Wednesday, December 8, 2010

This is a classic Scrap Exchange Story!

Check out this great blog by one of our customers! Tongue in Cheek If you replace ("wall paper") with (the item of your choice) you know what it can be like to shop here... We do have an ebay shop as well (hint hint.)

Thursday, December 2, 2010

December Happenings at The Scrap Exchange

It's holiday time and The Scrap Exchange calendar is jam packed with activities to celebrate the season. What is happening here at The Scrap? Take a look at this list!
  • Customer Appreciation Week November 28-December 4
  • American Tobacco Christmas Tree Challenge, December 3-16
  • Durham Holiday Parade, December 4
  • Do It Yourself Screen Printing Class December 5, 5-9 pm
  • Monster Doll Class December 8, 6:30-8:30 pm
  • Crafts and Cocktails at The Pinhook, December 8, 6-9 pm
  • Crafts and Cocktails at Nightlight in Chapel Hill, December 10, 6-9 pm
  • Triangle Reuse Alliance Chapter Meeting at The Green Chair in Raleigh, December 15, 6:30-7:30 pm
  • Holiday Party and Iron Crafter Competition, December 17, 6-9 pm

Details for these events can be found on our Scrap Exchange calendar at

Thursday, November 18, 2010

It's video time again!

An excellent look in to the world of the plastic bag. This has been around a while but I just had to give it a home here as well.

Friday, October 22, 2010

Our Fall Warehouse Fabric Sale is Almost Here!

What: Semi-Annual Warehouse Fabric Sale
When: Sunday October 24, 12-4 pm for Friends Club Members, 1-4 pm for general public (Friends Club memberships will be sold at the door)
Where: In our warehouse, entrance is on Rigsbee St, one block behind our storefront entrance at 548 Foster St. Look for signs.
For More Info: Call The Scrap Exchange at 919-688-6960

Our fall warehouse fabric sale is this Sunday, October 24, and we are pleased to announce the list of great savings available in our warehouse and in our store. Our warehouse will be open from 12 pm till 4 pm. Friends Club members can begin shopping in the warehouse at 12:00. The general public can begin warehouse shopping at 1:00. Friends Club memberships will be sold at the door.

What kind of savings will you find at our fabric sale? Check out this list!
  • Fill a huge 3 ft bag with your choice of loose fabric (samples and yardage) for $10
  • All fabric sample books - $1 each regardless of size
  • End rolls of upholstery and decorator fabric - From $5 - $10 each depending on size
  • End bolts of fabric - $5
  • Modern sewing patterns - 10 cents each
  • Vintage sewing patterns - $1 each
  • Loose ribbons and trims - fill your own bag for one low price

Available fabric includes loose fabric samples, flatfold yardage, upholstery and decorator rolls, bolts, scrap fabric and more. Don't miss this chance to stock up and save!

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Happening This Week At The Scrap Exchange

Book Signing: Wednesday, October 20, 7pm
Garth Johnson, author of 1000 Ideas for Creative Reuse

Garth Johnson will be doing a book signing for his book 1000 Ideas for Creative Reuse (Quarry Publishing) here at The Scrap Exchange on October 20th, from 7 to 9pm. Garth is an artist, writer and educator who lives in Eureka, California and teaches at College of the Redwoods. Additionally, he maintains the blog Extreme Craft and a new blog for ReadyMade magazine about his adventures with his 1905 Victorian home. Garth is also the co-host of Reconstruct: Eco-Friendly Crafts Made Easy, a step-by-step DVD that shows viewers how to make their own projects out of recycled materials.

It’s Almost Here! Our Fall Warehouse Fabric Sale is October 24

It's that time of year again — fabric sale time! Our next semi-annual warehouse sale is scheduled for Sunday, October 24 from 1-4 pm. (Our Friends members can begin shopping at 12 pm; warehouse doors open to the general public at 1 pm. Friends memberships will be sold at the door.) Don't miss out on this amazing sale! Warehouse fabric will include upholstery and decorator rolls, flatfold yardage, loose samples, sample books, sample bundles and more. We will also have sales specials in the store on fabric and sewing-related items. If you love fabric, do not miss this event!

