Welcome Austin Creative Reuse’s first employees!

Please join us in welcoming our first employees.  Jen Mack has joined us as a PM Shift Lead and Caroline Caswell as a PM Clerk.  Both will be at the center for Tuesday night planned activities and weekday evening hours.  Their enthusiasm for Austin Creative Reuse’s mission, knowledge about crafting/art, patience and positive disposition reflect the values of Austin Creative Reuse.

“I’m a mother, a gardener and a Texas transplant originally from the northeast.  I love helping my kids learn about the environment and spending time outside.  I am an amateur crafter and enjoy knitting, repurposing, cooking and sewing.” Jen Mack





“Hello! I am very excited to be apart of the ACR Team. The people and objects that come through ACR are like hidden gems that cater to my odd niche needs. I create communal spaces of tenderness and sharing through serving tea, making plant medicine, tending to wild and weedy gardens, and creating artwork.”  Caroline Caswell








Summer Crafts

Summer is in full swing, bursting with family outings, get togethers with friends, parties at home, and spontaneous travel plans!

If you have plans to spruce up your kitchen, craft hand-made gifts for birthdays, baby showers, and weddings, or have neat hands-on ideas to do with friends, family, and children, come to ACR for all your craft needs!

At Austin Creative Reuse Center, we have a range of summer crafts for you and your family, for cheap!

Here are some quick and easy ideas:

Make some headbands with your friends or children! All the materials you need are available at the ACR. Our affordable scrap packs allows you to make headbands from various fabrics, designs and colors.

cute bundles of craft fabric with endless possibilities!

cute bundles of craft fabric with endless possibilities!






cute bundles of craft fabric with endless possibilities!

cute bundles of craft fabric with endless possibilities (for only a dollar each)!!!

Another activity is creating sleeping bags for your little kid’s stuffed animals!!!!!! How cute is that? I know as a kid, I loved helping my Dadi sew things, and felt pretty grown up too! It can be totally easy and safe, especially with all the supplies we have waiting for you!

boxes upon boxes of tools, resources and ideas for summer crafts! that too, for cheap.

boxes upon boxes of tools, resources and ideas for summer crafts! that too, for cheap.

We also have numerous types of glues, bobby pins, and tools like pliers and scissors, so this next DIY bobby pin making activity is super straightforward.

You could also make this beautiful hand-made pillow for a friend, family member, any loved one! We even have a sewing machine on sale, so if you find yourself without one, come and shop with us!

Lastly, in honor of all the BBQs, picnics, and random baking you will be doing this summer, make some crafty and affordable hot pads, and with our range in fabrics, you will have some bright, flowery mittens, ready for summer fun!

Thank you for stopping by our blog and keeping updated with all the ongoings at Austin Creative Reuse Center! If you or anyone you know has made a craft using supplies from our store, feel free to post it on social media and tag us! We’d be happy to give yall a shoutout!

peace & love. x

Trophy for Austin Recycles Games

recycling trophy

City of Austin’s Resource Recovery asked us to create a trophy for their Austin Recycles Games. We dug deep into our “by the bucket” section to come up with this beauty (total cost, 75 cents). Just a bit of paint and some imagination later, we had a the perfect way to say “congratulations” to District 8 for most recycled and District 6 for most improved. Way to go Austin!

We’re Hiring Part Time Clerks





Austin Creative Reuse is looking for 2 part time clerks.  Are you ready to join an amazing organization and work in a wonderland of a center?

Read more about the role below and submit your resume and tailored cover letter online to

Position Details

Clerk-Part time ( 15-20 hrs per week)
Work week: AM and PM Shifts, weekdays and weekends
Possible schedule options: Shift 1 Wed-Sat: 9:30am-2:30pm ; Shift 2 Wed- Friday: 2:00pm to 8:30pm
Wage range: $11.00-$13.00 depending on experience
Reports to: Board President and Vice President

Who We Are
Austin Creative Reuse is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization. Our mission is to foster conservation and reuse through creativity, education, and community building.

  • We collect, distribute, and sell reusable materials donated from industry and individuals.
  • We educate the community about how to reduce, reuse, and create in responsible and fun ways. We make instructional kits, have a library of design and art ideas, and share these online and in-store.
  • We unite the community by hosting a range of events, activities, and classes that bring people together to build awareness around conscious consumption, sustainability, and art
  • We promote awareness of like-minded organizations to reduce overlap and increase awareness of city resources.

What We Offer

  • Fun, creative and collaborative environment that will give you great experience working in the non-profit industry and with a diverse volunteer population.
  • Ability to expand role based on interest and skill set.  This could include assisting with our social media efforts or at our workshops. There is also potential for advancement to an opening and closing center lead role.

