I've come to a conclusion that applies to all crafty people: Craft projects create a vicious cycle.
It starts innocently. You want to get started in scrapbooking, or in sewing. So you buy the basic stuff you need to begin, and finish your initial project. You get hooked. You buy specific items for a specifically themed project--of course you don't want to run out mid-project, so you buy enough that there's just a little left-over material when you're done. Next, you create a completely different type of project, that of course needs completely different supplies. Now, you notice your growing collection, so you decide to embark on a project that will use up some of the supplies you already have--however, you need a few new embellishments to really put the finishing touches on that project, so you buy those new embellishments, and before you know it, you have more leftovers when you're done than you had when you'd begun the project meant to use up the leftovers!
This seems to be a universal truth. This is the reason why sewers have grocery bags full of fabric scraps and scrapbookers have ziploc bags full of paper scraps. The organized ones may have organized their leftovers by color and type of scrap. You may hold onto that metallic purple permanent marker because of course there will be another project for which it's appropriate to use a metallic purple permanent market.
It's hard to truly use up craft supplies, to really make do with what you have without cheating and buying one little extra to spice up your latest project.
Because of my recent prioritization of NOT buying unnecessary stuff, of truly using up what I have, I challenged myself to make my Christmas cards for this year without buying anything new. Because I've made many cards for many different occasions: post-wedding thank you cards, Christmas 2011, Christmas 2012, graduation thank-you cards, birthday cards, party invitations. From each of these projects, I have leftover cards, envelopes, papers, stickers, stamps, ink pads, pens, etc. I usually come up with a specific pattern that I want to use for cards for a specific occasion, and then I save the leftovers, but I don't use them for the next project because I've come up with a different color scheme or pattern I want to use. But this year, I didn't want to buy anything new. That meant that my Christmas cards would not all look the same, instead, they'd all have to be different, I'd have to come up with different patterns based on what I had available. So, my Christmas cards this year aren't uniform. They're all different. But I was able to make 30 cards without having to buy a single new thing, and now my stash of paper-crafting products is slightly smaller than it was before. Success!
I beat the cycle. For today.