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Reusing recycled papers

Reusing recycled papers

Since forever, I've tried to use paper over and over again. It makes good environmental sense, and financial sense. I'm not entirely sure where I picked up the habit, but I remember having a lot of used-once-use-again paper in the house, as well as the GOOSE (Good-On-One-SidE) paper tray next to the photocopier when I worked in an office.

In the studio, reusing paper means printing on a sheet as many times as possible when doing test prints. The test prints all live in a drawer so that I can grab from the bottom of the pile and get new, dried sheets before starting on the "good stuff" for each print run. The offcuts from trimming notebooks also get tucked aside, along with our clean-up sheets.

We've made notebooks from misprinted cards, paper weaving from offcuts of notebooks and posters. We've even made new paper from our offcuts! The list is almost endless for all the things you can do with scrap paper.

Sometimes these offcuts get made into new designs by other people too, like the amazing bookmarks my mum made when she was visiting last year.
mum with her thank you bookmarks
Ultimately, though, we're printers and we like to keep on printing. (Makers gonna make. Plus, it's rude to hoard these amazing scraps.) So, approximately once a year, we transform these offcuts and scraps from printed items and various other "waste" product that I've been hoarding into new things for you to play with!
Paper weaving
The first outing for these goodies was last weekend at the Green Maker Initiative sale in Bovey Tracey. We had scrap bags, scrap books, even a few bundles of blank cards from a paper stock that we're no longer using. Sadly for the mailing list, we sold out of the scrap bags.

I did, however, keep aside a few of our scrap books. These books are the sweetest lil things and have been hugely popular whenever we've posted about them on Instagram.

The scrap books contain last year's misprints, and clean-up sheets, interleaved with blank paper. They're perfect for journaling, mixed media, collage, and just flipping through. They have a gentle scent of printing ink, as the clean-up sheets are heavily inked. Those of you who enjoy the smell of a fresh book will love these scrap books. (Seriously, people were sniffing the books at the craft show last weekend. If you know, you know.)

For my fellow printers reading this: I highly recommend looking at your scrap pile and thinking about how you can convert some of your trash to treasure. I didn't invent the scrap bag, my cousin Nancy Jacobi has been putting together scrap bags for the JPP since the 1980s. Please, jump on the bandwagon! Anything we can do to reduce our impact whilst creating joyful materials for other makers is an idea that everyone should be part of.