Top Books About Creative Reuse at Your Library

Reuse Got Me Reading!

By Laura Kraus, Librarian & Spare Parts Volunteer Coordinator

If you don’t frequent your local branch of the San Antonio Public Library (SAPL), you should probably take some time on a lazy Sunday to see what’s available: you might be surprised at everything that’s offered. They have programs for adults and children, host musicians and artists and of course they have books! If you don’t have a library card, it’s super easy to get one – go to any of the SAPL branches, present your ID and proof of Bexar County address. You can also pre-register online and get access to online resources.

As a librarian, I was excited to see SAPL has plenty of good print resources about creative reuse, sustainability, and the environment in general. I’ve put together two lists: one for adults and one for the younger crowd. My choices include crafty books to get you inspired to reuse what might be considered trash to some, and turn it into your own personal treasure. I’ve also included informational books to get you thinking about the state of our world, and the ways in which we, as its inhabitants, can make small changes to help out.

So, whether you’re looking for something creative to do on your time off, or a way to introduce a little one in your life to a value of our environment, take a moment to peruse these lists and see what sparks passion in you. #reusegotmethinking

Have any questions? Feel free to contact me (laurak@sparepartssa.org) and I’m happy to help.

 

Young Adult and Children’s Books on Reuse and Sustainability

Recycle This Book : 100 Top Children’s Book Authors Tell You How to Go Green

 

Don’t Throw That Away! : A Lift-the-Flap Book About Recycling and Reusing
Bergen, Lara

 

The Life Cycle of Paper
Costain, Meredith

 

Cool Odds and Ends Projects : Creative Ways to Upcycle Your Trash into Treasure
Scheunemann, Pam

 

Second-Time Cool : The Art of Chopping Up A Sweater
Lindén Ivarsson, Anna-Stina

 

What Can You Do With An Old Red Shoe? : A Green Activity Book About Re-use
Alter, Anna

 

Trash to Treasure : A Kid’s Upcycling Guide to Crafts : Fun, Easy Projects with Paper, Plastic, Glass
Scheunemann, Pam

 

Generation T : 108 Ways to Transform a T-shirt
Nicolay, Megan

 

47 Things You Can Do for the Environment
Petronis, Lexi

Adult Books on Reuse and Sustainability

1000 Ideas for Creative Reuse : Remake, Restyle, Recycle, Renew
Johnson, Garth.

 

Garbology : Our Dirty Love Affair with Trash
Humes, Edward

 

Use Less Stuff : Environmentalism for Who We Really Are
Lilienfeld, Robert M

 

Better : The Everyday Art of Sustainable Living
Caldwell, Nicole

 

Modern Upcycling : A User-Friendly Guide to Inspiring and Repurposed Handicrafts for a Trendy Home
Zacke, Susanna

 

Don’t Throw it Out : Recycle, Renew, and Reuse to Make Things Last
Baird, Lori

 

Rubbish : Reuse Your Refuse
Shoup, Kate

 

Refashioned Bags : Upcycle Anything into High-Style Handbags
Blakeney, Faith.

 

Stylish Remakes : Upcycle Your Old T’s, Sweats and Flannels into Trendy Street Fashion Pieces
Room, Violette

 

The Art of Cardboard : Big Ideas for Creativity, Collaboration, Storytelling, and Reuse
Zimmer, Lori

 

10 Ways to Reuse Clothes

I always say that my favorite craft store is the thrift store, and my favorite supply is clothing. You won’t find such colorful material to work with at a better–or greener–price. Here are 10 ways to reuse old clothes.
thrifted-sweater-blanket1. Patchwork Sweater Blanket

Turn a collection of patterned sweaters into a cozy throw.

theredthread_NeonCoilBowls_main22. Neon Fabric Coil Bowl

Use t-shirt yarn to make your own storage.

tshirt-yarn-weaving3. T-Shirt Yarn Weaving

Or hanging wall art.

recycled-jeans-planter4. Recycled Jeans Planter

Use a pair of old jeans to make these clever planters.

workoutbag2125. T-Shirt Workout Bag

Turn a t-shirt into the perfect carry-all.

rag-rug-title6. Braided T-Shirt Rug

Or use a pile of shirts to make a rug.

make-a-camera-strap-from-a-scarf-intro7. Scarf Camera Strap

Snap photos in style with a one-of-kind camera strap.

cardigan-lampshade8. Cardigan Lampshade

Update an old lamp with a simple cardigan.

plaid-backpack9. Restyled Plaid Backpack

Turn a men’s plaid shirt into a backpack.

slasher-scarf10. Slasher Scarf

Make a fringed scarf from an old shirt.

I hope you’re inspired to reuse those old clothes and will think twice before tossing them out. For more creative reuse ideas visit me at MakerMama.com.

 

2015 Fiesta Wreath Exhibition at Carver Cultural Community Center

Spare Parts Gallery Invite_Fiesta Wreaths

 

Fiesta Wreaths (April 7-May1, 2015) reflects the vibrant aesthetic of San Antonio’s celebration & tradition while confronting our city’s messy side. Wreaths exhibited are made from creatively reused & beautifully repurposed materials that challenges one’s perspective about what our community consumes then discards.

Spare Parts thanks the creative contribution of the following individuals & groups for making this exhibition possible: Eric Cavazos, Jackson Middle School, Longfellow Middle School, Maker Mama, Marshall High School & RVK Architects.

Proceeds from this exhibition will go directly towards the increase of Spare Parts educational programming in our schools where arts are in need.

For gallery hours and dates click here (free admission).

DIY Fiesta Wreath Cup Activity (see above image)