What You’ll Bring

We are looking for amazing people with diverse backgrounds and a genuine passion for creativity and reuse. Our ideal candidates will be comfortable talking about crafting materials and dealing with pricing questions.  We expect our clerks to:

  • Be outstanding at customer service.
  • Have excellent organizational skills and attention to detail, especially dealing with register.
  • Have excellent communication skills
  • Be able to juggle multiple tasks and work in an active non profit environment


  • Previous customer service and cashier experience
  • Basic knowledge of Point of Sales Systems and cash drawer reconciliation
  • Basic computer skills including knowledge of email, Microsoft Office, and google drive
  • Minimum: High School Diploma or Equivalent.

What You’ll Do

The Austin Creative Reuse Clerk is friendly, personable, enthusiastic and knowledgeable about Austin Creative Reuse and our mission. This is a vital role as you will be the first and last contact for customers visiting the center. You will be greeting customers as they enter the center and helping customers check out quickly. An Austin Creative Reuse clerk will become familiar with center pricing and will use sound judgement to complete transactions. You will use Square to process credit sales and be able to handle money for cash sales.  You will engage the customer about their experience in the center and let them know about making financial donations, future programs and events.

  • Greet new customers and introduce them to the center.
  • Main point person for the register and front of the center.
  • Manage all aspects of customer transactions including making sure that transaction data is accurately entered into the cash register.
  • Screen items brought in as drop-off donations; provide donation receipts; ensure that donations are recorded accurately in the donation log.
  • Physical Requirements: Push/pull merchandise with appropriate equipment to and from backroom and sales floor. Lift, place, and arrange items on shelves and racks. Bend down and reach above head. Climb and descend ladder. Stand during an entire shift (other than normal break time).

The above is intended to describe the general content of the requirements for the performance of this job. It is not to be construed as an exhaustive statement of duties, responsibilities or requirements.

To Apply

Please submit your resume and tailored cover letter online to

We review applications on a rolling basis, so it is to your advantage to apply as soon as possible.  We will not consider applications without a cover letter tailored to this position.

At Austin Creative Reuse, we believe that diversity makes us stronger and challenges us to think differently every day. Austin Creative Reuse  provides equal employment opportunities to all employees and applicants for employment without regard to race, religion, sex, national origin, age, veteran status or disability.


Thank you to our many volunteers that continue to sort and package materials for us and make it easy for customers to find what they need.  Please consider joining us, check our event calendar for our next volunteer meetup.

We have 2 amazing volunteers from the Texas school of the Deaf.  volunteers from UT through Givepulse and Corporate groups from businesses like BuildAsign.



What Can I Do with Paper?

As a student, I use paper almost everyday from writing lecture notes on loose leaf paper or in a journal to taking exams in a blue book or on a scantron. Even to just writing simple reminders on sticky-notes or reading a book for fun, I have never realized how much we rely on paper on a day-to-day basis. All of this paper will eventually end up in a recycling bin or in the trash. As of 2012, paper and paperboard contributed 30% of municipal solid waste, making them the largest components (EPA). However, on a better note, it has been estimated that the amount of paper ending up in landfills have been reduced in half (Paper Recycles).

Reducing paper consumption by going digital is a great way to cut back on paper and save trees, but sometimes paper is needed for certain projects. So, instead of going to an office supply store or craft store for paper, head over to Austin Creative Reuse for all your paper needs! There is an abundance of colorful printer paper and decorative scrapbook paper over at the ACR store that you can use for any type of project.

In preparation for Austin Creative Reuse’s paper sale going on from Thursday, April 21, 2016 to Saturday, April 30th  here are creative ways to reuse paper products.

  • Calendars aren’t just meant for keeping track of the date. Once the year is over, just tear apart a calendar and frame your favorite picture to decorate walls with. Calendar sized pictures fit well in record frames.
  • Newspaper can be used multiple times after reading them. They make excellent wrapping paper, but they can also help make windows streak-free. They are also a good source of carbon for compost piles when shredded.
  • When I was a kid, my sister and I created paper dolls and made outfits for them with construction paper. Print out some paper doll templates and dress them up with paper with various prints and designs in shapes of shirts and pants.
  • Personalize greeting cards, stickers, and notepads by picking and choosing different types of paper.


Austin Creative Reuse visits Articulture

Articulture Design chose Austin Creative Reuse as the recipient of 5% of sales from it’s Grand Opening on Saturday, April 9th.  I joined the festivities that day and enjoyed spending time in the beautiful space and hearing more about their efforts in permaculture design and green business.  You can learn more about Articulture’s green initiatives on their website.


