Friday, January 28, 2011

Love and creative reuse is in the air!

Valentine’s Day is just around the corner and it is time to get your friends, family, and loved ones a gift for the holiday! The average person will spend around $102 dollars on Valentine's day, why not save your money and create a gift instead!
Instead of buying an expensive premade card, you can make your own Valentine's day card. Here is a creative idea and all it takes is an old magazine that can be found in almost any household.
Another idea that will save you at least $60 dollars is to make your own bouquet of flowers. These flowers can last forever and they can be made out a number of things like paper and tissue paper. Better yet, The I.D.E.A Store is offering a workshop, “Alternative Flowers for Valentine’s day,” that will allow you to make flowers out of non-recyclable materials like different kind of plastics.

Or you can try this cute, but simple project, all it takes an old light bulb, wire and some creativity. The directions can be found at Design*Sponge.
For the kids, they can make a Valentine's Day card holder with practically any container, like a shoe box or a coffee can. Then, they can decorate with items that can be found at The I.D.E.A Store like paper, ribbon, and stickers! For inspiration, click here.

Happy Valentine's Day!

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Re-Use Fabric Projects

Our blow-out sale for our large fabric selection is going on this Saturday at The I.D.E.A. Store from 8 am-12:30 pm! We wanted to give some ideas to get the creative juices flowing.

We often get ideas for our projects at the store from the internet. A quick search can yield you many results for talented re-use artists. Here are some great examples and links to the sites of artists that work in fabric. Click on any of the photos to view their blogs/websites.

Of course, we encourage people to try to create their own projects always but sometimes you just need to sit back and marvel at those that are practiced and have honed their re-use art skills. Let them inspire you, and appreciate the talent it takes as you deal with the struggles of creating your own projects.

"Day by Day: Pieces of Life"
fabric collage with handmade bird

Scrap Fabric Trees
Harry the Hedgehog

A talented local artist, Deborah Fell.
Vintage Fabric Romance

"Saints & Sweeties at the Surreal Safari OR Wild Ride"

Saturday, January 22, 2011

Nature Calls

It’s estimated that 17 BILLION cardboard tubes are thrown away each year, which makes up about 160 million pounds of our trash! Most of us have already started recycling, but why not start using these ordinary objects to create something extraordinary! Just stop by The I.D.E.A Store to pick up some cardboard tubes and start creating. Here are some easy Do-It-Yourself Projects:

For kids, there is an infinite amount of ways to turn a simple cardboard tube into hours of fun. They can be easily made into a rainmaker, a rocket ship or even a cardboard tube cupid for Valentine’s day! All you need is a cardboard tube, paint, pipe cleaners, felt, cotton balls and some other odds and ends.
For complete instructions, click here!

Another easy and elegant DIY project is toilet paper wall art! Something as common as a toilet paper roll will be able to transform your white and drab walls into something beautiful. The ideas for this project are endless; you can customize the pattern along with the colors to match decor. This project does involve glue, but why not use a stapler instead, if you mess up you can easily fix your mistake!

Finally, if you have pencils, markers, and crayons that are scattered through out your home, you can create this pencil holder that only takes a number of different size tubes (We have plenty waiting at the store for you!)

Happy Creating!

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Want a better world? Re-use billboards!

 You’ve seen billboards all of your life, during your travels around town and away. Have you noticed that many of these ads are now made of vinyl fabric? Where do used vinyl billboards go when their advertising days are over?

Unfortunately, hundreds of thousands of tons of non-recyclable billboards have to be dealt with each year! Many end up in local landfills. However, the useful life of billboard vinyl can be extended through creative re-use. The I.D.E.A. Store has received numerous vinyl billboards from a generous industry donor.

To help you learn how to work with this versatile fabric, there are two classes this week on the subject. The first class, taking place this evening (Wednesday, January 19 from 6- 7:30), guides participants to understand the unique characteristics of billboard vinyl and to appreciate the range of products that could be made with it. In the second class (Saturday, January 22 from 1-3 p.m.), participants will make bracelets and baskets to take home. Sign up here!

Making items from non-recyclable billboard vinyl is a popular activity these days, and small businesses feature them because they are easy to make. A quick Etsy search can yield several results. Pictured here is a great example of a notebook cover fit with sleeves and compartments. You can check out other products by this artist here.

