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. http://cgi.ebay.com/ws/eBayISAPI.dll?ViewItem&item=140411149521&ssPageName=STRK:MESELX:IT

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 http://shop.ebay.com/scrapexchange/m.html

Sunday, August 8, 2010

Creative Reuse Inspiration!

Above image of a room full of bottle caps courtesy of odditycentral.com

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!