When old stash is beginning to pile up: Make handmade embellishment clusters!

It really is oh so easy to let your stash pile up, no matter if you are nuts for pens or fresh new notebooks, stationery or scrapbook material. Suddenly you find yourself with little bits of leftovers and old supplies at the bottom of a basket, and by then it is time to do something about it!


I went through my stash and piled up a rather jumbled collection of, well, STUFF of all sorts, and decided I wanted to make some embellishment clusters. The idea with these is pretty simple: pick out things that seem to go together, build them up in various layers, and then you have ready-made embellishments to but on your layouts or cards.  Instant awesomeness on a page!

First off, some leftover die-cuts! I love me a great pack of fun die-cuts, especially from a brand I love as much as October Afternoon! A good die-cut pack lasts for quite a few projects, and I usually tend to use my favourite pieces on a layout or two, and then I have half a pack left of really nice shapes that I forget about.

The Doo-Dads in these clusters are from the Midway collection, which if I remember correctly is from 2012.


Using some steel dies from my collection, I cut out a few more shapes from some some scraps of paper, and edged them slightly with some distress ink. To top it off I stamped this cute little Instagram camera stamp from Lawn Fawn (the #awesome set), which I coloured in with plain watercolours. Also, a little dimension is always nice, so I popped a few of the layers up on sticky foam pads. The little speech bubble in faux wood veneer also does the trick. I really love these chipboard products from Wycinanka, so much so that I have sort of ended up with quite a lot of them… But they are so versatile! But, of course, it’s time to start using them up!


Speaking of faux wood veneer, I have had a whole pack of these gorgeous butterflies (from Santoro) for a few years in my stash by now. They are fabilous, let me tell you. If you are a bit of a craft nerd like me, let me tell you, the quality of these wood veneers is amazing.

Crafty friends that know me know that I like to HAVE butterflies in my stash but don’t necessarily use them very often. Well, this little challenge was a great moment to change that!


These clusters were really quick to make: I cut out 3 circles in various sizes from scraps of paper, stamped a few sentiments and cut out the banners by hand, and then put it all together with the butterflies. To make them sparkle a bit extra I used leftover pieces of gold foil to add a bit of flair.


Do you love cut-apart 12×12 s papers? Do you cut out your fave parts and then get pieces leftover in your scrap box? These journaling cards are from an old collection either by Crate Paper or Cosmo Cricket, and I loved this cut-apart piece of paper so much! So I have held on to this last pieces for a looong time.


I cut out some banners and a few other scraps of paper and layered them on top in the corners of the journaling cards. Then I added some wood veneer, baker’s twine, sequins and a few splatters of gold ink.


To get a bit of a doodly, handmade style I drew some lines around the banners with a black pen, a little technique that really can change the look of any paper product in an instant. Simple but effective.


Now I have all these wonderful handmade embellishment clusters to use on my layouts! I have to say, I feel pretty excited. It feels great to use my older stash, and actually, it’s a bit like they have been transformed from something old to something completely new!

This really is such a simple and fun way to use up a few of your old and neglected goodies! And I promise you that even if  at first it looks like nothing goes together, the end result will surprise you, and you will feel all creative and brilliant. Promise!

/Jennie, a.k.a. jenandtricks

p.s. Don’t forget to check out my Instagram, Twitter feed or Facebook page!

p.p.s. This article has also been posted on jenandtricks.com, my personal crafting blog with scrapbooking, card making and ramblings about my crafty life. Please come visit!


Jennie, a.k.a Jenandtricks, is a crafter, scrapbooker, creative writer, photographer, blogger and geek. Among other things she runs the crafting blog forglueandglory.com, about handmade items, memory keeping, adhesive experiments and crafting disasters.

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