Resources: SCRAP

SCRAP is awesome, full stop.

Unfortunately, that simple sentence doesn’t really convey what the deal is with SCRAP, so here’s a rundown of the why and how behind SCRAP’s awesomeness.

SCRAP stands for Scrounger’s Center for Reusable Art Parts. It’s a 501(c)3 that was founded back in ’76 to provide art supplies to art teachers for the SF public school system. While they also sell to the public, they still provide invaluable assistance with resources for teachers with events like their monthly Teacher Material Give Away days. SCRAP also hosts events and classes for the public: costuming workshops, glass mosaic workshops, their craft market, paper crafts workshops, the list keeps going. Check out their calendar for upcoming events!

So where does this intersect with organizing and getting your own house in order? Well, you know that project you swore you were going to work on, got the materials for, boxed them all up, and forgot about it? Or the project you were already working on and just petered out? It may be knitting, scrapbooking, woodworking, painting, beading, sewing, or any other creative project that got you excited enough to gather materials. There’s a lot of guilt surrounding the unrealized potential in those materials. “Oh, I spent so much on that, I feel bad not doing anything with it!” is a popular refrain that comes up when the idea of letting the project go is broached. But if they’re sitting in a box, or bag, or on a shelf, or in a closet or the attic, you’re still not doing anything with it. So the first point is: if you realize you don’t have the bandwidth to work on that project, it is totally okay to let it go.

Let me repeat that: It is okay to let a creative project go.

Here’s where folks get tripped up. If they’ve progressed to the point of letting the project go, they’re still at a loss for what to do with the materials (or the bracelets, or the quilt squares, or the index cards). They want to let it go, but don’t want to contribute to landfills and don’t want to discard usable materials. This is where SCRAP comes in! SCRAP accepts your art materials and gives them a new life. Wrapping paper you don’t use anymore? Ribbons? Stamps? Office supplies? Bring it! Sort your materials and bring them in during the day, Monday – Saturday 10 – 4. The project you had the courage to turn loose into the world will turn into usable supplies to help teachers educate kids, and you get more space in your place to boot! What’s not to love about these guys?

Don’t live in San Francisco, but think this sounds like hot buttered awesome? There are other places. Those of you in the East Bay, check out the East Bay Depot for Creative Reuse, located in Oakland. On the peninsula or closer to the valley? You want to take a look at RAFT (Resource Area For Teaching), with locations in Redwood City, San Jose, and Sacramento. Outside of the bay area, scroll down to the bottom two-thirds of this list for places across the country that participate in some version of creative reuse.