By Christina VanGinkel
The longer someone scrapbooks, it seems the more daring they become in the supplies they use to embellish their layouts. They realize that not everything has to be store bought, or even intended for scrapping in the first place. One of my favorite things that I like to use on a page is the color cards from a paint department. I will often cut them apart and place lettering right onto the colored rectangle, but I have also used them complete, just as an accent color on a layout.
Another favorite area I like to delve into to 'borrow' supplies from for my scrapbook layouts is my office supplies. Paper clips come in a variety of colors, and are always fun accents. Even plain colored ones can be just the thing to add a bit of texture and shine to a page. Staples are a close second. So popular are staples with some people that the scrapbook market has even developed their own staplers, that use oversized decorative staples. However, the regular ones that are available in a common office stapler are also fun to use.
Calendar pages are a unique and inexpensive way to make a graphic and text based statement on a page. I especially like the small pages from pocket sized calendars, which have a graphic on top, and still provide room within the calendar itself to do some journaling.
Recycled greeting cards have been being used in designing crafts for a long time, and with scrapbooking, one more way to use these often beautiful and fun creations now exist. Whether you use the graphic on the front of the card as an embellishment on a layout, or use the card itself, attaching the back so that it can still be opened and read, they are a great way to fill space on a page without having to spend a lot of money.
I know this one might be over the top for some of you, but it is actually one of my favorite ways to make letters. I save the foil wraps from the individual coffee bags (they look like a giant tea bag but are coffee, and the wrapper is made of foil) and will cut individual letters for a title out of each one. I have used both the red side of the foil, and the silver inside for the letters. Candy bar wrappers (cleaned) are also great for this very same technique, and they can be quite eye catching on all sorts of themed pages.
Dump out your junk drawer and discover all sorts of items to use on your pages. My last foray into the depths of my junk drawer revealed an old watch that I forgot I picked up at our local St. Vincent DePaul store, which after much fiddling with still did not work. I had bought it for its beauty, in the hopes all it needed was a good cleaning. When this did not work, I still was not ready to toss it, so it landed in my sometimes seemingly bottomless drawer of junk. I took it apart and used the tiny gold hands and the linen clock face (I think it was linen anyways) on a page dedicated to how fast time flies when your child is growing up. It includes a picture of my youngest son on his Big Wheel when he is about two years old, and another one of him on his motor bike as he cleared a jump last summer. All of my embellishments are somehow related to time, and these pieces were my coup de grace for the entire layout.
If you are an established scrapper, or a newbie in this fun hobby that is once again sweeping the nation, but your budget is tight, or you just prefer using things you already have around the house, then give some of these a try, and dig through your own drawers of junk for the perfect embellishments for your next layout. You just might be pleasantly surprised at the unique look these and other found items can lend to whatever page you happen to be currently putting together. Scrapbooking does not have to cost you a lot of money, as ingenuity can really go a long ways on a layout!