Frugal Friday - Paper

Friday, June 18, 2010

Hello everybody!!!  I'm so glad you are joining me today.  If you missed my introduction about Frugal Friday, click here to learn what it's all about.  Today we are diving right in with our first topic, PAPER.  I'll be talking about card stock and patterned paper in today's post.  

Card stock is something that we all use.  It's a necessity in card making.  This is an area where quality really matters.  When I first started to make cards, I participated in a lot of challenges (still do!) and I wanted to have all the colors so I could do the color challenges.  What I didn't realize is that you didn't need to have every color of paper that SU carried.  You could simply supplement with ink and embellishments.  

Stampin Up carries 61 colors of paper (48 colors + 7 neutrals + 6 "in colors").  I learned very quickly that the "in colors" retire faster than I can use them.  When you are submitting your cards for publication, you cannot use any items that are not currently available.  So, I think I only made the mistake of buying "in colors" twice and getting stuck with paper I couldn't use.  I did want to have a wide variety of colors, but I was in no position to buy all those colors.  Here's what I did and I know it saved me a lot of money.  

About this time I discovered Papertrey Ink.    Papertrey Ink currently carries 26 colors, which is a lot more manageable to maintain and the quality matches (if not surpasses) Stampin Up.  I could not justify jumping in and buying a pack of all 26 colors.  So I bought the variety pack of colors, a pack of white, and a pack of kraft.  The variety pack comes with 2 sheets of every color (except kraft).  That way I was able to see what colors I gravitated to and which colors I shyed away from.  I quickly ran out of Raspberry Fizz and Ripe Avocado, so I ordered packs of those on my next order.  There are other colors I rarely use that I may never have to refill.  You can also order small quantities of paper (12 sheets for $3) so it is easy to stock up on a few colors without spending a ton.  I'm just using Papertrey Ink as an example.  I know Stampin Up also offers variety packs as well in each of their color families.  It's a great way to try out all the colors without blowing your budget.  
Another way to save money is to combine your order (wherever you are ordering from) with a friend.  My sister-in-law and I combine orders all the time to take advantage of free shipping.  If you like to buy your paper from Michaels or Hobby Lobby, buy packs of paper and use a 40% off coupon to save on the whole pack instead of buying your paper individually. 
Here's how I store my card stock.  I have a rolling hanging file cart that slides under my desk.  Each file holds a different color.  The rolling file cart was a Christmas gift (that I asked for) and I already had the files.  So, it's a great storage solution and it didn't cost me a thing.  

Patterned Paper
You can make cards without patterned paper, but where's the fun in that?  I love patterned paper and I'm sure you do too.  I try to only buy patterned paper in packs since that gives you the best value per sheet.  I've also found that 6" x 6" packs are more suited to making cards.  The patterns tend to be smaller on those packs where I think the 12" x 12" packs are more suited for scrap booking.  The 6" x 6" size is also a LOT cheaper.  Ideally you want to buy paper that you love every sheet and will use every sheet.  I know that probably will never happen, but it's something to think about before you make your purchase.  You also want to think about coordinating card stock that you already have.  Will you need to buy card stock to match the paper?  Embellishments?  You may change your mind and buy patterned paper that goes with supplies you already have.  I really love using papers that are double-sided.  If you don't like one side, chances are you will like the other side.  Don't forget to use coupons and look for sale prices.  Shop around.  Online stores are very competitive.

Do you have paper that you are having a hard time using?  It is sometimes hard for me to use papers that are really busy, so I use them in the background of my cards and cover them with solid shapes.  It helps drown out the busy-ness of the paper.  You can see an example of this here and here

Here's how I store my patterned paper.  I use a ziploc bag for each pack.  This way I can store the pack and the scraps in the same bag.  I love using scraps on my cards.  I love the mix and matching of it.  You can see examples here, here, and here. If you are using papers from the same pack, you already know they coordinate so it's easy to use up those scraps.
Since we are talking about paper today, I thought I would mention my paper trimmer.  This is an item I splurged on, but that's okay since I use it everyday and I love it.  I bought it from Joann and was able to use a 40% off coupon and get free shipping.  I think I paid about $26.  Worth every penny.

If you got through all that, way to hang in there!  I hope it was worth the read.  I would love to answer any questions you may have.  Please feel free to leave them in the comments section.  Any feedback you have would be much appreciated.  Next week I'll be talking about Ink.

Thanks so much for stopping by!

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Bonita Rose June 18, 2010 at 5:37 PM  

great post Dana.. I really love how you store your cardstock.. brilliant... u are so much more organized than moi! Great post gf.. loved reading it.. and I agree, PTI papers rock!

evgeers June 19, 2010 at 5:31 AM  

we are crafty girl sisters... okay, I have the same paper cutter tonic - and mine is full base but have encouraged and influenced at least 3 other friends to get one! It rocks! now about your tape gun... ATG???? :)

JenE June 20, 2010 at 10:07 AM  

Great post, full of info! I've never used or ordered from paper trey, but you know I started looking. Now, I think I really should look! I'm a scrapper more than a card maker but having the right materials to start with, for me, is 1/2 the battle.

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