Re-Imagining Birthday Parties
Muse Science Magazine for Kids|September 2019
Repurposing items in creative ways is a gift to the Earth.
Laura Lind

The guests at Mia Blasiole’s ninth birthday party made magic happen. The kids thought outside the box. Or rather, the colored bins. They connected, combined, and reconfigured craft materials into new works of art. But perhaps the most magical aspect of the party? It benefited the planet. Community members had donated the materials used in these amazing creations. The same objects could easily have ended up in a landfill.

“Stuff You Never Imagined”

At Mia’s “Reuse-a-Palooza” party, eight colored bins contained items of matching colors. Staff arranged them in rainbow order. Materials included pipe cleaners, buttons, rings, funnels, and tubes. The inspired kids created one-of-a-kind masterpieces. Mia, for example, created a pair of glasses from wire, hoops, and orange transparent paper. “I learned that you can make cool stuff out of a lot of different materials and make stuff you never imagined,” she says. “I also really liked how we got to make whatever we wanted. It was just really fun.”

Mia’s party is one of several themed parties at Pittsburgh Center for Creative Reuse. This organization in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, defines itself as “a non-profit that inspires creativity, conservation, and community engagement through reuse.” A Reuse-a-Palooza party is an open-ended experience.

Teaching artists from Creative Reuse came to Mia’s home for her party. Marley Tuckfelt’s eighth birthday party was at the center’s retail store. At her sewing-themed party, she created a shawl from fake fur and pieces of fabric. The kids received instruction about hand stitching. Then they were set free to create a project of their choosing, using needles, thread, and a variety of fabrics.

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