SackettMarch 4, 2011 - 9:24 pm

    I love repurposing/recycling–there are so many great ideas I haven’t been able to read all yet…but I’ll just name three:

    Recently I blogged about finding mini misters in my Zagg cell phone protectant kit. Great to use once they’re rinsed out, and the label comes right off.

    One of my favorite re-uses was a post on my blog at Christmas time about how to make faux snow by rubbing styrofoam together and made a card with a shaker box with the “snow” in it. That was fun.

    But the best papercrafting tip I can give that I use EveryDay — Is a Cropper Hopper 12×12 vertical paper organizer. Mine is one holder with four pockets holding 3 dividers each (total of 12 dividers). It’s meant to be used for organizing 12×12 paper, but I actually keep it right next to my desk to organize my scrap paper! LOL I usually use 12×12 paper when working on projects–for leftover scraps that are large enough, I cut immediately to 8 1/2″ x 5 1/2″ and score down the center–I put these into a basket for A2 card bases. Smaller leftover scraps I put into my Cropper Hopper by color-coding them according to plain cardstock or deco cardstock. When I’m working on a project or card and I only need a small piece, I go first to my Cropper Hopper stash, pull out the colors I’m looking for and see what works. It’s fantastic when I need to make a quick card! I keep meaning to put this on my blog, but haven’t yet–I like this tool so much, I started taking it with me to crops.ReplyCancel

  • GloriaMarch 4, 2011 - 9:31 pm

    I lost the plastic that came with my stamp-a-ma-jig. I now save the hard plastic that electronic equipment is packaged in as well as plastic from Spellbinder dies and cut them down to the size of the containers that I store my stamps in. I stamp the image of each stamp in the set using StazOn ink and I no longer have to look for the stamp-a-ma-jig plastic when using various techniques needing the assistance of this tool.ReplyCancel

  • Cheryl PennerMarch 4, 2011 - 9:33 pm

    I ALWAYS keep my spellbinders packaging. It makes fantastic paint trays and palettes for coloring with markers and then picking up with blender pens for watercolor techniques. I also use it instead of acetate for shaker cards.ReplyCancel

  • HeyGirlyMarch 4, 2011 - 11:31 pm

    I’m not much of a stamper, so my stamp stash is rather limited. But, so often I find that there are sentiments/designs that I just don’t own. So, monthly I get together with ladies who have mega SU, CM & CTMH collections. On request, they haul in their massive stamp collections and I get a chance to stamp sentiments on white card stock to add to cards at a later time. This saves lots of time and money.ReplyCancel

  • CindyMarch 4, 2011 - 11:44 pm

    I have a tall metal file cabinet in my stamp room. I went to my local hardware store and bought a roll of adhesive backed magnetic stripping. The roll is 1 inch wide by quite a few feet long (Not sure how long as it is out of the package now, but I would guess maybe 8-10 feet long.) Anyway, I measured approx. two feet of it and stuck it to the side of my file cabinet and store all my metal dies on it. It is WONDERFUL!ReplyCancel

  • CindyMarch 4, 2011 - 11:51 pm

    Another technique that I LOVE is painting my cards with glass paint. I’m sure you’ve all seen the little “sun catcher” kits in the craft stores that are painted with glass paint. Well your left over glass paint works wonderful on cards. Just make sure you emboss your image as the embossing will keep the different colors from running together. You can also purchase glass paint separate without buying the sun catchers. Example: it works great if you are stamping an image of an apple and paint the apple with red glass paint. Just make sure it dries well…probably overnight… before you put it into an envelope.ReplyCancel

  • CindyMarch 4, 2011 - 11:59 pm

    I LOVE going to the ocean just to walk on the beach. I am always looking for the teenie little seashells, seaweed, and rocks to put on my cards. They make wonderful borders/embellishments for ocean/beach/lighthouse cards.ReplyCancel

  • CindyMarch 5, 2011 - 12:12 am

    I love doing searches on free font sites. You can find some awesome free fonts that you can add to your own computer. You just need to find out where your fonts are stored in your computer. For mine I click on My Computer on my desk top. Then click on C Drive. Then click on Windows. Then click on Fonts. This opens up your Fonts folder. Then minimize your Fonts folder. After you find a font you like, simply download it to your desktop and open it. After you find the font with the .ttf file extension, then drag it into your Fonts folder and it is now in your computer and will show up in any program you use.ReplyCancel

  • CindyMarch 5, 2011 - 12:19 am

    There are many card making programs available in the stores for purchase. I have quite a few myself, but my all-time favorite is Print Shop. I almost ALWAYS do the insides of my cards in my card program. It makes your cards look very professional. A lot of my sayings on the front and insides of my cards are also done on the card program and with all the fonts available online you can do some pretty awesome things with your words. If you don’t happen to have just the right saying for your card, you can print it on the front of your card in the card program and then stamp on it and add your embellishments.ReplyCancel

  • CindyMarch 5, 2011 - 12:25 am

    I tried this once and liked it: Emboss the front of your card with an embossing folder and then put the card into another embossing folder and emboss it again. It gave a very interesting and different effect that I liked!ReplyCancel

  • CindyMarch 5, 2011 - 12:29 am

    If you want to use a sticker as a raised up embellishment but don’t want the sticky on it, simply stick it onto a piece of card stock and then cut it out and raise it up with a pop dot.ReplyCancel

  • CindyMarch 5, 2011 - 12:35 am

    I’m sure you’ve all seen the cards that have words written in a circle. You can do these yourself in MS Word. Simply type in your search “MS word type in circle” and you will get instructions on how to do this. It is sooooo much fun!!!ReplyCancel

