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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 side.box 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.

 

25 Days of Giving – Day 6

logo 25 days of giving_picmonkeyed    Reuse Tip – Day 6

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.

Drawer 1 Drawer 2

25 Days of Giving – Day 5

 

   logo 25 days of giving_picmonkeyed Ways to Reuse Fabric Samples – Day 5

One of the materials Austin Creative Reuse seems to have in abundance are beautiful fabric samples, so here’s a few ideas for how to reuse this multi-purpose material. These projects range from no-sew to intermediate.

P.S. If you happen to need a sewing machine, we are raffling one off this month – more details

Pillows

 

pillow one

Cosmetic Case

tote 2

Tote Bags (We have instructions for tote bag at the center.)

tote one

                           

Fabric strip garland

garland

 

Custom banners    

Banner

  gift tags

gift tags

gift bags

gift bags

Memory game

memory game

Framed silhouette print

giraffe

Wall Art Idea 1

clip board wall art

Wall Art Idea 2

fabric letters

Framed fabric

framed fabric

      

Hope you’re inspired to give one of these projects a try. When you do, please send us a picture of your creation, so we can add it to our creative reuse board in the store. Good luck with your project!

See you tomorrow!

25 Days of Giving – Day 4

 logo 25 days of giving_picmonkeyedReuse tips (Cont.) – Day 4

Here are some final tips to ponder as you begin your holiday decorating and entertaining…

5. For holiday parties large and small, replace disposable dishware with cloth napkins, glasses, silverware, etc. Use any plastic containers for to-go party leftovers. Also try to avoid any decorations that have a one-time use.

dishes dishes 2 to go food jars

6.  Consider using a living or an alternative holiday tree.                 

Check back tomorrow for more holiday and other reuse ideas!

Holiday Raffle- Win a New Sewing Machine

logo 25 days of giving sewingmachine

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

$5 raffle tickets for sale at the Austin Creative Reuse Center

Winner will be contacted on December 19th, 2015.

Sewing Machine has all Basic Features including:

  • Basic Decorative Stiches
  • Automatic buttonhole
  • Easy Stitch selection with adjustable stitch length
  • Stiches
    • Button Hole
    • Straight
    • Zigzag
    • Blind Hems
    • Rick Rack
    • Scallop
    • Rampart

 

25 Days of Giving – Day 3

logo 25 days of giving_picmonkeyedHoliday Reuse Tips (Cont.) – Day 3

 

Here’s two more ideas to think about as the holidays are approaching…

  1.  Shop at antique or thrift stores for gifts, décor, or holiday apparel.  Less traffic, more fun, and easier on the budget.    

22171807928_88326dc9ae_z     treasure city    Next to new    Goodwill

  If you have multiple family members with children, consider having the older children gather clothing and toys they’ve outgrown and give to younger children as a gift. The items will be new to the younger ones and the older ones will know they’ve gone to good homes. 

Childrens box of clothes box of toys box of books

 Have a wonderful day and come back tomorrow for more tips!

 

25 Days of Giving – Day 2

logo 25 days of giving_picmonkeyedTips for Reusing during the Holidays – Day 2

Kicking off our 25 days of giving and reuse are 2 ideas to get you in the spirit of reusing during the holiday season:

Live by the Benjamin Franklin quote this holiday season “A good conscience is a continual Christmas.”    

Make yourself proud by trying these reuse tips:

1.Start the season by clearing out your household stuff (use the one year rule!). You can donate it to Austin Creative Reuse, Goodwill, or other local thrift stores.  Get double bonus points for having more space and providing a low cost gift for someone else to purchase.  

box22148479286_4d5ba7c81c_z

 

2. Get crafty- Yep, it’s a busy time of year, but thankfully there’s tons of quick and easy reuse ideas for everything from home decorations, gift ideas, holiday cards, gift wrapping, and entertaining.  Try ACR’s Pinterest page for inspiration.

 

 Check back tomorrow for more reuse tips!

25 Days of Giving – Day 1

logo 25 days of giving_picmonkeyed Happy Holidays!  It’s time for decking the halls and spreading joy with gifts and holiday cheer.  At Austin Creative Reuse, we love December!  It’s the perfect time to use old sweaters and cereal boxes for wrapping gifts, turning wine corks into holiday decoration and best of all – gifting!

 

Starting this Saturday, we’ll be offering free gift-wrapping outside our center  from 10am – 2pm each Saturday.  Of course, our gift-wrapping is extra special because it’s reuse-inspired.  We’ll have materials available to choose from, but feel free to bring your own as well.  We love a challenge!

Starting this Thursday, December 3rd, we will also have weekly Thursday workshops at the center from 6pm to 8pm. Come join the fun as we make 3-D Star garlands/wreaths (Dec.3), fabric gift bags (Dec.10), and plastic bows and gift tags (Dec.17).

