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Reclaim the holidays

Reclaim the holidays

Customers at ReClaim It! and Community Warehouse Estate Store told us why they choose to give gently used gifts during the holidays and all year round.

Find more ideas to create memories in your life in our resourceful #holiday series. 



“There are so many stories to be told through other people’s items. To re-gift them to another human creates the next chapter in the story.”



“I look for raw materials like reclaimed old-growth wood to make a memorable gift for family or friends.”


Ann Marie

“I celebrate people in my life by giving experiences, homemade gifts and sharing my time.”



“I love to create and repurpose with old items and give them a second life. This is also my favorite way to gift those who are special to me.”



“The chances of finding something unique are so much greater at resale places and I usually discover special things that remind me of someone I care about.”



“I take friends out on adventures, make them mix tapes, or really anything I think would make them feel loved and appreciated.”

The Buyerarchy of Needs

The Buyerarchy of Needs

Are you already overwhelmed with stressful holiday errands and overspending? Worried about getting buried in all the packaging?

Consider a new low-waste way to approach the holidays this year that might save you some money and bring you a little more joy. The Buyerarchy of Needs is a visual guide to remind you of your other options besides buying something new.

As you look over your holiday lists, take a creative moment and ask yourself:

Is there something I already have I could use in a new way? Could I borrow or swap to get what I need? Maybe a thrift or resale shop has it? Can I make it?

Intrigued? Resourceful PDX is your local resource for tips and ideas to make simple changes in everyday choices. In fact, the Resourceful PDX map includes community-based organizations that help residents reuse, swap, repair and share such items as tools, building or art supplies, household goods or other materials rather than throwing away or buying new.

Resolve to be a thoughtful consumer in the new year to save money and resources. Explore the website for more ideas and tips in our resourceful #holiday series. 

Learn how The Buyerarchy of Needs came to be by designer and illustrator, Sarah Lazarovic.

DIY Bar: Where people come to get their craft on

DIY Bar: Where people come to get their craft on

By Alicia Polacok, Resourceful PDX partner Bureau of Planning and Sustainability

Brothers Adam and Jason Gorske opened DIY Bar in April 2017 as a long-held dream come true. It is a gathering place to work on individual crafts from their project menu while enjoying beer, cider or wine.

I visited on a Friday evening with three friends to get the story of this business from the brothers – and try my hand at a craft.

Coming from a close family, Adam and Jason always thought they would work together in some capacity. When they both found themselves in Portland in 2015, the dream started to take shape into a business. One where their respective skills and interests came into play - reusing, tinkering and mastering a sense of accomplishment.

For DIY Bar, it involved reusing old materials to repurpose into something new and building things based on their home improvement project experiences. Adam explained that salvage materials from the ReBuilding Center and Salvage Works were used to create the facade of the host stand, shelving for project supplies and the inside of the bar.

A place for crafty (and not so crafty) people

The idea for DIY Bar was inspired by paint and sip places, where you can enjoy a beverage while painting with step-by-step instructions and take home something unique.

Adam and Jason have done the work for you to find the projects, gather the tools and materials needed to make beautiful and functional crafts. To maintain consistency, the project materials are new, while the tools are reused by guests.

Adam said, “The future may include collaboration with other organizations and an interest in featuring local artists to do more intensive and in-depth projects.”

The most popular item on the 16-project menu is the rustic nail and string art. There are templates to choose from, or staff will help you create something one-of-a kind. During my visit – my three friends all chose string art projects. Because I put myself in the not-so-crafty category, I was daunted, so chose a leather beer koozie project instead. I love koozies (and beer) so why not try to make my own?!

With detailed step-by-step instructions in hand, and my questions answered by staff, I completed my koozie. There was still time for a drink and to mingle with others in the space. The friendly atmosphere encouraged people to see what others were making and celebrate their finished works of art.

The evening my friends and I were there, the place was full, and it turned out about one-third of the customers were from out of town. Tourists. Coming to experience a bit of Portland while visiting the city.

Feeling inspired? Check out the DIY Bar frequently asked questions to learn more before booking a space.


Caring for what’s under your roof

Caring for what’s under your roof

Summer is the perfect time to give your home some additional TLC.

Safety First

Before you start a home remodeling, demolition or construction project, learn how to avoid toxic materials and handle potential dangers you might encounter, such as asbestos or lead paint.

Before a home project, test for asbestos. Metro transfer stations require documentation for all loads of construction, remodeling and demolition debris that might contain asbestos.

Seasonal Maintenance

Taking good care of your home can prevent big problems and save a lot of money in the long run. Tasks like cleaning out your gutters and repairing exposed wood quickly help your home last as long as possible.

When you need to replace materials, consider reclaimed or salvaged. They provide unique character, and often are stronger, more durable and higher quality — and may be less expensive than new materials.

Local Resources

Find these local resources and more on the Resourceful PDX map to help you improve and maintain your home:

  • Habitat for Humanity ReStore
  • MetroPaint
  • The ReBuilding Center
  • Green Lents Community Tool Library
  • North Portland Tool Library
  • Northeast Portland Tool Library
  • Southeast Portland Tool Library

Resourceful PDX is your go-to for community resources.

Start DIY home projects with salvage and reuse

Start DIY home projects with salvage and reuse

By Shawn Wood from Resourceful PDX partner, Bureau of Planning and Sustainability

Salvage wood wall in remodeled living room. Created by craftsman Greg Simons of  Studio G .

Salvage wood wall in remodeled living room. Created by craftsman Greg Simons of Studio G.

Plan ahead for home improvement opportunities that tap into Portland’s extensive reuse community to make your projects unique. 

