“You can’t use up creativity. The more you use, the more you have.” –Maya Angelou
Whether you’re a crafter, an artist, a teacher or a parent in search of kids crafting supplies, Art Parts Creative Reuse Center, located at 3080 Valmont in Boulder, is calling your name.
Established in 2011, the founders of this imaginative and inspirational shopping experience set out to find a common-sense, waste reduction approach to getting reusable creative materials and business surplus back into community circulation. Based on the mission “To inspire and promote creativity, resource conservation, and community engagement through reuse”, the non-profit Art Parts was born.
Offering an incredible assortment of donated art, craft and sewing supplies, tools, textile samples and overstock, the shop is brimming material that ranges from ordinary and practical to quirky and whimsical. You’ll find a space that is meticulously organized and merchandized with the unexpected meeting shoppers at every turn, all at bargain prices.
Community engagement is a big part of the Art Parts mission. Inspire or be inspired by participating in a Creativity Contest, which challenges shoppers with themed contests such as The Great Button Make Off (how many ways can YOU craft with buttons?) and Altered Art (add your flourish to existing 2-D art). The Crazy Creations contest is a fan favorite: Create an assemblage art piece using a bag of mystery materials from the shop and compete for titles such as cantankerous, curious and comical.
Community counts on the organizational side as well. In 2021 volunteers logged nearly 2,000 hours sorting donations, merchandizing the floor and running the register. Community outreach programs supported non-profits, schools and teachers with donations and discounts.
Art Parts is a living example of a business that operates using a circular economic model, a systems solution framework that tackles challenges like climate change, waste and pollution. The model prioritizes keeping products and materials in use at their highest level of complexity for as long as possible, focusing on waste reduction and reducing consumption by cultivating community opportunities for repair, refurbishment, reuse and resource sharing. The result of their approach is meaningful; over the past ten years, Art Parts and its customers rescued 188,000 lbs. (94 tons) of creative material from its landfill fate.
The store is open seven days a week for shopping and donations. They accept unwanted and surplus creative materials and offer them to the community at deeply discounted prices. For information about donating, volunteering, and community programs visit their website. For a regular dose of creative reuse inspiration, follow ArtParts on Instagram, Facebook and their ‘How To” blog.