Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Customer Holiday Project Ideas

A customer came in with the idea that she wanted to create an advent calendar for her daughter to use year after year. Carol Jo, went right to work with giving her an idea.
This idea comes from the book 1000 Ideas for Creative Reuse, one of our fave books in the store and an excellent Holiday present.

It is an advent calendar created from Altoids containers. Our customer purchased small pieces of card stock that would cover the front and paint for her young daughter to create a front decoration for the container. As well she got magnets so that the tins would stick to a metal surface.The store of course has mass amounts of supplies for this project from the Altoid boxes to the things to put inside.

The book where the idea came from is so great because after a little Googling we were able to find the creater's blog and directions on how to create this project. It's such a treat as it can be used year after year and can be filled with any fitting toy for the child's age that year. Here are the directions. 

Another customer came in with a mission. She purchased 50 of our small jewelry sized boxes. Their is a book she had gotten her idea from- Silver Boxes: The Gift Of Encouragement.

The concept with this project, is to fill the boxes with well wishes for people who do good deeds and leave them in locations for them to find them. It's giving appreciation to people without receiving appreciation for your notes. Quite in the spirit of the holidays.

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Holiday Present Ideas

It's sometimes hard to get going on projects. A lot of the materials we get are from people that have such great ideas that, well.. things don't get off the ground.

So they graciously donate them to us at The I.D.E.A. Store and we resell them to you, our customers! So perhaps someone needs a little inspiration. How about a project that they can finish? The image to the left is of a pillow pattern that could easily be redone.

So then take a project that has already started or perhaps one of our other pattern samples, package it with some of our great fabric and voila! You have a great holiday present!

An interesting way to re-do old embroidered or cross stitched pieces. Add another design over the top.

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Fall Projects

Coffee filter wreath makes for a nice holiday decoration. Here's a basic example that requires ribbon, a cardboard (or other material) circle, and coffee filters- all available at the store.

Many variations possible. Perhaps dying them a different color- reds, greens, orange.. or attaching other things such as fall foliage.

Here are the original directions and more pictures.

They suggest gluing them on, but we're not a big fan of glue around here. You could use a hole puncher and sew them with yarn, wire, or maybe more plastic vine foliage.

Easy fabric project that we most definitely have the supplies for.

As well as these pot holders for placing warm bowls of food on the table with.

Many different ideas about creating beautiful table arrangements.

We have some glass containers, wood pieces, feathers, tree wrap, pine cones, cinnamon sticks, corks, foliage, ribbon, and gold flowers. All of these combined would make for a fabolous display!

Plus of course our large selection of fabric could be used for table runners.

And just one more idea out of straws that we of course have.

And needles and elastic cord.

Check out how to do this here.

Friday, November 5, 2010

Featured Item of the Day- Trophies!

Trophies are something we gather here at the store. If you really think about it, what's to happen after someone receives a trophy keeps it for a while proud of their achievement but moves on and no longer has a use for it?

Do they end up in landfills? Can they be melted down and used again? How can they be recycled? All questions this blogger had today.

Well, we have some ideas of course.

Here's a picture of one possible project, to create a coat rack! We've already implemented this in the store in multiple locations and it's working very well for us.

But some more ideas on how to reuse trophies are:
Cake toppers!

How about this amazing art piece?

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Another volunteer's project

Lovia Henderson is a lovely new volunteer we have who is a wealth of information about sewing, crocheting, and other fabric material projects. She makes baby clothes and donates them to the hospital for the newborns.

We're so lucky to have such great volunteers, when you visit the store it's much more then just purchasing products. We want to offer you opportunities and discussion about your projects. Have a question about how to create something? Many of our dedicated team can answer your questions and make suggestions. And if we can't we'll probably try to find you someone who can.

Monday, November 1, 2010

Spotlight Item- Glass Stoppers

Here's some ideas for all of these glass stoppers-

1) Chess pieces, they could probably be shaped to be other things.
2) Making your own beer or wine? Maybe these will help.
3) Glass castle tops, which someone should definitely do and send us pictures of.
4) Glass figurines
5) A component of a lamp?

More ideas? Let us know!

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Suggested item of the day- Educational Work Out Books

Books on movement, working out, etc. We received a large amount of these and are looking for the lucky party that really wants them. Many are just older versions, still very good.