  • CindyMarch 5, 2011 - 12:48 am

    I like to make cards up ahead of time and I organized them in a large shoe box. I simply cut down file folders to fit and labeled them “Birthday”, “Baby/Children”, “Friendship”, “Get Well”, “Holidays”, “Men/Boys”, “Miscellaneous”, “Sympathy”, and “Thank You”. Of course you can label them whatever you want. But it does keep them organized and then when you need a certain card you can go right to that file and pick one out!ReplyCancel

  • CindyMarch 5, 2011 - 1:02 am

    In my stamp room I keep my stamps and punches organized on shelves. I keep my flower stamps/punches all together. I keep my angel stamps/punches all together. I keep my dog stamps/punches all together, etc., etc. Then when you stamp an image and you want to punch out something to go with it, you know right where the punch is!ReplyCancel

  • CindyMarch 5, 2011 - 1:12 am

    I love to sponge. Whether stencils, or around the edges of a card/flowers, it adds wonderful effects. I like the round sponges and I can cut them up into small pieces. I use a different piece of sponge for each color and I store them in containers. The sponges for my dye base inks are in one container and the sponges for my pigment inks are in another container and I have them labeled “Use with die base ink” and “Use with Pigment ink”. The reason: you really don’t want to take a sponge with pigment ink on it and dip it onto your dye base pad. You would get pigment ink on your die base pad.ReplyCancel

  • CindyMarch 5, 2011 - 1:23 am

    Whenever I purchase a calendar I usually try and pick one out that I can use for making cards when the year’s over. Many of them have beautiful flowers, etc. on them that can be cut out and used as embellishments/backgrounds, etc. A lot of people even use them to make their envelopes with.ReplyCancel

  • MegMarch 5, 2011 - 1:29 am

    First time to your blog and found this great tip list. Like some before, most of these things I do on a regular basis. Think recycle—look at all packing w/ crafting eyes & possible future uses either in it’s original state or altered to fit. Buy supplies (liquid glue, glue sticks, scissors, notebooks, etc) in the fall when school supplies are on sale. Visit the dollar store for supplies-stamps, ink, colored pens, pencils, stickers, storage containers, etc. Envelopes received in the mail w/ decorative insides can be used in iris folding; larger craft envelopes can be reused as it is heavier than regular paper. Rinse a pump hair spray container & fill w/ water; have a high pile towel handy & mist used stamps right on the towel & rub to clean & dry. Works for pigment & dye ink. Hope these help.ReplyCancel

  • JMMarch 5, 2011 - 2:12 am

    I make exploding box cards and for the middle I use the packaging from anything you buy and cut into tiny strps. Then I glue a flower or whatever object i want to stand up and use a glue dot to hold it. It sways and you can make a whole scene in the bottom of the box. It is very nifty.ReplyCancel

  • ClareMarch 5, 2011 - 3:19 am

    Brown packing paper is easy to stamp on and you can make all sorts of peronalised wrapping paper.
    Its easy on the purse and a lovely persoanl touch.ReplyCancel

  • DeloresMarch 5, 2011 - 7:50 am

    Good morning Becca,
    I design my cards in PowerPoint and I use digital papers. When I have overlaying pieces, I make a white rectangle box just a little bit smaller that the piece that will be put on top, then group the lower paper and the white box. What this does is save ink!!! There is no need to print paper that is going to be covered up by another element. Hope this is not too confusing! Love your blog.ReplyCancel

  • MarilynMarch 5, 2011 - 10:02 am

    I am so impressed with all of the suggestions/tips posted to date. Here’s my little tidbit, which I’m sure most people have already discovered. When paper piercing, I use a sheet of clear plastic canvas, the smallest grid available. I have cut the sheet of plastic canvas to match the more popular card sizes, so my card fits neatly underneath and it is easier to handle. The canvas is clear enough to see the stamped design, and therefore allows me to neatly and evenly position the row of piercings to exactly where I had intended. I have a paper piercing tool that was purchased eons ago at a dollar store, but a thumbtack works well too … especially the kind that has a large head, making it easier to hold onto.

    The plastic canvas can also be purchased in various shapes, if you’d like to make your piercings in a circular or diamond-shape.

    Becca … you are such an inspiration and I truly appreciate all the time and effort you devote to this blog while sharing your talents with your online friends.ReplyCancel

  • Karen KnegtenMarch 5, 2011 - 10:30 am

    Hi Becca- I have a few money savers. I need a way to store all my ink pads, but didn’t want to spend a lot of money. I found an audio cassette storage rack at a church supply store online called kingdom dot com, for 19.99 (including shipping). It is all wood and holds 100 stamp pads. I have my Stazon, Vivid, Distress, and Memento pads stored there. When you go to their site, search for “Solid Wood Audio Cassette Rack Shelves Storage”. Many of my online buddies have purchased this item and have been very pleased.
    My second thing is that I love to sponge with inks, but hate to change out the foam applicators every time. I went and bought a piece of 1″ x 2″ lumber at the hardware store. DH and I cut into 2″ lengths and apply heavy duty velcro to the bottoms. We added cheap drawers pulls to the tops. Luckily when we changed out the draw and cabinet hardware in the kitchen I saved them and used them as well. I bought enough inssentials foam applicators, to have one for each distress ink color. I made 32 of these and store them in a plastic drawer. They are so convenient and a lot cheaper than buying a lot of the wooden ones from inkssentials. I labeled each of the applicators with a number, and labeled the corresponding ink pad with the same number!
    Thanks for doing this Becca!ReplyCancel

  • Kathy FrieszMarch 5, 2011 - 11:40 am

    My husband holds an empty box or can over the trash can while looking at me, wondering if it’s a “keeper” or can be thrown away … yes, I keep cans and boxes of all sizes. I cover soup cans with cute paper, ribbon and a flower and it becomes a paintbrush holder … Velveeta boxes are decorated and hold my Tombow markers. .. I even save the foil seal from inside the lid of my Folgers coffee can and use that to sharpen my punches. Someday when I’m gone my children will wonder what was the matter with me when they see all my ‘treasures’.ReplyCancel

