I had a friend who is on a tight budget ask me what I looked for when I purchased patterns so the next couple of posts are going to be some tips that I use to stretch my scrapping budget and to make my scrapping time go faster. Now this is just personally how I do it and I know everyone is different but.... I have thousands of files that I can cut and create with.... honestly.... more than I will ever use but when I'm tempted to buy a new file or even use one that I have this is what I do. The first thing is when I cut any pattern, I make several of the same piecings and just change up their faces or embelishments to use them in different ways. I do this to use up the paper so that I don't have lots of little pieces left over....so I make as many as possible with the paper sizes that I have...depending on paper size, usually 3 to 5 piecings. Almost all of my paper piecings are cut out of leftovers from some other project. So when I purchase a file, I try to buy a character, animal or whatever that I can use on more than one layout or card so even if a cute set comes out with more bears and I love it.....if I already have a bear file that I love, I will often pass on it and buy a bunny file or girl file or something that I don't have so that I can switch it up a bit with accessories. If you look at most of the sites that sell files, often the animals/piecings are the same....just different embelishments for the accents so if I have a bunch of similar files, I will pass and make my own set. For example, a cute bear holding a shamrock will also be a cute bear holding a heart for Valentine's Day or egg for Easter or a sand bucket for a day at the beach. So I buy the file for the animal/piecing and switch out the accessory to one that I already own and can create a very similar look.
Then my friend wanted to know if all my pages are redundant.... the answer is not really. For starters, I am behind in my scrapbooking and so even if I use a pattern more than once, the chances are that it won't even be in the same year or the same book so it doesn't really matter and two, having these extra piecings on hand allows me to create several different projects more quickly. For example, if you look at the pictures above, you will see three completely different projects using the piecings that I made all at once. Notice the bear card....I only had enough room on the paper to cut a little more so I choose the head and arms allowing me to create a peeker file and this is how I used it. So if you look closely at these bears, even though they "resemble" each other, they are in fact separate bears that I have put together. Some of their faces are even different....depending on my mood as I finished them So.... my tip for the day is always cut how many pieces you can on the paper size you are using and then you will have them on hand for other pages or cards.
So what do I do with all these pieces left over from my project, well I store them in a photo album with each set in a different sleeve so that I can "see" what's in there and how it might be used on my layout or card with the colors that it is made from. If you wander through my blog, you will notice several projects with several different piecings....that's how I do it. I usually don't make "all" those piecings at one time....that would take forever for one layout, but by creating extras every time I do make a pattern, it allows me several to put on different layouts. I'll post another post on how to make quick pages/borders from the scraps of one layout to use on another using 1 paper stack. Anyway, just thought I'd answer her question here in case anyone else wondered. Have a great day!