Friday, 28 August 2015

August Reuse-it Item: Playing Cards

Ever went to play a card game, only to realize you're missing part of your deck? Here at the Reuse Centre, we take full and partial decks of playing cards, and even those singles you find under the couch.

What can you do with part of a deck of cards? Check out these great ideas.

Photo Credit: The Gloss

Here is a way to keep necklaces from tangling up in a box. Reuse playing cards by cutting 2 slits into the top of the cards, and slipping necklace chains into the slits. This would be a great way to display jewelry if you're a seller at a market. It is an easy way to show off your work without having to hang everything individually.

Check out this idea, and more great jewelry organization tips, at

Photo Credit: Nick Sayers

Sometimes reusing is less about cutting, sewing or changing the look of the item, and more about just finding a new place to use it.

This light fixture, part of Nick Sayers' "Spheres" exhibition, is easily identified as a recycled playing cards project. So simple, but really effective. I'd love to see if the light bounces off the cards to create shadows, or if the fixture gives off a glow.

Check out more of Nick Sayers' work with upcycled materials on his Flickr page!

Photo Credit:

Be an ace and declare someone the king of your heart! Re-purpose old playing cards into valentines like Thrifty Jinxyby gluing the card to a colourful paper and adding a "punny" phrase.  Or go a bit more polished with Martha Stewart's project, which embellishes using printed glassine or parchment paper envelopes.  

At first I thought this project would be limited to the "hearts" cards, but both give ideas on how to use the full deck with phrases like "We are two of a kind".  Simply 2 sweet!

Photo Credit:


Growing up, we always seemed to have a pack or two of cards in the junk drawer. We didn't actually play a lot of card games, but I do remember one summer where my brothers and I made approximately one billion card houses. (Okay, that's an exaggeration, but it was a lot!)

You don't need a full deck to build a card house. Your cards don't even need to match! And the best part is you can knock them down and rebuild them as many times as you like.

Do you have any other great ideas for reusing old playing cards? Share with us in the comments!

Thursday, 20 August 2015

A Reuse View on the 20th Annual Edmonton Art Walk

The Edmonton Art Walk is an absolutely beautiful idea. 4 km worth of art lining Whyte Avenue with side streets blocked off for even more vendors to share and display their creations to the world - or at least our small section of it! 

The walk spanned from 101 to 108 Street on Whyte Avenue from the Friday to Sunday on the weekend of July 11 this year. The weather was hot, and there were no shortage of shops to stop by for a cool drink while I perused the colourful exhibits all around. 

I decided that since we like to talk about up-cycling here at the Reuse Centre, the Edmonton Art Walk would probably be an amazing place to find great examples of ways to up-cycle old things into something shiny, artsy, and new. I am happy to report that I was definitely not disappointed!

Here an artist used old pages as a background for her art.

A spare piece of wood as a painting canvas!

Distressed wood makes a great sign!

Paint is something that you can find at an Eco Station near you, free of charge!

Though it might be difficult to see, this artist used napkins as backgrounds for some of the houses in her artwork.

A great idea for holding art supplies (or flowers)!

Resin jewelry is a great way to use bits of things like lace, fabric, napkins, and fake flowers. And they're so stylish! 

Have an old skateboard kicking around the house? Turn it into art!

I thought this was also a pretty cool use of paint colour sample chips.

This interesting piece is made from up-cycled banisters, a pretty neat idea!

Wood on wood on wood art! I wish it could look so well planned if I tried this at home. But who knows, maybe it's my hidden talent. No way to know until you try!

This is one of my favourites. Pieces of fabric or napkins all glued together to make a beautiful background for this stunning piece. Every quilter knows that the scrap pieces pile up quickly and you can only use the scraps for a limited number of things. Now, here's another idea!

I thoroughly enjoyed myself at the Art Walk this year, and my only regret is that I didn't have enough time to see every art stall before the end of the day. The event is a brilliant way to showcase local artist talent, and a great family outing idea.

-Mallory (Volunteer)