March Artist Spotlight: Melissa Knight

How did you start doing art and what are you working on these days?

I found my way to batik through poetry. I was invited to display one of my poems at a group art exhibition and was looking for a creative way to display my poem. Someone suggested creating a batik banner. I had no idea what batik was, so I set out to explore what it was and I instantly fell in love! I have been making batik ever since (for over 20 years now)! I began making collage through design. On one occasion, I had made a large design and the design wasn’t very strong. However, I saw potential in this beautifully bright and colorful fabric and I began making collage. I found that collage suited my style which was pretty rudimentary to begin with, but has developed over the years and I love that the patterns that develop naturally in the wax/dye process often guide the designs I create! This quote from Georgia O’Keefe really resonates with me, “I found that I could say things with colors and shapes that I couldn’t say any other way.”
In the last couple of years, I have been focusing much of my energy on developing community art projects. I enjoy connecting with communities, connecting communities with artists, and artists with communities!  My first community project was called “Interwoven” and was held at Rosewood-Zaragosa Neighborhood Center. We wove with my batik fabric and we also tried a number of weaving techniques using different fabrics and wool. I am currently collaborating and working with mosaic artist Ryah Christensen on a community mosaic project at Rosewood-Zaragosa Neighborhood Center (March & April). This project engages the community by offering a series of workshops where participants come together to design and create a community “quilt” mosaic artwork. Workshops include designing and creating tiles for the community quilt. Ryah will take the tiles made by the community and create a large mosaic artwork that will be installed at the entrance of Rosewood-Zaragosa Neighborhood Center. The mosaic project is created by the community, for the community.

How does reuse play a part in your art?

For all of the projects that I work on, I begin by visiting Austin Creative Reuse! For Interwoven, I purchased a lot of my supplies at ACR including frames, embroidery hoops, wool and fabric. For the mosaic project, our first workshop is a design workshop and we were able to find what we needed at ACR including drawing supplies, design books and templates. For the last 3 years I have created an interactive art installation called Fairyland for Austin’s New Year. Fairyland is mostly made of wonderful sparkly treasures that I find at ACR! I keep my eye out all year long for treasures to add to Fairyland! Additionally, I have always enjoyed thrift shopping and clothes swapping and sharing with friends. Seeing the potential in making and creating through reuse definitely spills into my art.

What compels you to donate to ACR?

It makes me happy to know that when I donate something that I am not using, someone else may be able to use it to create! It’s also like paying it forward. When I have a need for my projects, I find it at ACR! The creative community helps each other out! There’s also the added excitement of finding treasures at Austin Creative Reuse!

Do you have a favorite ACR find? What did you do with it?

The first year that I created Fairyland I found this pair of sparkly birds that I knew would be just perfect for the installation. They have been part of Fairyland ever since!

Where can we find out more about your art or projects?

My website is and there you will find examples of my art, previous projects I have worked on, as well as current projects, including the community mosaic project. To learn more about the mosaic project, you can also visit Ryah’s website

Thank you Melissa!

Amplify Austin Day 2019


Here’s your chance to get involved with your community AND GIVE BACK to your fav little craft store in Texas!

Thanks to our abundance of supporters like you, Austin Creative Reuse had an incredible year!
As our center operations and programming grows, our needs grow proportionally.
Amplify Austin Day is February 28th – March 1st at 6pm. Help s reach our goal of $2,500

Your gift this year for #amplifyatx can help us support the expansion of our open hours of operation by supporting staff and center operations. Your dollars can help us to provide a wide variety of on-site educational programming like our ????artist workshops.

Your donation will help our center to continue to provide materials that are affordable and accessible to our local educators, artists, and Austin community.
Though our wish list is great, we like to think of it as a long term investment for both the Austin community and the environment!

Donate, Share, and Volunteer!

Thanks Austin!


We LOVE our Volunteers!

The majority of the donations processing is done by volunteers here at the center and we coudnt do this with out them!

We’d like you to meet a few of the special folks behind all this hard work. Here are some fun pictures from the past few months!

If you would like to volunteer or join us for an upcoming orientation please email:

ACR Volunteer Orientation

Please join us!