Call for Artists: Craftland

Craftland is the Scrap Exchange’s annual Holiday Artist’s Marketplace, now in its 7th year. All items for sale at Craftland are created by local artists and crafters and are made using reused, reclaimed, or re-purposed materials. This year the Craftland marketplace will be open in the Green Gallery from Friday, November 19th thru the beginning of January 2011.

Artists who wish to participate in Craftland should complete the online application, send us 3 to 5 photos of the work they wish to sell, and provide a $10 nonrefundable application fee. The application deadline is October 24, 2010. Since we may receive more applications than space will allow, we cannot accept every artist who applies. Participating artists will be selected based on how well their work fits into the scope of Craftland, and the quality and originality of their work. Complete details can be found on our Craftland page, or by visiting the Craftland events page on Facebook.

Fall Classes are Here!

Our fall classes have started. Here is a list ~ go to our website for class descriptions and more info...

Mixed Media Printmaking

How to Make Zines

Plastic Bags

Creating New Paper-Craft Supplies from Old Greeting Cards

Dynamic Acrylic Collage

Tiara Making (Self Actualized)

New Creations from Old Quilts

Coptic Stitch Journal

Do-It-Yourself Screen-Printing

Monster Doll Workshop

See You at The Scrap!

Friday, October 15, 2010

Green Gallery Opening Tonite!

A new exhibit opens in the Green Gallery October 15 and you are invited to attend!

An Offering: La Ofrenda
Friday, October 15 – Saturday, November 13
Opening Reception: Friday October 15 from 6pm - 9pm

Our latest exhibit is titled "An Offering: La Ofrenda". Community members have come together to create this open exhibit of altars to honor and celebrate the lives of loved ones who have passed away. This exhibit was planned in conjunction with Dia de Los Meurtos/Day of the Dead festivities in early November. Each shrine, or ofrenda, serves as a memory of a special person or beloved pet in the contributor's life.

The opening reception will be held on Friday October 15 from 6-9 pm. The opening will include festive folk music performed live by Durham's Trainspotters. Food will include savory empanadas from Angel's Nest Farm and Bakery, plus Pan de Meurtos and other fresh-baked sweet pasteries from the Compare Foods Supermarket.

Attendees are encouraged to bring mementos of a loved one who has passed away to the opening reception that can be added to a large communal ofrenda. This ofrenda will evolve throughout the month! Examples of mementos could be a photo, a favorite (packaged) food or candy, a random object, book or even a poem! There will also be an opportunity to create a small shrine in our Make and Take Room during the reception to add to the show!!

See you at The Scrap!

Saturday, October 2, 2010

Call for Artists for Our Next Exhibit

An Offering: La Ofrenda
October 15 – November 13

Green Gallery at The Scrap Exchange
Opening Reception on October 15, 6-9 pm

The Scrap Exchange wants you! We are inviting the public to contribute to our next Green Gallery exhibit titled "An Offering: La Ofrenda". In conjunction with Dia de Los Meurtos/Day of the Dead, you can celebrate a loved one, beloved pet, or ancestor who has passed away by creating a small shrine (la ofrenda) in their honor.

Shrines should be no larger than a shoebox (they can even be in a shoebox!) and can contain photos, objects representing favorite activities, favorite colors, or symbols of favorite foods of your beloved. Shrines can also include a written remembrance and the name of the person or beloved pet.

This show is not juried and is open to the public. Shrines are not required to be for sale. All ages and skill levels are welcome.

Shrines should be brought to the gallery and placed or hung between Monday, October 11 and Thursday, October 14, from 3 pm until store closing (5pm Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday; 6pm Thursday). If you would like to contribute a shrine but these hours are not convenient, please contact Retail Manager Julia Gartrell to see if you can to make alternate arrangements.

The opening reception will be held on Friday, October 15th. Feel free to come in costume! This exhibit will run from October 15 through November 13. For more information, call 919-688-6960.