  • judy baileyMarch 5, 2011 - 12:34 pm

    paper punch storage:
    this is a perfect idea for those of you who have so so many punches ! I used to put them in baskets but it was hard on my arthritis to dig threw them to look for the one i needed ; so my solution is this…. put a nail in the wall( or on a piece of plywood etc.) and go about 3 feet ( or as long as you need) and place another nail. Now take a heavy duty wire from the hardware store and wrap the wire one the one nail and run it across to the other nail and attatch . now you can take your punches, including boarder punches and hang them on the wire, the slit on the punches will hold up the punch and the wire will not bend or sway. Since all punches have the slit in them ( area where you place your paper in) they will all fit and no digging threw a bin and wasting your time finding the one you need, pain free on the arthritis !ReplyCancel

  • alsmouseMarch 5, 2011 - 1:32 pm

    I keep the foil lids from sour cream & yogurt containers, wash & dry them. The yogi tops I get are textured, so I run them through my BS with a nestie die & they make lovely textured additions to a card. If you need them sticky backed, first put the lid piece on a large sheet of double stick paper or tape before you run them through the machine.
    I also keep the sides of cleaned milk cartons & run them through the BS inside an embossing folder. It is a lovely misty background or cut down with a nestie for embelishments. These can be colored with alcohol inks or Stazon inks.

  • Diana BrownMarch 5, 2011 - 7:23 pm

    For those of you who don’t like making envelopes for your cards, you might keep an eye out at the stores that carry greeting cards. A while back I noticed a lady changing out the cards after a holiday, and she was putting the cards in one place and the envelopes in another. I asked her what she was going to do with the envelopes. She said they throw them away because the manufacturer doesn’t want them back, only the cards. I asked if I could have them and she said yes. I also managed to be at Publix when they were changing the cards and she said she would save the envelopes for me and I could check behind the card rack and she would leave them in a bag for me so I didn’t have to try to be in the store at the right time. Most of them are larger than the A2 size card a lot of you make, but I’ve always made larger cards and the envelopes are great. There are a lot of different colors also, so if they’re too big to use, I cut off the flaps and have some nice colored paper to use.ReplyCancel

  • Virginia AndersonMarch 5, 2011 - 8:30 pm

    STORE UNMOUNTED STAMPS WITH APPROPRIATE WOOD MOUNT STAMP: Using Zip-loc bags to store unmounted word stamps with an appropriate topic word mounted stamp is helping me locate the right saying. Example: A wood mounted clock stamp is stored in a bag with unmounted saying about ‘time’. vaReplyCancel

  • judy baileyMarch 6, 2011 - 3:39 pm

    I also get left over envelopes at the grocery stores, not only can you cut them up and use the paper , or just use them the way they are , but you can use it for handmade cards as a template; just fold and measure your cardstock for a card using the envelope as a guide for the size of the card you need to fit into that shape, if you can lay a folded piece of cardstock on the front of the envelope and it is not overlaping it, then you have a card to fit it. Also open up the envelope with a bone folder and trace the shape onto your cs and cut out, score and fold and your card and envelope match. save the envelope template for the future in a binder or box with other size envelopes or templates and you can refer to so many size envelopes later on and not be stuck without wondering how you will be able to make a card and envelope to match.ReplyCancel

  • LaraMarch 6, 2011 - 5:25 pm

    Make your own “dew drops” with a hot glue gun! On a non-stick surface (silicone works great), create dabs of glue. Let dry and color with alcohol inks, Copics or other permanent markers. Or use colored hot glue sticks.ReplyCancel

  • Mary RobersonMarch 6, 2011 - 8:31 pm

    Give every item a home and put items back up (where they belong) when finished so that you know where they are when you are ready to begin the next project.ReplyCancel

  • Maxine D/KiwimeMarch 6, 2011 - 8:32 pm

    I cut double sided sellotape in half to minimize my costs – I measure the length of one side, cut it off the roll and then cut it in half to use the one length to adhere both sides of that layer.to the other surfaceReplyCancel

  • PhyllisMarch 7, 2011 - 6:45 am

    Cupcake Flowers!
    I go to dollar store or Michaels and get the pretty multi-colored paper cupcake holders. Got darling ones at Michaels last week for only a dollar! Cut out the whole circle bottom. Now carefully gather the edges up tight around the “hole” anyway you find easy. I glue the gathered up paper to a pop dot underneath. Now, cover the center on top side with a button, or anything you like. You can use several layers, one inside the other for a fuller look. Cut a “bigger” hole in the bottom for a smaller flower. The ridged edges make it look so pretty.ReplyCancel

  • Karin ReitzmannMarch 7, 2011 - 7:32 am

    Sorry my English spelling.
    For closing a card I take instead of two magnets, one magnet on one side and the other side a small washer (hope it is the right word).
    Greetings from Belgium

  • Fonda TottenMarch 7, 2011 - 8:37 am

    Since I got side-tracked on the Organized Stamper section…great ideas there too; I apologize if this is a repeat of someone elses. When I buy Stampin’ Up! wood-mounted sets, after I punch out the stamps, I recycle the extra rubber/foam into “pop-dots.” Just cut small pieces as needed, peel off the white liner and rubber, add a smidge of adhesive and, voila!…FREE pop dots.ReplyCancel

  • Marlene IacuzziMarch 7, 2011 - 8:48 am

    I always check our local dollar store for pretty letterhead (8 1/2 x 11) computer paper. I sometimes find pretty designs that work perfectly for my card insides. i have the most success when I use the pages on 4 1/4 x 5.5 sized cards, as I cut the computer paper in half, trim the piece a bit, and the design on the paper either goes at the top or the bottom. There is room for my message, and even more embellishing if I wish. It is harder to find designs that work on a horizontal card (the designs don’t work). I have found wonderful Christmas card insert pages in dollar stores. Often you can find just plain colored paper to use. And for a $1, hey, you can afford to waste some of it.ReplyCancel

