The Sunday Geekery: Durham’s Scrap Exchange

ScrapExchange (5)We made a trip out to one of my favorite local places this weekend, The Scrap Exchange in Durham, NC. This describes The Scrap Exchange in their own words,

“The Scrap Exchange is a nonprofit creative reuse center in Durham, North Carolina whose mission is to promote creativity, environmental awareness, and community through reuse.

I love, I mean love to go out there a few times a year and dig through their treasures. In addition to having great finds they have fun art pieces spread through the store and encourage their guests to participate with a make and take center, kid’s birthday parties, open calls for artists in their rotating gallery, a small shopping area for local artists to sell sustainable pieces, knitting and sewing groups, and other custom outreach events. Outside of the store, they participate in various community events throughout the southeast spreading their mission and inspiring people to just make.

Here are some of my favorite finds from yesterday

Need a spool of white cotton thread?

ScrapExchange (4)How about some vintage sewing patterns, upholstery scraps, or fabric yardage for pennies on the dollar?

ScrapExchange (6)Quilting magazine for .25 cents?

ScrapExchange (3)What a great magazine mouse!

ScrapExchange (1)Look at what they did with medical supplies! I have no idea what I would do with one of these, but I want one!

ScrapExchange (2)

Really, that’s just the tip of the iceberg. There’s 22,000 square feet of all sorts of artsy fartsy things, notions, christmas lights, electronics, office supplies, tiles, paint, wood scraps, fabric, magazines, post cards, old family photos, albums, medical overruns, foam, plastic boxes, buttons, tshirts, and white plastic things (heh, that’s what they were labeled). Yeah, it’s hot in there and smells a little stuffy, but totally worth it. I seriously think I could dig around for days!

If you’re curious – I filled a bag of fabric scraps, grabbed a few postcards with great art, picked up some containers that would work well for watercolor paints, and a poster from one of my favorite local events, Nevermore, for $8.70. You can expect to see the all show up on the blog in the next few months – I kind of can’t wait to get my hands (and markers) on that poster!



  1. What a neat place!! Thank you so much for taking to time to message me, and let me know about it!

  2. That would be so nice to have one of those nearby. I could spend the week in a place like that. Awesome price on the thread…………………

  3. Tell your friend ipatchandquilt to check out the Scrap’s “boot camp”, where they help folks with starting like facilities in their towns.

    • Wouldn’t that be cool! She lives in the Netherlands so it would make GLOBAL impact. 🙂

  4. So interesting. Try FabMo in the San Francisco Bay area if you’re ever here.

    • Oh! San Francisco. All I need is a plane ticket and an excuse! 🙂

  5. Oh my , I want a scrap exchange in this part of the world…. Like now!

    • It’s a pretty great place! Very creative and always unexpected. 🙂

  6. That looks awesome! If I ever find myself in that area I will totally have to check it out!

    • Yes! I’ll even buy you lunch at the chicken and waffle place down the street. 🙂


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