Holiday parties mean lots of wine, which means lots of leftover wine corks.  Don’t throw them out!  Turn them into cute little reindeer decorations at our workshop on December 5th.  Even if cork reindeers aren’t for you, bring us your leftover corks.  We sell hundreds of corks each month to artists, crafters,  and regular folks that feel inspired to create or just decorate. ACR Pinterest – Corks

Do you accumulate plastic bags that you know you shouldn’t throw away, but aren’t sure how to use?  Turn them into gift wrap bows!  We’ll teach you how at our workshop on our Thursday workshop on December 17th.

Don’t forget the gifts!  At Austin Creative Reuse, we know that creating awesome things from reuse materials isn’t always easy, so our mission is to eliminate barriers to reuse.  We currently have materials and workshops at our center to help inspire people, but the inevitable barrier is… “That’s cool, but I don’t have a sewing machine.”  Worry no more, friends!  A generous donor has given us a brand new sewing machine to offer as a raffle prize in December.  Come to our store on Thursdays or Saturdays  to purchase your chance to win this great prize!  If you’re not interested in sewing, this could also make a great holiday gift for someone you love.  Tickets are $5 each and the winner will be announced on December 19.  If you can’t make it to the store but want some raffle tickets, email us at info@austincreativereuse.org.

As always, we welcome your support – we accept materials  and financial donations.  Austin Creative Reuse is a 501(c)(3) charitable organization that relies on community support to continue offering the amazing workshops and creative reuse center that give materials a second life, a third life and many more.  Happy Holidays!

Twenty-Five Days of Giving and Reuse

We at Austin Creative Reuse are so excited to have our center open in time to celebrate the holiday season,we are creating “Twenty-Five Days of Giving and Reuse”, a calendar of activities to share with our loyal fans and customers.  We’ll be offering daily reuse tips online, free workshops, holiday gift wrapping, craft “how-tos” and more. Keep an eye out for the calendar to be posted on our website and facebook page soon!

We’ll be kicking off on December 1st  by celebrating #Giving Tuesday. This global day of giving brings together diverse organizations and communities to celebrate the spirit of generosity and giving back in a way that is meaningful to you. Ideas for how you can celebrate #GivingTuesday will be coming soon on facebook.

So whether you’re looking for creative ideas and materials for making gifts and holiday decorations or want to come do a great project, we’d love to have you visit our center or online for your holiday inspiration!

What Can I Do with Glass Jars?

I was immensely pleased when Austin switched to single stream recycling a few years ago. That meant sorting out the trash was simple and easy. However, when I moved into an apartment I received a list of items that the complex does not recycle and glass happened to be listed. Glass bottles and jars eventually filled up the cabinet beneath the kitchen sink and I would have to take them to Ecology Action’s downtown recycling center (which is now closed, but you can take your recyclables to the City of Austin’s Recycle and Reuse Drop-Off Center at 2514 Business Center Drive, 78744). To make things easier for me and to be environmentally friendly, I learned how versatile glass bottles and jars could be.

Jars

Here are some practical ways I reused glass jars:

When I bought this jar, it was originally filled with kombucha.  Now I use it as a regular drinking glass. If you keep the cap or lid, they make great water bottles when you’re out and about. I suggest washing the jars a few times before drinking out of them especially if they had pasta sauce in it beforehand.

When I bought this jar, it was originally filled with kombucha.Now I use it as a regular drinking glass. If you keep the cap or lid, they make great water bottles when you’re out and about. I suggest washing the jars a few times before drinking out of them especially if they had pasta sauce in it beforehand.

This jar had roasted peppers before I started reusing it to pack my lunches. Don’t put any food that needs to be heated up since it is not recommended to microwave glass jars.

This jar had roasted peppers before I started reusing it to pack my lunches. Don’t put any food that needs to be heated up since it is not recommended to microwave glass jars.

These succulent pots were originally a cookie butter jar, a normal mason jar, and two different sauce jars. Before planting, add rocks at the bottom of the jar since it doesn’t have holes to drain water.

These succulent pots were originally a cookie butter jar, a normal mason jar, and two different sauce jars. Before planting, add rocks at the bottom of the jar since it doesn’t have holes to drain water.

Glass jars make great organizers and help declutter your home. I added candy into a sauce jar, pens and pencils in another, and loose change in a bottle that first had iced coffee.

Glass jars make great organizers and help declutter your home. I added candy into a sauce jar, pens and pencils in another, and loose change in a bottle that first had iced coffee.

These succulent pots were originally a cookie butter jar, a normal mason jar, and two different sauce jars. Before planting, add rocks at the bottom of the jar since it doesn’t have holes to drain water.

 

Bonus: Can you believe that these lego look alikes were baby food jars?!

Bonus: Can you believe that these lego look alikes were baby food jars?!

Glass bottles and jars come in many shapes and sizes, and as you can see they can be reused in countless ways. So before placing them in your recycling bin, wash them up and put them into good use!

How do you reuse glass bottles and  jars?