I am a mum of two and Primary School teacher whose aim is to never be home during the midday movie. I believe that I am only ever a car trip away from an adventure.
Published June 29th 2013
Good for the planet, your wallet and your imagination
A visit to the Reverse Art Truck is the perfect way to get all your creative senses tingling and your imagination buzzing. Sounds intriguing? Well now is a great time to join thousands of others and see how they have been benefiting for years from low costs and re-using resources. Particularly now that the cold and crispy weather is here and the school holidays are hastily approaching, this place makes inside time a lot more fun and productive.
You have arrived.
Situated at the end of a leafy Ringwood Avenue, this small welcoming shed (no it's not really a truck) is packed from rafter to rafter with everyday resources and supplies suitable for a range of people and a range of crafty projects.
What's more these wonderful bits and pieces are all rejects, factory seconds or cut offs, sourced by the folk at this non-for- profit organization just for you to enjoy. It's really not surprising that the motto here is "Re-use, Recycle and Reduce." But not only do they supply mountains of affordable supplies and materials for anyone and everyone, at the same time they hope to educate the community on the benefits of reusing, recycling and therefore reducing waste. At a time where many of us want to make better choices for our environment and ourselves, this place is an inspiration.
Aisles and Piles of Stuff
Lots of little treasures in here so dig deep
Amazing things tend to jump out at you as you wander down the busy but orderly aisles, anything from timber, dowel, fabric, foil, foam and boxes to bottles, plastic Christmas tree branches and pointed cones. In fact, this list barely scratches the surface; there's sandpaper, buttons, tiny toys and cardboard cut offs in a multitude of colours too. We even found a basket of plastic eyes.
Imagine the things you can create with these treasures. Think fete stalls, and art parties or what about rainy day supplies to store away at home? Teachers can stock up cupboards for months, all from one visit, with the weirdest and wackiest of things that kids will love getting busy with.
But if you are in need of a little motivation and the strings, matt board card and corks aren't inspiring you completely, the people here at Reverse Art Truck offer workshops conducted by their staff to get you on your creative way. There are school holiday programs available and other options including personal development, after school care or festival event sessions can be organized as well. Just speak to one of the lovely staff, they are welcoming, friendly and very approachable.
The process to get started is simple. You can either join as a member or show up and pay a casual rate. Then you grab a 20c garbage bag or remember to bring your own and start to fill and fill and fill. With most of the supplies you are welcome to take as much as you wish, but in some sections, which are clearly labeled, supplies are limited and consumer discretion is encouraged. Only fair really as everybody should have the opportunity to take home some plastic flowers or a metre of vintage birthday wrapping paper. It's about taking what you need rather than whatever you can, simply because its there.
Please Read Signs Carefully
Casuals pay $30 per bag and you are encouraged to keep filling it until the seams are splitting. Even when you think you're done, keep stuffing. Last time we went our bag felt very full and very heavy yet we were charged only $15 as apparently there was still plenty of room for more things to be shoved inside.
Memberships vary in price and a table is available on their website to help you make the best choice. Membership is based on group size, making it perfect for schools, kindergartens and community groups and includes a certain number of bags available for filling per year. A $10 joining fee or lapsed membership fee also applies.
There is another location set up in Cranbourne on Cranbourne Road behind the Casey Indoor Leisure Complex. This is their second location and by the feedback I have received, it is not as well stocked or organized as the Ringwood Truck, but definitely, a great alternative if it's closer to home for you.
So if you're looking for a green and globally aware alternative to art and craft supplies, grab a garbage bag, empty your boot and head to the Reverse Art Truck and start stuffing.