Posted in Holiday Programs, Makerspace

Chibi Holiday Cards

I see visions of cardstock, die cut winter shapes, and glue dancing in my head.  It’s holiday card making season which means tables of kids and teens surrounded by a tables of card making supplies.  If you would like to add STEM to your program, add chibitronics.

Budget: Assuming you have the basic supplies-$35-$55

Length: 30 minutes

Supplies Needed:

  • Cardstock of all colors
  • Paint Sample (I took a bunch from Walmart)
  • Glue stick
  • Rulers
  • Scissors
  • Scotch Tape
  • Gem stickers & foam stickers
  • Hole punch
  • Mounting tape or little pieces of cardboard if you are on a budget
  • Stamps (optional)
  • Copper Tape
  • Chibitronics $30/30-Yes, it is expensive!

Here’s How:

  • Cut colored cardstock into quarter sheets.
  • Cut white cardstock into slightly larger sheets.
    • I used white becasue teens used holiday stamps on the back and it’s easier to see on white paper.
  • The Cover.
    • Begin by punching a hole at the top middle of the paper. This is where you will see the light on the chibi.
    • Allow teens to decorate the cover.
      • Have teens cut three triangles with the paint samples.
      • Layer the triangles to look like trees.
      • Stick a gem/sticker on top of the outside trees.
      • I have snow but if you look at the image below, you can precut circles and I’ll tell you how to use it later.

holiday cards 8

 

  • Behind The Curtain
    • Copy the images below if you prefer.
      • If you prefer to know how it works:
        • Pre cut little strips of paper for the battery holder and tape it to the bottom right.
        • Run to pieces of copper tape paralell (remember to cut the tape in half).  Have teens place one long piece of tape.  Don’t cut the tape; it can break the circuit.
        • The left side should run longer then turn right. The tape should run all the way onto the battery holder.
        • The right side should be shorter before you turn right.  Run the right tape over the top of the battery holder.
        • The chibi can be place either way and your battery should be placed accordingly.  In the picture, the + side of my chibi is on the left and therefore, the left side of the tape should touch the + side of the battery.
          • TIP-If you’ve done your circuits correctly and your chibi doesn’t work, press your copper tape and your chibi down.  If this doesn’t work, try a new battery.
        • Tape the bottom half of the battery.  Be sure the tape doesn’t cover the entire battery because it breaks the circut.
        • When you fold the battery holder down, it should activate the chibi.
  • Complete The Card
    • Place the mounting tape on three sides of the bottom and secure the cover.  Make sure the chibi light shows through the hole.
    • Get your little white circle cut outs and find the battery holder with your finger.  Glue the circle on top of the battery holder.
    • Use a stamp to stamp “Press Here” or write it.
    • Flip the card over and stamp or write a holiday greeting.
holiday cards 6
The white circle activates the light when it is pressed.

 

All Done!

Do you have teens who just want to make cards?  You can make the card above without the chibitronic. You can also turn your holiday cards program into community service.  Check out this link below for information on how to send holiday cards to incarcerated youth.

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Posted in Big Programs, Makerspace, Passive Programs

Slime Party

I know you are afraid, but don’t be. It’s going to be okay.

My teen programming spans 6-12th grade and our attendance has been skewing older and we need to attract 6th graders-SLIME!  75% of our attendance was middle school.

Slime can be expensive. The more teens you anticipate and the more types of slime you make will break your budget.  We had 90 teens over a span of three days and we made five different types of slime and our budget was about $430.00.  DON’T PANIC! You can adjust to fit your budget.  I will break down the price of each type of slime we did and you can pick and choose.

None of our recipes used Borax.  Borax can cause rashes on sensitive skin so I looked for recipes that used other ingredients.  Liquid starch is difficult to find in stores.  We found it at Walmart but I’d suggest purchasing from Amazon and get a lot becasue you don’t want to run out at the last minute like we did.

We bought containers for them to store their slime but you can use baggies too.

slime party 2


Heat Sensitive Slime-Changes colors when touched with cold hands.

Total Cost for 30 Teens (including glue & liquid starch)-$95

Thermochromic Pigment $20 for one 10 gram container.  I bought four so it’ll be $80.

DISCLAIMER: I didn’t use food coloring.  It affected the pigment.

slime party 1


Magnetic Slime-Moves with magnets. Search Youtube to see how it works.

