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.

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Posted in Passive Programs

Buttons

Do yourself a favor and invest in a button making machine.

 

Precut the circles with the circle cutter (You may have to buy that separately).  Teens can draw right on the circles.  OR

Measure the circle on Adobe Draw and allow teen to draw it digitally.  Print them and make them into buttons.

Button makers are about $225 but you can make the case by using it often and it basically pays for itself!

Don’t have a button maker and can’t afford one? Make magnets!  If you have a non-heat laminator, you can probably purchase magnet sheets to turn anything into a magnet.  You can also purchase magnetic sheets to stick on paper.
Simply do the above activities but turn it into a magnet campaign.  Teens can make a bunch of magnets with positive messages for social change and stick them to lockers at school.

buttons 2

Posted in Passive Programs

Umbrellas for Love/Peace

Teens like to write messages of tolerance, love, and peace so think out of the box and have them turn umbrellas into artwork.

Set out tarps, paint, Sharpies, or fabric markers and umbrellas-you can purchase white umbrellas at Oriental Trading.  Provide a theme of social change and let the creativity fly.

Post them to social media and then hang the completed umbrellas in your library for display.  We hung them on the ceiling and it was quite a crowd pleaser.

Posted in Passive Programs

Tee Party

Here’s How:

  • If you have a Silhouette or Cricut Machine, you can have teens make a graphic or phrase using vinyl. Then have teens sponge fabric paint on the tee to make it a graphic tee.
  • 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.

Posted in Passive Programs

M&M Mosaic

A fun passive program is M&M Mosaics.  Teens can create a message of change using M&Ms.  Just put an example with instructions and supplies in the middle of the table and let the teens take it from there.

Here’s How:

  • Set vanilla frosting and craft sticks as glue.
  • Set out bowls of different colored M&Ms.

If you have a teen room, you can set the M&Ms in the middle of the table.  Beware, teens will eat the M&Ms even if you explain that they are germy.  If you are worried about them eating them, give them pre-filled bags of M&Ms and inform them that if they eat them, there won’t be enough to make a good mosaic.  I’d recommend giving teens a fun sized bag of M&Ms for eating before or after they complete their mosaic.

Posted in Passive Programs

DIY Coloring Sheets

 

Coloring sheets are still all the rage and they are also a great and cheap passive program for your TTW programming.

  • If you have iPads, download the free Adobe Illustrator Draw app and allow teens to play with it until they feel comfortable with the software.
  • Allow teens to choose a cause for social change and ask them to draw a picture based on their cause.
  • Inform teens that they are making a coloring sheet and to not fill in their design with color.
  • Print their coloring sheet.
    • You can print wirelessly from the iPad or
    • Have teens email their sheet to you and you can print from your network.
  • You can have a best coloring sheet design contest and/or best coloring contest.
  • You can also do a bookmark or book cover instead of a sheet.