Quick Tip | Punching Your Scraps

Today’s quick tip is just a reminder that before you toss out any scrap pattern paper or cardstock, check to see if there’s room to punch an image. Can you punch a butterfly, a scalloped circle or a flourished journaling square?

I have a couple of small containers that I keep right near my work space that hold a variety of punched images. One holds butterflies, the other one holds everything else.

Like anything, if it’s close to your work space and easily accessible, the odds are higher that you’ll actually use it.

5 handy reasons to punch scrap paper

  • Maximize your stash of cardstock and pattern paper. If you have a container of punches near your workspace in colors you often use, you’ll reach for them instead of reaching for a fresh sheet of cardstock or a larger scrap paper.
  • Helps you make use of every inch of paper when you cut images on electronic die cut machines. Instead of just cutting the few images you need, fill in all the open space with generic, easy to use images (like flowers, tags, flourished frames, etc…).
  • Helps you make decisions on size and scale of embellishments. Use a punch temporarily on an in-progress layout to get a feel for what size embellishments might work. The punch can act as a place holder until you find the right flower or diecut.
  • Allows you to use every inch of that last piece of pattern paper you absolutely adore. If you punch a few images from it, you can use that paper on more projects.
  • Might prompt you to add the perfect finishing touch to a layout. If you have a variety of punched butterflies and flowers right there, they are super simple to add and help you finish off a page.

I tend to gravitate to more generic shaped punches that I can use over and over. A few of my favorites are this journal plate from EK Success and this medallion from Martha Stewart.

What are your favorite punches?


  1. I do something similar with my scraps and love how it works out!

    • 🙂 It’s nice to have them handy, right? I’m all for anything that makes creating my pages easier!

  2. I have done this many times. I donate them to a friend who scraps for foster children. Alot of these children don’t have photo’s of themselves or their families. So she scrapbooks what they are interested in.

    • That’s another great idea. For anyone who’s working on their spring purging and donating some old supplies, take them a bag of punched shapes too! There we go again…..scrapbookers are making the world a better place! 🙂

  3. I punch most of my little scraps and put them into a container for my daughter to craft and collage with. It’s a great way to always have something quick to grab for her to work with. She’s made many a card with punched scraps and when I get too many I donate some to her preschool class. The entire class made mother’s day cards last year using them.

    • That’s a great idea too! Encourage the artist in them at an early age. That’s cool!

  4. Love this idea. Organizing/purging my scraps is on my to do list. I will have to bust out the cricut when doing this! Great way to spend a rainy afternoon????

    • I like that idea too! I came across a stack of 6×6 cardstock and papers from a kit club I was in many years ago. I spent a good hour punching and punching. Just need to remember to actually use the punches. 🙂

  5. I do this same thing after I’ve completed a project. Instead of throwing out those little scraps, I punch them with my small punches and keep them in small containers! I have them right within my reach of my scrap table so they’re right there when I need a little something added to my next project.

    Thanks, you’ve got some great ideas on your blog!

    • Thank you – this one is kind of basic and “um, duh!”, yet sometimes we need to be reminded about stuff. 🙂



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