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Upcycle Your Scrap Paper Into a Fantastic Scrapbook Photo Mat!

If you’re a crafter, you’ll inevitably have a collection of scrap paper and cardstock from your previous projects. Sometimes, seeing them all together just looks like an absolute mess, and it’s tempting to just throw them all away… but don’t! 

Instead of tossing these scraps to the bin, you can actually turn them into a fantastic scrapbook photo mat! 

Watch the Video Tutorial:

<h2-center>Read the Step-by-Step Guide Below:<h2-center>

Step 1

As you can see below, I just pulled out all the pieces of scraps that I can find in my stash. They’re all in different sizes and shapes and it might appear impossible to still have a use for them, but trust me, keeping them is super worth it!


Step 2

Once you have all your scrap pieces laid down, get your photo that needs a mat. I have this lovely black and white photo of my kids, which you might remember from my previous tip. 

Working with black and white photos like this can be helpful in making it easier to work with colors since you will not be worried too much about matching them.

black and white photo

Step 3

Now, let’s jump over to the fun part! Let’s go over the composition of the mat. The first thing you’ll need is a base, so try to find a scrap that can fit your photos just fine like the one below.

choose your photo mat base

Wait! Now That You Have a New Photo Mat Idea, Then You'll Need To Know How To Incorporate It To Your Layout....Let Me Show You...

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Step 4

Once you have the base, keep your photo with you to visualize how it’ll turn out as you start adding more scrap pieces to build the mat behind it.

In composing the mat, you have to think about balance. So, the first piece I tried adding are these two pink acrylic-painted papers and positioned it on opposite corners.

add some scraps in the corners of the mat

Step 5

As you select more of the scraps to add in, you’ll eventually have to do some trimming to fit it in the base. I suggest trying the ruler-tearing technique for a quick trim. Just position your ruler in the direction you want to cut, and pull out the paper against it to tear. 

use a ruler to trim the scrap paper
pull the paper up to trim

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Step 6

To continue building the mat, I added the blue in there which is perfect as it contrasts the pink ones on the corners. To balance this blue one, I added a green paper opposite it. 

add more scraps in the base

Step 7

Just continue adding more pieces as you go, but be mindful on balancing the elements and making sure the colors complement each other.

insert more colors

Step 8

This is how mine initially turned out! 

this is how mine looks so far

However, I felt that it needed a bit more movement so I shuffled the pieces a bit to look more like this:

rearrange the scraps

It now has a more jagged look and the different colors make more sense once we changed the stiff positioning. 

I really had fun trying to compose this mat! I’m excited to see what you’ll come up with! Go ahead and upcycle your scraps and get creative!

Click here for more scrapbook embellishment ideas! 💖


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