5/10 Repurposing Wedding Paper Scraps

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I knew that DIY-ing my wedding invitations was going to be a substantial undertaking. And I knew that the paper to make over 120 invitations would stack so high as to shake the conscience of anyone who has ever enjoyed the shade of a tree or syrup on pancakes or breathing oxygen.  But I tricked myself into believing the invitations were a suitable use for all that tree pulp, because they were oh so pretty and celebrating our love and la-la-la I can’t hear you crying, mighty forest, because you don’t actually have a voice to sob or eyes to tear.

Still, I was not prepared to confront the trimmings from our invitation paper.  A Broke-Ass does not abide waste.  And here I am, only halfway through cutting our invitations, and I’ve filled a hat box with larger pieces of excess card stock and a shoebox with the little slivers I trimmed off to attempt to correct all the rough or slanty cuts I made on the first try.

So I’ve been brainstorming ideas for how to use the paper trimmings from my invitations.  Here’s what I’ve come up with so far:

For the larger pieces:

  • My first thought was wedding-friendly uses like place cards and labels for the dessert table. Unfortunately, our printer won’t take such small pieces of paper, so I’ll have to convince someone whose handwriting doesn’t look like they currently are recuperating from two broken arms to write out that stuff on these scraps.
  • I’m always looking for scrap paper when my buddies come over to play a game of Celebrity. Wouldn’t it be awesome to play on linen-finish gold cardstock instead of the backside of whatever solicitation is at the top of our mail pile?  My only concern is that my friends will try to class up the celebrities they put in the bowl to match the paper, so instead of having three Ke$has in the bowl we’ll have a bunch of European royals. And I have no idea how to mime Queen Margrethe II of Denmark.
  • Similarly, I suspect I’ll dramatically improve my diet if I start writing my grocery lists on some of the biggest scraps. Because it’s hard to imagine besmirching such nice paper with items like “snack cakes” and “ramen noodles.” I’d probably end up buying a lot more fresh produce.
  • Then again, I have a least one low-brow idea for my extra fancy paper: a small stack of card stock is surprisingly effective as a shim. My favorite local dive bar has ridiculously uneven tables. Maybe they’ll poor me a free beer if I wedge some cardstock under those table legs to level things out for them?

And for the small slivers:

  • If you can handle additional cutting (and if you can, you have a stronger constitution than I), with these little slivers you’re halfway to wedding confetti.
  • If you’d rather vent some of your frustration out in a constructive manner, how about using these extra bits of paper as kindling the next time you go camping.
  • Or better yet, line your pet hamster’s cage with the slivers.
  • Or mix it in with your shredded financial records to thwart would-be identity thieves.
  • I’ve seen people DIY bird nests out of strips of paper. And I’ve seen people use bird nests in their weddings, for some reason. Unnecessary birds are just part of the absurd zeitgeist of this nascent decade. If you’re hip to bird fever (the cute trendy kind, not like, the avian flu that kills people) this could be a great way to use those extra strips of paper and alleviate your guilt about killing so many trees that could have provided twigs for actual birds to use to build their nests.

Anyone else horrified by the waste from their wedding paper projects? Did you find any creative ways to use your scraps?

-Robin