A week of t-shirt upcycling tutorials: Day 1 – Intro

Reduce. Reuse. Recycle.

This simple concept is the inspiration behind the Earth Day Omaha activities: turning a t-shirt in to a tank top, tote bag, scarf, headband, or bracelet. No sewing, no gluing! You only need a t-shirt, a pair of scissors, and access to the Goodwill blog, where all this week, we’ll be sharing the instructions on how to make these great t-shirt projects.

Not only do you get to reuse an old t-shirt and repurpose it in to a fashionable, fun, and useful item, you are able divert the amount of trash going to a landfill and reduce the new materials you are consuming.

Come back tomorrow when we walk you through the steps to create a tank top, and come back each day until Friday to learn how to make scarves, headbands and tote bags!

Join us for Earth Day Omaha

Goodwill is excited to be a part of Earth Day Omaha this year!

Earth Day Omaha will be held this Saturday (April 20th) from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. at Elmwood Park in Omaha. The event will have food, drinks and activities. We will have fun (and easy) craft projects made from upcycled Goodwill t-shirts.

Goodwill employees have been busy this week planning for Earth Day Omaha, which has included testing the craft instructions! We made some wonderful tank tops, bracelets, bags, scarves, and headbands-all from old tshirts. See for yourself:

Come join us at the Goodwill booth on Saturday, make a fashionable item for yourself or a loved one, and learn a little more about Goodwill’s recycling efforts.

High school designers and Goodwill come together at Style Proud!

The winning designers pose with event hosts Mulberry Lane

The second annual Style Proud! event was held Thursday at UNO. Nearly 200 students from Omaha and Millard Public Schools packed the room for a runway show complete with repurposed clothes purchased from Goodwill’s Benson Park Plaza store at 72nd and Ames Avenue.

Style Proud! is a unique event that gives young, aspiring fashion stars the chance to design their own clothes. A group of 30 students came to Goodwill in January and picked out pieces to serve as the base of their outfits. After months of work, the fashions were ready to be displayed.

Models walked the runway in the outfits designed by Omaha North High students, and a panel of judges — including 16 year-old designer Kate Walz and Omaha Fashion Week founder Nick Hudson — watched intently. Musical group Mulberry Lane emceed and treated the crowd to an acapella version of Macklemore’s “Thrift Shop.”

At the event, Goodwill showed what $30 or less could buy you at some of our stores. Dresses, skirts, and shoes were the envy of event attendees. We raffled off a $50 Goodwill gift card to one lucky attendee, who would be able to purchase two full stylish outfits with her winnings. All exhibitors spoke with the students and gave advice about potential careers in fashion.

The crowd cheered as the styled models walked the catwalk. While there were only three winners, all of the students shined bright as their own signature dresses, pants, jackets, and shirts walked down the runway. Congrats to all!

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10 Valentine’s Day projects made from Goodwill finds

from A Night Owl

As part of her “Thrifty Thursday” series, Kimberly at the A Night Owl blog has a fun list of ten DIY Valentine’s Day projects made from Goodwill finds.

Hi friends! It’s Thrifty Thursday again, and since we’re in Valentines mode (have you been following along with the fabulous 14 Days of Valentines series?), I thought I would round up some fabulous projects that were done with items from Goodwill – or that could be from Goodwill! Let’s save those bucks this holiday season, but still decorate and celebrate in style!

The projects include a cupcake stand, Valentine’s mailboxes, a chandelier and Valentine’s Day teacups (seen at right).

Check out all ten at A Night Owl (including a plug for our very own Goodwill Valentine’s Day cards!).

Congratulations to the winners of the 2012 BOO!dwill Halloween Costume Contest!

We had more than 3,200 votes cast in our third annual BOO!dwill Halloween Costume Contest, and we had the most impressive batch of entries yet! Thanks to all of you who sent in your submissions — both for sharing your creativity and for supporting Goodwill. When you shop at Goodwill, that revenue goes to support our employment and training programs, which help people with disabilities and other employment disadvantages get the training and support they need to find work.

Finishing in third place, and receiving a $25 Goodwill gift certificate, it’s Frankenstein and The Bride by Kyle!


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Vote for the winners of our 2012 BOO!dwill Costume Contest!

Thanks to everyone who entered this year’s BOO!dwill Costume Contest! We had some amazing submissions, and you can see them all in our costume gallery on our Facebook page. The first year we did this, we narrowed it down to five finalists. Last year, we had more entries, so we bumped it up to six. This year, we had so many amazing entries this year that we bumped our top six finalists up to a TOP TWELVE, and it was still a really tough decision. But now it’s time to choose the winners!

