Best kept upcycling secret in Seattle

One of the things I enjoy about upcycling is searching for treasures at my local thrift stores. Goodwill and St. Vincent's have better deals than Value Village and put the money they raise to good use. (For games, Goodwill is the best). But in the Seattle area, one of the best undiscovered sources of "upcycleables" is a small shop on the north end in Lynnwood called Creation Station.

Store owners bill themselves as "your best source for unusual found objects," and ain't that the truth! Among the bins and bins of stuff are film cans (the big metal kind), pipettes, magnets, test tubes, leather scraps, unused milk cartons, forceps, wallpaper samples, formica scraps, buttons, reams of paper, tile, funnels, tubes, canvas, ball chain, pipe cleaners, and much more. (Don't be fooled by the website -- the store's inventory is much, much richer.)

The idea behind the store is to provide kids with the materials to be creative; the studio in the back is open for parties or drop-in creating. Thanks to partnerships with local companies, Creation Station diverts tons of material from landfills and brings tons of smiles to kids' faces. As they say on their website:
"...we are not just a store for children. Lots of people take advantage of our unique materials. They include summer program directors, craft enthusiasts, scientists, teachers, students, tinkerers, people who like weird things, inventors, altered book enthusiasts, scrapbookers, physical therapists, artists, home schoolers, engineers and folks who need glass beads."
(I fall into several of the above categories, including my favorite, "people who like weird things.")
One thing I always look for on my frequent trips is upholstery samples. In one of my first visits, I chanced upon several books of faux leather samples, which I've transformed into all kind of things, including straps on bags, binding for books, and punk-looking cuffs.

Lots of the smaller bits make nice additions to jewelry. I transformed colored discs (intended to be used with magnets) into a mod-looking choker.
Whenever I need a creative pick-me-up, I head to Creation Station. It's impossible to walk out the doors without feeling inspired!

UPDATE  -- Creation Station has closed. Boo! But you can order some items online here.