Or what else can you do with them.. working on a collage? Some great images that can be used.

There are many ways to re-use books in general as well. This article has some interesting projects.

Friday, October 22, 2010

DIY Halloween Decorations

From the simple to the complex, not too much longer before the little goblins and princesses hit the streets for Tricks and Treats. Get into the spirit! Here's some ideas for things to do at home to spruce up for festivities or just handing out candy.

Well this is cute as a button. Rather self explanatory, but many opportunities for your own creative ideas.

Another idea from this website- http://www.scaryguys.com/spider.htm

Read through the directions, simple supplies are needed that are available at the store- pie plates, tubing, black fabric, rope, and wire. Throw in random silly string and cobwebs, pretty cool decoration for a house party.

Another great project!
This looks amazingly real. The supplies are paper mache (easily substituted by making your own using newspaper), glue, poster board or Matt board (available at the store), duct tape, paper towels, something for eyes (the example from the website uses earrings), styrofoam ball (maybe available), cardboard tube (available), Kleenex, wire (available), and paint.

Directions are available here:

Or perhaps an elegant Halloween party is your style. How about this wreath-

It calls for a foam wreath frame but also a metal frame would work which we have a couple of. We of course have ribbon but perhaps some Halloween fabric available at the store could be cut to work as well.

 A very simple project. Visit the website for decorations-


And this one is also very cool and will be implemented at the haunted house at Class Act on October 30th.
"A Nightmare on Walnut St."

We have bottles, card stock, yarn for hair, and lots of tissue paper for stuffing.


Tuesday, October 19, 2010

More Halloween Costumes Ideas!

A good idea to start from but... we think it could be much more. How about making it 3D using our plastic core board or matt board and having actual items be in place to be removed.

Here's some examples of pieces that could be used on the costume. Butterflies, wooden sticks as bones,  there are several various types of hearts, tubes for added decoration as intestines, and apples for your Adam's apple (if applicable).

But we have lots and lots of apples. How about being an apple tree?

OR Better yet! Be the "Forbidden Fruit".. the Millennial Generation has to make all costumes sexy these days. Add a cute brown dress, brown tights, leaves (we have more then enough leaves), and attach apples. Done.

 Maybe this will be the writer's costume.. 

And here's one more costume idea. Fabric, poster board, and stuffing all available at the store!

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Volunteer Projects

Recently one of our new volunteers, shared a project she worked on a class. The top is made of bags that she ironed to melt as a sheet. The bottom is made from newspaper. Very cool project!

Friday, October 8, 2010

Project Idea #2- Straw Chandelier

What's the point of straws after using them? If you're eco-friendly you'll wash them and reuse them continuously until the little things are hole-y. But there are other things if that is.. getting on the gross side.

Check out this project-

We won't go into full details of the project.

But the supplies needed are:

  • one bolt of 24-gauge wire

  • 120 drinking straws

  • 1 yard of 10-gauge wire (you can also use an old wire lamp shade or heavy gauge wire coat hanger)

  • We have plenty of wire and straws for use. And better yet, our straws are in bright colors!
    Read all the directions for creating this pretty cool project at Design*Sponge!

    Thank you to Meg Thilmony for sharing this great idea with us!

    Wednesday, October 6, 2010

    Halloween is 23ish days away!

    For all those that have been thinking and planning ahead for their costumes. Well here we are to help you out.

    There are many categories of costumes out there- adorable, funny, scary, sexy, child like, couple costumes, ugly, etc etc. Well for this blog entry let's go with.. original. One's you may not have seen before and we'll post some more as the weeks progress. Of course, think ahead! It might be 23 days away, but pretty soon it will be.. tomorrow.

    Idea #1- Supplies you'll need:
    Little decorations to dress up the basket

    All of these supplies are available at The I.D.E.A Store!

    Idea #2- Beehive
    Supplies you might need:

    All at The I.D.E.A. Store!

    Idea #3- Victorian gown
    This is made entirely of recyled materials.
    Coffee filters
    Tea bags
    and much more..

    Check it out-

    Idea #4- Half human... thing

    So this one is pretty intense but there are a variety of supplies at the store that could be used..
    Miscellaneous metal pieces
    Old trophies
    Computer equipment

    and so much more that your creative mind will have to come up with!

    Just for fun.. check out this

    There is a lot going on in this costume.
    Probably has string, felt, cloth, beads, misc plastic pieces, etc.. Just too amazing not to share!

