Trash to Treasure: Eco-Friendly Art Studios

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Green may be a secondary color, but going green is the primary thought behind creating recycled art. Grab your little environmentalist and hit up these art studios where pre-used materials that would otherwise be landfill fodder turn into amazing art and science projects. Say hello to thinking outside the box − then re-use that box to make something special!


photo credit: ReDiscover’s facebook page

Teach your kiddo about the environment through found art: the ReDiscover Center recycles everyday objects discarded by businesses and gives them a new purpose as hands-on learning materials.  This non-profit in Culver City is a community art center where kids can get their hands on the coolest stuff to build, craft and design. ReDiscover even joins local festivals, where they create Cardboard Playgrounds, which encourage kids to see the never-ending fun in everyday objects. The studio is open every Saturday, so it’s the perfect place to pop in with the fam. (Fine print: Parents need to be present. Each project takes about an hour and is recommended for kids age 4 and up.)  Oh, and drop by Pitfire Pizza next door if all that creating has left you hungry.

When: Studio is open every Saturday 11 a.m.-5 p.m.
Where: 12958 W Washington Blvd, Los Angeles
Cost: $5 per project

© Shiva Mandell

photo credit: Trash for Teaching

Trash for Teaching
This place is all about minimizing waste and maximizing education. Manufacturing overruns, castoffs and discards are rescued and brought here, to be re-imagined into something truly special. Your kiddos’ endless curiosity will thrive while they experiment with unlikely art materials. All the learning is hands on, and your kids will discover new ways to rethink things that others may dismiss. It’s more than just art – it’s a way to encourage critical thinking and problem solving with a unique approach.

Where: 12815 S. Western Ave, 
When: Open workshops are Sundays 1:30 p.m.-4:30 p.m.
Cost: No charge, but suggested donation is $5 per child. Parents need to stay with their kids while they create.



photo credit: CReaTE Studio’s facebook page

CReATE Studio
Mom Jemma Wilermuth wanted to combine her love of arts and crafts with a way to better the enviroment, so she started CReaTE Studio, where materials that would otherwise be thrown away are instead used to make imaginative art. Not only does her studio provide a platform for kid’s expression, but it can help them problem solve. By using unusual materials that might have formerly been seen as useless, they’re training their eyes to think beyond a concrete reason for any one thing. While other recycled art studios use large quantities of discarded materials from companies, CReaTE accepts donations from homes. Find inspiration for your own unique recycled art nook at home by reading the suggested “starter list” on the website. And, instead of tossing those holy socks or old shoe laces, why not start a collection of materials to then donate? Bring your kids and fire up their creativity at walk-in studio times.

Where: 31840 Village Center Rd.,  Westlake Village
When: Drop-in Studio hours are 11a.m.-6 p.m. Tues-Fri and noon-5 p.m. on Sat.
Cost: $7/ages 2-5; $9/ages 6-12; $11/ages 12-19; $13/adult Includes all materials and 2 hours of studio time, and there is no charge for parents who are just assisting their kids with their projects.


photo credit: Trash for Teaching

Where and how do you turn old stuff into new and amazing art? Let us in on your favorite upcycling projects in the comment section.

-Elena Wurlitzer