April Paper Sale

Our Bucket Overfloweth!

In fact, we have so much of it, we are having a Paper Sale!

From Thursday, April 21st to Saturday, April 30th, a bucket of paper will run you a cool $2.50 (that’s ½ off our normal bucket price).  We’ve moved lots amazing paper items into our bucket area just for the sale.  And when all that paper is gone, it’s gone!

And if that’s not enough to bring you in, the paper in paper/party aisle is 50% off. This includes printing paper, construction paper, notecards, and much more. *

Here’s the kinds of paper you will find in our bucket section.

  • Magazines,
  • Maps
  • Calendars,
  • Craft books,
  • Greeting cards,
  • Card stock,
  • Comp books,
  • Collage images,
  • Paper sample books,
  • Graph paper,
  • Photo paper,
  • Envelopes
  • Invitations
  • Notecards,
  • Note pads,
  • Journals,
  • Sewing patterns
  • Binders
  • File Folders
  • Cardboard
  • Mat board
  • Cardboard tube
  • Beautiful paper scraps
  • Wall paper rolls
  • Photo books
  • Expanding folders
  • Plastic sheet protectors
  • Sample boards
  • Photos
  • Adding machine paper rolls
  • Stickers
  • Paper bag
  • Stencils
  • Wine carriers
  • Bubble envelopes
  • Tissue paper
  • Wrapping paper
  • Gift bags


* Paper Sale does not include items in office, craft or vintage aisles.

Austin Creative Reuse recognized as Austin Green Business Leader


Austin Creative Reuse was recently recognized by the City’s Office of Sustainability as an Austin Green Business Leader  at the Platinum level. The city program rates local business and nonprofit entities on a wide range of factors that contribute to their overall environmental impact score. Given the core conservation mission of Austin Creative Reuse, we were delighted -but not surprised- to be recognized at the highest level.

As a new board member and new chair of the sustainability committee, completing this application and preparing for the site visit gave me opportunities to learn more about the details of the center’s operation, as well as ideas for new ways to increase our positive impact. Some of the factors measured are related to  general policy and values,  while others get into the nitty gritty of our operations. For instance, do you know which types of fluorescent bulbs are considered efficient by current standards? I didn’t! But I’ve learned that the T8 type we use *is* more efficient than the older T12 type, and that in any future renovations, we can increase our efficiency even further by moving to T5 or LEDs.

The AGBL scorecard functions both as a measurement tool to assess our current impact, and as a roadmap for continued improvements toward sustainability.  Austin Creative Reuse earned many points on this scorecard through activities and strategies that have been core to the organization’s values from the beginning. Even in these many areas where we were “ahead of the game”, the scoreboard still had something to offer in terms of amplifying our effects. For example, we’ll now start sharing our sustainability policy and strategies with our neighbors, and advocate for more sustainable building management practices in our whole complex.

Board of Directors 2016 Planning Session Update

Twice a year the Austin Creative Reuse board spends a few days reviewing the activities and outcomes of the organization and creates plans for the next 6 months.  These plans allow the board to focus the actions of the board and other volunteers as well as to ensure that we make progress but don’t over commit our resources. Austin Creative Reuse is currently all volunteer run and while there are many exciting opportunities, we want to make sure we take on only what we have the capacity to do.

The organization is guided by three strategic goals:

  1. Operate with transparency,  evidence-based practices, and collaborative processes to be an efficient and effective non-profit organization that balances the needs of all stakeholders. Stakeholders: Customers, Volunteers, Employees, Material Donors, Financial Donors, Community, Environment
  1. Be a self-sustaining and scalable non-profit organization
  1.  Be a resource for the Austin and Reuse communities that provides programs that utilize or support the creative use of repurposed and discarded materials.

Our Year End report is being created and will be released in the coming months.

Below are updates on key areas of the organization:

Finances and Accounting


Financial health is good right now, sales have been steadily increasing and we’re conservatively budgeting to maintain our current sales level through next fiscal year (April 2016 – March 2017).

Considering the strong financial picture and the need for more help in the store, we’ve added ACR’s first employee to next year’s budget.  It’s a big step, both financially and emotionally.  ACR is growing up!  The board is excited about the coming year and the additional services we hope to implement.

Gift cards are coming soon! We’ll have ACR gift cards available shortly – they’ll easily work with Square (both loading balances and using for purchases) and are reloadable, so encourage customers to reuse those cards!  We’ll take $0 balance gift cards back and reload them for someone else.



