TourDad was on a mission. I had left the house at 8:30 a.m. for a bit of a retreat with my own mom, and he knew he had a slim window of time in which to carry out his plan. So he rounded up the four kids, hauled them over to the ArtScraps Reuse Store in St. Paul, and they set about collecting the means to make the mother of all Mother’s Day cards for me. (I should note: MD was the following day. This was not some better-late-than-never effort here. And when I found out he survived bringing our little 18-month-old hurricane into this particular craft shop, I was extra touched.)
ArtScraps is a quirky place packed with overstock items, craft supplies, donations, decorations and other odds and ends that would otherwise be heading for a landfill. The non-profit that operates the store, ArtStart, offers these products in an effort to reduce waste and stimulate art-making. In other words, you can’t come with a shopping list of what you’d like to find for a project, but you’ll probably come away with plenty of inspiration. My little artists were offered buckets upon arrival and methodically picked through the bins and shelves. Prices, they discovered, are fairly friendly to a child’s wallet.
In addition to being a resource for a great Mother’s Day project, ArtScraps hosts birthday parties and art camps for all ages. ArtStart is a familiar fixture around community events such as the Flint Hills International Children’s Festival and produces the annual EcoArts Fest on Harriet Island.
For the Files: ArtScraps is located at 1459 St. Clair Ave. St. Paul, MN 55105 (map it). Hours are Mon. – Fri. 10 a.m. – 5 p.m. and Saturday 10 – 4 p.m.