Using Scraps to Make a Headline

Using Paper Scraps by Natalie Parker

When I visited my parents for Thanksgiving, my mom was going through her fabric scraps.  She saves nearly every last bit of fabric to use in other projects.  She was trying to purge her collection a bit and told me I had no idea how hard it was to give up some of the small scraps because they could still be useful.

Actually, I knew exactly what she was talking about.  Instead of fabric, I save paper scraps.  Tiny ones.  Itty bitty ones.  I keep the tiny pieces in a tray on my craft table.

To begin my new 2007 album, I used my tiny scraps to make a headline.

I went through my box snipped a bunch of little pieces.  They are all about 1/8-inch wide.

Using Paper Scraps by Natalie Parker

I used my Silhouette to cut “2007” out of white stock and filled the negative space with the scraps.

Using Paper Scraps by Natalie Parker

Seems simple enough and pretty cool, right?  It took about an hour with scissors and tweezers, so it’s not for the faint of heart.

Using Paper Scraps by Natalie Parker

But, pretty cool way to use up the tiny scraps I’ve been hoarding.  I should probably still purge what’s left . . .


What I look for in patterned paper

Patterned Paper by Natalie ParkerI’m starting to use a teensy bit of patterned paper in my layouts.  Working on my wedding scrapbook, I used it to add a bit of definition to my pages.

So what type of papers am I buying?  What am I looking for?

I buy by the single sheet and only if I think I’m really going to use it.  It doesn’t matter to me if they come from the same collection or not.

I go for clean designs and bold colors.  I prefer designs that are “smaller” so I can snip a tiny piece of the paper and include it on the page.

I dislike distressed or vintage-y looking papers.   The scrapbook is going to distress over time, I don’t need to give it a head start.

This isn’t just a scrapbook thing for me:  I’m a conscientious distress-objector.  I dislike sports logo shirts that are pre-distressed.  I don’t buy jeans with holes already in them.  It’s just one of my lovable quirks.

Anything else?  I don’t have a favorite brand, I really just go with what I like.  I used to gravitate toward pastels but trying to go for bold.  Pastels feel safe to me but when I look at others’ work, I love the bold stuff.

This is all sure to evolve. What types of paper do you buy?

Patterned Paper US Map for my Niece & Nephew

Patterned Paper US MapThis map was a Christmas gift to my little niece and nephew.  A combination of canvas, patterned paper and mod podge, it was a little painstaking to put together!  I say painstaking because I like to make things difficult and perfect.

Patterned Paper US MapThis project was inspired by Kate’s Fabric Map over at See Kate Sew.  Kate cut states out of fabric by hand, ironed them onto muslin and then top-stitched them.  I prefer paper and thought it would help me give the project more definition.

Patterned Paper Map Supplies

I cut the states out using my Silhouette SD, but you can do it by hand.  I thought the Silhouette would make it easier, but it was more work than I thought it was and I think both methods are a tie.


  • Patterned paper of your choice
  • Large canvas
  • Scissors or a Silhouette machine
  • A printable map of the US or a map file for the Silhouette
  • Scotch tape
  • Mod Podge and brush

I used a couple different paper pads with sort of patriotic paper.

Patterned Paper US MapPatterned Paper Map Tutorial

First, decide what paper is going to go with each state on the map.  For this process, I printed a small map and used scraps from my papers.  Each paper repeats a few times, but I did not want like papers touching each other.

Patterned Paper US MapSecond, cut out your states.  This is the tedious part and you can do it one of two ways.

If you are doing this by hand, download a US map and print it really big to fit the size of your canvas.  Then, cut out each state and use it as a pattern for your patterned paper.  Kate has really good instructions on how to print and use this method with fabric.  It’s generally applicable to paper, except you will use regular paper and not iron-on.

I used the Silhouette SD and downloaded a US Map and painstakingly split it into 50 separate cut files.*  Why didn’t I just buy each state individually?  One, I’m cheap.  Two, I needed to make sure the proportions and of each state to one another were correct.

Next step, tape sections of states together.  I used plain scotch tape.  Tape big chunks of states together – not the entire map.

Patterned Paper US MapThen, carefully Mod Podge the sections to the canvas.  That’s Mr. P placing all the islands.

Patterned Paper US MapLet it completely dry, then cover the entire canvas with a light coat of Mod Podge.  Warning – the paper may curl or bubble.  Leave it alone.  Usually the bubbles go away when it dries.  Fiddling with it will only mess it up.

Patterned Paper US MapI added a title to the bottom right corner before I Mod Podged the whole canvas.  The font is Lobster.

Patterned Paper US MapLet it dry and touch up if needed.

I really thought I was going to screw this up at some point, but it turned out so cool!

Patterned Paper US Map*Normally, I would make these files available to you for download but my computer crashed right after I finished this project.

Any questions?  Please leave questions in the comments and I’m happy to answer them!

Patterned Paper US Map