It never fails: You near the end of a box of your favorite stationery only to discover that you’re left with several pages but no envelopes. Or a stack of extra envelopes and no notecards. Throwing out the extras seems wasteful, especially if you love the stationery. So what can you do with your stationery leftovers?
Combine those leftover pieces of stationery with inspiring images torn out of magazines and catalogs. Gather up all your favorite scraps, a big sheet of craft paper, some glue, and markers. Collaging is a great creative outlet and can be done just for fun or with a theme in mind. Identifying a focus for your vision board and putting it down on paper will literally help you envision achieving a specific goal or what you hope for the future.
Collect all your stationery leftovers in a folder for your kids to use in their arts and crafts. To avoid itty bitty pieces of scrap paper everywhere, challenge them to make something specific. For example, folding envelopes into a bouquet of flowers, create a mail art letter to Grandma, or allow their imaginations to run wild with sculpting a new toy out of paper.
Donate to Schools
Did you know many teachers spend their own money to stock their classrooms with art supplies? Help a teacher while helping local kids be creative. Take your scrap stash or pile of envelopes to an appreciative teacher. If you don’t personally know a teacher, call the elementary school near you and ask for the name of their art teacher. He or she will know exactly how to put those scraps to use!
Spice up your Moleskine by taping colorful or printed stationery scraps onto the border of your journal or calendar pages. If you have a large amount of scraps to use, grab a blank journal and start an art-specific journal to house your inspirations and make it your ideal creative outlet. Don’t stop there – use stamps, fun tape, and anything else you’ve got to jazz it up.
Easy DIY Wall Art
If you love the design of your stationery, upcycle it into easy wall art. Simply frame the notecard or page and hang. Depending on the design, you can also cut out portions to frame. Or, trim a single design into thirds, frame each third separately, and hang them together as a group. If you don’t want to shell out for a new frame, use spray mount to adhere the scraps to a piece of posterboard or even construction paper. For the super eco-crafty, super glue scraps of wood or PVC to make your own reclaimed frame.
If you have leftover envelopes from one set and stationery from another, try to fold the stationery in a clever way to fit the envelopes. For instance, instead of folding stationery in thirds by width, fold it in thirds lengthwise to fit a narrower envelope. Or if you want to get really creative, try out some basic origami shapes.
Trim leftovers down to the size of a standard sticky note, or roughly 3 by 3 inches. Place the stack near the telephone, and use them for taking and delivering messages – so much prettier than a dry erase board! Use the same scraps as idea scratch paper or to scrawl a love note that you can slip into your partner’s coat pocket or in between the pages of a book he or she is reading. Adjust the trim size to long and thin, and write inspirational quotes to put on your fridge or bulletin board.
Meet the Writer:Maggie Marton is a freelance writer who lives in Bloomington, Indiana, with her husband and their three darling dogs. View more of Maggie’s work at MaggieMarton.com