The Joplin Globe, Joplin, MO


April 18, 2013

Think like an artist when spring cleaning this season

JOPLIN, Mo. — Spring cleaning is a good time to look at the world like an artist, said Linda Kyger, office manager at Spiva Center for the Arts.

"An artist looks at an object and wonders what they can do with it," Kyger said. "Creatively, they are always in that mode."

A significant portion of the art supply materials at Spiva are recycled materials. Classrooms have shelves, tubs and other containers filled with a variety of things.


Broken pieces of ceramics.


Paper towel tubes.

Egg cartons.

Pringles cans.

Food containers.

Broken jewelry.

Name it, there's likely a place that piles of it are kept at Spiva.

That might come in very handy when doing spring cleaning, Kyger said. Many old, unused things can be reworked into great pieces of art.

Such supplies make up a significant portion of Spiva's creation materials. Center workers said anywhere from 40 percent to a healthy majority of supplies are repurposed, from an artist's unused supplies to a homemaker's donation.

Think outside the box

  • Tiles can be painted into coasters.
  • Broken ceramics can become tiles in a mosaic.
  • Broken jewelry can be worked into other types of jewelry.
  • Metal pieces can be converted into sculptures.
  • Coffee filters can be made into small lamp shades.
  • Plastic bottles, straws, beans and birdseed can all be used to make different types of musical instruments.
  • Soda and water bottles can be remade into bird feeders.
  • Fabrics can be used in collages.

Crayon creation

A handful of unused crayons can be melted into a colorful creation, Kyger said. All it takes is a heat-resistant piece of cardboard or canvas, heat-resistant glue and crayons.

Attach new or used crayons in a pattern across whatever canvas you use with the glue. Then use a hair dryer or a heat gun to melt the crayons.

The melted wax will drip across the canvas in any direction it is tilted.

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