Tuesday Tutorial - Scrappy Backgrounds!

Hello, cardmakers! Did you have a fun weekend with the Rebel Card-Making Party? I know I sure did! Now after all of that crafting, I have more scraps! Have you wrangled your scraps yet following Sandy's awesome scrap-wrangling tutorial? If you have, here is a tutorial by Cara from over at Crafting Adventures. I love this idea soooo much that I can't wait to try my own red-white and blue version on a hero card. Notice how Cara makes use of both solid and patterned paper scraps... the possibilities for this are endless! Ready? Here we go! -Nancy

Scrappy Backgrounds 
by Cara

One of the things I love to do with scraps is to create backgrounds that I can use with my larger images or sentiments. These scrappy backgrounds are great for that purpose!
Scrappy Background Card

Here's what you need:
Strips of paper. While I've done some with varying widths, like the one above, I generally prefer to work with 1/4" strips.
Tape runner. No glue dots, no glue stick, no liquid glue. My personal preference is my Scotch ATG.
4"x5.25" card stock. I prefer to work in this size so that when I make a 4.25"x5.5" card, the front is matted.
Dry embossing tool and folders. I use a Cuttlebug and embossing folders from a variety of companies.
Paper trimmer

Now, let's get to it!

1. Sort your scraps and cut your strips of paper to 1/4". What I like to do is actually cut narrow pieces to this size as I craft. I then put them in envelope as I go and every couple of months I dump out the envelope and make a stack of these backgrounds.

The best tool to do this with is a small paper trimmer. Large paper trimmers can make it hard to see 1/4" and it is too difficult to maintain consistent widths and straight edges with scissors.
Sort Your Scraps
Use a small paper trimmer.
2. Now that you have a nice pile of 1/4" strips, take your 4"x5.25" cardstock and run your tape runner. I like to run it along the edges and then make a asterix (*) pattern across it.
I've drawn lines on here to show you the adhesive pattern since it is hard to really show that in the picture. It is important that you get the adhesive all the way into each corner. If you don't your corner pieces will fall off.

Here's why you need to use a tape runner for this project. If you use glue stick or liquid glue, the amount of glue you need would wrinkle your paper. If you use glue dots, you won't get a good overall adhesion and may have some uneven textures when you dry emboss this.

3. Lay down your first strip. I lay this piece in one direction and the majority of the other pieces will butt up against it. Once I put this first piece down I run a row of adhesive directly below it so that the ones butting up to it are very secure on the paper.
First Strip
4. Now start placing the rest of your pieces. When you get to the corners be sure there is good adhesion there.
First few strips
5. You can either trim your strips that hang over the edge as you go or wait until you are done. I generally trim mine when I'm about half way done and then at the end. Trim away everything hanging over the edge of the piece of card stock. You can do this with scissors or a paper trimmer.
6. Admire your work! At this point I make a bunch of these backgrounds so I have them ready to go when I'm making cards.
One Scrappy Background!
Whole stack! This will last me a few months.
7. When I incorporate these into my cards I like to dry emboss them. I do this at that point so I can choose an embossing folder that goes with the card I am creating. I really like to dry emboss these background pieces for two reasons: first I love adding texture whenever I can and second it is another layer of security. The embossing helps hold all the little strips securely to the backing.
Going to be embossed. The "swiss dots" pattern is my favorite.
All done and ready for a card!
8. Incorporate this into your card.

Beautiful work! Be sure to comment here and leave Cara some love for sharing this tutorial with us today. Then go out and use your wrangled scraps to make a scrappy background! Share your work here! 

Sherrie  – (May 8, 2012 at 3:21 AM)  

I can't tell you how much I LOVE this idea! I've made cards w/ my scraps using a similar method (the Herringbone) but it never occurred to me to make several at a time just to keep on hand (DUH!). This would be a great help to use up more of the scraps laying around and a fun project to complete while watching a good movie! Thanks SO much for sharing this tip! (btw, when I do this type of technique I use Staples brand sticker paper, it makes adhering the little pieces so much easier).

sherry varga  – (May 8, 2012 at 5:09 AM)  

Love this idea and boy do I need to use it. I have so many scraps that I need to use up. Thanks for sharing.

Anonymous –   – (May 8, 2012 at 5:57 AM)  

I love this. I think I will try running the cardstock background piece through the Xyron so there will be plenty of adhesive. --Renata M.

Mignon  – (May 8, 2012 at 6:06 AM)  

Great post and lovely card! Love using my scraps.

Kim K  – (May 8, 2012 at 7:17 AM)  

Like Sherrie, I use the Herringbone, but never thought to emboss, so thank you for sharing your tutorial with us! Beautiful!

Yvonne B.  – (May 8, 2012 at 9:03 AM)  

LOVE this! Thanks so much. I have only looked longingly at others who have done this technique, so I am bound and determined to try it now! Your cards are wonderful and I am inspired. I just need to find the time to get to it!

Deb  – (May 8, 2012 at 10:09 AM)  

Fabulous idea. Your technique makes it seem easy. I can't wait to try this.