  • Cheryl MorrisonMarch 7, 2011 - 10:35 am

    A true Paper Crafter (heck a true crafter!) never throws anything away, thus the need for a conversation like this and those above right? Well my thing is I know I need to thin out my “stuff” but they are all my “friends” so I have a hard time letting them go. (I know I am the only one with this problem, right? Lol.) Well what I do is all the little scraps, misc. leftovers, etc., I put in a bag or box until I have a good collection of goodies. Now we all know “one woman’s trash is another womans treasure”. Well what are leftovers to me, and are causing me storage nightmares, are gifts or Manna from Heaven to others, and I just pass my “stuff friends” all on to one of my human friends. Then I am not just letting my ” stuff friends” go, I am letting them meet new friends! Then my human friends can start their own Storage Nightmares! And so the cycle of life continues!!!ReplyCancel

  • Cheryl MorrisonMarch 7, 2011 - 10:41 am

    Oh, and one other thing…Some of my “Stuff Friends” are just too close to me or I am just not ready to totally let go of them. And I am not really good at sharing, but I am great at giving. So I have yet another bag or box of collectibles stashed away. So when a human friend comes to my house with hopes of entering the inner sanctum of my “studio”, I let them make something fantastic, and we use something from the “not ready to totally let go box”. So they get something amazing, I don’t feel the withdrawals of letting a “stuff friend” go before I am ready, but I also don’t have to feel the pressure of not sharing. And everyone again is happy!ReplyCancel

  • Cheryl MorrisonMarch 7, 2011 - 10:55 am

    Also I know not everyone has totally lost their mind and has bought over 900 punches like me (They have yet to diagonose me, but can you say “Hi My Name is Cheryl and I am a Craftaholic!) But with so many punches I needed a great storage place easily accessable but mobile too. So I have slowly bought some of those rolling Mechanics Toolboxes (also abscounded (sp) one from my husband when he placed one tool in each drawer supposedly claiming it for himself! LOL). These cabinets are made to bear the wieght, and you can pick up inexpensive ones too!ReplyCancel

  • MargaritaMarch 7, 2011 - 12:38 pm

    I love your blog Becca and your 31 days feature. I got a lot of great ideas for organization last month. This month is proving to be just as valuable. Some of my favorite ways to stretch supplies have been mentioned numerous times. It was very encouraging to see I am not crazy, just an avid crafter. Anyway, here are some additional ideas. Cut your dies or punches out of packaging plastics and then use them as your masks in reverse masking projects. They wont get saturated with ink and disentegrate. They also maked great gifts for your crafting friends who have admired a paticular card or technique. Also get your friends to do the same with their dies and you all share. Not everyone has to buy everything that way. Garage sales are a great place to buy broken jewelry that can become wonderful flower centers in your handmade flowers. Used US postal shipping boxes make wonderful free containers to hold paper in an organized fashion. My daughter works at StarBucks and brings home very sturdy paper bags from there often. They are easy to paint, cover with paper,and alter many satisfying ways. Shop at places like Ollies and Big Lots. You never know what name brand treasure you will find. I guess the biggest and most important tip is to commit to learning how to get the full value from the things you already own. I realized a few years ago that I haqve developed a give it to me , give it to me attitude and mindset seen in children in December. I always wanted the latest gadget or paper or ink. I was not content with the overflowing abundance of wonderful crafting supplies I already had. Learn to use, really use the supplies you already have to their full potential. Put things on a wish list and commit not to buy untill you have saved up or waited a particular period of time. if it is still just as enticing, go for it. Instead of buying the latest embelishment, buy templates and make them. A template will outlast your lifespan with proper care. We are crafters because we enjoy creating, fussing with glue and paer and ink — so do it. Hope this is not to long a post. ThanksReplyCancel

  • yogiMarch 7, 2011 - 2:04 pm

    Lots of interesting ideas
    I buy a lot of postage stamps that are the sticky type in booklets. I never throw those away after I’ve used the stamps. Any colored area is great for punching and the postage adhesive is amazing. I save them from work as well so I have a ton. There are beautiful images on some of the packages too that can be cut out to enhance an envelope.

    I also save all my kleenex tissue papers or paper towels that I’ve used to wipe up my paints/Distress colors etc.. When they’re so full of color, I just let them dry out, then separate the layers and adhere to thin white cardstock with a glue stick. I now have fabulous backgrounds or to punch/die cut out.ReplyCancel

  • Paulette S. in MOMarch 7, 2011 - 4:52 pm

    You can sharpen your dies, just like you do your punches, by cutting 2 to 4 layers of cooking foil a few times(just tear off a section and fold it in half and in half again, use the die to cut it, then cut wax paper a couple of times to relubricate the cutting edge. This really works, I ordered a Sizzix die “Bare Tree” from ebay and it was dull. The seller did not want to replace or refund my money, so I tried it as a last resort solution and it worked. For dies that DO NOT cut in one small area repeatedly, I will apply masking tape or blue painters tape to the back of the die on that area only, as a Permanent shim, you can add one or *two layers usually does the trick. I should use my own tip about the cooking tin foil and see if I can sharpen those small areas of my thick dies and see if that sharpens the area that constantly does not cut. =DReplyCancel

  • DWDMarch 8, 2011 - 12:16 am

    I keep all my scraps from my scrapbooking pages in a folder until I finish that scrapbook. Anytime I need smaller pieces or strips of paper, I have may have a piece that ties previous pages to current pages.ReplyCancel

  • Ginny K.March 8, 2011 - 12:09 pm

    To be frugal, I keep every clear container that I get with things, no matter what size and shape it is, cuz I know I will be able to use it for another gift or package by just embellishing it with ribbon or paper and adding the gift inside, whether it is candy or cards or whatever, I know I will have a container to fit because I save everything…..I’m boarder line hoarder…..My husband thinks I’m nuts! I save paper scraps also, they come in handy for tags and accents on cards! ~gin~ReplyCancel

