Making 3D stars

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.

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Great Gift Wrap Ideas for the Reuse-y Types

It’s Holiday Time which means we are thinking about gift wrap this week.  So often, after the big gift exchange, we are overwhelmed with the piles of paper and ribbon, all of which just heads out to the land fill (or to the recycle bin if your lucky).  Why not challenge yourself wrap with an eye for reuse this year.  Here’s some ideas for a Reuse-y Holiday!

  • Use reusable containers like gift bags, holiday tins or sturdy gift boxes.
  • If you received a bag at the store when you purchased the gift, use that paper or plastic to wrap it.
  • Use old scarves, cloth napkins or fabric scraps for an infinitely reusable gift wrap
  • Look for “reuse” gift wrap around your house, such as newspaper, maps, magazines, wallpaper samples, or grocery bags
  • Use yarn or kitchen twine to tie up your package
  • Make gift tags our of cereal boxes or other boxes
  • Any container can become a gift bag just by adding a bow or glueing a bit of holiday paper
  • Make a gift box out of cereal box (Look for our tutorial on how to do it in our treasure box blog post)

And most importantly!

  • After the big unwrap, do not be ashamed to gather up all the gift bags, gift boxes and ribbon to use next year. It’s like giving the earth a big ‘ol gift just from you!

Here’s a small sample of our reuse wrappers.



Make Way for Christmas Swap Party

Did you happen to see the Statesman today? Anna Hanks, a guest contributor, suggests doing a bit of pre-Christmas cleaning but holding a swap meet with friends.

No gifts, just bring things you are ready to see leave your home, add some drinks and appetizers and you’ve got a great reuse party on your hands. It satisfies that “joy of giving” urge we all get this time of year without our having to waste time, money or the earth’s resources.

Afterward, any unclaimed items can go to any one of the fabulous non-profit thrift stores, like Treasure City Thrift, Top Drawer, Goodwill or Savers.

Sounds like a new holiday tradition in the making.

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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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Thinkery’s Junk City

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Make sure to visit Thinkery by January 25, 2015 to check out “Junk City”.

It’s an amazing city created by Zach Dorn from reclaimed materials.  There are many wonderful hidden gems; look up to see hot air balloons made from light bulbs and look closely to see if you can spot the lady and her dog meditating.

Join us there on Saturday, December 13th from 11-2pm for a fun creative reuse activity.




#lasertrash, what’s that?

MakeATX , { a membership-based design and fabrication workshop }, runs a laser cutting workshop in East Austin, and during the East Austin Studio Tour, they will be selling bags of scraps from laser cutting projects, aka lasertrash.  The exciting news is that a percentage of proceeds from sales of these scraps will be donated to Austin Creative Reuse.  Check out the examples of the amazing materials that you might find there and make plans to stop by.

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Where: 1109 shady lane, Austin, TX 78721

When:  November 15, 16, 22, and 23; 11am – 6pm

Check out more photos on Instagram : #lasertrash


What are your favorite songs about Creative Reuse?

On Wednesday, November 5th, 2014, I had the great fortune to be a guest on KOOP radio’s ReMIX show.  The show asks a guest to select a set of songs about a topic and share the songs and the stories about the songs on the show. I was in the recording studio with Ken KC, Matt Johnson and Jenn Venkze and had a delightful time sharing stories about the songs and about Austin Creative Reuse. Let us know what songs you would have included in your set.

Here is my song list:
“Monkey Gone to Heaven” by The Pixies
“Little Wing” by Jimi Hendrix
“Worn Out Shoe: by Reverend Peytons Big Damn Band
“Just Breathe” by Willie Nelson
“Nothing but Flowers by Talking Heads
“Yoshimi Battles The Pink Robots Pt 1.” by The Flaming Lips
“Mutual Core” by Bjork
“Go!” By Santigold (featuring Karen O)*
“Walk this way” by RUN DMC and Aerosmith
“This Too Shall Pass” bu OK GO*
“Hurt” by Johnny Cash, ORIGINAL ARTIST: Nine Inch Nails*
“Hard Sun” by Eddie Vedder*
* Songs were not played during ReMIX show

Additional songs considered but not included:
“Traffic in the Sky” by Jack Johnson
“Dont’ Drink the Water” by Dave Matthews Band
“Big Yellow Taxi” by Joni Mitchel
“Natural Beauty” by Neil Young
“The 3 Rs” by Jack Johnson
“Alice’s Restaurant” by Arlo Guthrie
“The Writing’s On the Wall” by OK GO

KOOP ReMIX on Facebook


Thank you for helping us Raise the Roof!

Thank you to everyone who came out for our Raise the Roof event on November 7th. It was a huge hit and we had a blast.

Many, many thanks! And stay tuned for more to come!


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.


2005 Wheless Lane, Austin, TX 78723
Tel: (512) 375-3041