Over on scrapbook.com there was a discussion this week from a new scrapbooker about how she thinks she needs a scrap room to store all the stuff she will need to buy for this hobby. It got me thinking: if I were to start over, what would I do?
If I were to start over again or had just a small space for stuff, this is what I would do:

Use the space I DO have for tool storage – punches, adhesive, scissors, trimmers, Crop A Dile, Bind it All, Epiphany Crafts Shape tools, that kind of thing. I wouldn't need much, really! Maybe one bookcase or cabinet.

I'd buy one Universal diecut machine so then I could have my pick of using all the different dies on the market (Spellbinders, Quickutz, Sizzix, etc). I recommend Big Shot or Big Shot Express, Creatopia by Xyron, or Tim Holtz Vagabond (electric). I'd also buy an electronic machine, like a Silhouette or Pazzles that does not use cartridges (you have to store all those cartridges) so you can cut fonts and don't have to buy a huge stack of alpha stickers.

I'd never buy another Collection Pack or pad of paper again –it is way more than you will ever use of the same thing over and over. Buy the paper as you need it. There is new stuff coming out every 3 months and most people have a built a stash by buying stuff they won't use in the next 3 months and then buying newer stuff to use instead of it. Just buy 1-2 sheets of a paper to use for projects you already have photos for.

If you must have stamps, buy acrylic ones — they are much flatter. Instead of a pack of blocks, I recommend 1-2 small blocks (3″ or smaller) and then the Fiskars Stamp Press–everything fits on it and it stores flat.

Same with embellies–only buy what you know you will use in the next 3 months.

I'd get a smattering of Copic markers (Basic rainbow plus black, grey, and brown), an assortment pack of Smooch Spritz or other spray ink in assorted colors, a couple queues of Cat's Eye ink pads (they stack and are small, easy to store), and a small bottle each of white, brown, and black paint. You can spray a white painted surface with ink or ink it with a Cat's Eye to get another color. A clear embossing ink pad with clear embossing powder and a heat gun. That's all the wet media I would buy.

Neutrals — keep a stock of neutral colored items on hand — they take up very little space and you can always use markers or ink to color them. Spray ribbon or lace with Smooch Spritz or spray ink to change the color. Color buttons, brads, and shiny stickers with Copic Markers. Ink matte stickers and delicate lace with Chalk Cat's Eyes. Bella Blvd's new Sophisticates line has a great sheet with 4 alphas on it that retails for about $3-4 I think — they have one that is brown and cream and one that is black and white–you can ink those cream and white letters to any color! Buy brads in silver, white, black, and copper, a good set of neutrals that are always in style.

Cardstock — buy this in pads if you can. I like the American Crafts ones — they come in a box that is handy for storage in a variety of different colors. I have one friend who never uses cardstock to scrap–this saves her alot of space! I can't part with mine–love to diecut with it.

Store everything you can in a rolling crop bag. If the bag gets too full, you can scrap some to use up some of the contents. If you fi ll a room with stuff, you can scrap for 8 months without ever buying a piece of patterned paper and not even make a dent in it (I know because I am doing that right now). With all the money you will save you can go on retreats, take some classes, and go on vacation with family and friends!! (to get more photos to scrap of course).

And on that note–I am off to clean my room out!
In my etsy shop all week I am listing awesome packs of stuff that I am DESTASHING for cheap!! So head on over if you want some deals: http://hydrangeahippo.etsy.com

Author: Jennifer Priest

It started with jewelry, beading, sewing, home decor, painting, basket weaving, pottery, and cross-stitch. Marry that to an entrepreneurial spirit & at 9 years old a girl is selling her wares at craft fairs as far as her parents and grandparents would drive her. These days, Jennifer enjoys crafts of all genres from sewing to scrapbooking to jewelry with a little dabbling in the mixed media world. Her style is approachable and she wants everyone who sees her work to feel that they too can embrace creativity and make their home and life beautiful.

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3 thoughts on “If I were to start over…

  1. You know, you are completely right! We don’t NEED all of the product that is out there. I do have too much. I admit it. But, I don’t have a ton of extra. 90% of what I have, I bought because it matches specific photos. I don’t buy first then try and figure out what to do with it. I know I could scrap for the rest of the year and not have to buy too much except maybe cardstock and adhesives. Actually, I am trying hard to not buy much of anything this year. I do want to get through my stash and get my ever growing piles of pics on pages.

    Posted on February 6, 2011 at 3:20 pm
  2. thanks for the reminder, I needed it!

    Posted on February 6, 2011 at 6:33 pm
  3. Right on! I have papers from at least 5 years ago that came in a 180 sheet stack and I probably still have at least half of them left.

    Posted on February 6, 2011 at 8:09 pm