The Scrap Exchange {Durham, NC}


Are you ready for this?

This place is going to blow your mind.

It’s going to have you hoping on the next plane to Raleigh, NC. Yup it’s that amazing.

If you live in Durham, North Carolina, live anywhere near Durham or will ever in your life be in the Durham area you have to check out The Scrap Exchange.

The Scrap Exchange is a non-profit creative reuse arts centre. It collects donations from industries, businesses, and individuals. The items are mainly materials that would otherwise end up in the landfill. Basically you can find anything you can imagine here. Fabric, cones, zippers, wood, foam, paper, office supplies, vintage cameras, paint, matte board, buttons, beads, corks, elastic bands, electronics, holiday decor, tiles, carpet samples, wall paper, blue prints, posters, and everything else you can imagine.

Let’s just say this place is fun.


The Scrap Exchange is located in a beautiful old factory at 923 Franklin Street near funky downtown Durham.


As you walk in you’ll see big blue bins filled to the brim with crafty goodness. You grab a bag and fill it up.

durham-nc-shopping Just pick the large bag.


The best part of the Scrap Exchange is that since most items are donated by industries there is tons of everything. So if you need 500 corks to make one of those cool cork boards I keep seeing on Pinterest you will have no problem finding 500.


I picked up tons of art supplies for the kids: paint, crayons, felt, glitter, stamps, stencils, & glue. If you have kids this is a great place to buy your art supplies.


These wipe boards must have been donated by a school board or something, there must have been about 500 of them. I picked up 4 of them (.50 cents each) and now the kids use them as placements and can draw on them while I make dinner.


Fabric was surprisingly well-organized and surprisingly not ugly!


It’s so fun searching through all the stuff.


This gives you an idea of how big the place is. It’s huge. Prepare to spend a few hours love how kid friendly it is. These little caves are hidden all over the floor.

My boys are still too young for this place, but we saw an older boy with his dad hunting for items to build a robot with. How cool is that! Can’t wait to take the kids when they’re a bit older.

Have you ever been to The Scrap Exchange before? I’d love to hear about what you found and how you used it.

Update (07/14): I’m hearing from lots of people saying they wished they had something similar where they lived, and lots of people saying they’ve been to something similar. So if you know of a re-use center like this one, I’d love to know. Please just leave a comment with the name of the center and the city it’s located in. And I’d love to start a list to hopefully let others know about these great resources.

15 thoughts on “The Scrap Exchange {Durham, NC}

  1. Lancaster Creative Reuse Center in Lancaster, Pa. Is like this, on a smaller scale!! We love it!!

  2. ****CLICK**** This is exactly what I need to be doing in my life right now. We need a Scrap Exchange in the Charlotte, NC area and I’m just the gal for the job! This opportunity is a package of creatively supporting a healthy environment, sparking individual creativity while living within ones budget, fun AND a non-profit. I’m “IN” – please share any details or contacts you may have. Thanks!!!

  3. I wish there was one in the area I lived in Tioga Country ,Pa. Cause I would be there getting lots of things for crafts, gifts, and things do wedding favors with. I think every town should have a Scrap Exchange in them, just think how much it goes to the landfill, etc. Recycling is the way to go now. Maybe some day I will get to Durham ,N.C. and visit the Scrap Exchange and spend money lots of it.

  4. Thank you Danielle for such an awesome review of The Scrap Exchange! LOVE your photos. And so glad you enjoyed your visit. We shared the link on our Facebook page. We look forward to seeing you again sometime soon.

    • Thanks so much Ruth. I’ve heard tons of great feedback on it. Everyone wanting one in their city :) But I’m finding all kinds of people in the Triangle who have never been before. I even heard from one of my readers (who had never been before) but went and took the cork class today. I just think it’s the perfect place for any crafty DIY person and that’s exactly who my readers are!

  5. What!!!!? I live 15 minutes from Durham! How did I not know about this place!? It looks awesome & I’m going to try to go this weekend. I hope your having a great week.

    • That’s so awesome Leslie, that’s exactly why I wrote the blog post I knew there were probably lost of people in the Triangle who have never heard of it. I’ve lived in Raleigh for almost 5 years and just went for the first time last week. I kept meaning to go but never made the trip because I wasn’t sure if it would be worth the drive. But it totally is.

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