Now that we have achieved our goal of opening the center, we will focus our fundraising efforts on supporting operational and programming needs. Top fundraising priorities for 2016 are: securing a Community Initiative Grant,  holding either an annual fundraiser or a series of smaller-scale events, and the holiday campaign.

There was discussion and initial planning around having periodic in-store fundraising efforts targeting various programming/operational  needs.  We also discussed making community impact statements more often to keep  public/volunteers  informed. Updates were made to board fundraising responsibilities and commitments to be more action-oriented.

Educator Committee


We reviewed the results of the Open House for Educators and other updates from the educator committee.  The most popular need that Educators requested from Austin Creative Reuse was to hold “Brainstorm Nights,” where educators from all over the city who teach similar grade-levels and subjects could meet in the Center to share ideas for reuse lessons.  The committee is discussing how this can be implemented in a sustainable way. The committee will also be looking for grant opportunities to assist with programming, planning a similar Open House event for August, and working to build an online community of educators.

Sustainability Committee


We created a sustainability committee with Cory Skuldt as committee chair. We completed and passed a Sustainability Vision and Policy to assist in our efforts to walk our talk and. It can be viewed on our site below our core values statement here.  The core mission and work of Austin Creative Reuse is proactively increasing sustainability – this policy helps to guide our efforts embedding sustainable practices into every aspect of our operations.  Austin Creative Reuse applied for  Austin Green Business Certification, and was certified at the highest level (Platinum).  Cory is representing Austin Creative Reuse on the AISD Environmental Stewardship Advisory Committee, advocating for reuse as a pillar of AISD’s sustainability plan.  In addition, the committee will focus on relationships with other environmental organizations like the Austin Materials Marketplace, The Reuse Alliance Texas and the Austin Zero Waste Alliance.

Center Operations Committee

Our Creative Reuse Center has been open for business for 6 months now and every week, small changes and additions are made to our operating procedures to improve our workflow.  At this time, the process of Weigh/Sort/Price takes up the vast majority of our volunteer effort.  We’ve found that microsorting of small items is a big part of our process but one that brings lots of value back into the items that are donated.  Turning that mixed bag of buttons, beads and writing instruments into cohesive bags of art/craft supplies is a lot of work!

We’ve arranged our center into thoughtful sections to make it easier to shop but we are seeing a real need to define “champions” or “owners” for all sections.  These volunteers would be responsible for making each section look sharp and easy to shop.  When we sell out of one item, containers need to be pulled and new inventory in its place.  Prices need to be re evaluated on a regular basis.   Items that are unique or high quality need to featured.  Moving inventory around also makes it fun for our weekly shoppers.  It helps them to see materials that might have gotten overlooked.

Next big challenge is to offer workshops and classes.  We have the space, materials, tools and even some artists/crafters interested in heading up these workshops.  Things we still need to define are cost, advertising, timing but most importantly, volunteer resources.  We are looking to turn our current Tuesday Volunteer Activities Night into a regular Create Night.

In addition, we’ve found two volunteers with significant summer camp experience.  We hope to work with them to define at least 1 summer camp for kids.

Board Nominating Committee

The board has several member updates.  Rebecca continues to be our President and Carole is Vice-President.  Cindy renewed her board commitment for three years and does a great job leading our fundraising efforts.  Leslie heads up the educator committee while juggling a new baby and another one on the way!
Cory is our newest member and recently built a sustainability policy for the center.  She will be our chair for the board sustainability committee.  Katy is our board treasurer and she just completed her three year term.  We are grateful for her service and happy that she will stay with us another year and assist in finding a great new treasurer.  Michele is interim board secretary but will be leaving the Austin area this summer and relocating to Florida for new job opportunities.

We are excited to grow our board and we are communicating with several interested people.  In addition, we are planning to put out a call for board applications later this spring.  Michele will be the contact person for anyone with questions about joining the board.


Sharing information and growing community is vital to the success of the organization. We are continuing our efforts on social media (Facebook, Pinterest, Instagram, Twitter, Linkedin, Meetup) and Google pages and Yelp. We have a google grant and have adword campaigns running to continue to promote the organization.  We are in search of a volunteer to take on sending out our email newsletters and a volunteer to assist with web updates.

We are planning an upgrade to our website and while we figure out the new theme and navigation for the site, we will continue to make small improvements to enhance our visitors experience.


While developing Austin Creative Reuse over the past few years, we participated at many events to build awareness of the organization.  For the next six months, we are limiting our participation at events in order to concentrate our time and effort on the operations of the volunteer center.  We are still in need of volunteers that can assist consistently at the center.