This program began with the title, DIY Stress ball because we did it around finals and MAP testing time. During the program, however, the teens were talking about how they’ve tried making them at home because they are too expensive in the store. I had no idea how popular squishies were so when we do this program again, and we will, we will call it DIY squishies.
Budget: $60/16 teens (This will vary depending on the supplies you already have)
- Memory Foam
- Puffy Paint– You can use any kind of puffy fabric paint
- Dotting Tools-(optional) These are great for making nice round eyes. If you choose the CLP Summer Reading theme of Universe of Stars, these tools are great for making stars if you do any galaxy crafts.
- Paintbrushes (big foam brushes and normal ones)
- Disposable gloves
- Scissors- Really sharp scissors of all sizes
- Sharpie or felt tip pen
- We pre cut blocks of foam and handed them out.
- Using the Sharpie, have teens draw their shape on their foam. You can have examples on the table for inspiration. We played how-to-make-squishies videos from Youtube for inspiration.
- Using scissors, shape the foam. This can be quite tedious and teens can easily cut too much and mess up. TIP-using smaller scissors, make small cuts like Edward Scissorhands.
- Use puffy paint to paint the squishy. I painted with my gloves on and it was less messy and moved the paint around quicker.
- Teens can use the dotting tools to make eyes.
- You can get foams of different thickness. We found that the 1 inch foam was too thin. FYI the 2 inch foam can be tough to cut but it is doable and it looks better.
- Have stencils on the table for the creatively challenged.
- A couple of the teens cut too much and needed a new piece so maybe purchase more foam for mess ups.
- Acrylic paint will dry out the foam so you must use fabric paint. Every Youtuber I watched used puffy paint so we did too.
- Teens really liked it so we let them take home the huge chunks of foam they cut from their design so they could make some at home.
- It will take 24 hours to dry so we gave teens a plate to transport their squishy home.
Overall, we had boys and girls and they all took their time and really enjoyed the craft.
This is one craft I highly recommend doing at your library as it allows teens to not only make something that they can buy in the store but they can stretch their creativity muscle.