Portland Store Sells Junk for Art

Donate or Buy Recycled SCRAP Stuff at a Funky Artistic Reuse Shop

Portland, Oregon is a funky city, home to many fun, unusual art galleries and the cool “reuse” store, SCRAP, that proves one person’s trash may be an artist’s treasure.

Cool and funky, Portland, Oregon is a great city to visit if one is an artist, art lover, or artistic hopeful in training. Living up to Portland’s unofficial motto of “Keep Portland Weird,” the very funky, unusual, and interesting shop called SCRAP (School & Community Reuse Action Project) certainly fits in.

Items You May Find at SCRAP

  • Yarn, fabric, and sewing notions
  • The paper of all colors and sizes
  • Specialty items donated by local businesses and manufacturers
  • Colored pencils, markers, and pens
  • Scrapbooking supplies (stamps, paper, tools, etc.)
  • Greeting cards and gift wrap for every occasion
  • Wood, metal, and plastic in a variety of shapes and sizes
  • Vintage ephemera

SCRAP Portland’s Mission

SCRAP’s mission is “to promote creative reuse and environmentally sustainable behavior by providing educational programs and affordable materials to the community.”

Visiting the Reuse Store

SCRAP is inspiring and amusing from the moment it is seen. With the storefront painted in bright colors and unique designs, shoppers and donation givers know immediately they are somewhere that is just a bit different.

Once inside, one is stunned by the sheer multitude of “things” and “things made out of things.” Off to the right is a small classroom, ready for teaching classes in reuse art, often to children. Straight ahead is a table where donations are accepted and rejected, and then sorted into the store. Folks at SCRAP are surprisingly picky about what they will take into the store. Plastic bottles and caps, egg cartons, and other ordinary items that everyone can get are often rejected.

Donations to the School & Community Reuse Action Project

So what sorts of things does SCRAP most appreciate? For the official list of items, SCRAP accepts, see their Material Donations Page.

Shopping at SCRAP Art Store, Portland

Found in the store recently were: Carpet squares, tiles of all sizes, designer and plain cotton fabric, thread, beads, interesting paper catalogs, greeting cards, stickers, and frames. Also discovered were X-rays, wallpaper sample books, zippers by the hundreds, a fair amount of odd plastic pieces sorted by color, broken jewelry parts, wire, rubber stamps, a couple of barrels of industrial who-knows-what-they-are leftovers.

Around the store, there is no shortage of inspiring arts and crafts projects on display. There are notebooks fashioned from CDs, wallets made from all manner of things, and huge recycled sculptures of creatures with nuts and bolts bodies and strange googly eyes staring down upon shoppers.

These unique “objects d’art” are not for sale. One must find their inspiration and create something fabulous of their own. That’s the fun of it all.

“Shopping” at the School & Community Reuse Action Project involves a lot of digging and searching. We’re not talking Macy’s here. But neither are the prices anything like department store prices. A handful of some items may cost twenty-five or fifty cents. Many small items are a dime or so. Frames or larger things might cost one or two dollars.

Location and Hours

SCRAP PDX
1736 SW Alder St
Portland, OR 97205
Phone: (503) 294-0769

HOURS: Open 11 am to 6 pm Wednesday – Saturday, 12 pm to 5 pm Sunday, Closed Monday & Tuesday

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