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Third Friday Gallery Opening September 17

"Meditations: A Fiber and Mixed-Media Exploration of Meditation"

by artist Candace Thomas and friends,
September 17-October 9 in The Green Gallery at The Scrap Exchange
Reception on Friday Sept. 17, 6-9 p.m., with free food, drink and art-making activities, open to the public

The whirring of a sewing machine is often all Chapel Hill fiber artist Candace Thomas needs to meditate her way out of a creative block. With her latest hurdle, that machine took her full circle, sparking a new group exhibit called “Meditations” at The Green Gallery in Durham’s The Scrap Exchange. "Meditations" opens Friday September 17. An opening reception is scheduled from 6-9 pm and is free to the public.

Subtitled “A Fiber and Mixed-Media Exploration of Meditation,” the exhibit features an interactive sewing exploration and other works by Thomas, as well as mixed-media creations by Triangle artists Sauda Zahra, Karimah Abdusamad, Alexandra Smith and Terra Omni, and D.C. artist Kath Robinson.

Thomas originally planned for a solo exhibit, but she lamented to a friend months ago that she hadn’t yet thought of a theme.

“My friend said, ‘What do you think about when you sew?’ ” Thomas recalled. “I said, ‘Hold on, let me call you back.’ So I stand at one of my older machines and put my pedal to the metal and just listen to that ‘shhh-shhh-shhhh.’ It was like prayer for me. I was supposed to call her back in 15 minutes and I didn’t call her ‘til the next day."

Thomas began exploring books on meditation, prayer and mantras, she contacted fellow artists, and the exhibit took shape. An integral piece is an interactive station at which visitors to the gallery will be able to write down affirmations, prayers or any positive thoughts and sew them into a long, circular strip of fabric. Among the other works are an interactive labyrinth, a mandala and a quilt with pockets in which people can place their prayers.

“It’s not going to be a lot with the exhibit,” Thomas said of her own contributions, “but it’s going to be where I am right now -- looking back at views on God and prayer and meditation and spirituality. Not to define who God is or what God is but just that repetition of my sewing machine and how it’s able to balance me when I’m about to go to pieces.”

The exhibit is also about friendship and inspiration, Thomas says.

“I love talking about life and art with my artist friends especially, because we can go to the moon and back,” she says. “It takes me back to going to church as a child and watching the women get the fire, the spirit.”

Some of her friends’ contributions will be a surprise to Thomas – at her request. She knew their art would fit together naturally. Her only stipulation was that nobody’s work could involve stress or negativity.

“It has to be about living and meditating,” she says, “and bringing all of these things we have within us out to share.”

The Green Gallery is open during store hours: Mon., Tues., Wed. & Fri., 11 a.m.-5 p.m.; Thurs., 11 a.m.-6 p.m.; Sat., 10 a.m.-5 p.m.; Sun., noon-5 p.m. Admission is free. 548 Foster St., Durham. For more information call 919-688-6960, or go to

(Story written by Orla Swift - thank you Orla!)

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Books Books Books!!

Hey Everybody!

We've just received a shipment of Brand New Books! This awesome selection of books will inspire even the most seasoned artist or crafter and are definitely worth checking out. You can find them in the Artists' Marketplace section of the store.... Great Gifts!

Who's Your Dada? by Linda and Opie O'brien teaches you how to make whimsical toys out of recycled materials.

Sweater Surgery by Stefanie Girard has great project ideas for making accessories and clothing out of old sweaters.... just in time for Fall.

Mixed Media Collage by Holly Harrison has beautiful paper project ideas that would be fun to execute with Scrap Exchange materials.

Material World by Cat Wei gives instructions for fun projects that will splash up your house--- perfect things to make with some super fly Scrap Exchange fabric finds!

Altered Clothing by Kathleen Maggio helps you reinvent old clothing into a funky new wardrobe.

Featuring Durham artist Bryant Holsenbeck's work on its cover, 1000 Ideas for Creative Reuse by Garth Johnson is an incredible visual dictionary of Creative Reuse projects large and small. Truly inspirational. Also, author Garth Johnson is the keynote speaker at Reuse Conex (, the first national reuse conference which is being held October 18-20th in RALEIGH!!!

