What to Do With Cardstock Scraps

What to Do With Cardstock Scraps

rainbow of colored paper scraps

Inundated with scraps of cardstock but can't seem to part with them? Put all of the scraps from your American Crafts 12 x 12 Cardstock Packs and more to good use! Here's my tip to make colorful backgrounds. I toss my scrap strips in a bin (nothing fancy, just something from the dollar store) right in front of my paper trimmer.

basket of paper scraps next to a paper trimmer

I only keep strips that are longer than 4 inches and are cut relatively straight. And don't worry if they are all different widths, that's even better! As I'm diecutting other shapes, I often trim down the cardstock into strips if there isn't enough to save.

teal paper scrap on a paper trimmer

Once the bin is full, sort your strips by color.

piles of paper scraps sorted by color

Next, take a thin piece of cardstock or printer paper (A2 card front size 4 1/4 x 5 1/2) and apply adhesive all over.

pink, red, orange and yellow paper strips on a white card background

Start laying strips diagonally, vertically or horizontally, in whatever order you choose: rainbow, rainbow separated with black or white, or a color family (pink, teal, purple) Once the card is full, trim off the excess around the edges.

rainbow colored scraps on a card base

You can even try a white only sheet. I like to burnish the strips down with a bone folder just to make sure they stick.

rainbow card background with an embossed white flower

Now you have a colorful background for a happy card! Here I embossed a daisy stamp on the rainbow cardstock with white embossing powder.

Want to try this idea but don't have scraps? Grab one of our mystery scrap bags full of beautiful papers. 




Here's another idea for how to use cardstock scraps!


  • Susan Baker

    I have made card backgrounds similar to this and used embossing folders to provide extra interest. It also helps adhere the layers together better, too. Love using those scraps because, as my grandma used to say, “Waste not, want not”.

  • Judy

    I found this technique a couple weeks ago and have just gone crazy making cards with it. I love it. I made one where I tore the strips, glued them down horizontally on a piece of paper and then cut them out with my dicot for words. what a creative looking design!

  • Kasten Jayne

    Wonderful idea!

  • Jan Thomas

    Wow why didn’t I think of this, I do it all the time with my fabric strips when quilting. I make strip quilts using the same principle thank you.

  • Bonnie

    I have so many scraps that I created a folder for each color and put them in a file drawer. Now I can find just the color I want.

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