Stuff We Like is our new Web series. Every Friday, we'll share an event, a place, a dish, a drink or just something random that the editors love here at Durham Magazine.
Come with me
And you'll be
In a world of pure imagination
Take a look and you'll see
Into your imagination
You really can’t paint a better picture of The Scrap Exchange than with those lyrics from Willy Wonka. As soon as I walked into this whimsical warehouse at 923 Franklin St., the creative wheels started turning. I typically reserve those juices for wordplay, but I used to get pretty crafty before I chose writing over other artistic ventures. And with rows upon rows upon rows of what's essentially junk (read: possibilities) in front of me, those handmade ideas came rushing back.
In these post-Pinterest days, most everyone seems inspired to want to make things from scratch rather than buying products outright. But stores like Michael’s can get expensive – you could spend more money buying supplies than you would purchasing whatever it is you’re trying to make!
The Scrap Exchange isn’t just selling supplies; it’s repurposing objects that would have otherwise been thrown out. There’s local art made from everyday items scattered all over the warehouse, in addition to the exhibits in its Green Gallery, to provide inspiration to browsers. And they host workshops, classes and community events, including their upcoming holiday marketplace, Craftland, and tonight's Durham Monster Dash - a charity fun run through downtown Durham in which participants dress in costume and tour the streets of Durham
On my last visit, I bought three heavy desk drawers for $5 each. All had funny little sayings scribbled on the bottoms, like, “Look! You finally opened me!” I’m in the process of turning them into shadowboxes using old bottle tops (which you can also get at The Scrap Exchange, but I've collected my own) in the shape of beer bottles – and you bet I’m not covering those scribblings. Gives 'em a little extra character.
Try to find that at Michael’s.