“The change of seasons is a great time to focus your efforts indoors. While my summers are jam packed with outdoor projects and activities, I welcome the change in weather and the opportunity to transition indoors. You may already have some project ideas in mind, but if not, head to your local salvage or reuse outlet and walk around. Creative ideas will start to flow and before you know it, you’ll have figured out your next project.

Local places abound in Portland to purchase used building supplies, salvage wood, materials for kitchens, bathrooms, bedrooms and every room in between. Portland offers interested homeowners and individuals plenty of options for home improvement DIY projects.

Salvaged materials are often high quality, provide unique character, are stronger and more durable - and may be less expensive than new materials.”

Habitat for Humanity ReStore, ReClaim It!, Salvage Works and The ReBuilding Center are just a few of the resources where you can find what you need, donate what you don’t and tap into Portland’s reuse community through building supplies and materials. Check out the map for more resources, including salvage yards and online material exchanges.

Using salvaged or reclaimed building materials in your projects can save you money and offers many other benefits:

  • Adds character to your project
  • Supports the local economy
  • Offers period-appropriate fixtures, fittings and cabinetry and high quality materials (both aged and contemporary)
  • Allows for builder overstock or "new salvage" materials
  • Keeps building material tonnage out of the landfill

Here are some ideas where reuse can play a role:

  • Install salvaged wood floors in a kitchen or other room. Tip: If removing old linoleum flooring, have it tested for asbestos first.
  • Give a wall some bling and warmth using salvaged wood. It is easy to install because it goes right over existing drywall or plaster. Tip: Check out the WOW walls at Salvage Works
  • Furniture, wall art or built-ins are another DIY project that can involve reusing materials. Want a great dining room table? Pick up some unique salvaged lumber or slabs and have it planed/sanded. Tip: Creative Woodworking NW is a local resource that can assist in taking rough lumber and turning it into a smooth masterpiece.  

Chinook Book offers more than coupons in the new edition

Chinook Book offers more than coupons in the new edition

Carrie Treadwell, from Resourceful PDX partner Chinook Book, shares highlights from the latest edition of the local coupon resource.

Chinook Book highlights local, sustainable businesses with a belief that businesses that give back also thrive in the community. The Chinook Book team spends time thinking about businesses and their industries and the approach and criteria with which they appear in the book.

The 16th annual edition has updates and improvements of both the print and mobile editions. The print edition includes information and resources on how to connect with local food and Portland’s many farmers markets, as well as the plethora of local businesses that are in line with resourceful living. The new app launched in July and offers even more personalized navigation and provides savings at your fingertips.  

Resourceful PDX shares community resources with the newly updated map (page 403 in the print edition). Some resources are in the Chinook Book for the first time in the Home and Garden category, like Salvage Works, ReClaim It! and St Johns Living Well.

As always, there are many places to go for used art supplies, building materials and clothing. Look for coupons and tips for bike shops, consignment and thrift stores, hardware stores, and even car sharing opportunities.

Find savings by using both the print book and mobile app, available at local retailers and through school and nonprofit fundraisers.

ReClaim It! Make art, not waste at this new retail space offering reused materials saved from the landfill

ReClaim It! Make art, not waste at this new retail space offering reused materials saved from the landfill

Cindy Correll, Reuse Alliance Oregon Chapter chair and Be Resourceful partner, weighs in on a collaboration that is advancing the reuse conversation in Portland. 

“I remember being at a transfer station, looking closely at a massive pile of garbage, and noticing a surprising number of items that were obviously still usable. The amount of perfectly good stuff that ends up in our garbage is overwhelming. Wouldn’t it be ideal if we could rescue these materials before they are crushed, compacted and shipped off to a landfill? 

Enter ReClaim It! Reuse. Repair. Reimagine. 

ReClaim It! is a new venture born from the GLEAN project, a partnership between crackedpots, Recology and Metro. By collaborating with these other organizations, GLEAN artists create original works of art using materials salvaged from the garbage and now ReClaim It! makes these materials available to everyone in their new retail space. At ReClaim It!, you’ll not only find reused art, but also the materials and inspiration you need to make your own unique creations. And everything in the store was saved from the piles of discards at the Metro Central Transfer Station. 

ReClaim It! is located at 1 N Killingsworth St and open 11 a.m. – 6 p.m. on Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays. Plan ahead before going so that you are prepared to transport your treasures home. Why? Because once you walk through the door, you’ll find all sorts of unique items for your art and DIY projects. 

At their recent grand opening event, I found doors, salvaged wood, unique pieces of trim, bicycle parts, metal, musical instruments, assorted furniture and furniture parts, garden tools, and a wide assortment of interesting doodads.  If you’re looking for artistic inspiration, visit the gallery space at the back of the store, currently showing art made by GLEAN artists. 

As I perused the shelves, I noticed people picking up and carrying off all sorts of things – and everyone had that look of excitement that comes from discovering something really cool that they can turn into something even cooler. I stopped in front of a shelf stacked with pieces of metal, and that’s when I saw it – a sheet of hardware cloth – all rusty and beautiful with an edge that looked like fringe. I had to have it. As a welder, I saw potential in the material. I picked it up, paid for it, and walked out of the store with that feeling of happiness that comes from knowing I am reusing something in a creative way. I’m hooked and can’t wait to go back!” 

Find the inspiration you need for creative reuse at ReClaim It! or any of these upcoming events sponsored by crackedpots: 

crackedpots art show at McMenamins Edgefield
Tuesday, July 22 and Wednesday, July 23, 2014

GLEAN art show at Disjecta
Opening reception on Friday, August 8, 2014, 6 – 9 p.m.
8371 N Interstate Ave. in Portland
Show runs through the month of August