May Craft Night – Upcycled Cactus Planters

One of our favorite reuse crafts, upcycled cactus gardens.  We all wind up with ceramic cups, bowls and serving pieces that are cracked or chipped.  Too precious to send to the landfill so we must find a way to reuse instead.  For our May craft night, we pulled together some of those adorable containers and long with a bit of potting soil, cactus cuttings and a ceramic drill bit to come up with something special.  We added a bit of flare to each container by digging around bucket.  Adding a small toy, some pretty rocks or even an tiny Christmas ornament can really up to cute factor.  



String Art for Dad

Father’s Day is soon, here is a great gift you can make for dad!

Materials:  A hammer, nails, wood board, and string. ACR has plenty of string for this project!





To do:  Print a template of your choice. You can use words or photos. Outline the picture or words with nails leaving at least half of a centimeter to wrap your string.  When done outlining, remove the paper template, then choose your favorite color string to start wrapping.  You can wrap the string in any directions to complete your work.







You can even wrap the string in the negative space! 

Classroom Clean-out!

Hey Teachers! It’s the end of the year! And Jessica of our educator team has created this great list for helping you clear out for the summer! Hats off to you!!!

Classroom Organization



Save & reuse

next year

Austin Creative Reuse

1.       Organize supplies in containers and label everything!   ACR has containers to help organize, sticker labels, and markers.
2.       Take down bulletin boards & wall décor.


Save or donate Donate to ACR if you can’t use it next year.
3.       Clean out desk and make a list of items/supplies for next year.


Save or donate ACR carries most items.
4.       Clean out student files. Save and reuse file folders or donate ACR carries more if you need for next year!
5.       Remind students to take home journals, portfolios, etc.


Recycle what you can Donate any extra to ACR.
6.       Clean out all binders. Save and reuse binders.

Recycle what’s not reusable

Donate any blank paper to ACR.
7.       Take home all personal items (coffee mugs, frames, etc.)


Save and reuse Or donate to ACR. How many mugs do you really need in your classroom?
8.       Thoroughly clean classroom and unplug all electrical devices.


use rags such as old t-shirts or towels Got some devices or tools you don’t need? Donate them to ACR!
9.       Fill out necessary end-of-year paperwork. Sorry about this! ACR can’t help you with this one.
10.   Turn in your keys and enjoy your summer! YAY!!! Visit ACR to collect supplies for your summer crafting needs!



Reuse Community Spotlight: Scott Rolfe

Scott Rolfe
Local Assemblage Artist
Scott’s a regular here at Austin Creative Reuse.  When we decided to do spotlights on reuse artists in the community, Scott was a natural candidate!  We are so excited that we get to contribute to these unique pieces of art and meet the creative people behind them!  Here’s a little glimpse into Scott Rolfe and his artwork.  
How did you start creating art and what is your medium? 
While I’ve always been drawn to art as long as I can remember, I was introduced to a new medium back in college. While in a mixed media and collage class, I discovered I really love incorporating bits and pieces of things into my artwork. Known as assemblage, it simply means art made from found objects. It is the medium that I always return to now, and is what primarily shows up in my recent works. 
How does reuse play a part in your art? Why reuse? Conservation, sentimentalism, another story? 
Reuse comes naturally in this form of art. As my art is made out of objects, I’m always on the look out for new sources of material, and am often looking through thrift stores, junk yards, and of course Austin Creative Reuse! These older objects often have a naturally aged feel that fits into my art pieces well, and a genuine feel that can’t be imitated artificially. There is also a fiscal aspect to this, as buying all these things new would be very cost prohibitive. There is also the spirit of conservation that serves as an undercurrent to all this. It is a good feeling taking something that had been previously discarded, and breathe new life into it.
What excites you about shopping at ACR? 
It is always a surprise coming into ACR. With donations arriving daily, each visit yields new treasures, and they often can serve as the impetus for a new creative idea. 
Where can we find out more about your art?
Main website:
* Brick Oven Restaurant on 35th
* WEST Stop 322 – Shiny Object 3507 S 1st St

Mother’s Day is around the corner!

Here are two great gift ideas using your fabric scraps.  If you don’t have any fabric we have plenty at Austin Creative Reuse!

Braided Art

  1. Choose 3 of your favorite fabric pieces and cut into 3 long strips.
  2. Knot them together at one end then braid. The length of the braid will depend on what you are spelling. You can spell MOM, FAMILY, or mom’s name.
  3. Place on the inside of a frame, a shadow box, or a piece of wood.
  4. Use a hot glue gun to glue down when you have the right placement.

