Author Archives: Carole LeClair

How to Create a Beautiful Gift Box – A Reuse Idea

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.

 

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ACR Record Album Box Tutorial (1)

ACR Treasure Box Tutorial (1)

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Austin Creative Reuse Meets Austin Sewing Guild

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On a cold and windy Saturday, Austin Creative Reuse had a chance to meet up with the Austin Sewing Guild, a dynamic bunch of ladies (and a few men) who love to sew.

Those of us who do sew are a notoriously frugal bunch. In this case, frugal does not mean cheap, it means we like to make the most of what we have so left over material and notions are saved for future mini-projects or shared with members of the guild. Each guild meeting kicks off with a wonderful fabric and notion swap. Reuse at it’s finest!

After sharing the mission and future plans of Austin Creative Reuse, it was time for member so show off what they made recently. Several members brought their favorite “reuse” project.

One member who loves to print and dye fabric used her “drop” cloth to make a beautiful blouse, The rich, random colors gave the blouse a lovely batik feel. Another ambitious member made several dresses and one shawl out of a load of old ties. The colors were amazing! There were quilts and coasters made from scraps.  One of my favorites was an adorable holiday dress.  The dress began it’s life as a short sleeved, floor length number which had no styling what so ever.  After being purchased at a thrift store by a sewing guild member with an eye for fabric, she restyled it into a cute holiday cocktail dress.

We will be looking for ways to meet up again with this amazing group, maybe a fabric sale or swap, helping out with a “sewing” themed craft night. Can’t wait to see what we come up with.

 

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Behind the Scenes at Goodwill Outlet

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On Saturday, about 20 ReuseConex attendees including a few from Austin Creative Reuse,  were invited to a behind the scenes look at the Goodwill Outlet.  This massive store at 6505 Burleson in south Austin is indeed a bargain hunters paradise.  After Goodwill has actively marketed every sellable item donated, the unsold products make their way here.  Sorted items are wheeled out to the main floor where shoppers look for “the good stuff”.  Most items are sold by the pound.  During my visit, I found a lovely green bowling ball engraved with “The Beast”.  Luckily, bowling balls go for an cool $2.99 and are not sold by weight.

Besides bargain hunting we also toured the sorting area where unsold and unsellable items are sorted into 70 different areas (like suitcases, single shoes, hats, stuff animals), then baled.  Baled goods are sold to recycling, reselling and reconditioning businesses around the city, state or country.  While Goodwill does an amazing job of keeping lots of our extra “stuff” out of the land fill, it really brings home the effect of our constant consumerism.  To see bales of stuffed animals, even with Mickey looking so content, was an eye opener.  It really reminds us to purchase thoughtfully, then reuse, repurpose, regift, repair, reprise and value the things we have.  While it’s great there are places like Goodwill and other wonderful thrift stores around our town who are willing to help us give our stuff a second life, we might all aim to just have a little bit less and be a little more  content with what we have.

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Austin Creative Reuse Visits Reuse Artist Greg Geisler of Wounded Wood

Austin Creative Reuse met up with Greg Geisler from Wounded Wood recently.  Greg truly embraces the spirit of reuse.  He’s his home and garden are simply filled with found and other free materials off craigslist.  He also lovingly creates beautiful wooden boxes and art using discarded dresser drawers, scrap wood and good old junk.

He has donated two of his amazing pieces to our Raise the Roof raffle and will be displaying some of awesome reuse art at the fundraiser.
You can check out more of Greg’s art by visiting:

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Halloween Decorations

Bring back reusable materials from the dead by making these sweet Halloween decorations!

1. Moo! Create a haunted house with milk bottle ghost string lights

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2. Spice up your home with pumpkin garland made from paper towel and toilet paper rolls

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3. Bibbity Bobbity Boo: Turn a book into a pumpkin

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4. Trick or Treat: Disguise flower pots as delicious candy corn

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5. Splash into fall by making pumpkins out of pool noodles

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Trash Makeover Challenge is October 18th!

Once again, Austin Creative Reuse has donated materials for the Texas Campaign for the Environment Trash Makeover Challenge.  This year’s fashion show and party will be held this October 18 at the North Door. Buy your tickets now!

Check out fashions from last year’s event made from the stuff rescued from the landfill by our donors​!

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My Upcycled Valentine (Part 2)

Enjoy these additional ideas for turning trash into treasure for those special people in your life this Valentine’s Day!

1. Valentine’s Mailbox from an empty shampoo bottle

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2. Love banner from cardboard and magazine scraps

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3. Tiny gift boxes from matchboxes and scrap paper

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4. Paper Bag and Washi Tape Heart Bunting

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5. Heart necklace from scrap paper

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My Upcycled Valentine (Part 1)

Here at Austin Creative Reuse, we believe in the importance of seeing potential beauty and love in anything, especially someone else’s “trash”. Here are some ideas for turning trash into treasure for those special people in your life.

1. Paper Punch Heart Garland from Paint Chips

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2. Valentine Heart Pouches from Old Envelopes

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3. Felt Heart from Felted Sweaters

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4. Upcycled Sweater Hearts

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5. Floating Heart Wall Art from Old Picture Frame and Scrap Paper

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Craft Night At Half Price Books

Please join Austin Creative Reuse this Thursday, May 22 at Half Price Books (5555 N. Lamar) at 6:30pm. We will be making Book Safes (otherwise known as stash boxes). We will have a nice variety of books to choose for your project. Meet at the front of the store and bring your own exact knife if you’ve got one. Otherwise, we will supply everything! This is a free event and we would love to see all our Austin Creative Reuse friends and followers there!IMG_6078

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Did you miss April Craft Night?

For those of you who weren’t able to make it to our fantastic craft night at Whole Foods in the Domain, this is what you missed!  About 20 folks of all shapes and sizes turned out to make someone feel special with their own personalized fabric banner made from upholstery samples.  These samples from discontinued fabric had been on their way to the dump when a thoughtful and creative employee  had a creative thought and contacted us!  We were more than happy to pick them up and come up with something fun.  They are simply perfect for crafting and the best part is we have lots more!  Look for more fun at our May Craft night which will be Thursday, May 22 at 1/2 Price Books 5555 N. Lamar at 6:30pm.

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2005 Wheless Lane, Austin, TX 78723
Center Hours:
Mon-Wed: CLOSED
Thu/Fri: 10AM - 4PM
Sat: 11AM -6PM
Sun: 12PM - 6PM
Curbside Pickup, 10am-4pm, Daily
Tel: (512) 375-3041