Total Cost for 30 Teens (including glue & starch)- $70

Magnets  $19.99 for 20.  I bought two packs.  You can search for cheaper but they must be strong.

Black Iron Oxide (Magnetic Powder) $12.99 for one pound.  One pound is enough for 30 teens.

DISCLAIMER: This is messy.  It’s very important for teens to knead quickly and to not get it on their clothes or paper.  It’s also important to wash their hands after playing with it.


 

Glitter Monster Slime

Total Cost for 30 Teens (including clear glue, starch, glitter, googly eyes, baking soda, contact solution)- $45

DISCLAIMER: This recipe calls for food coloring; we did not use it. Substitute food coloring for googly eyes.

DISCLAIMER #2: We purchased a one gallon container of clear glue and it costs about $27.  Get contact solution at the Dollar Store b/c brand name solution is expensive.


 

Glow in the Dark Floam

Total Cost for 30 Teens (including glue & starch & glow in dark paint)- $40

Styrofoam Balls– $9.99 for eight packs.  I bought two packs so it’ll be $20.


Fluffy Slime

Total Cost for 30 Teens (including glue, starch, contact solution, food coloring, and shaving cream)-$30

We used about five cans of shaving cream.

DISCLAIMER: Purchase contact solution, shaving cream, and food coloring from the Dollar Store.

slime party 5


STEAM Option

As I was practicing, I realized that you can experiment and add just about anything to make unique slime.  The important ingredients are glue (white or clear) and a binding agent-liquid starch or contact solution.

Set out different materials for teens to create their own slime-sand, sugar, beads, clay, Kool aid, or anything you have laying around.


HOW TO ORGANIZE A PARTY

We had five different slimes but by co worker told me that five may have been too many.  I agree and would recommend three different slimes.  Most teens make slime at school so I wanted to avoid the popular slimes like glitter slime.  That’s why we did magnetic and heat sensitive slime.

  • I had a line of tables covered in paper. As teens entered, I asked their name and
    had a staffer write their name on the paper.  This is where teens stored their completed slime.  You’ll see why below.

slime party 2

  •  I had a staff member at every slime table.  Every table held seven teens.
    • I’d recommend required registration so you know exactly how many chairs you’ll need.
    • The staffer had teens fullfil the steps one at a time.  Example, if the first step is 1/2 cup of glue, the staffer had teens pour glue into their bowls and pass it to the next teen.  She didn’t go to the next step until everyone had 1/2 glue.
  • When teens were done with each slime, they went to the covered table, put their slime in a container, and put it by their name.
    • Teens then go back to their table and wait until the other tables are finished.
  • Once everyone is finished, we rotated tables.
  • After each teen has been to each table, the party was over.
    • You can have snacks or let teens play with their slime when everything is finished.

OTHER SUPPLIES NEEDED

  • Popscicle sticks for stirring
  • Bowls (You may need bigger bowls for floam)
  • Measuring cups and spoons (enough for two cups/spoons for each table)
  • Containers to store glue and starch for easy pour. (those big gallons of glue are heavy).
  • Table covers
  • Plenty of napkins and wet wipes
  • Baggies or plastic containers
Posted in Holiday Programs, Makerspace

Christmas in the Makerspace

We recently turned out teen room into a makerspace and while we used to decorate the teen room for the holidays, I wanted to do something different for the makerspace.  Instead of simply putting up decor and trimming the tree, teens will make ornaments for our the tree and to take home.  All of my ideas came from Pinterest.  If you’d like to follow me on Pinterest, I have a link to my page on the right of this post.

Ornaments Ideas:

Ornaments with Hot Glue

Hot glue -For some strange reason, our teens love the hot glue gun.  It’s like normal glue is useless because they only want to hot glue things together.  To satiate the love, they’ll make snowflakes using hot glue and nail polish or paint.  Here’s the craft on Pinterest.

Hot glue and Modge Podge Snowflakes

Pipe Cleaner and Borax Snowflakes

Don’t have a tree but have windows? Snowflake Window Cling Snowflake Window Cling

Ornaments with Popsicle Sticks

Sleighs

Tree Tree

Clear Balled Ornaments-  I purchased ornaments at The Dollar Tree for 2/$1

Harry Potter Themed

Emoji

Teen’s Names

Melted Crayon

Sewing/Yarn Ornaments

Trees & Stars

Yarn Hats

And of course you can’t forget good old 3D printing ornaments.

