Being on a design team I am often faced with having a limited supply of an item to create a project with. Sure, the companies do provide us with alot of product but when we're doing product swaps, we often receive 1-2 sheets of each pattern in a paper collection. Sometimes, I want to use BOTH sides of a double sided sheet and there just isn't enough to go around. That challenge has helped me to look at and use my own stash differently. After years of "collecting" we all have papers we'd love to use but are challenged by only having one little sheet of a certain paper or it is a double sided paper we want to use BOTH sides of.
One of the things I have learned along the way is to never cut the UPC strip off of a piece of paper unless I am using the entire sheet. That strip is an extra 1/2" or 1/4" of space you can use to build a 12x12 background from scraps. Here's a layout I did that with, from a recent Epiphany Crafts assignment where we worked with the Peppermint Collection by Crate Paper.
I loved the scalloped/ledger paper pattern on the front side of the paper but I also liked the word strips on the other side:
Apply tape runner to the UPC strip on one of the pieces of paper. I like to use Crafty Power Tape by 3L Scrapbook Adhesives because it it is easy to apply and holds really well. The box it comes in doubles as dispenser and has a built-in cutter.
Next, lay the piece of paper with the tape on it onto another 12x12 paper, flush with 3 sides. This 12x12 paper will serve as the guide to make sure your finished pieced together page is exactly 12x12. Next,lay the other piece of paper on top to form the new 12x12 page.
And here is what the finished 12x12 piece of paper looks like: