With any single sheet, I first make big things. (E.g., large boxes or other big items.) Then medium sized things. (Small boxes, good for gifts.) Then smaller things – coins, decorative squares. Then tiny things (buttons, etc.).
Out of my medium scraps, I recently made a bunch of coins (see: Worth more or less). Then I took the cut-out hands and wrote positive things on them (“Good job!” and “Wow!”). I’m going to be dropping them off randomly over the next week – leaving them on people’s desks, leaving with the tip at lunch, etc. Even the cut-out wrists (small rectangles) have been put to use – it just took a 1/16th drill bit to make them into beads.
The final scrap that goes in my trash is typically thinner than 3mm. (If I have 3mm or more surface area, then I can work with it!)
My rule is that if it is larger than 4 postage stamps keep it. At some point you can use it. Another rule is that when it is time to make something I start looking at my small scraps and work my way up.
I also have my own version of the infamous “round tuit” that I cut to use up scrap:
If I have enough room to cut the full square, I engrave the “TUIT”, score the decoration, and cut the square, then flip it over to the other side and repeat the engrave and score on the other side (along with a final cut on the circle). That allows me to keep the front and back TUIT aligned. If I’m particularly tight on space, I just cut the circle and do my best to align it for the back side engrave.
I will argue that printing trinkets or decorations just for the purpose of not wanting to waste material is the maker’s version of my mother telling me to finish my food because “children are starving in Africa”.
the kids were no better off, and I now have a pot belly.
or in this case, you just put more energy and machine wear to create something you didn’t need in the first place.
well, if you left those INSTEAD of the tip, now that is a good way to save some money!!
Right, gears and other embellishments for later projects. I make a lot of wall hanging tabs. Takes two postage stamp size pieces for one, you use them two at a time so I am always needing them. I try to keep a dozen or so made up but often run low.