This morning I started a new layout with a red cardstock background and realized I really wanted a small border of light blue to frame the layout, so I pulled out another piece of cardstock and decided to "save the middle." This is a term I first learned in the BPC Dimensional Details workshop taught by Nic Howard last year. I just wanted a very thin border on my layout, so I cut an 11x11 piece out of the middle of the blue sheet.
The trick here is lining the paper up correctly. I wanted 1/2" strip border strip, so I lined the paper up with the extended ruler at 11 1/2". Then I set the cutting blade down at the 1/2" mark and cut straight across to the 11 1/2" mark before picking it up. I turned the paper and repeated on each side.
This left me with a 1/2" border square and an 11x11 sheet of the cardstock. I can use the new smaller piece of cardstock as a background on another layout or use it to mat some of the items on the current layout (like I did with the title block). This is an especially helpful technique when you only have one sheet of a colored cardstock or patterned paper and you want to stretch is as far as you can.
I used the outside border on a layout about my oldest niece's 18th birthday BBQ. I started with this sketch from Lisa Day. I really like the placement of photos and the stair stepped appearance of both sides of the photo block. My photos were different orientations, so I had to make a few adjustments. I'm very pleased with the outcome. I used the invitation for the party as my title block. (Please excuse all the blurry photos - some are not my family and a few were just not great ones of my family and I didn't want them to disown me. It was a very very HOT day which doesn't often bring out our best appearances!)
What about you - do you save the middles of your papers?