Mary, of Be Creative Mary fame, posted about this amazing place a couple weeks ago and I’ve been planning a trip every since: http://becreativemary.wordpress.com/2013/08/14/day-226-goodwill-hunting-reusing-and-recyling/
The Resources for Rhode Island Educators, http://www.rrie.org/, is an amazing non-profit that takes materials from manufacturers to sell to the public for pennies a pound. It can be anything from finished products (there were a lot of Martha Stewart Office things) to random do-dads used to make things. For a $10 donation, we got a one day membership (a full year is $60, but it’s about 1 1/2 hours away so I’m not sure how often we’ll be going), and then most of the stuff they have is 40 cents a pound (some things are priced individually, but not much). It was a veritable cornucopia of stuff for upcycling projects.
There are some samples of things, here and there, that people have made, but there wasn’t much fancy about this place. It just leaves everything up to your imagination. The staff was nice and it’s amazing that so many business are willing to participate. It was really stocked to the gills.
So, for the unbelievable sum of $12.50 (plus the $10 I gave them for the try-out membership and a little extra I gave for a donation), here was my amazing haul:
I don’t really have specific ideas for a lot of it, but here’s what I was initially thinking when I saw some of this. The tiles and glass are sure to become some kind of mosaic. I’m going to give a lot of the sticky notes to my boy’s teacher (they were on her classroom “wish-list”). I’ve been wanting some of those tags for ages and there was a whole bin of Martha Stewart Office stuff- I wonder if her company donated them or if they came from a retailer who hadn’t been able to sell them. I’m thinking of making something for a friend of mine who loves horses out of some of the ribbon- it was from a huge barrel that seemed to have come from a company that makes prize ribbons. I got a ton, so I’m sure I’ll donate a lot of it to my favorite local upcycling store, Knack (http://www.knack.org/) (if you didn’t see my post about it, please check it out- it’s my absolute favorite place in the world: https://craftymadre.com/2013/07/19/knack-my-new-favorite-place/) I’m also planning to donate the conical spools to Knack. They have kids craft workshops every other weekend and I was thinking these would make a great Christmas tree project. The random knick-knacks and bottle tops were mostly my boy’s idea. He kept picking up things out of bins and saying “I could use that.” (A boy after my own heart.) I did pick out the gold bottle tops to make Christmas ornaments for family this year (based on a craft workshop at Knack that’s in the above post). And the sheets of paper are absolutely awesome. The silver is sticky on the back (if I’d realized it, I probably would have gotten more). I’ll have wrapping paper for a year.
My boy had as much fun as me, finding random things and suggesting what he would do with them. This is my favorite find of his, a piece of clear plexiglass with a blue rectangle across the middle, which I’m going to try to make into an outdoor gardening bench (he calls himself “Luigi-Sam” in this picture:
There was so, so, so much more that I wanted and my amazing wife gave me $60 to spend. But, I knew I’d have no where to put it when I got it home. I’m sure that we’ll be back again soon, though. The bonus- there’s a Dave and Buster’s nearby, so I can always promise my wife a trip there when we go (which is where we spent the rest of the afternoon as a final hurrah before the boy starts school). I’m so glad I saw Mary’s post about this amazing place!