Tuesday, 28 February 2017

Featured Reuse-It Item - Neckties

Here at the Reuse Centre we usually have a few neckties kicking around waiting for someone to pick them up and give them a second life. Neckties can be reworn over and over again but they can also be repurposed and upcycled into numerous creative things. Our blog team has put together a number of great ideas to upcycle old and unwanted neckties. Check out what we came up with.

Ellen & Tamara

The best thing about crafting with preloved neckties is that the best patterns are often the ones rejected by current fashion trends. What no longer works with a crisp, professional suit, will look lovely cut to bits on a crafting table!

Using Sadie Seasongoods' tutorial as a guideline, I started with a plain vibrant blue necktie and roughly measured the circumference of a typical to-go coffee cup then snipped the end of the tie to accommodate the circumference. I sewed along the cut line to prevent any unwanted fraying from occurring. The cut line would be hidden by the tip of the tie overlapping, so the seam didn’t need to be fancy. I decided to use adhesive-backed hook and loop Velcro strips. I fixed the loop side of the Velcro fastener to the backside of the tip of the tie and the hook end of the Velcro strip to the other side of the tie. Once the Velcro was attached all I had to do was wrap my necktie cozy around my beverage cup or bottle. Super easy!

Photo Credits: Ellen

With summer just a couple of months away, these drink cozies will be perfect for enjoying a cold beverage out in the sun. What a "cool" idea for keeping your drinks from getting warm this summer!


What better way to repurpose an old necktie than to use it to add a little extra flare and adornment to an existing shirt. I love the contrast of blue with the yellow on this tee shirt created by McKell's Closet. There are unlimited possibilities to create one of a kind ruffled necktie tees.

Image Source: McKell's Closet


Neckties are easy to find stuffed in the back corners of closets, hanging untouched on hangers, and drooping in second-hand stores. It's also hard to find a use for them once the crazy prints are obscenely out of style.

Good thing there's an upcycle option for everything, including your old ties! A great example for those who are handy with a sewing machine is to use the bright, vibrant colours and interesting prints as focal points in quilts. Your tie quilt will continue to draw attention in a beautifully eye-catching way. See Anita's Piecing and Quilting for a tutorial.


I am always looking for ways to better organize my things, so I'm not always digging for something in my cavernous purse. I love this idea for a pouch made out of an old tie! I have a collection of ties in cool prints that I've been trying to use up, and I think I'll be whipping one of these up over the weekend! See Snapguide for detailed instructions.
Image Source: Snapguide

Happy Crafting!

Thursday, 16 February 2017

Family Day Celebration 2017!

Join us for our annual Family Day celebration at the Reuse Centre on Monday, February 20th from 12-3pm. 

There will be reuse crafting, facility tours, scavenger hunts, popcorn and more. Look around the store for some puzzles, games, movies or books to bring home and enjoy with the whole family. Our price is $5 for up to 50kg! You can also drop-off any donations on our Accepted Items List during your visit. RSVP to our Facebook event to stay updated about the event. If you are interested in attending, please see the following event schedule:

Reuse Crafting Session, Scavenger Hunt and Popcorn | 12-3pm

We will be making robots with reusable materials. This activity is recommended for children 5 years and up, and parents must stay to supervise in the Workshop Room. Also, grab your family and complete an in-store Reuse Centre scavenger hunt. Celebrate by sharing some popcorn with your team and enter to win a gift basket full of goodies.

Source: Reuse Centre

Composting & Recycling at Home | 12-3pm

Are you a saavy recycler or a newbie composter? Learn more about how you can compost and recycle at home with your family. Make a compost tea bag with the help of Master Composter Recyclers, or ask them about other great ways your family can reduce waste at home.

Source: City of Edmonton

Facility Tours |12pm, 12:30pm, 1pm, 1:30pm, 2pm

Get a sneak peek of the Reuse Centre, behind the scenes. Join us for a free 30 minute tour of the facility and learn more about how we divert waste from landfill. Tours start at the front desk in the store area.

Source: Reuse Centre

We look forward to seeing you at the event. Happy Family Day!

Thursday, 9 February 2017

Upcycled Bouquets for your Valentine

Valentine's Day is right around the corner -- do you have plans to surprise your sweetheart? You don't have to break the bank to show them that you care. This year, gift a bouquet of handcrafted flowers that will last forever!

Here are six fun, unique ways to create your own eco-friendly, reuse-crafted flowers for friends, family, and that special someone in your life.

Image source: Joallie Petit
Necktie Roses

Put a funky spin on the classic rose bouquet by making some patterned necktie roses with this tutorial from Joallie Petit. Wild patterns work best, so hit up your favourite thrift store and see what you can find.

Image source: Todolwen
Egg Carton Roses

These egg carton roses from Todolwen are easy to make, and have a rustic beauty when made with plain cardboard egg cartons. For a more colourful bouquet, dip-dye or paint your finished flowers in any shade you like.

Image source: Crissy's Crafts
Pop Can Flowers

These are stunning! I would never have thought you could make something so lovely out of a simple pop can. Check out Crissy's Crafts for the tutorial, and for several ideas on how to use your creations.

Image source: Kid Friendly Things to Do
Water Bottle Bouquet

This is a great craft for kids who want to make something special for a friend or family member. They're quick and easy enough to make one for every kid in class!

Find out how at Kid Friendly Things to Do.

Image source: 100 Layer Cake
Storybook Paper Roses

These are perfect for the literature-lover in your life. Grab an old book (preferably one that's in poor condition and can't be read anymore) and craft these elegant paper roses. Make your gift extra special by choosing a book that has meaning for your loved one.

Get the tutorial at 100 Layer Cake.

Image source: ReLoved Designs
Pistachio Shell Flowers

I really love the look of these pistachio shell flowers. They're so bright and modern looking! A cluster of these in a nice, simple frame would make a great piece of wall art for your loved one.

See the tutorial at ReLoved Designs.

-Sarah (Volunteer)