Eco-Craftastic Summer

Eco-Craftastic Summer

In July and August of 2020, Pittsburgh Center for Creative Reuse is hosting the Eco-Craftastic Summer: Off the Screen and Out In the World! The Eco-Craftastic Summer is a four-week virtual club designed to minimize screen time for kids and adults while providing STEAM-based activities that foster hands-on skills, build confidence, and encourage participants to make a positive impact on their environment and their relationships. By reusing and repurposing the unique reclaimed materials that come directly from the Center for Creative Reuse, the activities will emphasize observation, reflection, curiosity, and playfulness. Materials for all four weeks of the club will be available for pickup in advance of your club’s start date.

Please read the Frequently Asked Questions below and email Melissa@pccr.org for additional information.

Session 1: July 6-31

Recommended for ages 6-10 with some adult supervision required. Weekly activities are learner-driven and can include: Make your own notebook or sketchbook, design a collage postcard, build a bug hotel, make your own flower press!

Session 2: August 3-28

Recommended for ages 11-15 with some adult supervision required. Weekly activities are learner-driven and can include: Send a secret message with morse code jewelry, reimagine an unused city space with a diorama, build a musical instrument out of reclaimed materials, and hack your backpack!

Eco-Craftastic Summer Frequently Asked Questions

The Eco-Craftastic Summer clubs are as “offline” as possible to reduce the amount of screen time for kids and caregivers. Every week, summer crafters will receive emailed instructions as well as downloadable content in the form of instructional videos and handouts to review when it is convenient for you. Printed instructions will also be included in your materials. Once a week participants will be asked to complete an online reflection, probably in the form of a Google Doc. It is up to you whether you would like to share photos and videos of your projects online. Some projects can be made inside, and others will require some outside time in nature.

“STEAM” stands for Science, Technology, Engineering, Art, and Mathematics. At Creative Reuse, we embrace an educational philosophy that encourages learners to explore environmental science and ecological issues through arts and making. We know that when learners of any age build and create by repurposing and reusing reclaimed materials, they gain hands-on skills, build confidence, and make a positive impact on their environment and their relationships. The Eco-Craftastic Summer will emphasize observation, reflection, curiosity, and playfulness. There are no grades and this experience is not intended to feel like “homework.”

Materials for the Eco-Craftastic Summer will be sorted into week-by-week project kits and clearly labeled. These materials might include: paper, clear plastic pouches, magnets, corks, cardboard and flatboard, stickers, popsicle sticks and small wood pieces, architectural and interior design samples, fabric, thread, wire, yarn, and common attachment materials such as paper clips, rubber bands, binder clips, and clothespins. You get to keep all of these materials! 

You are welcome and encouraged to use objects and craft materials from around the house and from nature to supplement or substitute the materials we provide, especially clean recyclables (such as plastic, glass, and aluminum containers) that we do not provide. We have done our best to ensure that you will not need to buy anything new or expensive to complete the projects, but if you would like to purchase additional materials from our online store, you can do so here.

You may need some fairly common tools to help you accomplish your projects, including writing utensils, scissors, pliers, wire cutters, sewing needles, a stapler, and a tool for poking holes, such as a hole-puncher, an awl, a drill, or a hammer and nails. You may also need a protective surface, such as a piece of wood, heavy-duty cardboard, a cutting board or a piece of plastic to protect your table. If there are tools you really need, we will do our best to include them in your materials or arrange a way to lend them to you–just let us know!

All of our materials are Safe, Clean, Reclaimed, Age-appropriate, and Playful (SCRAP). Like all of the materials at Creative Reuse, they have been donated directly to us to keep them from ending up in the landfill, and sorted by our staff and volunteers. No glass or items related to food will be included in your materials. All of the materials are meant to be used and modified with adult supervision.

  • Materials for Session 1 will be available for curbside pickup at Creative Reuse on Saturday, June 27th between 12pm and 2pm.
  • Materials for Session 2 will be available for curbside pickup at Creative Reuse on Saturday, July 25th between 12pm and 2pm.

Should we need to make alternate arrangements, we will let you know!

Yes! The level of your participation and involvement is up to you. If you’re traveling or changing address, or something unexpected comes up, you can still participate on a modified timeline if you would like.

Yes! We are committed to making the Eco-Craftastic Summer as affordable as possible for participants through the generous support of local organizations and individuals. If you will need a full or partial sponsorship in order to participate, please let us know on our Interest Form and we will get back to you as soon as possible.

We are working on a guide for families and caregivers to include in your materials that will help you know exactly what to expect, but should you need more help, please contact melissa@pccr.org.

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