Letting the crafts go out individually to patrons is the new name of the game. Here are some of my favourite picks for "Take and Make" kits that work for tweens and teens, but several can be perfect for any age group!
WHAT TOOK YOU SO LONG?!
Ok...so...I have been asked by multiple people for several months to do a post about my Take and Make Kits. I have avoided doing this for a wide variety of reasons. The primary reason boils down to -- Take and Make crafts are very COMMUNITY-BASED.
Just because a certain craft does well as a Take and Make, does not mean it is going to be a winner for you!
An easy example -- the library I used to work at was in an INCREDIBLY wealthy area. Frequently, the summer reading prize chest of cheap-o Dollar Store toys were sniffed at before the kids would leave without taking anything! In the case of this community, anything that uses basic supplies (paper, glue, scissors, etc.) would be ignored. However, basic supplies might work very well for your community because they are easy to understand and put together for a final project.
What I want to stress before we dive in -- THINK OF YOUR COMMUNITY'S WANTS AND NEEDS BEFORE PICKING OUT A TAKE AND MAKE.
Take and Makes are simply what the bulk of programming is right now (and probably will be for a while longer). Budgeting properly by not wasting time, money, and resources on things that you KNOW your community wouldn't respond to is VITAL.
The basic rule should be -- if you wouldn't just sit it out on a table at a huge event, don't have it as a Take and Make.
SOME KEY TIPS/INFO BEFORE THE GOODS:
AWESOMESAUCE TAKE AND MAKE CRAFTS
Paper 3D Snowflakes
Pre-cut paper squares, scissors, clear tape...done and dusted! You can find a tutorial here or just use the handy PDF instructions that I LITERALLY had two ladies fighting over the last copy a few years ago. Click on the PDF below to download it. Feel free to use different coloured paper too. There is the classic white but shades of blue look amazing too. If you use red, it kind of becomes a poinsettia!
Ribbon Tree Ornaments
Super easy and cost effective. There are lots of ways to do this one. You can use simple ribbon OR even tshirt yarn with beads OR buttons. With those things decided you just need thread and a large embroidery needle. Find the tutorial here.
Mason Jar Mini Wreaths
Just grab some mason jar lids and any thick twine or yarn. Wrap the jar lid and top with a little ribbon bow! Yes, a glue gun or mini super glue is needed for this guy. Get instructions here. To make them extra special you can include mini beads or stickers to let the wreath come to life.
Mini Stocking Cap
Some yarn, a piece of a toilet paper or paper towel roll, and some wrapping technique to make an adorable little hat! You can use it as a tree ornament or as a little decoration. Get instructions here.
No Sew Snowman
The first time I did this craft we RAN OUT of supplies! They are squishy and adorable and amazing. You'll need socks (both white kid sized and colourful baby booties), buttons, ribbon, a black marker, rubber bands, and either super glue or glue gun (to make the hat and ribbon scarf stick). Just get lots of rice...lots of it. Like tons. That will be the bulk of the price of this craft. Instructions available here.
No Sew Bunny
Like the snowman but for spring instead! Rice, a sock, rubber bands, ribbon, and a black marker. You can skip the glue (super or gun) for this one if you tie the ribbon tightly enough. Get out the deets here.
Butterfly Pipe Cleaner Ring
Pipe cleaners in various colours (including black) and scissors. THAT'S IT! Learn how to bend it into shape here.
Daisy Pipe Cleaner Ring
Same as the butterfly ring but daisy shaped! Get out the rundown here.
Yarn Wrapped Letters
Yarn-wrapped letters are still very popular decor. However, large wooden letter are expensive -- and not necessary for a wall yarn letter option! All you need is cardboard, yarn, and tape. To make it work for the kit, just put in a large piece of cardboard along with a letter of the patron's choosing that they can use as a template. This means they will be cutting out their own letter to save you time. Then, they can wrap the yarn in the kit around the letter, keeping it in place with masking tape in the back or super glue (dealer's choice). Check out instructions here.
Cardboard String Art
No nails or wood needed! Just pre-cut cardboard with a few precise slices around the edge. While the instructions available here use a heart shape, you can actually use ANY simple shape to cut out of cardboard. You can either prep the cardboard with slices yourself ahead of time or make it part of the work within the kit!
With a little bit of yarn and a few plastic straws, you can have a kit that teaches an actual skill with ease! Check out these instructions here. The end results make awesome bracelets or bookmarks.
Some colourful cardstock, regular paper, and a bit of string! While an awl is best for making the holes, for Take and Make kits you can use a thick/big tapestry needle or even just a sharp pencil. Look at the instructions here for the simplest binding method. You can also look into more advanced binding patterns (more than two holes, braiding string, etc.) for older patrons.
Cardboard Marble Maze
Add some STEM and a bit of a challenge to your kits with this option! You just need a box lid (you can also rig your own lid with a piece of cardboard cut and bent to have a containing edge), some plastic straws, a marble, and either a mini super glue or glue gun. Find instructions here. Have your participants video their family members trying to get through their maze creations!
Craft Stick Launcher
Check out this other other fun STEM kit here. You'll need craft sticks, buttons, rubber bands, a piece of plastic straw, Q-tip ammo, and either mini super glue or a glue gun. Pew pew pew!
Balloon Squishie (Monster or General Form!)
We could all use a stress relief squishie these days. They are actually easy to make with a balloon, some flour, and an empty plastic water bottle. While the instructions here use a funnel to put flour in the water bottle, you can also just use a rolled piece of paper or even the corner of the plastic zipper bag that you'll be using to put flour in your kit. Use fun balloons or blank ones that can be drawn on with a marker!
Glass Marble Magnets
Recycle your weeded comic books or magazines for this kit! Put those weeded items as an option in this kit along with flat, clear marbles, a little jar of Mod Podge (mini super glue jars!), a few Q-tips to apply Mod Podge, a small magnet, and either a glue gun or mini super glue. Check out instructions here.
Ribbon Mobile or Ribbon Wall Hang
Use these instructions here to create a ribbon mobile kit that is just a bunch of different types of ribbon (hello scraps!), a craft hoop, and some twine. If you don't want a hanging mobile (or want a cheaper option), just use a dowel instead of a hoop to make a ribbon wall hang instead!.
Ribbon Tassel Keychain
If you have even MORE ribbon scraps (or just shorter scraps), you can do ribbon keychains instead. You just need some keyrings (you can get a pack of them for pretty cheap on Amazon), a length of string, and a range of ribbon types, colours, etc. You can look over the super simple instructions here.
GOOD LUCK HEROES! LET ME KNOW IF YOU HAVE ANY QUESTIONS!
Originally wanting to be the love-child of Kathy Reichs and Indiana Jones, Brooke was pulled into the magical world of library service over 12 years ago. Finding that her ultimate passion was in teen services, she did what she normally does in a heart-fueled endeavor -- ran in head-first and never looked back! Cosplayer, movie fanatic, binge watcher, Disney Worlder. Proud cat mom of Evelyn (named after the librarian character in The Mummy ).