Hand Art

  1. Trace child’s hand on a piece of paper and cut out.
  2. Use this as a template to cut out of your favorite piece of fabric.
  3. Glue to the inside of a frame or mat board.
  4. Cut 2 strips of that fabric, glue to the back and tie a bow at the end and use to hang.

Share your fabric projects with us!

April Craft Night – Fun with a Glue Gun











This month we revved up a bunch of glue guns and  rummaged through the bucket section for fun things to glue together.  Everyone went a different direction and each creation was truly unique and absolutely reflected each crafter’s personality.  Next time you find yourself in a creative rut, come explore our bucket section and have some fun with a gun.

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New Board Member

Hello! My name is Jessica and I am new to the board and will be leading the Education Committee.  I have worked in early childhood for 25 years and am the director of The Goddard School in south Austin.  I have co-written Thrifty Teacher’s Guide to Creative Learning Centers, a resource book for preschool teachers. Our book focuses on collecting, reusing, and repurposing items to create inexpensive materials for the classroom.  I have a theory that you can make ANYTHING out of cardboard and/or recycled materials!  Games, activities, pirate ships, costumes, props, etc. You name it, I can make it!

Costumes I made from cardboard and recycled materials!

I look forward to working with Austin Creative Reuse and the education community.

Volunteer Spotlight: Carol Noble

  1. What motivates you to volunteer?

I am retired but like to stay busy.  I interact best with people when working together to achieve something—that’s the way I socialize.  Volunteering is a way to meet people and achieve something.

  1. Why ACR?

I like working with smart, creative people and Austin Creative Reuse fits that bill for me.

  1. How long have you volunteered with ACR?

A little over 2 years

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

A little into both.  I see possibilities in every scrap.  Also, I can’t stand to see anything be discarded before its useful life is over.  Just because something is no longer functional for its original purpose, there are usually ways it can be repurposed for longer useful life.

  1. Where else have you/do you volunteer?

I have volunteered for Austin Women in Technology, Women Printmakers of Austin, Old Bakery, ROCK (Ride on Center for Kids), Cat Mountain Homeowners Association

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

Seeing all of the interesting things that are donated.  It’s hard not to buy something every time I volunteer.  

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

I love sewing patterns.  We get so many we discard the ones that have already been used.  I’m finally ok with discarding them, having spent hours online trying to find ways to reuse the pattern envelopes and tissue pieces.  We do reuse the larger pieces for packing breakables and share the tissue with other stores.  If anybody has good ideas on how to reuse crinkled up tissue pattern pieces or the patterns envelopes let me know!!!

All at Once

Jack Johnson, musician and well-known environmentalist, is partnering with Austin Creative Reuse in celebration of his concert in Austin on Wednesday, April 25 at the Austin360 Amphitheater.  The All at Once community was started by his family’s Johnson Ohana Charitable Foundation to partner with local organizations on his tours and provide a space to connect local nonprofit groups and promote environmental action.


Austin Creative Reuse will have a booth at the concert to promote creative reuse and further our mission of considering the lifespan of items and the inherent value of all things. Our mission is echoed in the All at Once tenet of: “Collectively, individual actions create global change. Your actions, your voice, and your choices, all have a huge impact.”


Thanks to a generous offer by All at Once, donations made to Austin Creative Reuse (up to $2,500 by 6/15/2018) will be matched by the Johnson Ohana Charitable Foundation. Here is how to get your donation to be matched:


  • Contribute to our donation box in the center.
  • Donate via check and note “All at Once” on the memo line
  • Online donations can be matched if you send us an email after the donation noting it is for “All at Once.”  Please send the email


We are sincerely grateful to Jack and everyone at All at Once for this amazing opportunity. For more information or questions, please contact Sharon Yarbrough, ACR’s Fundraising Chairperson at  

March Craft Night – Origami with a Twist

Our monthly craft night always focus on materials that are easily found in our wonderful “bucket” section.  Bucket is a treasure chest full of amazing materials and absolutely the best deal in our Reuse Center which is just cram packed with nothin’ but deals.







This month, we focussed on the cool paper and tiny trinkets that are always available in bucket.  Our Crafter in Chief, Shiree Schade, come up with  beautiful folded stars, but then kicked it to the next level by adding just a bit more glitz.  What a wonderful gift topper, ornament, or just something pretty to hang in a window.    Sign up for  our Volunteer Newsletter email to find out about the next Craft Night.  Our Monthly Craft Material is always a surprise  so you never know what will be on tap for the night!


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