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KXAN Studio512: Recreate with Austin Creative Reuse!

Did you miss Austin Creative Reuse’s appearance on KXAN’s Studio 512? That’s OK, we’ve got the link for you to see it for yourself.

What Can I Do with Bed Sheets?

Growing up there was a closet in my house that produced an avalanche of bed sheets whenever somebody opened it. That being said, bed sheets are bulky and take up a lot of space when not in use. If you have a similar problem and are wondering what you can do with your old bed sheets, here are some options.

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Blankets and comforters and duvets, oh my! Photo Credit: Toni Red

Donating is a great way to get rid of your bed sheets. By donating to your local charity or thrift store, you will provide others in need with warmth at night. Regrettably, Austin Creative Reuse does not accept bed sheets, but there are other places where you can donate. For instance, Safe Place, an organization that provides safety for those affected by sexual and domestic violence, accepts full and queen sized bed sheets. Organizations dedicated to animal welfare such as Austin! Pets Alive accepts baby blankets for their kitten nursery and the Austin Humane Society accepts blankets without stuffing.

Here is a list of organizations in Austin that will gladly accept gently used blankets:

Donating Pro-Tips:

  • Check for wears and tears
  • Laundry beforehand
  • If they come in a set, put them together

Remember that reuse is also an option. There are a plethora of ways to turn bed sheets into something else. For something simple, you can tear them up and make cleaning rags. They also provide great protection for plants during the winter. You can even turn them into a hammock or a tent! For the creative types, bed sheets can be converted into aprons or skirts. Those are just a few examples, so if you have extra bed sheets lying around, be creative and put them in good use!

 

 

 

Celebrate National Reuse Day all week.

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Share photos online of how you #reuse and then join us on Thursday, October 22nd from 6pm-8pm to make a make a Rockin’ Box out of a record album cover.

Find out about other reuse events on the City of Austin’s Reuse Week Calendar

Here are some ideas on what to share:

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the story of our sign

We were very excited to install our Center’s sign this weekend, with help from most of my family and a little google-searching about mounting things to stucco. Hopefully it will make it easier for folks to spot our location on quiet Middle Fiskville Rd.

Volunteer/husband Bryan puts in the final screw.

Volunteer/husband Bryan puts in the final screw.

Deciding on a sign was a bit of a balancing act (possibly I just have balance on the brain as I look at this photo of my husband on a ladder in flip flops). We wanted something that looked nice and was easy to spot, something in keeping with our mission and passion for reuse, and—as an all-volunteer nonprofit—something that wouldn’t break the bank.

Luckily, ’twas the season for the twice-annual Round Top antique bonanza. These events are a reusers paradise. There are fancy antiques, sure, but also buckets of rusty forks, fixtures from demolished buildings, and, increasingly, reuse artists and craftspeople showing off their skills.

You never know what you’ll find among the acres of tents and barns, but prior experience suggested that old sign letters were to be had. It’s an easy day-trip from Austin and hard to resist a visit in any case, so I was happy to have sign-shopping as an excuse to go. Within the first hour, I’d spotted dozens of cool reuse crafts and opportunities, and then, jackpot:

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A field full of letters just waiting to come home with me. I dragged all the A’s, C’s, and R’s into a pile, picked out two good combinations, and it was all over but the stucco-mounting.

Halloween Decoration Ideas

The weather is finally cooling down and Halloween is creeping up on our calendars! Here are some creative ways to haunt your home this fall.

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Opening Saturday September 26

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Grab your creative juices and come visit us at the Austin Creative Reuse Center.

The first section of the center will open Saturday, September 26 from 10am – 2pm.

From then on, the center will be open every Thursday night from 6pm-8pm and every Saturday from 10am-2pm.

We’ll be extending hours and adding sections to the center over the next few months.  Please be patient with us as we continue to work through our processes and the pricing of the materials.

Our first workshop will be a cape making activity on Saturday, October 31.  We’ll be posting more details in the coming week.

 

A big thank you to all of the volunteers that have assisted in setting up the center.  There have been many wonderful individuals showing up weekly and several one day events with groups from Little Helping Hands, Americorps and eBay (United Way Fall Day of Caring).

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What do you mean by sections?

We currently have the front space open to customers. It is filled with lots of unique and special items including beads, buttons, fabric, markers, canvases and decorative tile. We’ve added some items like corks and paint chip samples to that area for now.

We will be adding additional sections that are focused more on bulk quantities of items like cork, cd cases, small containers, and carpet squares.  We’ll also be setting up workshop spaces for adults and children.  And we would also like to incorporate a gallery and consignment areas.