So take a look at our finalists below, and then vote for your FOUR FAVORITE COSTUMES in the poll at the end. On Wednesday, November 7, the voting will close, and the top three will all receive Goodwill gift certificates ($100 for 1st place, $50 for 2nd, $25 for 3rd)!

Now, in the order that they entered, here are your finalists…
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Halloween costume inspiration: superhero / geek edition

from Clever Girl

If you’re like me and you could safely be considered in the “geek” or “nerd” category, you might want to dress up as your favorite superhero / Star Wars character / giant robot who happens to be the greatest fictional hero ever created. And there’s still time to put together a Halloween costume!

Thanks to some of our friends from around the web, we have some tutorials for you. And remember, if you assemble your costume with anything acquired at Goodwill, you should definitely enter our BOO!dwill Halloween Costume Contest. You can win a $100 Goodwill gift certificate!

  • Jenn of Clever Girl shows you how to make an R2D2 head out of a bike helmet. She kind of glosses over this part, but you can mount a light onto that helmet too, making it even safer than a normal bike helmet! And let’s face it, if you’re someone who’s going to want to wear an R2D2 helmet on Halloween, you’re probably someone who’s going to want to wear it year round. So you’re in luck.
  • Here’s an ehow tutorial for making your own Iron Man costume. This tutorial sadly lacks any photo references of the project, other than a photo of Robert Downey, Jr. as Iron Man. Based on the instructions that include things like “sew the red shirt to the yellow shirt,” considering metal-clad actors are your only reference, you might need to use your imagination. But it’s Halloween! That’s imagination time!
  • This one’s really impressive, and if you want to get it done before Halloween you might need to use some vacation time. But here is a step-by-step tutorial for making a Captain America costume complete with those scale things!
  • Ok this one is super amazing. Build your own Optimus Prime costume. This thing looks so good I can only assume it actually transforms and this guy gives his friends rides to parties.
  • Put a bird on it! Hitchcock style.
  • And if you’d like to spend all night cursing the fact that you got blue body paint on your bright-white clothes, here’s a Smurf hat tutorial.

It’s time for the BOO!dwill Halloween Costume Contest!

The BOO!dwill Halloween Costume Contest won’t stay dead, nor should it! Because it’s that time a year again when you need to start thinking “Halloween costume” and “Goodwill” in the same sentence!

Goodwill is an awesome place to shop for Halloween costumes. Are you someone who likes to dream up some creative outfit and enjoys the hunt for just the right pieces? We have fourteen stores around town (fifteen if you are going to use electronic components in your costume and thus want to include GoodBytes) where you can find those costume ingredients. Or are you someone who just wants a quick and easy costume so you’re not the person dressed up as “suburbanite” or “adult” at the Halloween party? We’ve got plenty of more traditional costumes too! And no matter which camp you fall into, your costume purchases at Goodwill stores help put people to work — and they can win you some treats.

We want to see what you’ve come up with by shopping at our stores, so it’s time show off your costume and win prizes in the process — by entering the BOO!dwill Halloween Costume Contest!

To enter:
1. Between now and 5 p.m. on Thursday, November 1, 2012, e-mail a photo of yourself in a costume you either purchased or assembled from items purchased at an Omaha area Goodwill to [email protected].

2. In the email, tell us your name, how to contact you, and at which store(s) you bought your costume.

That’s it! We’ll be sharing the entries as we receive them on our Facebook wall. On Friday, November 2, we will select our favorites, and those finalists will be posted here at the GoodTimes Blog for a public vote. On Wednesday, November 7, the voting will close, and the top three will all receive Goodwill gift certificates ($100 for 1st place, $50 for 2nd, $25 for 3rd)!

If you have any questions, post them here in the comments or send us an e-mail at [email protected]. And if you’d like some inspiration, check out last year’s finalists or television coverage of some of our Halloween offerings:

Finding Affordable Halloween Costumes a Real Treat – WOWT Omaha
Shop Goodwill for Halloween Costumes – KMTV Omaha

Good luck!

The Taggies

We are excited to share that two of our taglines have been selected as finalists in the 2012 Getting Attention Nonprofit Tagline Awards. Please support us by voting for our taglines and sharing this information with your friends and colleagues. The deadline to vote is October 5th.

You can find our taglines under the first two categories:
1) Fundraising Taglines
– Building hope. It’s everyone’s job.

2) Program Taglines
– Your Future Is Calling – Customer Connect

And of course, vote for the rest of the categories too! It’s great to see what other organizations are doing.