Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Storing Paper Scraps & Ephemera

Although reducing the amount of clutter in my environment is important to me, I also collect paper scraps and ephemera - items like vintage greeting cards from the thrift store, bits of wrapping paper and origami paper, ticket stubs, pamphlets, postcards, images cut from magazines, and stickers.  Some of these I use in my art journals, others I occasionally display on my bulletin board.  Most of them, however, I need to store.

A very small selection of my paper scraps and ephemera collection.

I've experimented with different ways of storing my paper scraps, but I've finally settled on a simple method that also allows me to reuse other items that would normally be thrown away: paper folders and boxes that used to hold stationery (cards, envelopes, and writing paper).  I found two paper folders (roughly A5 size), took out the remaining stationery, and filled one with paper scraps and the other with my sticker collection.  Although this is a very simple method, it works perfectly for me: the folders are just the right size for most of my paper scraps, they allow me to look through my collection without needing to actually remove anything from the folder, and they can be easily stored in a desk drawer or on a shelf of a bookcase.

The top folder holds paper scraps (and is stuffed way fuller than it should be), the bottom stickers.

If you wanted to, you could collage over the folders to customize them, but I've left them alone for now.  In the past, I have also covered folders like these with clear packing tape to protect them, but I haven't needed to do that with these since they spend most of their time just sitting in my drawer.

Box of small paper scraps and a few small tools.

Finally, for smaller scraps, I've used this sturdy cardboard box that once held greeting cards.  I can also slip some small tools inside this box (shown here, a stencil, corner rounder, and glue stick), so it helps to keep some of those items contained as well.  I probably will cover this box with collage at some point, because I don't really like the images on it.  (Apart from the storage methods shown in this post, I also use a larger paper folder for larger scraps and the plastic folder seen in this post for my favourite scraps.)

Do you collect paper scraps and ephemera?  If so, what do you use them for and how you store them?


  1. I have a binder full of page protectors for the larger collage bits and backgrounds, and a box of smaller photo boxes labelled with categories for the smaller collage bits.

    1. Wow, categories! I haven't gone that far with mine yet :)

  2. I like the clear plastic envelopes of various sizes. My favorite is "legal size' which holds a lot and lets me see what's inside. They're of diverse colors but I've never tried color-coding which I might need to start doing.

    1. Colour coding would be fun. It would be easy to do that with my paper folders as well.

  3. Oh yes I collect scraps! My latest 'obession' is paint scraps (paper samples of paint colours, I don't know what they are called officially....). I make sure I have as much colours as possible and then I get my paper puncher and start punching away. I use them in letters, or my journal, or in collages.
    I store my scraps in see-through bags....the stiff ones that are made especially to store greeting cards in. That way I can tell what is in each bag instead of opening numerous envelopes or worse...going through a whole box of scraps and not finding anything.

    Love the post by the way!


    1. Thanks, Fleur! I love paint chips as well; I used to go to the hardware store and collect lots of those, but I don't think I have any in my collection now. Something I need to remedy, perhaps?


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