California Department of Resources Recycling and Recovery (CalRecycle) 

Reuse Organization Profiles

Arts & Scraps


Arts and Scraps is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization that reuses industrial scrap materials to provide inexpensive art materials for the community. Arts & Scraps supports creativity in schools, organizations and families with scrap materials as inexpensive art materials and educational opportunities. The center is open to the public and is a place where children and agencies can shop for recycled scraps to use for creative projects and stock up on inexpensive art provisions and kits. For $5.50 people can fill a grocery bag full of adhesive foam pieces, colorful paper, fabric, mat board, yarn and paper confetti. Items are also available in the single price area. Birthday parties and group workshops are welcome.


Arts & Scraps originated in 1989 in the basement of First Lutheran Church in Detroit. In its first year, Arts & Scraps earned an income of $7,198. In 1992, earning an income of $24,486, Arts & Scraps relocated to a 2,600 square foot storefront on Morang in Detroit. During this time, Arts & Scraps incorporated student field trips, Friends family workshops, and birthday parties into their organization's activities.

1996 saw an increased income of $73,874. Arts & Scraps again relocated to four storefronts totaling 6,000 square feet on East Warren in Detroit. During this time, the organization incorporated preschool parent literacy and scrap packs into their program, and a tool shed expanded the resource center.

Arts & Scraps earned $98,383 in 1997, and set a new record in this year, with 78 volunteers helping create 6,000 projects in two days. In 2000, they earned $129,933. They doubled their volunteer program and created immersion field trips, which give students an intense experience centered around rotating themes.


Seventy-eight businesses regularly donate scrap materials to Arts & Scraps. In 1999-2000 Arts & Scraps reused 22 tons of material and serviced 40,000 children directly. Their materials were used by 1,800 organizations, representing 200,000 children.

The resource center offers over 300 different recycled/reused industrial scraps and is open to the public 19 hours a week. Staff is available to assist in developing age-appropriate project ideas.

Schools and organizations are welcome to take field trips to Arts & Scraps to create projects, based on a theme of the group's choosing, and may purchase materials as well.

Volunteers compile "Scrap Packs," which are kits for one, ten, or 25 children. The kits are recreational, curriculum, and culturally based. Over 245 volunteers attend events throughout the metropolitan area to provide children's art tables and vendor tables to conferences.

Arts & Scraps also provides on-site visits to schools and organizations as small as two classrooms or as large as an entire elementary school. When visiting such organizations, Arts & Scraps provides a project and materials for students to purchase. Adults can also benefit from similar workshops geared towards teachers, parents, and group leaders.

Friends of Arts & Scraps financially support their educational programs and receive discounts on materials in the center and tool shed.

Materials Accepted Source of Materials Collection Services Geographic
Service Area
Gasket scraps, smooth wood and wood turnings, colored paper, surplus or outdated stock packing material (no Styrofoam peanuts), cardboard tubes, samples and sample books, foam pieces, large brown paper bags (standard grocery size only), plastic strawberry baskets, microwave meal plates, gallon milk bottle caps, baby food jars, metal lids from frozen concentrated juice, coffee cans with lids, "Pringles" cans with lids, oatmeal containers with lids, 35 mm film containers, baskets, tins, wine corks, candles, candle stubs, rock and shell collections, plastic or silk flowers, ribbon, trim, rickrack, calendars with pictures, telephone wire, jewelry, beads (broken beads are accepted), pine cones, yarn, buttons, spools (empty or with thread), fabric, vinyl and leather pieces and scraps (no clothing), jigsaw puzzles (puzzles that have missing pieces are accepted), craft kits and miscellaneous crafting items, craft books or craft magazines, brightly colored paper (printed accepted since it will be shredded), brightly colored gift wrap, especially foils (used is accepted since it will be shredded), children's art supplies (e.g., scissors, crayons (pieces are accepted), construction paper), etc. Arts & Scraps accepts a wide variety of scrap materials from businesses and individuals; materials may be delivered or mailed. For donations from businesses, Arts & Scraps can pick up materials on their schedule in the Detroit Metro area. Detroit Metro area.

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Last updated: May 23, 2014
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