Tag Archives: art supplies

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.

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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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February Craft Night – Slide Carousels and More!

If you have been back in our bucket section lately, you will know we have tons of slide carousels.  We’ve been searching for something fun to do with them and our Crafter in Chief, Shiree Schade came up with a doozy. 

Start with a slide carousel (or anything sturdy and round) as a base, and add just about anything else that stringy or shiny to create your very own objet d’art suitable for hanging inside or out.  

Only using materials from our bucket section, all the makers in attendance created their own one of a kind hanging fixture.  It’s amazing with just a bit time, imagination and a working glue gun, what you can make. 

So next time you find yourself at Austin Creative Reuse, take a serious stroll though our bucket section and find some inspiration of your own!

Our Monthly craft nights are open to all volunteers but seating is limited.  Best way to find out about our next craft night is to sign up for our volunteer newsletter.  The newsletter will also let you know about all the other fabulous volunteer opportunities at Austin Creative Reuse.

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Craft Night – Message in a Bottle

Normal is the Average of Deviance

Here’s a great idea for a craft night among friends, fashioning urban Message in a Bottles using strips of text and materials from the Austin Creative Reuse Center. Crafters can pack their choices in little vials, jars and boxes and applied decorations to the outside. These beautiful little keepsakes can be kept by the creator, given to  someone special or, and this is the most intriguing of the ideas, toss that bottle in the urban ocean, leaving it to be randomly discovered and scooped up by lucky and observant passerby.

It’s super easy,

  • just take a small bottle, jar, box or container (preferably clear)
  • insert tinsel, sequins, small toys, objects or anything that inspires you
  • include a message which can be hand written, printed or even cut from a magazine or book
  • seal up the bottle and decorate the top or bottom for extra points
  • decide how to deploy your special message

What kind of messages can you leave?  These can be funny, sweet, snarky, pithy or wise.  Here’s some examples:

  • When I let go of what I am, I become what I might be
  • Turn your wounds into wisdom
  • Out of difficulties grow miracles
  • Two things are infinite: the universe and human stupidity; and I’m not sure about the universe.” ― Albert Einstein
  • All who wander are not lost – JR Tolkien
  • “You only live once, but if you do it right, once is enough.” ― Mae West
  • A good friend will help you move; A true friend will help you move a dead body
  • Too many irons, not enough fire

And best of all, Austin Creative Reuse has everything you could possibly need for this craft night all in our “by the bucket” area.  We have lots of small containers, toys, decorations, magazines, scrapbooking materials and so much more.  Now decide how to launch your message into the world.   

You Scream

I Scream

I know you are but what am I

An Apple a Day

A bird in the hand . . .

Message in a Bottle

 

 

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Creating Creativity in 4 Easy Steps

We want our kids to be creative and so we buy them all kinds of craft kits and maker kits. It’s true these kits are designed to help our kids create, but they are not designed to encourage our kids’ creativity. Usually the kits are designed to make one thing and one thing only, with implicit instructions on how to do so. This is fine if you want to make one thing and one thing only, but why teach our children to merely assemble a product when we can teach them to dream up something unique?

How then can we provide our kids a make/craft experience that will truly foster creativity? What if we’re not creative ourselves? How can we allow them to interpret the materials using their own ideas and ingenuity without getting in their way? It’s easy really. Way easier than trying to control it! And when we get out of their way we will be amazed at what they come up with.

To get you and your family started, here are four simple steps for fostering creativity in your house or classroom:

  1.       Have simple tools handy. If we give them the tools, they will build stuff. To get them started on many projects have a small “maker” tool box handy. This can be kept in a cigar box or other small box that is easy to grab. The easier it is to grab the tools, the more likely it is they will be used and the easier it is to clean up! Some basic ideas: glue, decent scissors, a hole punch, a large-eye plastic sewing needle, and a glue gun if you are working with older kids.
  2.       Provide the materials. Put an assortment of materials in a box and give it to a child. The container will make it feel like a kit, but the materials inside will get them pondering all the possibilities as seen through their own brilliant imaginations. It is said that childhood is the time our imaginations are the most vivid, and if we don’t use our imaginations then, we never will. We can foster imagination by staying away from instructions and instead providing open-ended materials that will allow their minds to wander. Some ideas for your creativity box: fabric sample book, wall-paper sample book, sheet protectors, colored cardstock or scrapbook paper, a ball of string or yarn, cut-up pieces of corrugated cardboard, burlap, buttons, chop sticks or kabob sticks, embroidery floss (I recommend the pearl style floss that can’t be separated and is easier for little hands to work with) and some type of simple fasteners such as brads. All of these things and more can be found at Austin Creative Reuse for less than $2.00 total! If you’d rather stay at home, search around for items you could use such as scraps of denim, magazines, the plastic coated postcard mailers, snaps cut from a discarded garment, old keys, or items pulled from the recycling bin.
  3.       Let go of the outcome. If you have an outcome in mind, feel free to offer it as a serving suggestion but then step back and let your child go wild. If you really can’t let go of the outcome, sit down and make it yourself but stay away from dictating your child’s project. By sitting down next to them and working on your own stuff, your child will be inspired by both your ideas and your own desire to create.
  4.       Have fun. If you can’t let go, walk away. If you’re not finding it fun, walk away. Creativity should be fun, not stressful so do whatever it takes to set yourselves up for success. Work outside if the mess makes you wiggy. Cover the table with a drop cloth if you can’t take your eyes off the glue dripping out of the bottle. Close the door if you feel triggered by the chaos. Whatever you do, keep it fun.

 

Make a field trip to the Austin Creative Reuse Center the first step in your family’s road to creativity! Come solo or bring the kids. You’ll be amazed at what you find. If you need ideas for projects or materials, just ask! Both the employees and customers at Austin Creative Reuse are happy to share ideas and inspiration. Check out the website for hours and project inspiration: https://www.austincreativereuse.org

If you have questions about projects or ways to bring Austin Creative Reuse into your classroom or school, email Bernadette at educators@austincreativereuse.org If you’d like to volunteer at our center click here to find out how!

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Austin Creative Reuse Takes a Roadtrip!

We recently found our way to Houston to visit our friends at Texas Art Asylum. These folks have an absolutely awesome space just south of downtown where you can find all sorts of cool, creative, reusable, up-cyclable and “just too good to throw away” stuff!
Besides being treated to a wonder art gallery and “curiosity shop”, we found loads of wonderful art and craft supplies as well as examples of absolute creative reuse genius everywhere. Check out our gallery of photos and if you find yourself in Houston, do yourself a favor and get over to Texas Art Asylum!

 

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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