We recently found our way to Houston to visit our friends at Texas Art Asylum. These folks have an absolutely awesome space just south of downtown where you can find all sorts of cool, creative, reusable, up-cyclable and “just too good to throw away” stuff!
Besides being treated to a wonder art gallery and “curiosity shop”, we found loads of wonderful art and craft supplies as well as examples of absolute creative reuse genius everywhere. Check out our gallery of photos and if you find yourself in Houston, do yourself a favor and get over to Texas Art Asylum!
We all have them, and it’s called a Junk Drawer.
Often though, these drawers don’t really contain “junk” but stuff we need, stuff we reuse, stuff that’s small, stuff that’s just too good to throw away. The key is always organization.
Take for instance this sewing/craft drawer. It has its pluses. It’s big, it’s shallow but those things also mean it can get to be a disaster pretty quickly.
Big is great but stuff tends to move around in any direction it wants. Shallow is great too but it also means that most premade drawer organizers won’t fit. Not to mention, there never seems to be the right combination of those little trays. Always just a bit big or a bit small.
One great and reuse minded solution is to just go through your recycling and trash bin. What do you have around that can be manipulated easily into a custom holder. Lots of small trays of varying sizes means everything can have it’s own container.
Sometimes it seems we make the choice, new and shiny or just plain old useful. We’ll take “reuseful” anyday.
While the average citizen doesn’t generate piles of “dated” vinyl banners and foam core signs, business and event planners do! Groups often turn to us to find a way to humanely redirect these very durable and completely reusable materials. We offer these to schools and arts groups for repurposing. Often one side is blank and can be given new life, usually as a new sign. Big tip here is to make them as versatile as possible by leaving off specific information about day, dates or times. That way the sign can be used again and again.
We came up with a pretty nifty idea the other day when faced with such a pile. At ACR, we often need sturdy storage boxes for all our donations. You will need a sewing machine for this but overall, it’s pretty easy.
Here’s the basic steps.
1. Cut two pieces of vinyl in a rectangular shape, same size.
2. Draw a border around the rectangle. The width of the border will be the height of your box
3. Miter each corner using a sewing machine. Heavy duty needle recommended.
4. At this point you can cut the excess material off the mitered corner.
5. Your “box” probably won’t stand on its own, so cut some foam core the exact size of each of your sides. You want a tight fit.
6. Slip the foam core into the openings at the top of each side.
You should now have a pretty sturdy box. By removing two of the foam core sides, the box will compress flat. The box we made goes perfectly in the trunk of a car for corralling loose items or grocery bags, but can pack flat when needed.
More pictures and detailed instructions to come later. Just wanted to get this idea out there now.
If your child outgrows their toys quickly, don’t throw them away! You can make another child happy by donating them. You can donate used toys to traditional thrift stores and charities, however, due to the Consumer Product Safety Improvement Act (CPSIA), not all thrift stores and charities will be able to accept used toys donations.
Here are some local, alternative places that will accept used toys:
Additionally, Austin Creative Reuse also accepts board games and puzzles!
Here are some helpful tips before donating toys:
Thanks to you and your generous support, we’re actively searching for our first permanent retail and community center space!
We have been visiting available locations and evaluating the options that we think would make a good home for Austin Creative Reuse.
As part of this process we are figuring out all the logistical details of opening the center and making sure that we stay true to our values. For example, many of the spaces that we have viewed have flooring that has to be replaced or fixed, so we are having discussions about what to do with the floor and who could help us with this.
We are also planning on how to find or build the shelving and containers that we will need and how we will collect materials while we build out the space. We’ll be needing your help soon to make all this happen.
Thank you again for you continued support and enthusiasm!
Fashion trends change quickly these days. That means people throw away their clothes to make room for more. According to the EPA, the average person throws away 70 lbs. of clothing a year. However, did you know that almost 100% of those clothes can be recycled or reused. The lifetime of an article of clothing can be extended, and thus preventing it from ending up in the landfill. Here are some ways to help you be environmentally friendly by reducing the amount of clothes going to the landfill while cleaning out your closet!
Donating and selling gently used clothing is a great way to keep clothes from going to the landfill. You can sell your clothes in a garage sale or consignment stores such as Buffalo Exchange or donate to charitable organizations such as Goodwill or Salvation Army. Here are some local organizations that will also gladly accept clothing donations:
Treasure City Thrift (local thrift store that works toward zero waste) 2142 E. 7th St. Austin, TX 78702
Dress For Success (non profit that promotes economic independence of disadvantaged women) 701 Tillery Street Suite A-5 Austin, TX 78702
The Settlement Home for Children (promotes healing and growth in children, young adults and families) 1600 Payton Gin Road, 78758
Safe Place (strives to end sexual and domestic violence) 1401 Grove Blvd 78741
The Arc of Texas (supports people with intellectual and developmental disabilities)
If you’re feeling creative or the clothes have been greatly worn out here are some fun DIY projects you can do to reuse clothing.
1. Keep hold of your belongings in a t-shirt tote bag
2. Make over old shoes into pretty planters
3. Alter old jeans into a denim rug
4. Accessorize your home with a sweater pillow
5. Change old belts into a chair
Austin Creative Reuse is growing. Hear more about creative reuse in Austin and the future of Austin Creative Reuse.
Seems like spring cleaning! We’ve been busy retrieving lots of great donations from individuals and businesses and we are just a busy sending these materials out into the world to find new life in the hands of some of Austin’s most creative thinkers.
Just this week we visited:
Girl Scouts of Central Texas – Meeting and SWAP Supplies
Montessori for All – Art and Teaching Materials
Capital Area Food Bank – Canvas Event Bags
At ACR we always feel like Reuse makes the world go ’round. Nice to have a chance to give it a little push!
SpinFish is looking for individuals, artists, organizations (such as nonprofits and school) interested in receiving event leftovers. Current anticipated items include*:
SpinFish Event Solutions is a waste diversion and rescue service specializing in keeping event leftovers out of the landfill. Across 3 SXSW sponsored events, SpinFish has diverted more than 12,000 lbs.
The only requirement about you is that you’re able to come collect materials in the time you specify.
SpinFish will schedule pickup times for
Mar 18 (Wed): 6PM-8PM
Mar 19 (Thurs): 8AM-8PM
Interested in volunteering? Organize leftovers, network with like-minded folks, and get priority picks for yourself/your group!
Shifts will last 4 hours on March 18th & 19th from 8AM to 8PM.
Contact SpinFish Event Solutions to schedule a pick-up or to volunteer. firstname.lastname@example.org
February 10, 2015 at 7pm
Directors Present: Cindy, Leslie, Kaci, Rebecca, Katy, Angela, Michele, Carole
We’re looking for a rental space!
Thanks to all our collective (that includes you!) hard work during Raise the Roof, we raised enough funds to begin looking for our first permanent rental space! The board is actively reviewing rental properties for our perfect first home.
Thanks to MakeATX for #lasertrash!
We’ve like to give a special shout out to MakeATX #lasertrash! Thanks!