Green Guide for Artists by Karen Michel gives tips and recipes for how to keep your studio safe and earth-friendly.

Print & Stamp by Traci Bunkers is a fantastic book that demonstrates how to make lovely stamps out of everyday objects.

Inspired yet!? I want to buy one of each! Come on down to the Scrap Exchange and see for yourself how amazing these books are!

Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Creative Reuse Spotlight: Commercial Fabric Sample Cards

We want to introduce you to another product that we receive often, but that usually goes unnoticed in our store. Say hello to the commercial fabric sample card! OK, we know at first glance that this item is not as fun or exciting as other scrap materials we receive. But we invite you to take a second look, and experiment with this little gem.

Fabric sample cards are produced for sales staff to sell fabrics used in office and commercial buildings. We receive thousands of them during the course of a year as product lines are discontinued. They are cool to look at, but what in the world could you possibly do with them? As always, we have a couple suggestions!

The sample cards provide a fabulous array of color, texture, pattern and size.
As you can see in the pictures, some sample cards are already 3-hole punched! They are ready for you to use an alternative page in a binder, journal, scrapbook, or altered book. You could use the sample squares as frames or backgrounds for photos, pictures and text.

Some sample cards, like the one below, include fold-out pages, adding another level of complexity and interest to an altered book or journal project.

Several of the manufacturers fuse their samples between two sheets of heavy duty cardstock. You can cut the samples out from the page and transform them into an alternative mosaic tile! Depending on the sample cards that you choose, your tiles could include a wide variety of sizes and shapes.

The following picture shows you the side of a few "tiles". Some tiles were cut with a border and other tiles were cut without a border. Notice how the fabric is fused to or sandwiched between the cardstock layers. As a result, these chips are thick and durable. But you can still easily cut them out using a utility knife or a rotary cutter. I used a rotary cutter to cut these tiles out from the sample cards.

Ready to experiment with these fun and colorful fabric sample cards? We have a barrel full of them at The Scrap Exchange and have priced them at 25 cents per 8.5"x11" card.

If you can't make it to the store, we also sell the cards on Ebay in lots of 25 cards for $7.95. Here's the Ebay link.

See you at The Scrap!

Sunday, August 22, 2010

Scraps on film!

Video Roundup!!! Here's a collection of Scrap Ex related viedos from around the web.

Saturday, August 14, 2010

Item of the Week: Wallpaper Books

Our In-Store Item of the Week, August 16-22: All Wallpaper Books for $2 each

We receive wallpaper sample books on a very regular basis at The Scrap Exchange. And we always marvel at the amazing selection of paper available in the samples. Have you flipped through any of these books recently? Each one is filled with a beautiful mixture of colors, textures, styles and designs. You will find designs with stripes, florals, geometric patterns, tone-on-tone and intricate toile. You will find moderate to heavily textured papers, as well as smooth and glossy papers. You will find papers with metallic accents or die-cut border papers. You will find children's designs or country designs or animal designs or..... Well, you get the picture.

Wallpaper samples provide you with a heavier, more durable paper that can be used in a wide variety of art and craft applications. Wallpaper can stand up to water during the creative process, something standard papers cannot do as easily without disintegrating. Vinyl wallcoverings are especially durable, do not tear or rip easily, and can be stitched together with a sewing machine.

Wallpaper samples be substituted for standard paper in a wide variety of applications such as card-making, collage, mixed-media, scrapbooking, paper beading and so much more! Want an unusual mat for your artwork? Cut one from wallpaper! Want one-of-a-kind beads for your next piece of jewelry? Make paper beads from wallpaper. Working on a batch of handmade greeting cards? Change out your card stock with wallpaper stock.

So if you work with paper in your creative projects, consider experimenting with wallpaper! And to make it even more affordable for you, we have designated wallpaper books as this week's in-store Item of the Week! All wallpaper books are $2 each during the week of August 16-22. (Our regular price is from $3-$5.) We have fully stocked the wallpaper case, so stop on in and check them out.

