The saying goes, “There is nothing new under the sun,” and when it comes to scrapbooking, that saying is often true. Try though we might, there are times when we just run out of fresh ideas. But who says we have to always have fresh new ideas anyway?
One of my not-so-secret joys is my penchant for finding new uses for old items and reusing things over and over and over. What can I say? I’m a firm believer in “Recycle, Renew, Reuse”. I’ve made mini albums out of toilet paper rolls, calendars out of cookie sheets, and wreaths out of old newspapers. I also am very good at reusing old scrapbooking ideas again and again.
I just wrapped up day 20 of the LOAD 212 challenge, and I discovered a recurrent theme in my scrapbooking: I don’t like to waste ANYTHING. I will use and reuse scraps of paper until there is absolutely nothing useful in them any more. I will store away stray stickers and odd embellishments leftover from other projects just in case I might need them some day. I keep everything! While many of my friends are having scrapbook garage sales to get rid of all their extra, unused supplies, I’m busy trying to find places to store mine. Fortunately, I also spend a lot of time trying to find creative ways to use those odd bits, so they do actually get some use.
I think I’ve mentioned before that I like to make cards and tags with the scraps from my page layouts, but I may not have mentioned that I also make other layouts with scraps from layouts. This is especially true whenever I have a lot of paper left over from a kit or from a large project. I just can’t toss it, so it will eventually wind up in another album somewhere, done up in a completely different style. Most of the time, no one will ever realize it. I don’t limit myself to just reusing the paper and cardstock, either. I’ve reused pictures in multiple layouts, spread a pack of embellishments across many different pages, and even copied the exact same layout design but with different paper, pictures, and embellishments. My rule of thumb is, “If it’s in a different album, then no one will ever know!”
To illustrate my point, here are my last 4 days of LOAD layouts and a listing of all the features that are copied or repeated in each one. Then take a look at the layouts I copied them from below:
Doctor: All of the embellishments on this page came from a cut-out page I bought years ago. I’ve been using pieces of it on layouts ever since. It's hard to tell in the picture, but I glazed select portions of the embellishments to give them dimension. The letters are plastic and came from a baggie I bought at a scrapbook garage sale several years ago. They've gotten lots of use.
Birthday: The background paper is Basic Grey from the “Lime Rickey” pack that I used extensively in my son’s Boy Scout album for his 2-week long World Jamboree trip. This paper was used on no less than 3 layouts in that album, plus countless birthday cards.
Kennsington: Okay, there’s really nothing in this digital layout that I directly stole, but I’m sure I have a layout pretty much like this simple one somewhere. And now that I think of it, I sure use a lot of green. Of the 20 layouts I have done for this challenge, I used green on 12 of them. Many times the green that was used was a small piece left over from another project.
Fashion: This one has several repeating themes. The paper comes from DCWV. If you’ve followed my LOAD progress at all, you will notice that I have used the same “Retro” paper pack repeatedly. What can I say? It was cute paper, and it definitely works well with the prompts I’ve been given. I also used yet another art phrase from this pack, and the photos themselves were used in Christen’s high school scrapbook because she made the dress and wore it to her Homecoming Dance.
And here is a look at the original use of these stolen bits:
They don't look a bit alike, do they? So just remember, the next time you get stuck in a scrapbooking rut, or can’t think of what to do, go flip through your old scrapbooks and projects. The answer may be right there, waiting for you to copy it.