  • crystalMarch 8, 2011 - 6:36 pm

    I buy silk flowers at the dollar store or walmart and take them apart instead of buying scrapbooking flowers. You can get a whole lot of flowers from one bunch. I put a pretty brad, button or pearl in the centerReplyCancel

  • KayMarch 9, 2011 - 9:35 am

    I like to refurbish furniture into perfect storage. My latest endeavor was a punch storage I made from an old nightstand bought at Goodwill for $6. I removed the drawers and made shelves (like keyboard shelves for a computer desk). Mine will hold 4 shelves, they pull out completely and you can see all your punches. For the punches that will hang I use an over the door towel rack which I removed the hangers from, and just hung on the wall. It has 4 rails and holds the punches perfectly.ReplyCancel

  • BernieMarch 9, 2011 - 1:28 pm

    Refill your old dried out Blender Pens
    1/4 tsp. rubbing alcohol
    2 tsp. glycerin
    4 tsp. distilled water
    Pull the nibs out of the pen, drop the pen barrel into the solution. You will see bubbles come out of the ends as the solution fills the barrel. Remove, shake off excess and replace nibs. There is a great video called Stamp Busters comparing refilled vs. new pens with a variety of mediums and card stocks on ‘Where the Rubber Hits the Road‘.
    Blessings BernieReplyCancel

  • AnneMarch 9, 2011 - 6:57 pm

    I buy polycarbonate sheets from a plastics supplier, rather than cutting plates for my manual die cutting machines. They are a fraction of the cost of the cutting plates sold by the manufacturers of the die cutting machines and can be bought in various thicknesses and sizes. Some plastics suppliers will cut large sheets down for free – and I like free :o)
    Anne (UK) xReplyCancel

  • Rebecca ShreveMarch 9, 2011 - 7:54 pm

    If you like to make your own paper, one of things I add to the mix is lint from my dryer. It’s especially nice if you use the ones from colored towels or any colored laundry. It adds color and texture and it’s free.
    I have read so many great ideas………………Thanks everyone for sharing.
    Special Thanks to Becca for giving us this opportunity. Becca, you are the best.

  • Debby WalkerMarch 10, 2011 - 6:27 pm

    To save money, craft with friends; sharing is a great way to use up extras and it’s fun!ReplyCancel

  • Jeanielou KaufmanMarch 10, 2011 - 7:36 pm

    I thought of this as I was enthralled with your card of ‘Yesterday’. When I need to layer a color I don’t have, I take, for instance, my gold pen and ‘paint’ the edges of white cardstock all around as deep as needed, before placing the next layer on top. I hope that is clear…LOL
    I don’t have access to going alone to craft stores so I must improvise quite often. My sight and age sometimes conflict…LOL
    Hugs, JeanielouReplyCancel

  • AnneMarch 11, 2011 - 9:03 am

    Buy in bulk from online suppliers who offer discounts for multiple purchases and free postage/shipping when you spend more than £x (or $x). If you join with friends or a craft club, there are some significant savings to be had!
    It’s particularly important for us in the UK when buying from the US as we are hit with a fixed £8 (just over $12) handling fee by our post office, for imported purchases over £18, on top of taxes. It makes sense to share a parcel if you live near others.
    Anne (UK) xReplyCancel

  • AnneMarch 11, 2011 - 9:07 am

    Save stiff plastic packaging, cut to size and round corners, then use for card blanks or as shims on manual die-cutting machines. It also makes great snowflakes with glitter added or fronts for shaker boxes.
    Anne (UK) xReplyCancel

  • AnneMarch 11, 2011 - 9:16 am

    Press flowers and leaves that you find in field, hedgerow and garden and use them on cards, bookmarks, pictures etc once they are dry. They make beautiful additions to so many things and they are free. And as I posted before, I like free :o)
    Anne (UK)ReplyCancel

  • AnneMarch 11, 2011 - 9:21 am

    If there is an item you really want, research online and note cheapest price available before you buy, always adding in shipping costs. Try not to impulse buy when you’re out shopping. What you overspend might have paid for other crafting goodies!
    Anne (UK) xReplyCancel

  • Jeanielou KaufmanMarch 11, 2011 - 11:47 am

    Here is a frugal hint. The silver heavy foil seal on the Folger’s coffee cannister is excellent for using with dies and layering on a card..
    Hugs, Jeanielou from PAReplyCancel

  • Jeanielou KaufmanMarch 12, 2011 - 11:55 am

    I needed a work table for my crafting. I bought a triple dresser in blue/white. I had my son remove the center set of drawers for a knee hole. It is so perfect as i can also use the three drawers on each side for storge. It cost me all to the tune of $6. Didn’t even need to paint it. It is a treasured part of my room.
    Hugs, Jeanielou in PAReplyCancel

  • Jeanielou KaufmanMarch 12, 2011 - 12:00 pm

    This should be under ‘getting organized’…LOL…sorry I am so late.
    One of my students said she buys pizza boxes and stores all of her 12×12 sheets of cardstock. She lines them up by the rainbow color scheme.. I do the same with clear plastic envelope folders from Jo-ann’s with coupons.
    Hugs, JeanielouReplyCancel

  • Debby WalkerMarch 12, 2011 - 12:48 pm

    I save tin cans, that I opened with a can opener that does not leave sharp edges, and then decorate the outside for athetic value, then use them for storage. of sissors, pencils, tools, etc.ReplyCancel

