How to Scrapbook With Recycled Materials

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Things You'll Need

  • Cardboard

  • Fabric

  • Ribbon

  • Paper

  • Jars

Use items around your house to make a personalized scrapbook.
Image Credit: Hill Street Studios/Crystal Cartier/Blend Images/Getty Images

Creating your own scrapbook allows you to showcase your creative spirit as well as preserve your family memories. But with all of the supplies and photo developing, it can sometimes add up to be an expensive hobby that leaves a trail of wasted paper and unused products behind. Instead, supplies around your home can be recycled to make your hobby more affordable and environmentally friendly.


Step 1

Cut cardboard into squares to make your own recycled scrapbook album. Each square will serve as a page of the book. Punch holes in the top right-hand corner of each square. Decorate your squares with paper, photos and embellishments. Arrange the squares in the desired order. Thread ribbon through the holes and tie in the back to create a mini album. You can use other recycled materials to make a miniature scrapbook album such as an old record album, CD case or paper bags.

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Step 2

Use scraps of scrapbook paper, gift wrap and other decorative paper as accent papers on new scrapbook pages. When you make a page out of one portion of the paper, keep the extra scraps to use on other future pages. Place rectangle papers or oval papers under your photos for mats. Cut out part of the paper to create a photo frame. Keep the front page of a paper packet that shows the various designs enclosed in the package. Use this multicolored page for a new page.


Step 3

Glue beer bottle lids at the top of your page with a strong adhesive. Cover the lids with sticker letters to make a popped-up title on your page.

Step 4

Remove ribbon from everything. If a ribbon is included on a package you use, on a gift you receive, or wrapped around your hotel amenities, remove it for future scrapping. Place the ribbon on the side of your scrapbook page for a border or underneath a photo to highlight it.


Step 5

Keep worn-out clothing rather than throwing it away. You can glue the material on cardboard to make a background for your photos. Remove buttons and use the buttons as decorative accents on your pages. Cut out pockets and then sew them on a new page to hold memorabilia such as concert tickets inside. Remove any rhinestones, beads, flowers or other designs as embellishments for your pages.


Step 6

Use packaging from common items for accents. Cut out a portion of a popcorn or cereal box, paint it and glue it under a picture for a photo mat with a texture. Cut other portions of packages for additional accents. Cut out fairies or cartoon characters on your children's toy packages. Add these figures to your pages to personalize.


Step 7

Keep food jars for scrapbook storage. Old bottles of Alfredo or pasta sauce can be washed out and used to hold small items such as brads and buttons. Empty unused spice bottles or a spice rack and replace the contents with embossing powders and glitter. Punch holes on the sides of sticker or chipboard packets and add to an unused three-ring binder.


Look everywhere for inspiration. Even a pretty paper plate can be used as a pretty background for your scrapbook page.

Use a metal hole punch that you hit with a hammer to go through multiple pieces of cardboard or paper bags at once, which can speed up the process.

Use a telephone book as a work surface for gluing pictures. Also, paint the phone book's pages and use them in the scrapbook itself.

Use small scraps of leftover colored paper as chapter markers for your book by gluing them to the edge of pages that start a new section, which can be designated by year, location, theme or event.


Be sure that the paper and glue you use are acid-free to avoid damage to your pictures.


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