So, there I was, trying to pick out a photo for another color challenge, when I started thinking over the question I posed in Monday’s post… The one asking if any of you bought papercrafting items that just sit there and are never used? It seems like there are a LOT of us who buy things like that! :)

Anyhow, I want to issue a little challenge for us all. It’s a Use it or Lose it Challenge! Not so much a formal challenge where you all leave links and such, but just a calling out… We need to use our “Scrap crap!”

So, all my lovely papercrafting friends, go find something in your stash that’s been collecting dust and make something with it! Here are some ideas to get you thinking:

re-purpose it
You’re obviously not being inspired by it the way it is now, right? Change it into something else. If it’s a consumable item (like paper or ribbon, etc), how can you alter it’s appearance? Can you draw or stamp or paint on it? If it’s a tool, ask yourself, “What can I do with this tool that it’s not meant to do? How can I use it differently?”

live with it
Get it out on your desk, on a counter, or just somewhere you will see it more often. Live with it for a period of time. Look at it. See it. Really think about how you can use it. Who knows?! Maybe it will be on your bathroom counter so long you’ll need to make it into a new décor item. ;)

pair it with newer items
Perhaps you’ve never touched it because you couldn’t figure out how to coordinate it with other items you own. Get it out now and compare it to newer items you’ve bought since. Maybe something newer will coordinate better.

google it
Look for other projects on the internet that have used your poor, neglected papercrafting item. Try to see how others have used it. Look especially on manufacturers’ blogs and websites because most likely their design teams have made something with your item.

ask questions
Ask yourself the question, “Why am I not using _____ ?” Is it because it’s too small (the case with my Martha punch that started this whole thing)? Try repeating it. Is it too big? Try using only a portion of it, or using it repeated over and over as a pattern. If it’s a tool, it is because you aren’t sure how to use it? Try figuring it out on your own first (you might discover a new technique that will become the next papercrafting hit), and then research it on the internet. Try YouTube. There are a lot of smart papercrafters wielding fancy tools on the Tube. :)

And remember this…
Generally our gut instincts about purchases are spot on–if you once found the item interesting enough to buy, you can once again find it interesting enough to use. :)

Whadda say? Leave a comment telling me about what you’ve bought and never used and finally broke out to play with. I want to see what you’re creating! :)