Happy Holidays!

 

 

 

Posted in Makerspace

Unicorn Party

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

Supplies Needed for Headbands:

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.

Using LEDs

Supplies Needed

Coin battery, battery holder, LEDs, hole punch

  1. This should be done before teens glue flowers to their horn.
  2. Using the hole punch, punch a hole through the center of a flower.
  3. Assemble the LED to the battery holder.
  4. Place the LED head through the flower hole.
  5. Hot glue the batter pack to the horn behind the flower.

z6KOfixwRzW9cV%u2B2IHA

Unicorn Shirts

E0fOVUmpSgOJH7OpcRnVGwDisclaimer: I bought t-shirts and screen printed a unicorn on the shirts using a stencil I made with my Silhouette and a cheap screen printing kit.  

If you have a Silhouette, Cricut, or some other vinyl cutting machine, you can make a stencil, have teens sponge fabric paint, let the shirts dry while the make their head band.

If you don’t have a cutting machine, you can buy a stencil and let teens sponge fabric paint.

Teens used puffy paint, fabric markers, and fabric spray paint to decorate their shirts.

We hired a face painter.

Have Fun!

 

 

Posted in Makerspace

Quick STEAM: Day of the Dead

Day of the Dead/Dia los de Muertos is November 2.  If you are crafting during your celebration and you are looking to add STEAM to them, check out this chibi mask.

You’ll Need:

Masks

Markers/colored pencils

Puffy Paint (optional)

Craft Stick

Chibitronics

Copper tape

Masks

If you are looking for cheap ideas, the mask in the picture can be printed on cardstock. There are other masks to choose from if you do a Google image search.  You can also purchase masks for teens to color.

I will print the linked masks and blank masks for teens to make their own designs.  You can use puffy paint and markers to add dimension.

 

How to Add Chibis

I put the chibi on the front of the mask because it shines the brightest.  Please refer to the picture for directions.  Make sure the positive side of the copper tape touches the positive side of the battery and the same for the negative side.  If your chibi blinks or goes out, make sure your battery is taped down tightly.

Posted in Makerspace, Passive Programs

Bling Week

Teens like to personalize their stuff so why not turn it into a design workshop.

For Bling Week, teens designed skull caps, ball caps, and cell phone cases.  They used gems, decals, and letters.  Bling week lasted for three days and attracted 62 middle school and high school students.

Budget

If you have gems and letters invading your craft closet, by all means use them to cut costs.  I purchased hats but you can always ask teens to bring their own if you need to cut costs.

Skull Caps-$5.99/6

Ball Caps – $25/12

Decals-$10/25

Spikes-$8.44-VERY POPULAR especially for boys.  It’s a small bag so you might need several.

Mirror Mosaic Tiles $14-Also very popular

Letters-$6

Puffy Paint

Hot Glue & E6000 Glue

Skull & Ball Caps

Passive or Art Program

I put out examples for inspiration and on a different table, I put out all the supplies.  I printed out a coloring page of the hats and asked teens to peruse the supply table and design their hat.  I had three different stations including the pom pom making table, the felt flower making table, and the bling table (glue table).

I was by myself and this was a drop in passive program that lasted for five hours so I needed to provide instructions quickly and often.  So, I put the instructions on the inside of a paper plate.  I handed the teens a plate, the coloring sheet, and a pencil and told them that instructions were on the plate and to use it to carry their supplies from the supply table, their pom poms, and their felt flowers.

Career Readiness Program

Design is how this passive craft activity becomes a career readiness program.  If you are hosting this as a career readiness program, you can discuss design/fashion careers including types of careers; education needed; and salary potential.

  • Branding-Teens can work in groups and create a company.  They can then design a company logo and brand themselves by designing a hat using the supplies provided.
    • If you have a vinyl cutting machine (Silhouette or Cricut) teens can actually design a logo on a computer, print it out on fabric, and glue it to their hat.
    • Or, you can use your cutter to make a vinyl stencil then use fabric paint to complete the hat.

