Author Archives: Jen Mack

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.


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



pillow one

Cosmetic Case

tote 2

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

tote one


Fabric strip garland



Custom banners    


  gift tags

gift tags

gift bags

gift bags

Memory game

memory game

Framed silhouette print


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.  



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!

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