  • Judy AMarch 12, 2011 - 11:22 pm

    For a recent project, I needed to add some bling to a large number of
    invitations. After walking up and down the aisles of the craft
    store, I came upon glittered foam. It was a 9×12″ sheet for $1.49 before
    a 40% off coupon. I punched out small circles with my
    small paper punch and glued them to my project. Not only did they
    work wonderfully, I didn’t have to worry about them falling off when
    they were being send through the mail. The foam also gave just
    enough texture, color and bling to the project and I have enough foam left over for other projects!ReplyCancel

  • Linda ClarkMarch 13, 2011 - 1:36 pm

    I have an IPOD and I organized all my stamps, punches, inks, etc. by company name/manufacturer and I typed them onto my home computer, then hooked my IPOD to my computer and downloaded everything I had listed. I then carry my IPOD with me when I go craft shopping and when I go to stamping conventions and I have all my information easily at hand. All I have to do is look on my IPOD for the manufacturer, then look at my list under each. So much easier than returning duplicated purchases!ReplyCancel

  • Teresa StreetMarch 14, 2011 - 7:57 pm

    My tip is not so much saving me money but I cant stand to throw away all those little bits of paper scraps that get left over. I seem to accumulate tones of it. Once my bag is full I take it to the Preschools for their collage box. Or I save it for my nephews rainy day box and chuck in to bottle of glue. This way we all get to have fun:)ReplyCancel

  • judy baileyMarch 15, 2011 - 11:26 am

    it is nearly impossible to find the “C” plate for the cuttlebug; so befor it gets worn out and you have the dickens to replace it, instead, i put the dies down and cut into the “B” plates, they are easily replaced and your local glass cutting or windshield shops can cut a “B” plate for a few bucks.ReplyCancel

  • judy baileyMarch 15, 2011 - 11:30 am


  • BernieMarch 16, 2011 - 9:58 pm

    Baker’s twine is all the rage these days but I’ll never be able to afford all the colors, nor would I use it all. This morning I took some white and blue embroidery floss and twisted it. To keep it from unraveling I dipped it in a mix of white glue and water, stretched it out, pinned it down, dabbed off the excess then dried it with my heat gun. I think I need to thin the glue down a bit more so it wont be quite so stiff but I’m happy with the result and will now have any color combo I want. I’ve braided the floss in the pass and like the results as well.
    Blessings BernieReplyCancel

  • Karen LinarezMarch 16, 2011 - 10:51 pm

    Just lately, I’ve been trying to conserve paper so I have been cutting the center out of the paper when I layer mats or die shapes to stack on a card, since the bottom layers will be covered over with the top layers and you’ll never know that the center of that bottom layer is missing.ReplyCancel

  • TrishMarch 17, 2011 - 4:40 am

    Hi Becca I use the silver lids off the yoghurt and the coffee tins. I cut them out with my spellbinders to whatever I want and it ends up a lovely silver ornament.
    Hugs Trish.ReplyCancel

  • TrishMarch 17, 2011 - 4:42 am

    Hi Becca. never through your silver lids out from yoghurt and coffee tins as they can be cut out with the spellbinders or any dies and made into lovely silver ornaments.
    Hugs Trish.ReplyCancel

  • Donna RMarch 17, 2011 - 7:52 am

    I often use tissue boxes and fun colored paper bags for background designer paper. I peel the majority of the cardboard off the back so the card is less bulky! Love these ideas from everyone!ReplyCancel

  • mom2hMarch 17, 2011 - 8:06 am

    I trace the inside of the backing from my chipboard alphabets and shapes like swirls (the ones that come on a full sheet). I love the hand drawn effect and you can color them in or leave them…or even cut out the shapes. You can also use these negative shapes as misting, chalking or stamping templates. One of my favorite techniques, especially for kid-sy layouts is to ‘scribble” with a colored pencil to fill in the shape, and you’ll get an A+ because the raised edge of the chipboard helps to keep you “inside the lines”. Now that’s thinking outside the box! LOL!ReplyCancel

  • judy baileyMarch 17, 2011 - 8:13 am

    if you save all those silver lids from food or dog food ! not only can you run them threw a cuttlebug and emboss them, but , you can ink them up with tim holtz alcohol inks and a dabber.ReplyCancel

  • DorothyMarch 17, 2011 - 9:22 am

    To save some frustration while using a Cuttlebug machine on a rough surface – first dampen the bottom of your Cuttlebug and it will hold much better for you.ReplyCancel

  • RitaMarch 17, 2011 - 3:57 pm

    I too cannot afford the bakers twine in all the colors, I found the Sugar n Cream yarn at craft stores just as nice and it comes in several twine looking blends. Micheals had it on sale last week for $1 a skein. You get so much and the price is right.ReplyCancel

  • Katie K.March 17, 2011 - 4:44 pm

    Please forgive me if this has already been mentioned; I’m losing track with all these wonderful ideas.

    My favorite heat embossing trick is take a clipboard—just one of the plain kind you get at an office supply store for about $2 or have sitting around at home—and cover it with aluminum foil. A legal pad size is especially good, for the extra length. When you place your ready-to-emboss paper on the clipboard, it reflects back the heat from the embossing tool and embosses faster. Usually I can find at least a corner of my paper that doesn’t have embossing powder on it to slip under the clipboard’s clip. That keeps the paper from blowing away and saves my fingers from the heat. I always have the clipboard next to my heating tool. Easy and cheap!ReplyCancel

  • IreneMarch 17, 2011 - 6:53 pm

    One of my Christmas presents was a Martha Stewart button punch. Now I save all my tiny scraps so when I need a paper button of that color it’s there and not waste a bigger piece that could be used for a card front.ReplyCancel

  • heaneyMarch 17, 2011 - 8:23 pm

    If you don’t have this (then, use this…)
    1. dauber (triangle make-up sponge)
    2.craft sheet (cut out the metalic-type packaging from milk powder/beverages pack. Use the inside of the packaging)
    3. round shape chipboard (lid of any biscuit tin/metal container)
    4. glimmer mist (food colouring)
    5. gamsol (Johnson baby oil)
    6. tortilon (Q-tip)ReplyCancel

  • Diana BrownMarch 17, 2011 - 9:25 pm

    I thought Katie had a great idea about using a clipboard for your heat embossing. I didn’t have a clipboard handy, so I just took a sturdy piece of cardboard, wrapped it with heavy-duty aluminum foil and added a large binder clip to hold the paper. It works great.ReplyCancel

  • BernieMarch 18, 2011 - 4:16 pm

    For years I have been collecting ideas on how to make an array of products myself in order to save myself some money.

