Jun 10, 2013

Scrapbook Process: Organizing My Patterned Paper

When I have some downtime, I like to watch videos on YouTube of other scrapbooking and cardmaking designers.  There is such an abundance of inspiration out there when you look for it!  I am continually amazed at the unique ideas and creativity of other crafters.  If you have read any of my past posts, you may have seen my attempts at doing my part of inspiring other crafters with tips, tricks and ideas for frugal and easier scrapbooking via YouTube.

This past week, after watching videos on how some crafters were organizing their craft rooms, I decided to take one of their ideas to see if it would work for me.

For probably the last four years (maybe longer), I organized my patterned paper by manufacturer. This may be due to the fact that while I was teaching at a locally owned scrapbook store, the process of organizing in this way seemed to work best when I was creating classes. A manufacturer's current products always meshed and coordinated well with their other products, so it was easy to mix and match items for designing class projects.

Now that I am paper crafting for just myself, I was finding that many paper treasures I purchased would be forgotten and untouched.  One thing I discovered about myself just recently is that I first and foremost pick patterned paper based on the colors of my photo(s) first, instead of choosing paper and then selecting a photo that can go with it. (Are many of you that way too?)  As a result, I would choose the first paper I would see in my stash that seemed to work with my photo, and not take time to look at ALL the choices available.

After watching the inspiring craftroom videos, I decided to organize my patterned paper by color.  It didn't take too long since I don't have an incredibly large stash. All my 12"x12" patterned paper is stored in one of these great bins from Target, which fits perfectly in my IKEA bookcase:

Cardboard is used to separate the color catagories.  If I were REALLY organized, I would have have made tabs for each section, but alas, that may take awhile:

As I filed by color, I chose to file by the color of the "B" side, since I seem to use that side the most. As in this example, I will most definitely pick the navy before I would choose the floral:

And finally, for those papers that didn't have a "B" side, or just wasn't categorical, there is a section in the front with these few sheets of renegade paper who refuse to pick a team:

And yes, if I have patterned paper left from a project that is still 6"x12" or more, I still file it with the full size paper.  Color scraps are in another accordion file.  That is something I can share on another day.  :)

The next question you may ask is:  "Well, does it work better?"  Absolutely -- for me it appears to work more efficiently.  I finished two layouts where planning time was a little shorter, and I got into some stash I hadn't seen in awhile. One of these layouts I will share tomorrow -- I am submitting it for a sketch challenge at The Memory Nest that starts linking up at that time.  I hope you will come back and visit me tomorrow!

How do you organize your patterned paper?  


  1. Hi Angie!
    Have to tell you my way with 12"x12" papers.
    I keep patterned papers in a drawer, where I can put maximum 50-100 sheet of papers. That way my storage won't get too big, and I "have" to buy new ones sooner ;)
    Cardstocks are in another drawer, and number of them are just about the same than patterned ones.
    Maybe I should take some pics and share on my blog :) This is just so interesting subject!

    Btw, love your work, have to get back here and see your layouts!

  2. Love this idea. I have seen those bins at Target. Great to know the paper fits in them. Pinned this. I need better organization for my work area. My store stock ic occupying all my shelving. LOL!!