    Saturday, October 2, 2010

    Heavens to Murgatroyd! What's This??

    Okay - who knows THIS one?

    2 Clues... We think it came from the ocean and it looks like it has a small seed in each segment...

    Sunday, September 26, 2010

    This Could be IT!

    Thanks to JD: A Yarn Swift posted on the JoAnn Fabrics site looks like a newer version of our mystery device...but why the medical company manufacturer label?
    When we get fun donations, our store becomes a lot more interesting for shoppers and browsers to explore!

    So you are wondering, what's our "test" question? Besides thinking about whether it's clean, or safe, or broken, the most important question is "Can it be a raw material for something else?" When we're thinking about re-use, we're thinking about the parts of the object...can this be reused as it is? or, as a piece of something else? art? an invention? a decoration? that missing part to a invention?

    We open this week! Come take a look and help us think about how to reuse our fabulous variety of stuff!

    Thursday, September 23, 2010

    Name the item.. because we can't...

    So thank you to the donation of this item but.. we don't know what it is. So we figured we'd pose the question to our followers, do you know what this is?

    There is some writing on it that has brought us to the point where we believe that it came from Stryker Medical Company at the address of 230, Boul. Nilus-Leclerc; L'Isletville, Quebec.

    It has a clamp on the other side to fasten it to a table or counter or something. The arms can be altered, there's a handle, and it spins..

    We think it might be perhaps used for rolling bandages? But hey so many things could be done with it. How about attach some sparklers and spin it really quickly.. in a safe, adult supervised, outdoor setting.

    Tuesday, September 21, 2010

    Project Idea #1- Charm Bracelets

    Thanks to a generous contribution we have a lot of these charms, pictured to the left. Perhaps they can be used to create bracelets. Several 10's, 06's, 09's, etc. Maybe for that little girl turning 10, she'd like a charm bracelet of rhinestone studded 10 charms. Or for a friend/lover that you want to make them feel like they're a 10. And we're sure you can find lots of other cool items in the store to attach or use as the chain, but that's where your own style can come into play! :)

    Businesses, we want your.. stuff!

    We're reaching out to not just community members but also to businesses in the area that have unique discards or scrap for us to sell. The CU Schools Foundation, our parent company, is a full 501c3 charitable organization and all donations are tax deductible as allowable by law.

    So let's get this straight..
    1) We accept things that businesses no longer want and would probably throw away anyway.
    2) Donations are probably tax-deductible.
    3) All of the proceeds from store sales go to the CU Schools Foundation - keeping our schools strong and providing that margin of excellence for the area public schools.

    Now you're thinking.. well, what do I have that I could contribute right?

    Well here's some examples:
    These are metal domed disks from a generous industrial donation. What can be created from them?

    Perhaps this project.

    And here is another business donation of telephone wire. You can create items like this bowl, which is on display at the store right now.

    Businesses, we need your "scrap"! Plus what a great way to re-use, reduce, and recycle. Perhaps, an additional method for any company policies on efficiency and reducing waste.

    And what do we accept? Check out our list on the website under Household Items Donations List. www.the-idea-store.org

    Thursday, September 16, 2010

    Lions and Tigers and.. Eights! oh my!

    Okay, so we got some really cool stuff today! Lots and Lots of glass stuff - like stoppers and tubes and pipettes and beakers...and rubber stoppers too!
    And, what do YOU expect to find in The I.D.E.A. Store? Toilet paper rolls? How pedestrian! Egg Cartons?* How droll! Tell us what you would like us to have!

    *and yes, we do have a few of these...and can get you some - lots - if you need them...

    Tuesday, September 14, 2010

    ExtraOrdinary Volunteers at the Store!

    Have you been to the website? www.the-idea-store.org Right now, it's just a placeholder while we are building a real site. We want to get it up and going in the next few weeks...


    You would be amazed at the dedication of the volunteers who are working so hard to get our store ready for opening day, Sept. 30, 2010. There just aren't the words to describe their dedication...but let me try:
    Particular - in a GOOD way
    Selfless, but assured

    And thank god they all love chocolate...

    So many thanks for the Leadership Team, Carol Jo, Peter, Claire, Craig! and now Casey who has taken on the role of paid-staff and still volunteers beyond her hours!!