I send out a letter at the beginning of the year or at major project time.
I always get stuff I need. One year I asked if anyone had a pasta machine
that they knew they would never use again, but it still worked...for fimo.
And guess what I got? Yup, a pasta machine. I ask for ribbons and lace
and ricrac and buttons and trims and newspaper (newspaper needs to be done
on a lesser basis than whole school or you will become a paper dumping
ground for the whole year!) I have asked for old fur collars off of coats
that are no longer wearable, leather jackets to cut up that are no longer
being worn, remnant fabrics, magazines, wooden chairs to paint (mentioning
that someone might know of a church or institution that are discarding old
wooden chairs to buy new ones. I kept hoping for the motherload of chair
donations, but it never happened, so we made our chairs from cardboard.)
I have asked for old wigs to cut up, feather boas, junk of any kind for
found object sculpture, and I'm sure there is more, but I can't think what
right now. I'd love to hear some of your requests. OH YEAH...Medical
supplies often come in some super plastic containers. Call some doctors
offices and ask if they ever throw away any great plastic containers that
supplies came in.