Feb. 19th 1:30-3:30
Feb. 28th 6:00-8:00

We’ve got LOADS OF FUN  Volunteer opportunities for y’all in and outside of the center!

Besides our weekly Open Volunteer events (Monday mornings, Tuesday nights and Thursday afternoons), we have off-site events, take-home projects, materials delivery to the center and too many more to list here. Special opportunities can even be created to match your skills or super powers. We would love to have more involvement with our community!

If you would like to volunteer or join us for an upcoming orientation please email:

Help us spread the word and tell a friend or 5 about these volunteer opportunities!

Core Volunteers

Open Volunteering

Occasional Volunteer

Take Home Projects


FY2018 Annual Report

ACR 2018 Annual Report

Click the (pdf) link above to read all about what we’ve been up to!

Local Artist Spotlight: Tessa Gonzales

Tessa Gonzales

How did you start doing art and what is your preferred medium?

I was born into it! My mother is an artist, a painter, and all around creative spirit. We struggled financially when I was young, but we always created. It didn’t matter if it was a car, a wall, a patch of dirt, or what you wore it was always customized in some way. I took to sewing and textile arts as a rebellion from my mom’s traditional arts. She had no patience for it, since for her it brought to mind memories of Home Ec along with mysterious and musty button filled cookie tins. I can’t get enough of it! It’s tactile, uses math, and has so many avenues to explore that I feel like I could never exhaust myself. My Nonnie gave me my first sewing machine when I was 4, and I just never stopped.


What drives your creative spirit these days?

The sewing and creative community has always been where my heart lies. I teach classes, I strive connect creatives that I think would mesh well together, and I love to encourage others to create. It sparks that energy in me that makes me want to keep making.

How does reuse play a part in your art?

I grew up below the poverty line during some pretty crucial parts of my development. These were the times where I was getting a grip on who I was as a person. I was compelled to express myself as an individual. This gave me a real appreciation for the possibilities that could be found at the thrift shop, in hand me downs, and in the power of a tube of paint or a bottle of dye. If you really loved something why not find ways to keep it fresh and make it last as long as possible? If you want it, then you make it. Buying something fancy or new just wasn’t on the table, and when I realized my own capabilities I didn’t want the same things that just anyone could also have.


What compels you to donate to ACR?

When I donate to ACR, I know that it’s all going to be a part of the creative community that I love. I know that someone will look at an item with fresh eyes and create something with it. I love knowing that I’m contributing to someone’s vision, and maybe they light up when they see what I donated the way I light up when I find an old cookie tin full of buttons.

Do you have a favorite ACR find? What did you do with it?

I’ve found SO many treasures at ACR! How do I pick a favorite?!? Last year, I was able to get my coverstitch machine there that I love so much. It really upped my sewing game with knits, and it came to me at exactly the right time I needed it. Another time, I rushed to ACR after a new arrivals post just in time to get yardage of Japanese linen that was in perfect condition. I don’t know what was more exciting, rushing there to see if it was still in stock or the happiness of actually being able to snatch it up! I have plans for that one come summertime.




Where can we find out more about your art?

I have a website, but I’m most active on Instagram @TheFabricker. I teach sewing classes, and that’s a great way to check out upcoming classes and news about me.


Thanks for all you do to keep Austin creative Tessa!!












Reuse and Rethink Challenge: February


This Month’s Challenge: CD’s

There is no longer a question of what to do with those old CDs lying around your home. Instead, now you’ll be working on how to get more. Turn a wall into a woven CD spectacle, use one as a coaster, or turn them into unique greeting cards. The options are endless… Plus you can find CD’s in our Bucket section for just 25 cents each or fill a bucket for just $5!

We hope you’ll take this months challenge!  Please feel free to email with any questions.


Here is how it works:

Each month we give you a new material for our Reuse Rethink challenge.

Deadline: February 28th

When you’ve completed your creation, please provide up to 2 photos of your art piece, your contact info and a short description of materials used. Your submission can be made in person at our center or in an email to

Your creation should be made from Reused Materials  — all materials will be available at a low cost (as always) at Austin Creative Reuse

Winner will be notified and announced on social media, along with photos of their creation displayed in the center and on our website!

