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Wait! Are you sure that’s trash? Crafting with leftovers.

I’m sure you’ve all certainly come to the conclusion that I get excited about a great deal on craft supplies, what with all the deals & steals posts lately.  Let’s face it, craft supplies can get expensive, especially if you are like me and always seem to need the latest doodad or design.  Coupons and sales can definitely soften the blow on your wallet, but there are also other ways to save money. One of them is being careful about what you throw away.

By now, most of you already save your decorative paper scraps to use in other craft projects. If not you should be. Mixed media artists are famous for using bits and pieces of decorative paper, but I’m noticing more and more crafters finding unique uses for them as well.  Tim Holtz has even come out with the new Distress Paper Mosaic Kit ,its just the latest reason to hang on to all of those scraps of paper.

Another item that may be heading to the trash can in your craft room is the leftovers from pop dots.  I use a lot of pop dots with my mixed media paper dolls to give them and their clothes dimension. Instead of throwing out the ‘negative’ area, I hang onto it and snip it into pieces. Just because it’s not round doesn’t mean it doesn’t still work as well as the little dots.  Knowing that I use every inch of that wonderful, double stick, dimensional stuff makes shelling out $$ for it a bit less painful.dimension

Making bows always seems to leave me with small lengths of ribbon.  These lengths are too small for bow making but… they come in handy for mixed media.  I love running some double sided tape on one of these leftover pieces and adding it to a painted background, or using it for a dress sash on one of my paper dolls.

Think twice before you wipe that leftover paint from your work surface.  Instead, grab a card blank or piece of cardstock and press it into the paint mixture.  Instant background for a future project!  This works especially nice when you’ve been working with multiple colors. The same goes for inks as well.  I’ve gotten some really amazing background designs this way.

These are just a few ways I save a few pennies by thinking twice about what I’m throwing in the trash.  What about you?  What have you discovered can be used instead of thrown away? Let us know in the comments!

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