This file includes printed paper, economical use of paper and making your own "ShortCuts".

Economical Use of Paper

Printed Paper Ideas

Deep Blue Star:


Green Dot:

Raspberry Hearts:

Paper Idea

To give a parchment look to cream colored paper put ink from a brown pen on a make up sponge and rub along the edge of the paper. You can cut the paper with the deckle cutter first for a little different look.

Torn Paper

Torn strips of paper can be very effective when used in scrapbooks. They are a great way to make grass, mountains, etc. as a background for photos or at the bottom of the page. You can use two or more shades of greens or browns or a combination of the two. Shades of blue can be used to create the effect of distant mountains or even snow (I know that sounds odd but try tearing a couple of strips of deep blue star and deep blue gingham and trying it on a page).

It takes a little practice to tear the paper like you want. The printed paper will look totally different on the edge where you pull the paper down than it does on the edge of the other pieces where you were pulling up. One will have a white or fading out type edge. I like that look where the paper overlaps--especially if you are combining dark colors. With most paper it also tears differently depending on which direction of the paper you use and how fast you tear.

Making ShortCuts

(Note: This idea is for 8 1/2 x 11 paper.)Take 22 sheets of colored card stock or texture paper and cut using the following guides.  Divide the 22 sheets into three separate piles making sure each pile has the full variety of colors.  These will be for mounting and layering. There are many ways to cut the paper but here is one suggestion.  (I will describe the cutting of the first stack and then try to insert a diagram of how to cut all three stacks since the last two are a little hard to describe without seeing a drawing. I didn't show the measurements on the diagram, as they will depend on the size of paper you are using. In stack two the large rectangle at the bottom is about 4 1/2" wide and the two strips in the middle are each about 1 1/2" wide. In stack three the long lengthwise strip is about 4" wide and the three short strips in the upper right corner are about 4 1/2" long.)

Stack One - First cut two (1 inch wide) lengthwise strips from the paper. Next cut the remaining piece half in two crosswise to make two large triangles. Then cut one of the large rectangles into three strips.

NOTE: These drawings are NOT to scale.

cutting diagram

More Ideas for Cutting ShortCuts

For triangles, I buy the Home Class Pre-cut triangles. They're pretty inexpensive and it's too difficult/time consuming for me to try to cut perfect triangles. This is what I do for the long strips. I take a 10x12 paper and cut a 3/8"x12" strip first. Then, I turn the paper around and cut a 1/2" strip since the width of our scrapbook pages are 11 1/2". This way, customers don't have to worry about trimming them if they want to place the long strip horizontally. If they decide to place it vertically, there'll be a 1/2" gap, but it doesn't look too bad especially if they do a shadow strip. Next, you just cut to make seven strips. The dimensions would be 1 3/8" x 11 1/2".
I keep the scraps (1 long skinny 3/8" strip, and one shorter 1/2" strip), and let customers help themselves to them during workshops. The long skinny one is great to place horizontally behind or on top of title blocks. Or they can stick one on top of a different colored ShortCut strip just 1/8" from the edge for a different look. (Mable in BC)

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