Sybrina K  – (May 8, 2012 at 12:59 PM)  

What a wonderful idea! Thanks for sharing!

Kathryn  – (May 8, 2012 at 3:11 PM)  

Neat pattern and great explanation of how to pull this off. I'll put this idea away from when I have some extra time this summer.

Carol L  – (May 8, 2012 at 4:01 PM)  

Great use of scraps, and I love your cards!

Paula S.  – (May 8, 2012 at 6:57 PM)  

What a great tutorial! I have seen these but never attempted one. These instructions are very simple to understand so I look forward to trying it soon. Thanks Cara!

Laurie  – (May 8, 2012 at 7:12 PM)  

Love this! Definitely going to try this out!

Seongsook Duncan  – (May 8, 2012 at 7:45 PM)  

Great use of scraps! Thanks very much for the tutorial and sample cards.

Valerie  – (May 8, 2012 at 8:24 PM)  

This is a great idea! I am always wrestling with scraps. Sandy's recent post was helpful and so is this one! Thanks so much!

Aundria B.  – (May 8, 2012 at 10:17 PM)  

Thank you for sharing this technique - I'm always looking for ways to use up those pesky scraps! Love the idea of embossing them & having a bunch of them made up! 1"-wide double-sided tape also works for something like this and it holds extremely well.

PCM  – (May 9, 2012 at 5:01 AM)  

This is awesome. I have seen these types of backgrounds creeping up lately - so this is quite trendy, I think. Wonderful way to use up scraps - and I think I might try this for an upcoming ladies get together - great way to use up my over abundance of scraps!! Thanks for sharing.

Sherry Hickey  – (May 9, 2012 at 10:01 AM)  

Cara, thanks for this fun tutorial! I'm looking forward to trying it. Love how your background looks with the holly branch and gingham bow!!

Anonymous –   – (May 9, 2012 at 11:51 AM)  

Awesome tutorial at just the right time. I've been struggling to find the right idea for my great-nephew's graduation. This is perfect. I'll post the card when it's finished. Thank you, thank you!

ShannonD  – (May 9, 2012 at 8:49 PM)  

This is a fun idea. The backgrounds are so bold and bright. I really want to use this for a nautical themed card. Thanks so much!

Anonymous –   – (June 1, 2012 at 12:25 PM)  

Just like quilting...... Love it!
Terry Beaulieu

Avis Anderson  – (July 1, 2012 at 1:58 PM)  

I, like everyone else, have tons of scraps and now, thanks to YOU, I can use some of them in a FUN way! Loved your idea of making one with Christmas colors and one with 4th of July colors. Can't wait to make more of these. My card didn't photograph well, but I love the way it turned out. Thanks so much Cara, for sharing this cool technique!!!

Anonymous –   – (August 11, 2012 at 6:53 AM)  

I have a suggestion for you. I found stickers that were 4 per page of an 8 1/2 x 11 inch paper. I put the sticker, sticky side up and put the paper strips on instead of having to use adhesive runner. It works really well and has the glue all the way to the edges.

Anonymous –   – (September 20, 2012 at 12:11 AM)  

Thank you for sharing your great idea. I have so many scraps, and now they will be useful rather than wasted.
Looking forward to having fun with this!

Jeanette  – (September 20, 2012 at 5:05 PM)  

This is such a GREAT technique! Thank you for sharing! It's fun, happy and easy to do. I love how you embossed over the top as well!

Anonymous –   – (September 21, 2012 at 9:03 AM)  

Thanks for the great idea for scraps. Happy Crafting. Paper Wishes & Crafty Dreams :0) Brinda,

Unknown  – (October 8, 2012 at 7:55 PM)  

Thank you so much for taking the time to make this tutorial and share your creations! I LOVE this idea and how you so clearly explained it. I love the taping explanation--made it so much easier! I created a card and added to your blog. Blessings!

Anonymous –   – (November 10, 2012 at 1:41 PM)  

Love this idea cant wait to try it

Unknown  – (March 8, 2013 at 8:57 AM)  

Cute idea! I love how you created such angular shapes with the strips. I shared your post on my Facebook page today. If you'd like to see my share it is here:

Thanks for the inspiration! I can't wait to use this idea.

Marilyn M  – (March 15, 2013 at 10:15 AM)  

Thanks you so much for the great tip on using scraps of paper (I have tons of these and now I know what to do with them) and the tutorial was great. TFS.

geezee  – (March 29, 2013 at 5:02 PM)  

I am so glad I found you. I have been using this tutorial for everything it seems and I have used it in a couple of blog posts on my blog. I was unable to find your tutorial when I wroted the posts, so I am glad to find you. I first saw this in a link from Pinterest. You are such a cool inspiration. find me and my posts at messtakenidentity(dot)com

Anonymous –   – (April 2, 2013 at 4:14 PM)  

Love this idea. I have tons of scraps. Can't wait to try this technique. Thanks for sharing.

Unknown  – (June 13, 2013 at 12:39 AM)  

Found this on Pinterest. Love it. Great idea. Thanks so much for sharing.

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