Friday, December 17, 2021

Holidays Hours

We will be closed on December 25 & January 1 this year since both holidays fall on Saturdays! This means December 18 will be the last day we are open before the holidays. Make sure to stop in to stock up on all of your holiday crafting needs. We will reopen as usual on Saturdays 10:30am-2:30pm starting January 8. If we don't see you this Saturday, we hope you have a wonderful, crafty, and art filled holiday season!


Quick Reminders:

-we are at 1761 Wallace Street (go to our back door only, the front door will be locked)

-our shop works on a fill-a-bag system ($5-$20/bag) and items are sold on a first come first served basis - no holds

-we cannot respond to requests for supplies on social media or by email and do not have an online stock listwe are volunteer run and only open on Saturdays

Friday, December 10, 2021

Handmade Holiday Ornaments

It is easy to get caught up the glitz of the holiday season. I am certainly not immune to the beautiful displays of decorations - just yesterday I was admiring another glittery tree ornament in a store (which I left there, because my tree is already full!). I do own a few sets of purchased decorations but my tree is full of other things... mementos from vacations, things my children have made, ornaments we have been gifted over the years. Decorating our tree is not only the start to our holiday season but is a trip down memory lane as well. I thought I would share some of the ideas we have used in our own decorations as well as a few more that I recently found online. 

First up: miniature embroidery hoops. This is a wonderful way to create meaningful decorations. They can be used to display almost anything:

  • A portion of an article of clothing from a loved one, such as a shirt or sweater
  • A portion of a baby blanket
  • Vintage handwork, lace, or doilies
  • Jewelry, which can be attached to a fabric background or hung loose in the center
  • A portion of a map, such as from an old atlas, showing a favorite vacation spot
  • Pages from that book you loved that is falling apart
  • Your kids' artwork
I particularly liked this one, which would be a beautiful way to display different kinds of lace as well as ribbon:

Turning the hoop around gives you the option of making a sort of shadow box. This might be more effective using a mason jar ring, since they generally have more depth to them than the embroidery hoops. Another option is to use old cookie cutters, such as those vintage metal ones that may be too damaged to use for baking. Leave plain to highlight the shape, or add any sort of embellishments you like.

Sentimental items of clothing or blankets can also be cut up into smaller shapes, such as mittens, hats, trees, or even sweaters. Embellish with small craft supplies or stitching:

I thought these "ugly sweater" ornaments were pretty creative:

Lace, particularly ruffled lace, works very well in this next idea. In the center you can sew or glue on a button, bead, or piece of jewelry. I am picturing some of my grandmother's handmade lace with one of her brooches in the middle!

A toilet paper tube and some leftover yarn is all you need to make this adorable winter hat. You can add the pom-pom, as she did, or leave the yarn ends out for a different look.

You'll need more yarn for this next one, such as a partial ball left over from another project. For the paper you can use anything but I think leftover Christmas wrap would be lovely.

For more rustic-looking ornaments, take a walk through a park or your own back yard and pick up a handful or two of sticks. Allow to dry, then arrange in different shapes. Use glue or string to hold in place, then decorate with bits of paper, yarn, ribbon, paint, etc.

A single stick (a popsicle stick would work too) and some ribbon is all it takes to make a cute tree ornament:

Don't overlook the most basic of all craft supplies - paper. Paper is easy to come by, easy to color, and easy to decorate, and lends itself well to everything from simple cut-outs to more complicated origami. Try magazine pages, gift wrap, sheet music, scrapbook paper, or free printable images for your ornaments. Here are some of my favorite ideas:

And finally, if you have some ornaments at home that are looking a little tired, there are many ways to dress them up. Try decoupage with tissue paper or holiday-themed napkins, gluing on embellishments, decorating with paint pens or permanent markers, adding spray paints or glitter, or covering with fabric. I even found one blogger who embellished her plain white ornaments with temporary tattoos (first photo below), and they look beautiful!

