Tuesday, 30 December 2014

December Reuse-It Item: Cardboard Tubes

Here at the Reuse Centre, we take paper towel and wrapping paper tubes. We all remember loving these tubes as kids - who hasn't made a makeshift telescope, or a sword to do battle siblings and friends? But we wanted to share some other ideas this month, for kids and adults alike!

Make a tasty treat for your local critters

I love these paper towel roll bird feeders from Pocketful of Dreams. They're quick, easy, and a great way to help out our feathered friends stay fed in the coming winter.

You could also attach a piece of string or wire to hang these upright, and poke popsicle sticks or twigs through the cardboard to make perches for the birds.


I’m so inspired by all of the holiday crafts you can make with cardboard tubes—even something as simple as decorating tubes and using them as gift containers. Check out the tutorial from Factory Direct Craft.

But the project that really caught my eye was this DIY scarf holder from Instructables. This one requires slightly heavier-duty cardboard tubes (along with some leftover wrapping paper and ribbon), but what a fun way to customize your fashion accessory storage!


How adorable is this?
With the arrival of a blanket of snow I'm on fast forward to Christmas. Being from England I miss our iconic post boxes and decided to whip up this miniature British post box for my family to play with.

I used two toilet rolls, felt, glue, and even the miniature letters and parcels were made from reused scraps of Christmas card envelopes and brown paper.


If you're like me, and love any sort of decorations involving plants and flowers, check out this cool DIY from paper towel or toilet paper rolls! All you need in addition are some paint colours of your choice, glue, and some basic craft supplies. Not only does it look cheery but you can also choose a colour scheme to match your existing decorations. Enjoy!

Visit Imperfectly Perfect for the full directions.

What are your favourite ways to reuse cardboard rolls? Share your ideas with us in the comments!

-Reuse Centre Volunteer Blogger Team

Wednesday, 24 December 2014

T’was The Night Before Christmas (Reuse - style)

Reuse Centre Operator, Liane, made some fun "reuse" modifications to a popular holiday poem. Read below and enjoy!
'Twas The Night Before Christmas
(Reuse - style)

T’was the night before Christmas, when all through the centre,
Not an item was stirring, not even basket filler.
The stockings were hung by the fabric with care
In hopes that St Nicholas would soon be there.

Crafty things were all nestled all snug in their bins.
Patterns in flats near the cookie tins
And Mama in her ‘kerchief and I in my cap
Had just settled our brains on a pile of burlap.

When out in the store, there arose such a clatter,
I sprang from drop-off to see what was the matter.
Away to the door, I flew like a flash
To the bingo dabbers and candle wax.

The moon on the breast of new fallen glitter,
Something that used to be thought of as litter.
When, what to my wandering eyes should appear
But a wicker sleigh and eight matching reindeer.

With a little old driver, so lively and quick,
I knew in a moment it must be St Nick.
More rapid than eagles, his coursers they came,
And he whistled, and shouted and called them by name.

“Now, Crafter! Now, Feather! Now Paper and Sequin!
On, Basket! On Juice Lid! On Coaster and Button!”
To the end of the volunteer room! To the door of the garage!
Now dash away! Dash away, to make a collage!

As dry leaves before the wild hurricane fly,
When they meet with an obstacle, mount to the sky.
So up to the roof-top the coursers they flew,
With the sleigh full of crafts, and St Nicholas too.

And then, in a twinkling, I heard on the roof
The tinkling and clinking of laundry scoops.
As I drew in my head and was turning around,
Down the stairs  St Nicholas came with a bound.

He was dressed in faux fur, from his head to his foot,
And his clothes were embellished with pieces of books.
A bundle of wood he had flung on his back,
And he looked like a peddler, just opening his pack.

His eyes – how they twinkled! His dimples how merry!
His cheeks were like roses, his nose like a cherry!
His droll little mouth was drawn up like a bow,
And the beard of his chin was white as the snow.

A piece of cork he held tight in his teeth,
And ribbon encircled his head like a wreath.
He had a broad face and a little round belly,
That shook when he laughed, like a bowlful of jelly!

He was chubby and plump, a right jolly old elf,
And I laughed when I saw him, in spite of myself!
A wink of his eye and a twist of his head,
Soon gave me tags belonging to bread.

He spoke not a word but went straight to his work,
And filled all the stockings with yarn and cork.
And laying his finger aside of his nose,
And giving a nod, up the stairs he rose.

He sprang to his sleigh, to his team he gave a whistle.
And away they all flew with Christmas tree’s, artificial.
But I hear his exclaim, ‘ere he drove out of sight,
“Happy Christmas to all Reuse Centre customers, and to all a good-night!”

Poem by Clement Clarke Moore (with modifications by Liane L., Reuse Centre Operator)

Thursday, 18 December 2014

Throwback Thursday: What makes a holiday keepsake?

Every Christmas season, a very special tradition unfolds in my parents’ living room. Once the tree has been set up and strung with lights, my mother brings out the “Keepsakes” ornament box.
One by one, she removes her favourite tree decorations. There is nothing elegant about these items. They are not colour coordinated or branded with the name of a television lifestyle guru like the fancy decorations that will fill in the extra spaces later.
No, these ornaments are made from styrofoam, toilet paper tubes, pipe cleaners, toothpicks, fabric scraps and finger paint.
It isn’t the ornaments themselves that make this part of my parents’ holiday so special. It is the memories they carry, which are revisited every single year:

  • “Oh, Jim [my brother] made this one. He was only 5 or 6. So this ornament is 50 years old.”
  • “I think this was Derek’s [my oldest nephew]. Yes, that’s right. He made this in Sunday school.”
  •  “When did we have pink egg cartons? I don’t remember that. Beth [my sister] did these ones. She was so proud of them.”
And it isn’t only my mother who benefits. When I walk around my parents’ Christmas tree, I am transported back to happy hours spent with friends, classmates or my family—covered in glue and glitter and delighted with my own creativity, and gleeful at the thought of presenting my creations to my mom and dad.
Simple Christmas pleasures to cherish year after year.
If you would like to craft some keepsakes with the children in your life this holiday season, you will find all the bits and pieces you need at The Reuse Centre.
Happy Holidays!

Wednesday, 3 December 2014

Reuse Centre Holiday Tree Silent Auction!

Trees displayed at the Reuse Centre

Reuse Centre Volunteers making decorations

Beginning December 2, the City of Edmonton Reuse Centre will be hosting a silent auction to raise funds for Santas Anonymous! We will be auctioning off 4 beautiful, fully decorated trees!

Our talented Reuse Centre Volunteers got together, armed to the teeth with items from the Reuse Centre, and spent an afternoon decorating the lovely trees. Look how they turned out!

See one you would like to take home? Fill out a Bid Form at the front desk at the Reuse Centre. You'll fill out your name, contact information, and your tree (or trees!) of choice. There are four trees available. Minimum bid is $10.

Last day to bid is Saturday, December 13th. Highest bidders will be contacted on December 15th to make their donation to Santas Anonymous and to pick up their lovely, new tree!

Stop by in the next week and check out our beautiful trees! Make your bid to support Santas Anonymous!