Vinyl billboard fabric can be worked easily to produce small- to large-scale projects. After you understand how to manipulate and join pieces together safely and securely, larger scale projects are possible. For example, you might sew scraps into a mosaic-style arrangement for a wall hanging or for a shower curtain.

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Valentines Day ist gleich um die Ecke!

Vday is right around the corner. Are you ready? After just getting through the holidays it may be the last thing on your mind. But perhaps, with the buzz of the holidays and the running from one get together to another.. things got chaotic. Maybe, a project you started or a person you care about, didn't get quite the full attention they deserve.

Well thankfully, we have Valentines Day. Regular presents for friends- cards, candy, perfume, candles, dinner out, etc etc. All very lovely and much appreciated. But what if..

You're low on funds? Want to be inventive? Have a very picky Valentine?

Consider making someone a present this year. They'll love your inventiveness, even if the project has flaws. Pictured to the left are a few sheets of pink styrofoam. Recognizable from the mass amount of packaging that likely went into the garbage after the holidays. But if you still have some, maybe you can re-use it. Here's a project idea.
1) Take photos of you and your dearest and matt them. This is just one idea; wrapping paper, tissue paper, construction paper, fabric, etc. All great alternatives, all available at the store. Attach them to something at least and fit them in the already created frames from the styrofoam. How? Anything but glue, sew them on, wire them on, etc.

At this point you could be done, that might be enough.

2) But if not, how about taking ribbon and weaving these 4 different sheets at the corners. If not ribbon, maybe strip some of the cable wires we have. They have like 8 different types of wire in them. Some of them are pink, purple, green, and other attractive colors. Yarn, paper ribbon, etc. Just don't use glue.*

At this point you could be done, that might be enough.

3) But if not, how about finding an old lamp from ReStore. There are always lots. Simple fit this new shade over the top. Ta da!

At this point you could be done, but if not.. you'll have to put your imagination to use.

Another great project!
These large overhead images that are sold in rolls at $.50 have been selling like hot cakes (where do these strange American sayings come from?). Here someone has made it into a paper quilt. Wouldn't that look lovely on your coffee table?

* Glue, why are we so anti-glue? Well have you ever cleaned out someones house? Did you throw away lots of things? What if it had been sewed? Sewing is always able to be taken apart and then could be possibly re-used. That and glue has a shelf life, things will crumble and yet have all the old gunk on it still. It goes in the landfill. Let's stop doing that. Really.

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Call for Art Donations for The I.D.E.A. Store

 Idea1The I.D.E.A Store by the Champaign Urbana Schools Foundation is hosting an art exhibit and art auction as part of their annual Gala. The exhibit will take place at Indi Go Artist Co-Op, 9 E. University Ave on April 12th-19th and the Gala on May 7th.
The I.D.E.A. Store, located at 28 E. Springfield, collects donations of materials that can be re-used for art and craft projects. We have a large stock of traditional craft items and raw objects. All proceeds of the store goes back to the Champaign Urbana Schools Foundation to support the programming of giving support to the public school systems. As well, the store hosts workshops, birthday parties, and teaches the message of creative ways of Idea4re-use.
We are seeking donations of various works of art that are created from supplies from the store or in general art made from re-used materials. Artwork will not be returned to contributing artists in the event that it is not sold. All proceeds of sales will go to CUSF. There are no restrictions on location of artist, but items that are donated will be for  sale during the exhibit at Indi Go and also during a silent auction at Idea5the Gala.

 Artists are requested to submit their bio and picture (if desired) along with any business cards, or marketing materials that they wish to have included with the piece. The Champaign Urbana Schools Foundation is a 501(c)3 organization. Donations are tax deductible and you will receive a receipt for tax purposes. 

 We will accept all types of art donations including  but not limited to sculpture, Idea6clothing, home decor,  cards, crafts, jewelry, everyday items, etc.

 All donations must be received in the store, or the CUSF office by April 1st. Artists can either drop off the item at the office/store or request for a pick up on a date/time of their convenience. 

If you are interested in donating or have any questions, please contact or call the store at 217.352.7878 or the office at 217.398.2873. We will need the following information:

  • Type of art piece(s) you would like to donate and brief description
  • Approx value
  • Electronic picture of item (if available)
  • Whether you would like to drop off or arrange for a pick up and date/time.
Thank you for your consideration of the Champaign-Urbana Schools Foundation. We really hope you consider supporting us by contributing artwork towards our event.