    Using a glue gun drop drops of glue onto waxed paper or a silicone mat. Place in a baggie add a few drops of alcohol ink to color. For pearls you can brush them with pigment powders such as Pearl Ex. I must admit most of my drops did not come out shaped right although inexpensive I didn‘t find it worth my time and energy.

    Place drops of Glossy Accents on wax paper. Before they dry dip a pin into alcohol ink then dip pin into the center of the GA drops. Color will spread and fill the drop. Allow to dry over night. I don’t have any GA yet so this is still on my list to try.

    In most craft stores in the flowers section you can find little crystal half marbles designed to be placed in vases to hold your flowers upright. There are several hundred in a bag. I bought a bag of the clear ones and colored them with alcohol inks. I love the results. I’ve tried coloring them with my Sharpies but the color is dull. I don’t have copics but I’ve read they come out beautifully.
    I’ve also used metallic paint on these for the pearls and love the results.
    Blessings BernieReplyCancel

  • BernieMarch 18, 2011 - 4:20 pm

    My stamp positioner is made of Lego bricks. I kept warning my grandson to pick them up or else. Only took a few to get him to pick them up and I got my positioner.
    Blessings BernieReplyCancel

  • BernieMarch 18, 2011 - 4:26 pm

    Instead of buying a corner ticket punch, I use a circle punch I already own and turn it upside down so I can see, and stick the card stock in so just 1/4 of the circle is covered and punch. This makes the perfect notch out of the corner.
    Blessings BernieReplyCancel

  • BernieMarch 18, 2011 - 4:32 pm

    Make your own flower soft from the white Styrofoam craft balls. You cut the ball in half and rub the cut sides together to “grate” it and the particles look exactly like flower soft. I’ve only used it as snow but you can place the crumbs on wax paper and color with a few drops of alcohol inks.
    Blessings BernieReplyCancel

  • Sherry LowmasterMarch 18, 2011 - 10:23 pm

    I use the clip board for embossing but when I do seveeral pieces at a time, I clip them on the clipboard with the pinch type wooden clothspins and emboss a whole clipboard full at once.I also carry some of the clothspins in my bag and if I am embossing at a friends house, I will clip the clothspin on the paper and then hold the clothspin to keep from buring my fingers.ReplyCancel

  • Joyce MarcomMarch 19, 2011 - 10:57 am

    Love all the tips! Don’t think I’ve seen this one – need some beautiful metallic papers for cards? Check the gift bag section at the dollar stores. Some are even holographic. The prettiest are usually available when they first put out the Christmas ones but you have to go then because they are quickly gone!ReplyCancel

  • Diana BrownMarch 19, 2011 - 11:19 am

    If you need a non-stick surface for making your own glue dots or using Glossy Accents to make dew drops, use Reynold’s NON-STICK aluminum foil. Everything just slides off and you don’t need to try to find some leftover sticker paper.ReplyCancel

  • BernieMarch 19, 2011 - 1:08 pm

    Yesterday I wrapped a gift for my grandson’s birthday and used the gift wrap as the background paper on his card. Instead of buying expensive pattern paper I often use gift wrap. They are themed for weddings, babies, guys, teens, little kids, holidays, even solid colors and patterns. They are so cheap especially if you find what you like at a $ store. Or better still save used gift wrap after the party is over.
    Blessings BernieReplyCancel

  • Lyn WarehamMarch 19, 2011 - 3:02 pm

    I use colour catcher sheets in my washing machine and they come out a variety of colours, sometimes like tie-dye. I either use these as they are or I make up a bleach stamp pad using folded kitchen paper and then stamp onto the sheet. They make great backgrounds.ReplyCancel

  • Lyn WarehamMarch 19, 2011 - 3:05 pm

    I keep an empty tissue box next to me on my worktop and all those teeny tiny scraps, backing from double-sided tape etc go in there. This saves me having lots of itsy bitsy bits flying around. Once it is full I tape it up and throw it away.ReplyCancel

  • MargaritaMarch 21, 2011 - 9:51 pm

    You can buy a lot of very pretty ribbon at great prices if you wait for the day after Christmaas sale, the Valentine’s clearance sale, etc.ReplyCancel

  • Tootsie @ Paper BagleyMarch 23, 2011 - 7:53 pm

    Well Little Toots is in need the baby wipes for another few months and I have saved some of the containers for those…I could use that moments. Well today I had one!
    As I was putting the clean clothes in the drier, I grabbed a fabric softener and it pulled the whole box down. I had a Wa-La thought! Do you think one of those baby wipe containers would hold these sheets, Toots?
    Grab a soft yellow one, slipped in the sheets, shut the lid and oh yea!!! Now they are easy to get and the smell is contained.
    Maybe this has been done already…I just have not read it…but life of the moment happen and thought I would share…inchin’ along…TootsieReplyCancel

  • Mary L.March 24, 2011 - 10:32 am

    Enjoy the “Popycock”
    re-use the container for a handy, little, garbage can.
    mary l.ReplyCancel

  • AnneMarch 25, 2011 - 3:46 pm

    Use acetate from packaging
    1 as shims in your die-cutting machine
    2 for scribbling on with pens, then adding water
    3 as overlays on card blanks so that you can position elements when working on new designs. Once happy with layout, slide acetate off card, then fix elements on card, checking positioning with your acetate layout.
    Anne (UK) xReplyCancel

