Friday, 29 May 2015

May Reuse-it Item: Pop Can Tabs

How would you reuse pop can tabs? Our bloggers found some great ideas on the internet that range from household decorations, to closet organization and clothing. If you have a use that is not featured, share it below! We'd love to hear your ideas.


Source: Mauricio Affonso
We’ve all heard the rumour about collecting pop can tabs for charity (which, sadly, says isn’t everything it’s cracked up to be), so it’s good to know there are some other uses for these shiny objects. My personal favourite is this disco ball pendant light, by designer Mauricio Affonso.

This is a project that would take some time, but what a conversation piece!

For something much simpler, how about this simple trick for doubling your closet hanging space?

Source: Listotic

Trying to save space in your closet? Make double hangers with pop tabs! This ultra-simple trick will double the amount you can fit in your closet (maybe that's not a good thing, for clothes hoarders like me!) and can also be used for organization, if you like to keep outfits together.


I ran across lots of great ideas for reusing pop can tabs which I thought were genius.

One particularly simple yet useful idea is to use them to hang photos! You just insert the pop can tab underneath the screw, and hang it on a nail!

Check it out on Apartment Therapy
at  Enjoy the organizing and decorating!


Source: The Art of Can Tabistry

When I first started scouring the web for pop can tab reuse ideas, I had no idea what I would find. Personally I had never thought too far beyond fashioning them into a necklace or other sort of jewelry. So when I found "Art of Can Tabistry" corset piece I just had to share! Learn how to make one of the corsets by visiting the blog, The Art of Can Tabistry. You will be amazed at the ingenuity!

- Reuse Centre Blogger Team

Friday, 22 May 2015

Homegrown Reuser: Kersti

This is the third installment of our Homegrown Reuser series. Let me introduce you to Kersti from Bramble Handmade; she love to recycle, repurpose, and redesign! It's her motto!

Who are you? 

Hi, my name is Kersti, from Bramble Handmade. I am a local artist from Calgary who recycles, repurposes, recreates and redeems old items into happy, new loves. I strive to give old and unappreciated pieces new life through changing their looks and updating their uses.
I love to take old (usually ugly!) picture frames, and recreating them into lovely practical earring display frames, chalk boards, or white boards.

Where do you get them?
I get all my various frames, furniture, tins, buttons everywhere, literally, from back alleys. To the dump!

What is your favorite piece of work you have done and why?
I don't know if I have a favorite piece to be honest. I really love that every piece I make is different and I try to pull the unique features out of each piece, because we are all different. Similar, yet different. 
Vintage Button Bobby Pins

What inspired you to do this?
I have always been able to create and use recycled products, so it just made sense! There is so much in the world that we think is useless,but it isn't. It just needs to be recycled, redesigned, repurposed, and finally redeemed!

Do you have any tips/ inspiring words to share with newbie reusers?
Just have fun, get dirty, and challenge yourself! 

What are your goals for the future, both with work and life?
My greatest goal for my life is to love Jesus, live with passion and love others fiercely. How that works itself out I am very excited to see! With Bramble Handmade, I am just trying to learn as much as I can, help make beautiful useful art for our homes, and completely unique jewelry. I also want to teach others how to look past what is in front of us, and see the beautiful potential in old, used or broken pieces. 

Where can we find you?
I am on Facebook, Instagram, and Pinterest under Bramble Handmade. I also have a website which is under construction. So very soon you'll be able to see what I do, know where I am going and where to buy my pieces. at
Facebook: Bramble Handmade
Instagram: Bramble Handmade
Pinterest: Bramble Handmade

- Michelle (Volunteer)

Thursday, 14 May 2015

Kennedale Eco Station opens with a brand new Reuse Area

You know all about the Reuse Centre, but did you know that the City of Edmonton has two Reuse Areas as well?

In an effort to encourage reuse and reduce the amount of waste being sent to landfill, Ambleside Eco Station (14710 Ellerslie Rd SW) and the brand new Kennedale Eco Station (5355 127 Ave) are each home to a Reuse Area.

What does that mean?

Eco Stations are a one-stop-drop for most of the items that you can’t put out for curbside pickup, including electronics, hazardous household waste like batteries and chemicals, and large pieces of furniture. Not quite sure what to bring there? Find their list here.

When Edmontonians bring their large items or electronics for responsible disposal of at an Eco Station, staff keep a keen eye out for items in good, working condition. With the resident’s permission, staff can now set those things aside in the Reuse Area. Regular disposal fees still apply, though many things, such as household electronics are free to drop off. Items in the Reuse Area are free for others to take.

What can you find in the Reuse Area?

Ambleside Reuse Area
Anything that a resident drops off at an Eco Station, that is still in good condition!

All items are selected at the discretion of the Eco Station attendants. Like the Reuse Centre, stock is entirely dependent on what has been dropped off recently, and all items are first-come, first-served. Depending on the day, you might find furniture, television sets and other household appliances, movies, or even a pair of skis. A lucky treasure hunter I know once found a fully equipped weight bench!

