Posted in Makerspace

Save Money on Your Programs

Most of us have small budgets and we are constantly looking for cheap programs. One way to save money is to go through your storage and dig out that craft program nobody came to or that thing you bought by accident and it’s just sitting in your storage or that craft supply that’s left over.  You know what I mean. All that felt, mini notebooks, canvases, clay, straws, t-shirts, bags, etc. Use all that stuff to create a new program.  It’s time to start planning for winter and that’s what I did. Here are a few ideas.

Clay Figurines.

I bought some resin for a DIY fidget spinner program but I bought the mold filler and not the mold maker. That mold filler resin has been sitting in our closet for over a year and it cost $17!

I found some $1 Halloween molds at the Dollar Tree and made some jewelry with it! However, Halloween is a fall program and I need winter and jewelry can be girly. So I found some Lego people molds on Amazon and I’m going to let teens make their own Lego person using paint or Sharpies.

Here’s how I made it:

Supplies Needed

  • Resin
  • Silicone molds. Silicone is best because it comes out easier. If you use plastic molds, it’s advised to use mold release.
  • Paint or Sharpies- (I prefer Sharpie because you don’t need a lot of drying time and you don’t need multiple coats.
  • Jewelry accessories-necklaces, jump rings, pin backs, etc
  • Hot glue


  1. Follow the instructions on the resin bottle
    1. It only takes 5-10 minutes to harden so you can do it all in the same program.
  2. Let teens paint or color.
  3. Use hot glue to turn figures into jewelry.
    1. To make the necklace, I hot glued to pin to the back of the figurine.
  4. The last picture is an earbud holder using a piece of paper towel roll and the center.

Here’s How I Made it:

Supplies Needed:

  • Felt/fabric
  • Thread/embroidery string
  • Sewing needles
  • Buttons
  • Batting
  • Scissors
  • Pusheen Pattern ( We didn’t do the pocket)

We made plush monsters to make it fun. Ours look different but I couldn’t find the online pattern so you can use a Pusheen pattern. Pre cut two Pusheen patterns to save time if you are hosting a drop in.  Let teens trace and cut if you have  1.5-2 hour program.  Have teens choose two buttons; different buttons make it monster-like.  Have teens take one side of the Pusheen and teach them how to sew a button.  They may sew a mouth or nose or just have buttons.


  • Teens had a tough time comprehending the fact that you have to sew diagonally on a four hole button.  I don’t know why.
  • Emphasize that they have to sew it at least four times.  Teens tried to rush and their buttons began falling off.
  • The first picture is a hemming stitch with thread.  Hemming stitches take longer.  I’d recommend the running stitch (2nd picture) if you are doing a drop in.
  • Although embroidery string looks better, we used thread because we wanted to teach the traditional way of sewing.  If you have a longer program, teens can make a second monster with embroidery string.

Got more felt and maybe some headbands? Felt Unicorn Horn

Yes, teens still like unicorns so we hosted a maker party for these unicorn enthusiasts.

Supplies Needed for Headbands:z6KOfixwRzW9cV%u2B2IHA

Felt sheets, headbands, poly-fit, hot glue, ribbon/string, flowers

Optional Supplies (Craft Closet Cleanout!)

Ribbon, gems, tule.

How to Make Horn Headbands:

  1. Print, cut out, and let teens the stencil on the felt.
  2. I followed this site.  I had teens use hot glue to make the horn instead of sewing because my teens don’t know how to sew and I was by myself and wouldn’t have had time to teach hand sewing.  I would, however, highly recommend teaching hand sewing; it’s a useful skill many teens lack.
  3. Teens could then use anything they wanted to decorate.

Grab all those leftover t-shirts and have a Tee Party

Here’s How:

  • If your library has a die cut machine, you can use the die cut letters to make a word stencil then sponge fabric paint to make it a graphic tee.
  • You can use fabric Sharpies and pre-made stencils or teens can use the fabric markers to draw free hand.
  • Use your computers to print their designs on iron-on transfer paper.
  • Teens can make a graphic from felt and hand sew it on their tee.
  • Teens can bring in a dark colored tee and use a bleach pen to write words of social change.
  • Make 80’s style tees
  • Turn that tee into a bag

Old Notebook

Q6MZMmp7SsqBYzvxZ8x9YQMini Kawaii Notebooks

Teens like Kawaii. Kawaii basically  means cute in Japanese and it usually has little rosy
cheeks and stars in their eyes like the picture below. Pineapples are also a thing so we chose the pineapple Kawaii from this Youtuber.  Our teens like pineapples so much, we are hosting a week of pineapple crafts in the near future.

My favorite resource for crafting ideas is Youtube. Simply choose a leftover supply and type in that supply followed by the word craft.



YA Librarian. Lover of Sherlock. And all Things Harry Potter.

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