Each month, we will have a creative reuse contest!
Come shop for not only your craft supplies but with a challenge in mind – (think Unconventional Challenge)

Good luck!

Find more inspo and ideas on our Pinterest Page!

Creative Alternative Valentines

DIY Valentine Bookmarks.

Get your fabric scraps and ribbon here at Austin Creative Reuse!  Click on the photo for the link to instructions.


Deck of love cards

           super cute Valentine's Day gift.. add a few gems or letterpress letters for the cover

Instructions here: Deck of Love/Like cards

Key to my Heart Valentine

Get your keys at ACR, paint them, and glue to your cardstock card.

Image result for DIY key valentine card

Paper Valentine Fortune Cookies

You can find some great scrapbook paper at ACR! Instructions here: Paper Valentine Fortune Cookies!

DIY Crayon Valentines!

Heart Crayon Valentines

ACR has lots of crayons for your crafting needs!  Instructions here: Heart-shaped crayon Valentines    Inexpensive heart mold here: Silicone heart mold

Fabric Heart Valentine Cards

Get your fabric scraps at ACR! Simply cut a heart out of your favorite fabric scraps using pinking shears and glue to cardstock cards.

Image result for diy fabric valentine card      Image result for diy fabric valentine card      Image result for diy fabric heart cards     Image result for diy button heart valentine cards

Button Heart Card

You can find buttons at ACR.  Simply glue buttons in a heart shape on your cardstock card.

Related image      Image result for button heart card       Image result for diy button heart valentine cards

DIY Bottle Cap Valentine Magnets

Reuse those bottle caps!  Click the photos for instructions and free printable templates.

             Valentine's Day Hearts BCI Sheet


Happy Valentine’s Day!



Think Outside the Box Valentines

Here are a few great ideas for Valentine containers this year! Reuse, repurpose, recyle!

Share your ideas with us!

January Volunteer Spot light: Sarah Humphries

Sarah Humphries

What motivates you to volunteer?

Nonprofits have been a part of my life for the past 20 years.  I enjoy giving back to the community for causes I believe in. Also, for the fabric! I enjoy making garments to wear from my fabulous fabric finds.


Why ACR?

From the moment I first walked in the door, I felt I had stepped into a Magical, Crafting Wonderland, and immediately wondered, “Will they let me live here?” Since that’s not an option, I went with the next best thing: volunteering. Having worked for nonprofits and volunteered at other organizations, I have never experienced anywhere that treats its volunteers as well as ACR.


How long have you volunteered with ACR?

I began volunteering this past summer, but because of the welcoming nature of the ACR staff and other volunteers, it feels like I have been here for years.


Are you more into the arts aspect of ACR or the conservation aspect and why?

Both! While I really enjoy the crafting aspect, I also love there is a place for us to donate items that we may no longer need or want that keeps a lot of reusable items out of the landfill.


Where else have you/do you volunteer?

In the past, I have volunteered at downtown food pantries and serving meals to the homeless. Currently, working full time, raising a teenager daughter, and running marathons (slowly), I focus my volunteer time at ACR.


What do you enjoy the most out of volunteering for ACR?

First and foremost, the people. It’s a great group of diverse people who bring so much knowledge and talent to the organization. The time I spend with the other volunteers is often the highlight of my day. It’s often like therapy, great company, and even sometimes a comedy show all in one.

Secondly, all the eclectic things that come through the store. I mean where else are you going to come across a plastic foot, a sequined dress, and a bucket of hinges all in one store?

Also, hearing all the fascinating and creative ways people are using the items they buy.


Do you have any interesting or funny stories about something that happened while you were volunteering at ACR?

I love the Thursday afternoon fabric rolling parties. Somehow I have become the official model for any garments that may come through. From cave person to fringed cowboy pants to what may have been a magician’s jacket, it’s the Thursday ACR fashion show.

Thanks for all you do to keep Austin creative Reuse ROLLIN’ Sarah!!


6406 N. IH35 #1801, Austin, TX 78752
Hours: Wed/Th 10am-8pm, Fri/Sat 10am-6pm, Sun 12pm-5pm
Tel: (512) 375-3041