Reuse Centre, Reuse Area, what's the difference?

Both are efforts by the City of Edmonton to encourage reuse and keep usable goods out of the landfill.
    Kennedale Reuse Area
  • The Reuse Centre focuses on a specific list of small, everyday items that, for the most part, are not accepted by other second-hand organizations. There is currently one location (6835 83 St). Items on the list are free to drop off, and customers can purchase items for a low cost ($5 per up to 50kg)
  • There are two Reuse Areas, one located in the Ambleside Eco Station and the other in the brand new Kennedale Eco Station. Reuse Areas focus on larger items that residents have brought to the Eco Station for recycling or disposal. Items are free to take, but standard Eco Station fees apply for drop off. 
Did you know that all Eco Stations accept items for the Reuse Centre from the accepted items list? Next time you're visiting an Eco Station, you can also bring your Reuse Centre donations for free! Just mention to the attendant that you have Reuse Centre donations. Items are delivered to the Reuse Centre on a weekly basis.
So, next time you’re dropping off your broken electronics, household hazardous waste, or unwanted furniture at an Eco Station, check out one of the two Reuse Areas. You never know what you might find!

- Sarah (Volunteer)

Tuesday, 12 May 2015

Swap-it FUN!

Source: Spotlight Toronto
  As warm weather slowly comes to Edmonton, are you looking at your closet and drawers, excited to see it full of summer clothes? I definitely can’t wait to hang up my colourful summer dresses!  Change of season is a great time to get rid of some clothes that may no longer suit your style. You know what I mean, those garments gathering dust in your closet that you glimpse from time to time and think, ‘I’ll wear that one day’ – except you don’t. Perhaps one of your friends or colleagues would fall in love with it and wear it all the time! In discussion with some of my girlfriends that are facing the same inner clothing struggle, we decided to do a clothing swap!

Clothing swaps are awesome, inexpensive, and easy to organize. All you really need to do is:

1. Find a location – one of your friends that is willing to host, and designate some rooms for changing (preferably with full length mirrors).

2. Send out invitations to all your friends who may be interested!

3. Donate any items that are unclaimed at the end to a local charity.

Easy as 1-2-3! Some optional items to consider:
  • Setting a minimum and maximum number of items each person should bring. This is your judgement call based on the guest list size.
  • Don’t limit it to just clothes – throw in jewelry, purses, shoes, belts – who doesn’t love accessories? Style it up! ;)
  • Ask each guest to bring a food item to make it a fun potluck event! 
  • If you are worried that people might argue over an article of clothing, flip a coin to avoid any hurt feelings.
Here are a couple photos of some items I obtained from a clothing swap I attended a short while ago – they are total gems! And honestly, not that it’s a reason to choose a particular item or not (as long as you feel good in it!), but I receive by far the most compliments on clothing that are hand me downs – people love unique items like these.

Happy spring swapping!

- Tamara (Volunteer)

Thursday, 7 May 2015

Homegrown Reuser: Oriana Rollo

This is the second installment of our series on Homegrown Reuser. Oriana Rollo reuses broken dishes, wool jackets and bullet shells to make some beautiful things. Read below to find out more!

Who are you?
My name is Oriana. I live and craft in the town of Canmore, Alberta located the Rocky Mountains. I create jewelry and other handmade goods for the home, using found objects and recycled materials.

What materials do you use and where do you get them?
Part of the fun of making each item is in the find. I love visiting my local thrift stores and getting inspired. Victory Thrift in Canmore is very supportive and lets pick out broken dishes that I think I can use for making my broken china plate pendants. I also use wool jackets to make pillows, bullet shells to make earrings & cuff links, scrabble game tiles into cute pendants, and up-cycled costume jewelry.

What is your favourite piece of work you have done and why?
My current favourite is making mountain pillows out of up-cycled wool jackets. I love leaving on some of the details of the jackets to give a hint of their former life. Some of the pillows have the buttons, cuffs, or even pockets worked into the design.
What inspired you to do this?
I get excited about re-using, and making something old into something new! Participating in craft fairs is always motivating as other peple get to share their enthusiasm for what you have made.

Do you have any tips/ inspiring words to share with newbie reusers?
Try something new. I think once you start you’ll wonder how you lived without it before :)

What are your goals for the future, both work wise and life?
I don’t think I could ever give up crafting now that I have started. It is my creative outlet, my therapy, and my passion.
I have started running my own craft market called Mountain Made Craft & Artisan Market which promotes local hand made crafters. 

Where can we find you?
Currently, I primarily sell my goods at Farmer’s Markets located in the Rockies including the mountain communities of Canmore, Banff, Invermere, Radium, & Revelstoke.
Also check out my Facebook page at

Anyone can view and buy Oriana's creations online through her Etsy store:

- Michelle (volunteer)