Makerspace Activities at Your Library

Prepr-Mindset-Creativity-White[1]At the NDLA annual conference in Jamestown, I attended a session called “Makerspaces in Your Library” presented by Minot Public Library Children’s Librarian Paulette Nelson, Minot Public Library Teen Librarian Pam Carswell, and North Dakota State Librarian Mary Soucie. The Minot Public Library recently opened a makerspace with the help of grant funding, so they have lots of cool tech toys, but at this session they provided participants with hands-on examples of low-cost maker activities to try if you don’t have a dedicated space.

Altered Binder Clips

Binder clips can be personalized with all sorts of materials: washi tape, duct tape, fabric and Mod Podge, or decorative paper and double-sided tape. Embellish with small stickers or other decorations.

Bath Salts

Bath salts are easy to assemble, and most ingredients can be found at the grocery store! If you use essential oils (only a few drops are needed), you can find them online or at the craft store with the candle making supplies.

CD Sun Catchers

Turn scratched CDs into sun catchers simply by removing the coating with tape. They you can apply a design using puffy paint, hot glue, or glue mixed with paint, and add color.

Earbud Holders

This is a useful item for almost everyone, and it can be created with old gift cards or even library cards! This tutorial will give you a visual aid for the project, and don’t let the supply list scare you off – we didn’t use a drill at NDLA, a sturdy hole punch will work just fine!

Fire Starters

At NDLA we used paper lunch bags filled with newspaper and lint and tied shut, but there are several methods to making fire starters with recycled materials.

Flavored Lip Gloss

Use petroleum jelly and powdered drink mixes, such as Kool-Aid or Crystal Light, to make your own flavored lip gloss. It’s as easy as mixing! You can find tiny containers at craft supply stores, such as Hobby Lobby, or online.

Glass Etching

Glass etching may sound too involved, but it doesn’t necessarily require a lot of specialty supplies and can be done on recycled jars. You may want to purchase reusable stencils, or you can improvise with other materials. You will need access to a sink, and be careful not to get the glass etching cream on your skin!

3D Doodler

For libraries lacking dedicated space for a 3D printer, try a 3D Doodler instead! It’s a “pen” that allows you to “draw” and create 3D sculptures.

What maker activities have you tried at your library? Share your ideas in the comments!

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