Have you ever been bogged down by the basics? Several years ago I decided that I liked to be in my Craft Room (aka ‘Studio’) but did not always feel ‘crafty’. There are times when I just want to cut something up. Then the lightbulb went on in my head. Pre-cutting cardstock from neutrals into sizes that I use frequently. You can always take your cardstock to a local office supply store that offers custom cutting services. But I like the paper trimming practice and I can listen to music or audiobooks.


I found that I use Thick Whisper White, Thick Very Vanilla, Basic Black and Crumb Cake most often for card bases. So, I pre-cut and scored one package of each cardstock color into card bases. I keep a container of both side opening and top opening card bases. And with that, finishing a card became quicker!

I like to use the Thick Whisper White and Thick Very Vanilla for card bases because they are more substantial in weight. And I feel that they give the card a more classy feel.


Pre-cutting cardstock for bases worked so well I decided to pre-cut my 3 most used layer sizes from Whisper White, Very Vanilla, Shimmery White and Basic Black. I keep a container of each color in the following sizes.

    • 5-1/4″ x 4″ – Cut 8-1/2″ x 11″ cardstock on the 8-1/2″ side at 4″ twice leaving a 1/2″ strip to use for sentiments. Then cut along the 11″ side at 5-1/4″ and save the 1-2″ strip for sentiments. TOTAL = 4 panels
    • 5″ x 3-3/4″ – Cut 8-1/2″ x 11″ cardstock on the 11″ side at 5″ twice leaving a 1″ strip to use for sentiments. Then cut along the 8-1/2″ side at 3-3/4″ and save the 1″ strip for sentiiments. TOTAL = 4 panels
    • 4-3/4″ x 3-1/2″ –
      • OPTION 1: Cut the 8-1/2″ x 11″ cardstock on the 11″ side at 4-3/4″. Then cut that at 3-1/2″ 3 times (= 3 panels). Resulting in 1/2″ strip for sentiments. Now cut the remaining 11″ x 3-3/4″ to 11″ x 3-1/2″. Then cut twice leaving a 1-1/2″ x 3-1/2″ scrap for future use. (= 2 panels)

        OPTION 1 Leaves small scraps to throw away


      • OPTION 2: Cut the 8-1/2″ x 11″ cardstock on the 8-1/2″ side at 4-3/4″ leaving a 3-3/4″ strip. Then cut the 4-3/4″ strip at 3-1/2″ three times (= 3 panels)  leaving 1/2″ for sentiments. Cut the 3-3/4″ strip at 5″ (= 2 panels) leaving 1″ strip for sentiment. TOTAL = 5 panels

OPTION 2 Leave Usable Scraps


All those 1/2″ to 1-1/2″ strips from the Whisper White, Very Vanilla, Shimmery White and Basic Black are kept in a bin (actually for me it’s a shallow drawer) for quick journal/sentiment stamping.


I store my pre-cut pieces in the retired medium Stampin’ Up! clamshell cases. 

SU Cardstock Layer Storage

However, I have discovered that using the InterDesign or mDesign bins in 10″ x 6″ x 5″ and 10″ x 4″ x 3″ also work very well. There are several options and it all depends on your storage space. I found the bins on Amazon.com, Target and TJMaxx. 


Connie Stewart came up with this awesome 8-1/2″ x 11″ Paper Cutting Matrix and video on how to use the matrix.

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