“We have more crazy stuff than you can imagine.” So claims the non-profit supply store, Extras for Creative Learning (ExCL), located in Lynn. Having a pretty active imagination, I decided to test out this bold claim by paying them a visit. Gladly, when I first stepped foot in Extras for Creative Learning (or ExCL), I was not disappointed: “Crazy stuff” was here a-plenty: crazy artsy, crazy inspiring, crazy collage and mixed-media!! All materials are donated–materials that might otherwise be thrown away! This keeps costs low, and every visit exciting.
Self-described as a “creative reuse center” for art teachers, artists, and anyone with a creative mind, ExCL is an upcycler’s dream. No more need to dumpster dive for those hard-to-find materials, traditional and non-traditional items here abound.
Let’s see, over my past few visits to ExCL, I have left with bags of: Felted, clear and metallic contact paper, fabric pieces (all shapes, sizes and colors), squares of felt, wallpaper remnants, reams of photo printing paper and newsprint, plexiglass squares, a red plastic material resembling thick Saran Wrap, colored
wooden pieces, small plastic pockets, velvety book cloth in a variety of colors, small plastic bowls and caps, a box of colored permanent markers and pencils, stacks of old paper suitcase tags, and something that looked like gray foam spaghetti. This is by no means an exhaustive list, and new materials are coming in each week. If you check their blog weekly you will find everything from bags of sea glass and popsicle sticks to cell phone cases and fish tanks. I have also seen boxes of office supplies like staplers, pencil sharpeners, and even whiteboards and computer monitors. They also have a small selection of furniture that is always priced way lower than I expect ($50 for a brand new large leather chair??). There really is something here for everyone!
Membership is $50 for 6 visits, or one year–whichever comes first. At each visit, you can take as much of each material as you want, unless it is a “specialty item” which has a certain limit per customer. Bags and boxes are provided for your stuffing and loading pleasure.
20 Wheeler ST
Lynn MA 01902
Wednesday 11 – 7
Thursday 11 – 7
Friday 11 – 5
Saturday 10 – 4
— Madelene Pario