STEAM Program

To amp it up even more…

LEDs

  • BEGINNER-Teens can sew EL Wire into the baseball caps.  You can find cheaper EL Wire but the shorter the wire the better because a ball cap doesn’t use a lot of wire and you will have excess.  There will be soldering required if you want to cut the wire so if you don’t want that hassle, try to find the shortest EL Wire.
  • INTERMEDIATE-Teens can use LED sequins, a sewable battery pack, and a coin cell battery to easily sew LEDs into a skull cap.  Here’s a post where I used sequins on a shirt but it works the same on a hat. For an even easier activity, I used an LED to sew into the pom pom and you can see that post here.  Or watch the Adafruit Youtube video that I watched.
  • ADVANCED-Teens can use a Gemma (LED arduino) to sew into the skull cap and then use the software to code it.
El Wire clotes
EL Wire on hats and clothes

3D PRINTING

  • BEGINNER-Teens can design their first initial or a small word, 3D print it, and sew it to the ball cap.  You’ll have to design small loops on both sides of the print so that you can sew it to the hat.
  • INTERMEDIATE-If you have the budget, check to see if your 3D printer offers an extruder that will print flexible filament.  If so, you can print longer words that can bend around your ball cap.
3d printed hat
You can see the 3D printed tab she used to sew it to her hat

Cell Phone Cases

We did two activities; teens could bedazzle their cases or make a case with hot glue.

The supplies I used for the bedazzling table were the same supplies I used for the hats.

Dfpq%QT3T%q2Y+ttSbElMAI learned how to make a case out of hot glue from this Youtube video.  TIP: tape does not work on parchment paper; use a glue stick. Once again, I was by myself and this was a drop in passive program so I had instructions on the table.  I always to a step by step instruction sheet using pictures.  To make this sheet, when I practice the craft, I take pictures as I go then I put all my pics with minimal text on one sheet. THIS IS HAS BEEN LIFE CHANGING!  It frees you up to help, socialize, and take pictures of the teens and it teaches teens how to follow instructions.  You’ll be surprised how teens do not know how to do this life skill.

The glitter case was really cool but I couldn’t see myself doing this as a drop in because it requires glitter with 25 teens but if you can do it, I say go for it.

ajF0gAinT5CmaQy6Svjs+g

 

 

Posted in Makerspace

Quick STEAM: DIY Skull Caps

WINTER IS COMING so nows the time to do winter craft programs.

In October, we are hosting a week of bling where teens will decorate ball caps, skull caps, and will make a cell phone case.  I’ll post that in mid-October but I decided to do a separate post on our skull cap crafts.

Supplies:

Puff Ball

We’ve noticed that our teens do not understand the concept of reading directions.  So we now put paper instructions for most of our craft programs.  Paper instructions are also helpful when you expect a lot of teens but only have one or two staff.  TIP-Use more pictures and less text for your instruction sheet.  As you are practicing the craft, take pictures of each step including the supplies you are using for that step.  Put your pics together to make a step-by-step instruction sheet.

Here are my step-by-step instructions:

LED in Puff Ball

  1. Push the LED through the puff and into the hat.  Always test the LED to see if lights up.
  2. Turn the hat inside out and fold back the prongs into a curl.  Be sure to remember which prong is the + side.  Curl it differently or mark it with a Sharpie.
  3. Using the conductive thread, sew the positive side of the battery holder to the positive prong.  Sew about three loops around the holder and the prong to make it tight.  Make sure your stitches are small, otherwise, your LED may not light.  Cut the thread and repeat on the negative side.
  4. Insert the battery and your all done.
  5. You may want to sew or glue the puff ball to the hat to secure it even more.
  6. If your LED doesn’t work, change to battery, check your stitching, or make sure the threads you cut don’t touch.

Flowers on the Hat

The final step is missing, sorry.  Simply wrap the felt and glue the ends.

 

Glue gems in a desired shape.  Pom poms could also be used to decorate your hat.

The glue in the picture takes about 15 minutes to dry.  You can use hot glue if you’re in a time crunch.

IMG_4254

Posted in Makerspace

DIY Smashbooks

Smash books are a type of journal that includes one’s interests.  For example if you are a theater buff, you can put all your stubs, playbills, pictures, etc in your smash book.

Smash books are an inexpensive program which gives your teens an opportunity for expression while allowing you to clear out your old craft supplies.

