25 Days of Giving – Day 16

How to Make a Gift Bow

by in How Tos/Tutorials

Make a Bow from ReuseCan you believe we’ve been buying expensive predictable bows, when we could have been remaking almost any image into one of a kind little gift?


  • Magazines, Map, any paper that is 10 ½ inches long
  • Scissors
  • Tape, glue or staples

Step 1. Cut 9 strips of paper, ¾” wide and 10 ½” long. Leave three pieces just as they are (10 1/2” long).  Cut 1 inch off of 3 of the pieces (now 9 1/2” long).  Cut 2 inches off of 2 of the pieces (now 81/2”long).  Cut the final piece to 3 ½” long. (Image 1)


Step 2. Bend the 3 ½” strip into a circle.  Secure with double sided tape, a staple, glue, glue dots, etc.  With all other strips fold both ends to the middle, twist the ends in opposite directions to create a loop at each end. Secure. (image 2 and image 3)

Image 2

Image 3

Step 3. Take the longest three pieces and place them on top of each other with equal space in between.  Secure.  Do the same with the middle 3 pieces and secure.  Attach the two smallest pieces together.  (image 4 and Image 5)

Image 4

Image 5

Step 4: Attach the 3 layers of bow together and secure the circle to the top.

Bow kits


25 Days of Giving – Day 15

Part of the holiday giving season typically includes mailing gifts to far-away friends and family.  Consider reuse materials for your shipping this year.  Austin Creative Reuse might have all the supplies you need!  We have padded mailers, bubble wrap, bubble pack, shipping popcorn, tubes, labels, and boxes – all at great prices too.


If you’re feeling industrious, you can even make your own envelopes using cereal boxes.  Here’s a quick and easy tutorial

cereal box envelopes                   envelop mailer 2


To take it a step further, think about getting into zero-waste shipping.  Set up an area for the shipping supplies you receive, and use them next time you need to send something out.  Padded envelopes, for example, can be relabeled and even turned inside out to extend their life. Bubble wrap and shipping popcorn will make it through multiple mailings too.

Liesl Clark from Trash suggests starting a tradition of encouraging recipients to  reuse by writing a message with your mail-out.

heart 3

And of course, if you find you’ve ended up with more supplies than you need or don’t have the space at home, you can bring them to ACR. We’ll keep the shipping life cycle going!


25 Days of Giving – Day 14

Whatcha gonna do with old hanging files that have been hanging around your office for too long?

Well, if you are Austin Creative Reuse, do a bit of cutting, then folding followed by a liberal application of glue and glitter. Wha-la, you have the perfect holiday decoration.


Check this link for templates (or just make your own) and instructions on folding.

Here’s a Austin Creative Reuse idea for creating your own custom gift box.  These gift boxes are so cute they are sure to repurposed into treasure boxes to hold all favorite things.  Click on the links below to find detailed instructions.

20130117_152149 20130117_205215 IMG_4082

ACR Record Album Box Tutorial (1)

ACR Treasure Box Tutorial (1)


25 Days of Giving – Day 13

Here is the third part of  DIY reuse gift ideas –  gifts for kids ranging from babies to teens. I have to say it was challenging by nature of the age range, but probably the most fun putting together.

Austin Creative Reuse has quite a few of these materials, so please visit us for your supplies. Also I added in 2 items we have for sale ready made at the center.

Enjoy and please let us know how it goes!


25 Days of Giving – Day 12

Today’s ideas are great DIY reuse gifts for him.  I hope seeing these photos will be a springboard for fun creative variations. If you try one, please send pictures…

Tomorrow will be gifts for kids…

25 Days of Reuse – Day 11

I’d like to spend the next few days sharing DIY gift ideas with reuse materials. There are so many incredible choices, I ended up breaking them into separate posts.


All of these ideas are fairly quick, easy, and inexpensive. I tried also to pick gifts that will be beautiful as well as functional.  


Austin Creative Reuse carries quite a few of these materials, but if not, I’m sure most all can be found in local thrift stores, or possibly in far corners of your closet! 


Part 1 is Gifts for Her-

Tomorrow will be Great Gifts for Him…

25 Days of Reuse – Day 10

logo 25 days of giving                        Reuse for Non-Creative Types- Day 10

Reuse doesn’t have to be hard.  It doesn’t even have to be very creative.  We really like this idea from Everyday Organizing – just nail some file boxes to the wall in a closet or garage to create instant storage containers for your reusable bags or other supplies.  Hopefully you can find some old file boxes around your house you can use instead of buying new ones, though!  Our goal at Austin Creative Reuse is always to use what you have or what other people are giving away rather than adding new stuff to the mix.  No excuses for you non-creative types out there – reuse is often as simple as just re-purposing items.  No cutting, sewing or color-coordinating required!  Before you throw away or even recycle an item you no longer need, think for a minute about what else you or someone else could do with that item.

File Box

25 Days of Reuse – Day 9

logo 25 days of giving                                           Make your own custom box – Day 9


A loyal supporter sent us this timely link for the holidays. It’s a neat site for making your own custom boxes. Template maker.


Box template

Here’s some examples of templates

visual_medium                               visual_medium (3)

visual_medium (1)                                 visual_medium (2)

Please let us know how it goes or send photos.  We’ll post some of our own soon!



25 Days of Giving – Day 8

logo 25 days of giving                       Holiday Decorating with Reuse Materials-Day 8


Here’s some fun ideas for holiday decorating. Check Austin Creative Reuse for your material needs. We would love to help with supplies and inspiration!

Framed Christmas Card Silhouette                                         

holiday card hanging

 Christmas Trees 

rolled paper children tree   collection christmas tree cork tree


Christmas Card Garland

clothespin garland


  Ruler Stars

star picture holder

           Honeycomb Wreaths                                                                                                                        Christmas Card Wreath                                     

  tube wreath                                                                     christmas card wreath



              Photo Wreath                                                                                                 Yarn-wrapped wreath                 

    photo wreath                                                           yarn wreath



                         Christmas Planter                                                                                                                          Good Wish Tree   

gnome box                                                       wish tree 


Happy crafting and please send us a picture of your project-we’d love to see and share them! Check back tomorrow for more creative thoughts!



25 Days of Giving – Day 7

logo 25 days of giving_picmonkeyed25 Days of Giving – Day 7

Vinyl Banners and Foam Core –        What Can Be Done

Reposted by Carole LeClair in Uncategorized

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 1 Box 2 Box 3

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.