What types of materials can I donate?

We accept a variety of materials. Please review our materials donation list for details.

I have materials to donate, when can I bring them to the center?

You may bring donations during open hours.

How can I volunteer?

We will need volunteers more than ever now that we have a center to take in more materials. We are planning volunteer events to assist with the setup of the center and to sort materials.  We’ll post these on our events calendar.  A great way to be notified of the events and our volunteer opportunities is to sign up for our volunteer newsletter.

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The ACR Pricing Philosophy – Nothing is Free

As we set up the center, we are continually asked what the price will be for the materials we will sell or are asked if we will give away items for free.

We believe that every object has a social, economic and environmental impact that influences our relationship with STUFF.

  • While the materials are donated to us for free, our pricing is based on a value to cover the cost of the organization that includes collecting, storing and merchandising the materials in order to be a financial sustainable organization.
  • The prices that we set are evaluated against market prices (first hand retail as well as thrift stores). The intent is to be in line with the economic situation of our local market.
  • We constantly evaluate the price of items and the time that is has been on our shelves. To encourage purchase and usage of the item, we identify ways to use it and share this with the community.
  • We will donate items and at times will give away items for free. However, we would like to continue bringing awareness to people that there is a cost to the goods.  We do not want to encourage hoarding and we want to maintain the financial sustainability of the organization.

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Where Do We Get All Our Fabulous Materials?

      Here at Austin Creative Reuse, we love checking our email every day. We are always amazed at the thoughtful and generous folks who reach out to us with questions on what to do with the “stuff” that is just too good and reuseful to throw away.

      Recently, Justina Lambert-Barone of Custom Fundraising Solutions did just that, wondering what could be done signage that’s left over from their events. The signage in question is sturdy corrugated plastic. These can’t be recycled but they have so many reuse and upcycling possibilities that we couldn’t resist picking up a truck full.

Well, it didn’t take long to realize that with a bit of creative cutting and duct taping, they would make wonderful “merch” bins for our store. Since this is a total DIY, we could customize our bins in just about every possible way.  We have been like elves in Santa’s toy shop, turning out just the right bin to hold all our materials.

        We’ve been back a few times now to Custom Fundraising Solutions and each time, they have uncovered yet another way to redirect some of their “waste” stream to Austin Creative Reuse. You see, it’s not “waste” to us, its just a piece of solid energy waiting to the transformed into something amazing.

            So, thanks to Justina for taking the time to think about the stuff in your life. Does it need to go to the landfill or can it find new life in the community? That’s a great question!

You can find out more about Custom Fundraising Solutions at https://www.facebook.com/CustomFundraisingSolutionsCentralTexas

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Special Volunteer Needs

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Haven’t had time to volunteer at the center? or maybe sorting isn’t your thing.

We have several activities that could use your help.

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Do you like to create? We need Signmakers.

Join a group to help make signs for inside the Creative Reuse Center.

Contact Leslie (Lesliehall @ gmail.com)  if you are interested.

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E-Newsletters your thing? We need someone to assist us with creating our e-newsletters.

We need assistance with setting up and sending out our monthly and weekly e-newsletters.

Contact Rebecca (Rebecca @ austincreativereuse.org)  if you are interested.

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Are you a map genius, like to write directions? We need someone to write up how to get to the center.

We want to make it easy for Austinites or Tourists driving, biking, skateboarding, taking the bus or train and even walking to have a clear idea on how to get to the center.

Contact Rebecca (Rebecca @ austincreativereuse.org)  if you are interested.

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Database guru? We need assistance in implementing a CRM system.

We would like to get a better handle on our contacts and would like to implement a CRM system.

Contact Rebecca (Rebecca @ austincreativereuse.org)  if you are interested.

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Editor extraordinaire with a sense of humor? We need assistance with editing and formatting documents.

We have a draft of our volunteer and employee handbooks and would like someone to assist in editing and enhancing the content.

We also have documents that need to be edited and formatted.   These documents will help us be clear in our processes and procedures at the center.

Contact Rebecca (Rebecca @ austincreativereuse.org)  if you are interested.

 

 

Sorting, Making Lists and Installing Baseboards

The center setup is progressing step by step. We have moved to the next level of sorting of items and will start to price materials soon.  It’s always fun to see what materials have been donated. (more info on donating materials)  A local artist, Shiree S. has started to install baseboards using donated tile, isn’t it beautiful!