  • AnneMarch 25, 2011 - 3:48 pm

    Use wallpaper samples on cards. You can find some great designs and sometimes get them free :o)
    Anne (UK) xReplyCancel

  • AnneMarch 26, 2011 - 9:46 am

    Cut open tomato puree tubes and the like, when empty, and then wash and die cut. Another freebie! Just be careful, though, as the edges can be sharp as with all thick foil.
    Anne (UK) xReplyCancel

  • AnneMarch 26, 2011 - 9:55 am

    Have you ever wrecked a piece of clothing that still has plenty of wear in it? You know – something tears, you spill bleach on it, you drop something on it that you can’t get out in the wash? Once laundered, disguise the damage with fabric die cuts (maybe described as ‘altering’ in craft speak ;o) ), but if beyond saving, die cut denim jeans into small items of clothing for teenage cards, other fabric for die cut christmas stockings, father christmas outfits etc. I generally use the thick dies and certain fabrics work better than others.
    Anne (UK) xReplyCancel

  • Phyllis SchafferMarch 26, 2011 - 1:44 pm

    “Free garbage cans”! I teach free card making classes at my church and we usually have 5 tables set up. I save all of my tissue boxes (ie, Kleenex) and set one in the middle of each table. This way the ladies can throw all of their little scraps in there and they don’t end up on the floor, requiring longer cleanup at the end of our session. I can either clean them out – or if I have a big supply of them, just throw them away. I also keep one at my work area at home to sweep any stay glitter, embossing powder, tape pieces, etc. in. Love it! And it is free!ReplyCancel

  • Phyllis SchafferMarch 26, 2011 - 2:18 pm

    Cheap “ribbon” accents. When I see a sale on tulle at the fabric store, I buy1/4 yard of lots of colors. I roll the tulle up in a roll and cut it with scissors at 1 inch increments and store them in clear jars or large baggies. When I need a “little extra” on a card, but don’t want or have the right color ribbon, I pull out a strip of the tulle, wrap it around my card and tie it in a knot or a bow, and trim the ends. It stretches, hides the irregular cutting I did, and adds a nice touch for just pennies. Thanks to everyone else for their great ideas.ReplyCancel

  • AnneMarch 27, 2011 - 6:08 am

    I save the cellophane wrappers from bought items to re-use for made cards. If you peel the flap up very carefully, you can often re-use the bag. I cut off the end with the manufacturer’s name and package details and hey ho! As we run a card ministry at Church, we can use the bags for cards for the ministers and pastoral care assistants and we hold a fund-raising craft club, so we are never short of bags for the members’ ‘make and takes’. We even ask them to return them for re-use. If they are creased, I use them to store die cut embellishments.
    Anne (UK) xReplyCancel

  • AnneMarch 27, 2011 - 6:22 am

    We re-cycle all cardboard, but when flattening out boxes, I have my scissors at the ready and snip off sections of card, particularly if the card is shiny or patterned. Simple but very effective cards can be made by cutting letters from these pieces – Happy Birthday, Get Well Soon, Congratulations – or the name of the person you are going to send the card to – and then adding stars, flowers, gems etc. They are especially good for male cards and teenagers’ cards. Another freebie :o)
    My darling husband often asks, ‘Is there NOTHING you can throw away?’ I just hold up my scissors and smile, wondering why he keeps asking the question, when clearly he already knows the answer ;O)
    Anne (UK) xReplyCancel

  • Jeanne SzaboMarch 28, 2011 - 6:35 pm

    Lots of great ideas! My contribution is: use clean medicine bottles to store all the paper you’ve punched out. After I punch, I put the paper into a bottle and adhere one to the lid with a glue dot. I store the bottles in a plastic bin and just have to look at the lids to find the one I need.ReplyCancel

  • AnneMarch 30, 2011 - 4:44 pm

    Do you drink tea? Use the leaves or tea bag that you’ve just used to antique card or make marble effects. Coffee grounds still produce colour after they have been used too. Fruit tea bags will give you a pink/mauve look.
    Another freebie if they were destined for the bin anyway :o)
    Anne (UK) xReplyCancel

  • AnneMarch 31, 2011 - 4:33 am

    If you don’t need ice cream containers for storage, die cut them into tags or coasters, then alter them.
    Shapes you cut make great templates and both positives and negatives can be used as masks or stencils when colouring/spritzing/misting etc.
    In the UK, we have some fairly robust containers which work well with thick dies (Sizzix originals, thick cuts, wooden dies, Accucut etc). Any small sections can be made into plant labels for your seeds, plants and cuttings. Just use a permanent marker or ‘Write Anywhere’ pen.
    Re-cycle the plastic when no longer required.
    Ooooh! And again – a freebie :o)
    Anne (UK) xReplyCancel

  • AnneMarch 31, 2011 - 4:39 am

    Junk mail! Sometimes the letters/flyers/envelopes have sections which can be used in projects. Check before re-cycling!
    Anne (UK) xReplyCancel

  • AnneMarch 31, 2011 - 4:59 am

    Friends and family save their birthday and Christmas cards and I salvage any parts that can be re-used for a ‘green’ range of cards!
    As I make cards for charity, I look for ways to keep my costs down, so I also buy wholesale cards at times, solely for the envelopes and the cello bags the cards come in, as, would you believe, it can be cheaper to buy them this way. Ebay can be quite fruitful and there are real bargains to be had. I remove any sections of card (embossed, shiny, textured, sentiments, card backs where they are unprinted) from any whole cards which I know will not sell, then put the scraps on the compost heap. I then cut the salvaged sections with fancy scissors, use a fancy blade in my trimmer or run the salvaged sections through the die cutter using spellbinders tags or nestabilities dies.
    I then use these as mats for layering and the sentiments on cards I make.
    Anne (UK) xReplyCancel