I will leave you with one more photo:

My son created this when he was about four (it's a Christmas tree, in case that's not clear from the picture LOL). Some scrap paper, a Crayola marker, and a bit of yarn, and he created something he was proud of. He's now 18 and this remains his favorite tree ornament. I just thought this was a nice way to illustrate that you don't need anything fancy to create beautiful decorations. Even if the beauty is definitely in the eye of the beholder ;)

Happy creating, and I hope you have an enjoyable holiday season!

Friday, November 19, 2021

Donations Halted for 3 Weeks

Due to some more very generous donations we have overrun our storage area and need to halt donations once again. Please wait for a post indicating we are accepting donations again before stopping by with supplies. Sorry for any inconvenience.

To help us clear space, we are running a sale Nov 20, 27, and Dec 4 where any oversized items (ie: ones that do not fit into our largest bag) will be only $5 each. This will include items like frames, canvas stretchers, paper rolls, stretched canvas, scrapbooking albums, and more. As always bags are only $5, $10, and $20 to fill with any small sized items on our shelves. We hope to can make it in to 1761 Wallace Street on Saturdays from 10:30am-2:30pm to grab some goodies to get creative! As a reminder, please make sure to come to our back door only.

Monday, October 11, 2021

Upcycling Cardboard Egg Cartons

Welcome to fall, and Happy Thanksgiving! I hope everyone is enjoying their long weekend! 

While doing up some baking for the weekend, I added an egg carton to my pile in the garage. I usually buy eggs in cardboard packaging so I can recycle them. I also sometimes give them to a local egg farmer. But I got curious about other ways they could be used, and went on a little search. I found no end of kids' crafts, but I was pleasantly surprised at the number of projects I found that looked like fun for adults.

First up: flowers. Lots and lots of flowers! The shape of the egg cups lends itself well to making all sorts of them. Here are some of my favorites:

Once you have your flowers made, there are any number of options for display. Make bouquets or wreaths, glue onto picture frames or mirrors, hang them from branches or string them together into banners. 

You can also use LED string lights to create some beautiful lighting options.

If flowers are not your thing, how about animals? I'm in awe of anyone who could come up with this next idea. The entire project is created from egg cartons:

Or maybe this adorable hedgehog is more your style:

The uniform shape of the individual egg cups makes them ideal for things like snowflakes. These would be beautiful as hung on a tree, strung together as a garland, or attached to a wreath. The original website does not appear to be working, but the process is fairly clear from the second photo:

The cardboard from the cartons can also be used to make paper mache, which can then be turned into nearly anything. There is a simple tutorial for this at

I also found these gorgeous tea cups, which are apparently made from "recycled egg cartons". Unfortunately there is no link and I haven't been able to track down the original post. It's unclear from the photo whether these are made from the egg cartons directly, or from paper mache, but my best guess is they are cut from the individual cups. Either way they are beautiful and look like fun to make:

If you have created anything from egg cartons, please share a photo in the comments!

Thursday, September 2, 2021

CLOSED Sep 4, 11, & 18

Due to some changes in volunteer availability, we will be CLOSED Sep 4, 11, & 18. We will be reopening for in-person shopping again on Sep 25. Please note: masks will continue to be mandatory in the fall and there will be a limit of 5 customers in the shop at any given time.

If you had wood blocks you painted this summer and were planning to drop them off in September, we will accept finished painted blocks until the end of October for the community art project installation. Thanks for your patience!

Thanks for understanding and we can’t wait to have you shop with us again!

Friday, August 27, 2021

CLOSED Sat, Aug 28

Unfortunately, we will be unable to open on Sat, Aug 28 due to some unforeseen circumstances. Sorry for anyone that was planning to stop by!

Wednesday, June 30, 2021

We need YOU for a community art piece!

Do you want to contribute to a community art project at the Art Supply Exchange?

The Art Supply Exchange is offering FREE opportunities to come paint some wood for a collaborative art project that will be hung in our building. 

