Published on November 23rd, 2011 | by Becky Striepe


Creative Reuse Center: A Recycled Art Supply Resource

creative reuse center materials

Promo materials for creative reuse centers in Atlanta and in Washington D.C.

One of the recycled crafty resources that came up a lot during this year’s and last year’s Summit of Awesome was the Creative Reuse Center. But what’s a Creative Reuse Center, and how can you find one near you?

Creative Reuse Centers

Creative Reuse Centers are typically non-profit ventures, and their mission is to divert potential art supplies from the landfill and make them accessible to artists and crafters. That can mean conventional things like paints and tape or less obvious art supplies like cabinet door samples and wine corks.

They take donations from individuals and businesses, then sort everything, price it on the cheap, and make it available to the general public. A lot of creative reuse centers also do community outreach to teach folks how to make recycled art. The center that’s just starting up here in Atlanta recently hosts recycled art classes at Wonderroot, our creative community center. In fact, I just taught a class for them on making recycled art!

How to Find Your Creative Reuse Center

Unfortunately, there’s no central listing that I know of for creative reuse centers, though if anyone knows of one, please share in the comments! SCRAP in San Francisco has a listing of other creative resources.

Think there isn’t a creative reuse center near you? A quick search might just surprise you! You might also try Googling your city and the phrase “creative reuse center.” They go by a couple of different names: creative reuse center or SCRAP. SCRAP is a sort of franchise situation that started in Portland, Oregon and is now in quite a few cities across the country.

Do you find supplies at your local creative reuse center? Tell us about the one in your town in the comments!

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About the Author

My name is Becky Striepe (rhymes with “sleepy”), and I am a crafts and food writer from Atlanta, Georgia with a passion for making our planet a healthier, happier, and more compassionate place to live. My mission is to make vegan food and crafts accessible to everyone!. If you like my work, you can also find me on Twitter, Facebook, and .

16 Responses to Creative Reuse Center: A Recycled Art Supply Resource

  1. misha says:

    In Saint Louis, MO we have Upcycle Exchange and it is awesome. My mom uses it for jewelry making supplies and I use it for quilting fabric, but they have so much more there and will try and collect specific materials for you, like coffee bags or beer bottle tops or anything. The jewelry stuff is 3 bucks per ounce, but in general the pricing is “pay what you wish.” I feel lucky to have this resource.

  2. Shuai says:

    Hi Becky, thanks for posting about creative reuse centers. I’m Shuai, the interim director of SCRAP in San Francisco, one of the oldest and largest creative reuse centers in the world. We have a listing of other creative resources on our website: I encourage everyone to check out their local creative reuse center for your next crafting project.

  3. Kristina says:

    I just googled and found this website: Has a list of states with creative reuse centers.

  4. Sandy says:

    This is so great! I may have found a new calling. Thanks for the article and added links by members/comments!

  5. Hi Becky,
    Very happy to see this post! Hope you can come visit the DC site next time you’re up north.

  6. Kasey says:

    I put in a google search and came up with this listing of creative use centers all over the US.

  7. Sylvia says:

    Hi Beckie, I was wondering how the planned center in Atlanta is developing . Just sitting here with Katy Dement in Pittsburgh, greetings from her as well. We just went to the Pittsburgh center for creative use

    • Very cool! The center here still doesn’t have a space, but they set up at local markets here to sell their supplies. If you guys have any tips on getting space donated for a Creative Reuse Center, I’d love to chat about it! If you don’t have my email, you can use this site’s contact page, which sends a note to my inbox, and I’ll give you my personal email from there! Say hi to Katy for me! 🙂

  8. Terri T. says:

    Hi, Becky;
    A number of artists in my area are getting their works put up in vacant/abandoned storefront buildings as personal galleries. They make some kind of arrangement with the leasing-rental agents and/or owners that they can have the space rent-free in exchange for occupancy, upkeep (and maybe some minor repairs e,g, painting; not a major rehab). Seems like a win-win situation for both parties: the owner’s building is occupied rather than left derelict and open to vagrants/arsonists and other unsavory types; the artist gets traffic/buyers into the area. When a buyer for the building does come along, they see an active, attractive community instead of a run-down slum. When the building is sold, the artist moves out, no argument. Just a thought…
    Terri T.

    • Thank you so much for this, Terri! I am going to mention this to my friend at the Atlanta Creative Reuse Center next time I see her. They are still trying to get a space donated!

  9. Thanks for sharing Becky! This is a great idea for recycling old arts and crafts supplies. I hope to see a centre such as this in the UK soon!

  10. Sandy says:

    In St. Charles, MO (near St. Louis), there is Leftovers, etc. We sell to teachers, homeschoolers, scouts, crafters, and anyone else who is interested. We host badge workshops for scouts, as well as a variety of craft classes for adults. Please drop in if you’re ever in the area!

  11. Another name that creative reuse centers use is and Upcycle Center. We just opened in Iowa and are the first one in a rural area and only the 2nd one in Iowa. Please consider listing us in any directory you may have. We need to get the word out. There are so many people in surrounding areas that keep telling me they never heard of such a thing and they sure wish there was one in their area.
    Thanks a bunch. Make it Yours Upcycle Center in Welton, Iowa.

  12. Diane says:

    Any in central Florida area

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