Supplies Needed:

Vitals

  • Binder Ringssmashbook2
  • Cardboard for front and back cover
  • Scissors
  • Glue/glue dots
  • Paper Inserts

Extras

  • Envelopes to hold concert tickets/stubs, etc
  • Hole Punch to add additional decorative paper and envelopes.
  • Gems
  • Washi tape
  • Magazines for cutting pics and words
  • Decorative paper
  • Fun Stickers
  • Anything decorative you have in your craft closet

How to Smash Book

  1. Pre hole punch your cardboard and paper inserts.
  2. Give each teen two pieces of cardboard, paper inserts, and three binder rings.
  3. Set out all the supplies in the middle of the table.
  4. Have teens decide the theme of their smash book first so that they can choose their pictures, stickers, and decor accordingly.
  5. Let teens create.

 

The Smashbook program was organized and facilitated by my co-worker, Elise.

Posted in Makerspace

Terrariums & Fairy Gardens

Terrariums are a great, albeit expensive, way to introduce the S in STEAM and fairy gardens are a great way to introduce a new A in STEAM.

Disclaimer: Both programs were created a facilitated by my co-worker, Elise

Terrariums-garden science is actually quite popular among a specific group of teens.  These teens like planting and if you are unable to create a garden at your library, terrariums can be an alternative. 

Each layer in a terrarium has a purpose and this is where you can incorporate science.

Supplies Needed:

How To:  We made an assembly line with instructions.  FYI, this is a drop in type program and will take no longer than 15 minutes to complete.  

Layer One: one to two inch layer of pebbles for drainageterrariums 5

Layer Two: a thin layer of charcoal to prevent bacteria and mold

Layer Three: an inch or two of potting soil

Layer Four: Place the Succulent

Layer Five: Add figurines

Caring For the Terrarium: We gave each teen a sheet with care instructions

  • Keep terrarium in indirect sunlight
  • Lightly water each week with a spray bottle

 

Fairy Gardens are decorative and are more about an expression of art than science.  The folklore of fairy gardens is that they bring good luck. 

Supplies Needed:

  • Container- (we found random shallow boxes from Walmart, Target, and Dollar Store.  I’ve seen fairy gardens in tea cups.) terrariums 7
  • Bird Houses
  • Pebbles/Polished gravel
  • Moss (we used loose moss but it was messy and difficult to glue)
  • Figurines
  • Glue (E6000, hot glue, rubber cement)
  • Twigs (Picked from outside)
  • Pine cones (store bought or outside)
  • Craft sticks or other random craft supplies from your closet. (small plastic flowers, sea shells, fake leaves, butterflies)

How To: We put the house and the base on the main table and we laid out all the extras on a different table.  We gave each teen a plate to “shop” all the extras-grab what they liked to add to their garden.

Tip: Leave out pictures for inspiration and provide a couple of minutes for teens to design their garden on paper.  If you want to turn this into a design class, you can teach the basics of city planning.

 

 

Posted in Makerspace

Quick STEAM: eTextiles

Looking for a quick LED project on something other than paper? Try sewable LEDs on a t-shirt.

Supplies

img_4107.jpg

How To:

  1. Test your LED sequins first with alligator clips.
  2. As you can see from the picture, I used the pocket of the t-shirt.  If you are working with novices, I’d recommend you not use the pocket because it got a bit tricky avoiding sewing the pocket shut.
  3. Have teens design a picture on paper to plan where they are going to place the LED.
    1. Keep in mind that one side of the LED must connect to the positive side of the battery holder and the negative to the other side.  This means two different tracks.  I found using one sequins is best for novices.
    2. TIP-It’s best to draw a picture that has a mirror image and then place the sequins in the middle.
  4. Have teens lightly pencil draw their picture on the t-shirt.  This is to keep their sewing straight.  Remember to hold a place for the sequins.
  5. Thread your needle.  Don’t double thread like you do traditional sewing thread.  It will be too thick.  In other words, don’t pull your thread through the eye of the needle to create two strands of thread like traditional threading.
  6. On the under side of the t-shirt, secure one side of the batter holder by looping through three times.
  7. Sew your track to your sequins.
  8. IMPORTANT!!! Make sure the positive side of the sequins faces the positive side of the battery holder.
  9. Begin a new line of thread for the other side of the battery holder and repeat.
  10. Insert the battery and cross your fingers that it works.

 

img_4109.jpg

Troubleshooting

If your LED doesn’t work:

  • Make sure you have a good battery.
  • Be sure your threads don’t touch.  This is usually the problem.
  • Make sure your sequins +/- lines up with the battery.