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Creative Reuse

Updated on November 5, 2015
jennabee25 profile image

Jenn is always looking for ways to upcycle, reuse, and repurpose craft items. Your imagination is your only limit!

Items in a Creative Reuse Center

Learning About Creative Reuse

Crafters of diverse disciplines often have a common problem: they have too much stuff. Things accumulate, often left over from completed projects and from impulse buys. Stashes become unmanageable or difficult to maintain.

Think of place where crafters and others, could donate their unwanted crafting supplies to a place where others might be able to use them, usually at a low, nominal cost. That is basic concept of creative reuse.

Crafters, people cleaning out attics, businesses getting rid of samples, are all donors to creative reuse stores. In them, one can find fabric, thread, yarn, paper, stamps, cards, all sort of things. People will never know what they can find. The idea is to keep supplies out of the dumpster in hopes that they can be used again.

Creative reuse stores are usually non-profit and run by volunteers. One facet of creative reuse is not to make a profit off of the donations of others, but rather make enough to keep their costs and expenses met. Other ways creative reuse stores make their money is to offer crafting parties, events that are free to generate interest or have a suggested donation, or have a small fee for a crafting table, where one can spend hours with the free supplies offered.

Let's face it: Crafting is expensive. One can easily spend a lot of money very quickly at a chain craft store. Though those stores have their place, one can spend a few bucks on a lot of stuff at a creative reuse store, and it isn’t going to waste.

Creative reuse as a phenomenon is growing. Spending a few minutes cleaning out your stash may make someone’s day, and bring a lot of depth to your community. Reduce, Reuse, Repurpose!

Yarn Odds'n'Ends

Yarn odds and ends are some of my favorite finds to get a creative reuse store.
Yarn odds and ends are some of my favorite finds to get a creative reuse store.

Learn about Creative Reuse at SCRAP!

Want to Learn More?

Interested in more information? ReuseConex is a great place to start. ReuseConex holds conventions and workshops on how to start your own creative reuse center, And if you are interested in finding a creative reuse store near you, this is a great list to start with. If you are outside of the United States, take heart! The creative reuse phenomenon is going worldwide. The list above includes some locations outside the US.

Have You Heard of Creative Reuse?

Have you ever heard of the concept of creative reuse?

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My Experience with Creative Reuse

My stumbled on to the creative reuse concept accidentally. I was going to report on an event for my knitting blog, and ended up at creative reuse store that had recently opened up in my town. I was pleasantly surprised!

What I found was a wealth of fabric scraps, wooden odds and ends, yarn, cloth flowers, beads, and many other awesome things. I was excited to see something like this pop in my sphere of influence.

I have both shopped at creative reuse stores. I also have donated a lot of things to them, too. Whenever I clean out my crafting stash, a portion of it goes to my local creative reuse store.

I also have had the pleasure of watching this creative reuse store blossom and grow into a thriving community center. The two proprietors of the store work tirelessly to make their place an asset to the community. We are lucky to have them.

On the lookout for vintage patterns?

I have found A LOT of vintage knitting and crochet patterns in creative reuse stores.  You will also find vintage sewing patterns there, too!
I have found A LOT of vintage knitting and crochet patterns in creative reuse stores. You will also find vintage sewing patterns there, too!


I absolutely love the creative reuse idea. I'm lucky to have two excellent centers for creative reuse in my area. I support them both!

I will admit to having spent a lot of money on crafting supplies. Creative reuse stores are a great place to take things that I don't want or can't use anymore. They happily take them, and I happy to know that someone out there is going to be getting use out of my old stuff, which reminds me, I have a donation to make.

I encourage you to find out more about creative reuse. I hope this article piqued your interest. It's a great concept and a wonderful way to bring a community together.

Have you heard of creative reuse?

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    • Larry Rankin profile image

      Larry Rankin 2 years ago from Oklahoma

      I'm a big proponent of reuse because it is the most efficient form of recycling there is.

      Wonderful hub.

    • jennabee25 profile image

      Jenn Dixon 3 years ago from PA

      It IS a great concept and I lo that I have two centers in my area that follow this ideal. Thanks for stopping by!

    • Millionaire Tips profile image

      Shasta Matova 3 years ago from USA

      I'd never heard of this, but it is an awesome concept. I would love to be able to find a home for my craft materials for crafts I no longer do, and pick up materials for crafts I currently do at a low price. I would guess that it would be difficult to keep all these things organized and neat.