One of the most common problems I hear about when talking with both new and established scrapbookers, is the fear of “ruining” a piece of paper.
They’ve fallen in love with a piece of paper, and want to make something really special with it, but they have no idea what. Sometimes they even have a project in mind, but it’s big and momentous, and that adds another layer of fear.
Please, don’t fear the paper. When you get right down to it, paper is one of the most inexpensive supplies you have in your stash. If you mess up your layout, you haven’t wasted much money, and you frequently can salvage something from the page.
Don’t hoard it for a special occasion. When you hoard your paper and don’t use it, not only are you wasting money, but you’re also wasting space. Unused paper takes up storage space, which means you need to find more storage space when you get new things, or you have to pass on bringing new things into your stash because the old paper is still there. It also takes up space in your head, and becomes a new source of guilt. Who needs guilt? I certainly don’t. I also want to be able to bring in new and inspiring product, which means I have to use what I have, and get it out of my stash and into my albums.
Every memory you scrapbook qualifies as a special occasion. Every page you make deserves to be made with product you love.
So what do you do with that special paper? The paper that you adore, and you don’t want to waste? The paper with the fancy swirls and the gorgeous designs that you want to showcase and not hide behind photos?
There are a number of options. First, you can choose photos to go along with the theme of your paper, and plan your layout around the paper’s design. Another way you can incorporate those designs is by actually cutting out the design that you love, and using it as an embellishment on a new page. Third, remember that white space is your friend. If you’ve got paper you love, and you can’t bear the idea of covering most of it with photos and journaling, make a single photo page, with minimal journaling. That way you’ll be able to highlight one of your favorite photos AND your paper. Lastly, and this will be the hardest for you to wrap your head around, just cut your paper. Turn a 12×12 into a 8.5×11 so you can showcase both sides of a beloved double sided paper. Cut it into strips or squares and USE it.
I’ve got a lot of examples to show you, as well as a link to a class by Shimelle Laine, that will help you learn to just cut the paper up and use it. Gather together some of your favorite papers, and I’ll show you how I’ve used my special papers on Friday.
You can do this. Don’t fear the paper.
(Anyone else humming “Don’t Fear the Reaper” now?)