Organize Your Scrap Space Mini Series: All About Card Stock!

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Welcome to another Organize Your Scrap Space segment. Today, I am talking all about card stock organization, including some ways to organize your card stock paper SCRAPS! It seems like organizing full sheets of card stock is pretty simple, but organizing scraps can be a major pain.

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I always have these questions about paper organizing. How small of paper scraps should I save? How should I organize my paper scraps so they are easy to use later? Should I save every singe paper scrap? And also, what should I do with the non-worthy paper scraps?

Well, I decided to look at my card stock scrap organization and make some tweaks so I could answer those questions better! I think my system is set up pretty nicely now that I made a couple of adjustments.

So first, I have my paper & scraps SEPARATE. This is key for me to be able to quickly grab a paper scrap or sheet of cardstock quickly. Some folks have files or folders in which they leave their paper scraps with the full sheets of paper of the same shade, and that just wouldn’t work for me. Here’s why: When I am looking for let’s say a red piece of card stock to cut out a mat layer or a part of a die cut & I just need a scrap of it, I want to be able to see all of my red scraps that are around the correct size. If I sorted only by color, then I would have to look through every shade of red card stock. I would rather go directly to ALL the red scraps that would fit the bill. A lot of times, I can hold up the various red scraps to my project and pick out the exact shade that works best for that project.

To answer some of those card stock sorting questions. . .

How small of paper scraps should I save?
I save card stock scraps about 2×2 inches or larger. My only exception is I save long thin strips of card stock sometimes too! I do this because those long skinny strips are perfect for stamping sentiments and making little banners/flags.
For patterned paper, I will save any decent sized (maybe as small as 1x1inch scrap if it is part of a paper pad or collection kit because I have a plastic poly bag to keep the scraps in. If it is a loose 12×12 sheet, generally it has to be a pretty large (4x4inches or larger) scrap to save.

Should I save every singe paper scrap?
Definitely NOT!! I am not super wasteful, but I found that when I was spending so much effort trying to salvage every little scrap, I was spending more time managing my scraps and less time actually crafting!

And also, what should I do with the non-worthy paper scraps?
This one is EASY! RECYCLE!! If you are fortunate enough to have recycle pick up in your neighborhood, then just throw those scraps in with your recycling.
If you aren’t so lucky, with some extra effort, you can still recycle those scraps! Designate a box, large baggie, or bin to throwaway scraps and when you have a bunch, drop them off at your nearest recycle center!
I totally cheated when hubby and I were living in our condo. They didn’t have a recycling program so I kept a box just for paper scraps & recycleables. Then I would take that bin with me when I went to my mom’s house & leave the stuff in her recycle bin! HA! I never actually drove to the recycling center šŸ™‚

Ok, so we’ve covered some basics, now let’s take a look at my card stock organizational system.

I used to have these sorted by color in homemade magazine sorters, click here to see a video on my old system. Since my reorganization, I have these sorted by color in trays on my slatwall. Click here to read more about my slatwall.

I don’t use 12×12 cardstock except for layouts & large 3d projects, so these are not very close to my scrap table.

My 8.5×11 sheets are sorted in magazine files by color. I have these separated by actual shade with the color name written on a tab at the top. These are sorted in a sortof rainbow order (all the pinks together, all the reds together, etc but not from any light to dark sorting). I got these magazine sorters at Ikea & Staples. I just covered them with some pretty paper & Mod Podge. They have held up really well through the years even though they are just cardboard & a plastic coated card stock. This system works well for me because I can see when I am running low on colors.

These containers are right next to my scrap table so I can reach them easily.
I have additional unopened packs of card stock stored in another box so I always check that box before ordering any new card stock.

My larger paper scraps that are left are cut down to 8.5×5.5(half sheet of 8.5×11) or 6×6 (for 12x12s). The scraps that are left that are bigger than 4×5 are considered my larger paper scraps. I have these stored in a Sterilite container/bin that just sits on my scrap table. This bin was maybe $3 at Target & I have a ton of these things. They are great for storing lots of different things (and they come in different sizes too!) I tend to pull scraps from this all the time.

Before I decided to start this series, the paper was just added to this bin in a random fashion and I had to dig and dig to find the right colors. Well, I decided to organize these into rainbow order! It’s so much easier to find what I am looking for now.


Anything smaller than about 4×5 ends up in my tiny drawer unit. This is just a plastic 3 drawer unit. It is the smaller drawers. I picked this up at Target for about $5-6. I have the smaller scraps sorted in here into 3 color groups: Reds/Pinks/Purples, Blues/Teals/Greens, and Neutrals/Yellows/Oranges.


I dig through the smaller paper scraps anytime I need a mat layer, a piece of cardstock for a sentiment, or a piece for a small die cut.

This set of drawers is right next to my desk so I can reach it easily.

Here’s a video showing my small scrap drawer:

I wish I could tell you that I am super organized and I always put newly made scraps where they go as soon as I cut them, but that is totally not true!! LOL Usually, I have a pile of scraps forming next to my paper trimmer & once the pile gets large enough that it gets in the way of my paper cutter, then I will sort the scraps šŸ™‚


So there ya go! That’s all I have about card stock organization! I hope that gives you some ideas if you are frustrated with your current card stock scrap situation.

If you like your current card stock scrap organization, leave a comment and tell us about your system!Ā  What works for you? What have you found that DOES NOT work?

In case you missed it, here are the other segments of the Organize Your Scrap Space mini series:

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8 thoughts on “Organize Your Scrap Space Mini Series: All About Card Stock!

  1. Great suggestions! I noticed all the pics are of solid card stock. Do you store patterned paper separately from solids, using the the same storing system?

    1. I store patterned paper scraps along with the collection kit or paper pad that it came with. If it is a loose single sheet, I use it up right then or recycle it. I don’t save loose patterned paper scraps.

        1. Ha ha, I just GOT what you were fainting about!! Seriously though, I am pretty good about using most patterned paper scraps up for the most part. I used to keep them all, but then I found that it was really overwhelming to search through a big pile of patterned paper scraps! I keep every last scrap of a collection kit or a paper pad though. It’s easy to just find what I need from a packet like that.

  2. Love getting to see how others organize their stash! Love the pink and rose tones of your craft room. šŸ™‚
    <3 J

    jwoolbright at gmail dot com

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