Our "Item of the Week" specials apply to in-store purchases only. Can't make it to the store? We always carry a selection of wallpaper samples on Ebay in one pound lots. Visit us on Ebay at

Sunday, August 8, 2010

Creative Reuse Inspiration!

Above image of a room full of bottle caps courtesy of

Someone just came in and bought a whole lot of metal bottle caps and it got me thinking that there are some really nifty creative reuse projects out there using beer and soda caps! Here's a few links to some interesting ones:

(some nice wall art made from beer caps)

(a personal favorite, I bet the fish love them!)

(ooh la la, vintage creative reuse!)

(Haute couture bottle caps)

(This is actually more about the bottles, but is SO amazing it was worth linking!!)

Well, the internet is big, and there are lots of creative people in the world, so if you are interested in seeing more inspiring bottle-cap art, I would recommend googling "creative reuse bottle caps", "beer cap art" or some permutation of these words! Have fun and bottoms up!

Saturday, August 7, 2010

Creative Reuse Spotlight: Product Sample Boards

We get hundreds of pounds of home improvement samples donated to The Scrap Exchange every month. And we face a daily challenge of how to present or display these samples to spark the imagination for their creative reuse.

Take for instance, the product sample board. We get sample boards all the time with tile samples or carpet samples or fabric samples or molding samples or .... You get the picture. So what can you possibly do with a sample board? We have a couple ideas. And we are sure you might have a dozen more ideas!

This sample board folds up like a book. So why not use it as the base for an altered book project?

See how the "book" pages fan out when opened? This is a feature that can be used to great advantage in your altered book project. You can leave the individual tiles intact as part of the book. Or you could remove them for an alternate use, for example in a mosaic, and just use the book base without the samples.

Sample boards show products in a wide variety of color and texture. Many sample boards are wonderful color studies or texture studies that just need a little work to turn them in a piece of art.

Here is a sample board that has been turned into a piece of colorful art. I cut the board off from the book it was attached to, painted a neutral color in between the tiles, and then glued it to a canvas that I painted with a color inspired by the sample tile palette. The result is a fun piece of modern art ready to hang on the wall.

You could try a similar treatment with these carpet sample boards. Use a utility knife to remove the top of the board and handle, or leave them intact and incorporate those features into your piece of art!

Want yet another reuse idea for these boards? Parents and teachers, you can use them as teaching aids with young children for color and textures and patterns.

So the next time you are shopping at the Scrap Exchange, take a second look at the product sample boards. Instead of focusing on the "tile" or "carpet" or other product aspect, try focusing on the color and the texture and the patterns in the sample board. Consider the shades of color and the movement of light and dark across the board. Think about how you can transform the board into an art piece or a teaching aid. And then grab a few and start creating!

See you at The Scrap!

Friday, August 6, 2010

August is Teacher Appreciation Month at The Scrap Exchange!

Just to show our teachers how much we love and appreciate them, we have designated August as Teacher Appreciation Month at The Scrap Exchange. Teachers receive a 20% discount off their retail purchases throughout this month with a valid ID. (Discounts do not apply to Artist Marketplace or Green Gallery items.) A current teaching ID must be presented to receive a discount. Homeschool teachers may present their orange card to qualify.

Are you a teacher AND a Friend's Member? Our teaching Friends will receive 30% off! Not yet a Friends Member? Sign up today – our annual membership fee for teachers is $30 for a full year of savings.

So teachers, get those classroom supply lists together, grab your ID, and head on out to the Scrap. And please pass the word along to your other academic amigos! This discount is available through August 31.

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

In-Stock This Week at The Scrap Exchange

Are you wondering if you should make a trip out to The Scrap Exchange this week? Let us help you decide! Here are a few items currently in stock in our store.

  • Ceramic molds - 50 cents to $3 each, new inventory arrived last week

  • Decorative Tile Samples - $1 per pound

  • Fabric Samples - Long strips of coordinated samples for $2 - $6 each strip
  • Carpet Sample Boards - $1.50 each

  • Purse Liners - complete with straps, snaps and pockets for $2 each. Just add a creative outside cover and you have a fabulous new purse with the hardest part already done!

See you at The Scrap!