Tuesday, July 9, 2013

Choosing From Your Patterned Paper Menu

Have you ever been to a restaurant where there were 100s of items on the menu? Jerry's Famous Deli in Marina Del Rey comes to mind. They boast of having a menu containing over 600 items! I've been there... once. It took me about 1/2 hour to decide what to order. Sometimes having too many choices can be more debilitating than having just a few.

While putting together page kits for Classygirl's upcoming Summertime and the Scrappin' is Easy workshop on Sunday, I decided to use patterned paper solely from my single sheets (in an effort to use it all up), instead of from stacks such as DCWV. Because my single sheets of paper run the gamut of patterns, colors, textures, etc. and much of it dates back ten years or more, finding two or three sheets of patterned paper that worked well together AND that I liked was tough. Back in the day when I used to buy single sheets of PP (ten of the same sheet!), I just bought what I liked (or what was on clearance) with no idea of how it was going to be used or whether it matched anything else that I was purchasing or had in my growing paper collection. In addition, several years ago I was a CM Consultant and often bought packs of paper just to satisfy my quarterly quota, whether I liked the paper or not. So I had amassed quite a collection of patterned paper. Once I moved to Arizona I began purchasing paper stacks because I realized that for "patterned-paper challenged" people like me, it was so much easier to coordinate papers if they were part of a stack.

In a fit of purging this past spring, I donated the equivalent of two boxes of paper and embellishments at CKC when it was here in April. But yesterday, I decided that I wanted to move my divided Jetmax cubes (which contained albums, unfinished projects, and notebooks etc.)  from the bottom of my configuration to the top, but in order to do that I was going to have to get rid of more paper, or at least find other storage for it, since the paper would fit much tighter in the divided cubes than it did in the open cubes. I really didn't want to have to allocate any more storage space to paper. The open cubes were at the top with my cardstock and patterned paper, but the paper tended to fall over when I pulled a handful out to search for something. So last night I decided to switch them which of course then became a paper-purging event as well.

My patterned paper filled up an entire open cube so I went through all of it, not once, not twice, but three times and this is what I have decided to give away. I was chatting with someone on SOC last night and jokingly told her that I had about 12 inches of paper stacked up already. I was about 8 1/2 inches off, but if you count what I donated in April, it far exceeds 12 inches!

After purging, all of my patterned paper fits in three sections of one cube and I was able to make more room for my cardstock.

I was choosing paper this morning for another one of Classygirl's From Desk to Done layouts, and it was so easy peasy because I didn't have to sift through so much non-coordinating and mostly disliked and outdated patterned paper.

So the take away for today is this:

  • It's much easier to coordinate/match patterned papers if they are part of a collection from the same manufacturer or part of a paper stack.
  • When buying patterned paper, it helps if you already know how you're going to use it.
  • Once your storage space for a particular item is full, it is time to purge. Make your stash fit your storage; not the other way around.

Thanks for checking in today!


  1. You are on a roll and I'm loving reading all your posts. I love stacks, but I think I'm getting to the point of too many stacks.

    I've been watching Tiffany on ScrapRack livestream with her 8 week organization challenge. It will take me some time to get use to her suggestions.

    Looking forward to your post tomorrow.

    1. Thanks Dakota. What does Tiffany suggest as far as patterned paper is concerned?

  2. Wow! You are really getting organized! Paper storage is a major issue for most of us. I also purchased a lot of pp when I started scrappin'12 years ago. It wasn't unusual for me to buy hundreds of sheets when it was on sale. Fortunately, I bought paper that appealed to me then and still does and I am pretty good at mixing patterns from various lines. My husband took everything out of the closet in my scrapbook and added rows of shelves spaced for my paper storage and other storage too. I converted used priority mail boxes into decorated paper storage. Unfortunately, I have 44 of those that are full and it is nearly all pp. I also have stacks of single sheets of pp and paper stacks that I don't have these storage boxes for. I literally have more paper than I will ever use but I can't make myself let it go. This doesn't include cardstock that is primarily stored elsewhere. I had my pp well organized until health issues kept me from sorting and putting away new paper I either ordered online or purchased on rare trips out to shop. Fortunately, my 10 year old granddaughter loves paper crafting so she is using my paper but I still have to store it. I know I need to purge and your post makes me seriously think about it again. It will be an enormous job. I have cut way back on buying paper. My last purchase was Graphic 45 Secret Garden for some specific projects.

    I'm not a hoarder by any means. When I stopped using stickers except for some Thickers, I gave away a 12" stack of stickers. I have completely changed my buying habits. I buy new products selectively and focus on tools like dies, stamps, ink etc. My biggest issue remains pp storage but I am considering a purge. Thank you for sharing your process. I think my entire craft room is ready for an overhaul and reorganization. I just need to stay healthy and fight the urge to craft rather than reorganize. lol!

  3. Great tips. And you are so right. It is better to use paper from the same manufacturer. It helps me so much when I do that.