Our landlord collected small pieces of wood leftover from renovation projects for us to paint to make this collaborative art piece. All blocks painted will be displayed and put together into a wood mosaic art piece that will hang in our space at 1761 Wallace Street. 

All materials to complete the paintings will be provided for free including wood blocks, palettes, brushes, and acrylic paints. There is no specific theme, so, you can paint anything (but please be advised we are a family space, so, no profanity, nudity, or other content inappropriate for minors will be accepted for the final piece). Some suggestions or ideas to get you started:
  • Paint a block dedicated to someone you love
  • Paint a message of hope or for change
  • Paint about an environmental issue of importance to you
  • Paint your favourite animal or food
  • Paint in your favourite colour
  • Try an abstract design
  • Whatever else you can think of!
We will take a maximum of 8 people in two groups of four each Saturday for 1.5 hours per group with some time in between to disinfect equipment. So come with your family, friend bubbles, and more. Book your appointment today: Wood Block Painting Appointment. Bring your own supplies if you wish! If you wish to pick up some wood blocks to paint on your own at home, you do not need to make an appointment - just come during open hours on Saturdays this summer to participate. All blocks will be due back at the Art Supply Exchange by end of day September 4 to be included in the final project.

Thursday, June 17, 2021

Vintage Doily Art

 When my grandmother passed away years ago I was gifted a hefty pile of her doilies. I think every surface in her home was covered with them (starched to the point that they made a light clicking noise when you put them down πŸ˜‚). She did such beautiful work and I really would like to create something with them so that they aren't hidden away in my closet. So I headed to Pinterest for some ideas and found even more than I expected.

If you have a pile of doilies like I do, a piece of wall art is a beautiful option. The doilies are either sewn to fabric or glued to canvas, and can be embellished with buttons, brooches or other jewelry, chipboard shapes, or artificial flowers.

A single doily, regardless of its size, can be displayed in a picture frame. Often the pressure of the frame backing is enough to hold it in place, so this can be a good choice if you don't want to be bothered with stitching or glue.

Consider adding a mat to your frame to highlight the part of the doily you like best. This is a good way to display a piece that is torn or stained.

If you want to make more of a picture, doilies lend themselves well to flowers or snowflakes:

You can use a doily as the center of a beautiful dreamcatcher. This requires a metal or wooden hoop and some extra pieces of lace or ribbon. You can also add feathers, beads, or other embellishments.

Here is another wall hanging idea, which would be particularly suited to doilies with a more oblong shape:

Adding a photograph of the person that made your doily can create a beautiful keepsake. You could also add jewelry, handwritten recipes, or other memorabilia.

If wall art is not your thing, there are a number of ways you can incorporate your doilies into your decor. Add them to throw pillows, lamp shades, tablecloths, curtains, vases, candle holders... basically anything you can think of!

Sew many doilies together to create a curtain, window valance, table cloth, or bed spread. You can either leave the doilies as they are or sew them to a backing fabric. Having a backing will provide a lot of support and structure to the finished piece. Leaving the doilies without a backing gives more of a boho look and also allows light through.

If you feel like playing with heavy starch, you can create an assortment of items. Simply mold your doily around an object with an appropriate shape and allow to dry. You can use bottles, aluminum cans, bowls, or boxes. Even balloons will work. Just be sure not to use items that can rust, such as tin cans, as the rust can transfer to your doily.

For something quite simple, make a little sachet for potpourri or scented wax wafers:

If you are overloaded with small ones (or want to take the scissors to your larger ones) you can make this gorgeous wreath:

If you are handy with a sewing machine (or know someone who is) you can even incorporate your doilies into your wardrobe:

And finally, if all you have are bits and pieces, here are a couple of craft ideas that will still allow you to put them on display:

After all my pinterest-ing I have decided to glue some of my doilies to a painted canvas to make a piece of wall art. If you have any further suggestions or would like to share your own doily art, please let us know in the comments!