Teen Librarian Toolbox
Inside Teen Librarian Toolbox

Things I Learned Visiting the Cincinnati MakerSpace: Fun with Buttons! Edition

In early June my colleague and I journeyed to the city of Cincinnati (OH) to tour their new MakerSpace. It was glorious in many ways. You can see pictures of that visit on the TLT Tumblr page here, here and here. I learned many things:

The entrance to the Maker Space at the Cincinnati Public Library

The entrance to the Maker Space at the Cincinnati Public Library

1. I can not consistently spell Cincinnati correctly.

2. A button maker is the most glorious fun you can ever have. No, seriously, it is.

So I looked at my colleague when we returned and said, “We need it, a button maker!” To which she replied, “Why yes, yes we do.” And thus the button maker was ordered. After exhaustive research, which involved talking with fellow TLTer Heather Booth who also has a button maker, we opted to purchase ours through American Button Machines. We purchased both a 1.25 inch and a 2.25 machine.

On June 22nd I hosted my first teen program using the button maker and to say that the teens enjoyed it would be an understatement. They were ravenous to create buttons.

Oh look, there's The Tween making buttons!

Oh look, there’s The Tween making buttons!

We cut up comic books, graphic novels (discarded of course) and magazines to make our buttons. We also used scrapbook paper.

We cut up comic books, graphic novels (discarded of course) and magazines to make our buttons. We also used scrapbook paper.

Just a few of the buttons our teens made

Just a few of the buttons our teens made

We then (and by we, I mean me in this case) made a template to make Super Reader buttons to give to kids who completed their SRC goal.

Buttons for our 2015 Super Readers!

Buttons for our 2015 Super Readers!

After our first program using the button maker, we realized that we needed better instructions. On Monday, July 6th we are going to kick of our Maker Mondays with a variety of Maker stations and we wanted to make sure we had some good instructions for patrons to follow. I made some personalized instruction sheets using some of the pictures off the American Button Machine site and adding my own commentary.

ButtonInstructionsPage1 ButtonInstructionsPage2You can download these instruction sheets if you find them useful Page 1 and Page 2

The original American Button Machines instructions that I adapted can be found here

Our plan for Maker Mondays is to have a variety of stations set up and have really detailed instructions at each station. We will have: Little Bits, Legos, Button Making, the Ellison dies, paper cutters, the Ellison machine, Strawbees and whatever else we come up with set up around our programming room.

makermondays

We made buttons for the staff to wear to promote Maker Mondays!

We made buttons for the staff to wear to promote Maker Mondays!

And because we loved our button maker so much, we ordered the pieces and parts to make mirrors and key chains. I did it for you readers, I swear. I wanted to write you a fully informed post. In a not surprising turn of events, I have to report that we also loved the mirrors. They are a little smaller than I would like, but great for putting on lip gloss and checking for monsters under the bed.

buttons5

Look! There’s me taking a picture of the front and back side of a 2.25 inch mirror made with the American Button Machine.

Thank you Cincinnati Public Library for a great visit and inspiration! We love our button machine and have already done a prototype of our Maker Mondays with teens that was very successful. We love our button maker!

MakerSpace Notes:

My Original Mobile Makerspace
My Updated Mobile Makerspace
MakerSpace Tech Tools Comparison Chart
The Unboxing and Learning Curve
Exploring Circulating Maker Kits and Circulating Maker Kits part 2 with a Book List
The Maker Bookshelf/Collection (with a book list)
Strawbees part 1 and part 2

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