Teen Librarian Toolbox
Inside Teen Librarian Toolbox

TPiB: Back to School

It is, in fact, time for back to school. So here is a round up of links to a variety of back to school crafts and DIY that you may find fun and useful. The Tween and I may or may not be obsessed with making bottle cap/marble magnets.

Rock Your Locker

Here’s a look at some of the back to school crafts I have done. You all know I am a huge fan of marble/bottle cap magnets and back to school is the perfect time for them. Perfect. Also, you can make your own magnetic poetry kit which would create more locker fun.

Sherlock Bottle Cap Magnets from my Sherlock program

Mashable: DIY Supplies That Will Actually Make You Excited for School

One of my favorites on this list are the Washi Tape pencils. You can actually do a lot with Washi Tape, as Heather shared with us earlier. So if you’re going to use Washi Tape, don’t forget get you can do notebooks and folders as well. 

Buzzfeed: 37 Awesome DIYs to Make Before School Starts

Last year Buzzfeed ran this DIY post of awesome back to school crafts. Continuing the Washi/Duct tape theme, they make some awesome clip boards.

Buzzfeed: 23 Ways to Have the Coolest Locker in School

Yet another appearance by my favorite – Bottle Cap Magnets! They also make a cool bottle cap chandelier. There are some fun ideas here.

Divergent, Sherlock, Doctor Who and Minecraft Bottle Cap/Marble Magnets

Pimp Your USB

At the library, I am a huge campaigner for USB drives. HUGE. Our computer system has time management software and it will kick you off without mercy. So I tell everyone over and over again to bring a USB. So why not reinforce the message by having a Pimp Your USB day. Instructables has some ideas for pimping your USB. You can also make a pink eraser USB. You can also make a Lego themed USB drive.

Carry Your Tech in Style

Many kids will be going back to school this year with new cell phones, tablets or other assorted tech. You can make cool tech crafts like a cell phone holder using Duct Tape. There are DIY tablet covers for every skill level here. Here are 30 creative DIY smartphone and tablet crafts.

Share your favorite back to school and tech craft ideas in the comments, we’re always looking for more great ideas.

TPiB: Shark Week!

On Wednesday evening, the gloriousness known as Sharknado 2 will be airing on SyFy. And should that not be your cup of tea, Shark Week is coming up soon on Discovery Channel. Basically, it’s that time of the year where it’s not safe to go into the water. Personally, I am a huge fan of sharks. Yes, I really have seen almost every one of those terrifically cheesy shark movies on SyFy. The ones with Debbie – excuse me, Deborah – Gibson. The ones withe Urkel. But not the one where they make fun of Jersey Shore, I tried to watch it but it was too terrible for even me. They even have one with a giant robot shark! That’s a great program idea right there. Well, not giant size, but making robot sharks. So as a shark lover, I give to you some collected program ideas to celebrate Sharknado 2 – or Shark Week for those of you who liked to go a little more high brow. Me, I can’t wait for them both!


Shark Jawbone Paracord Bracelet

This is not actually made with shark jawbones, in case that needs to be said. But here you can make a paracord bracelet, which is cool, that has shark in the name.

Fish Prints


Gyotaku is the Japenese art of fish printing. Sharks eat fish, plus these are cool, so I think they work. The Mr. was an art major at college and I have been to an event where they did this and it was fun. They used real fish, but you can buy kits that use plastic fish which you may want to purchase if you have an aversion to leaking fish guts, which some people do. You basically need something to print on, say a blank t-shirt. You need the fish, real or not, and you need printing ink – the ink used in printmaking, though I guess you could use paint if you would like – paint rollers, pans to pour the ink into, tablecloths, etc. You ink, or paint the fish, and slap it down on your t-shirt to transfer it. Then you get a glorious fish print. Click on the Fish Prints heading above for better directions.

Under Sea Aquariums

There are a lot of ways you can create some type of an undersea aquariums. If you have a blank wall to decorate, you could have your tweens and teens create one here AND decorate your library, it’s what we call win/win. You could use simple things like butcher paper, craft paper, pipe cleaners, beads, etc. Have them do this in your children’s area, put out a display of both fish AND back to school books and put together some punny saying about going back to SCHOOL. Because, you know, fish groups are called a school of fish.

Or you do an upcycle craft using baby food jars or empty water bottles to make little aquarium. You can buy plastic sharks in bulk to make this happen. Instructions can be found here: http://blog.chickabug.com/2012/03/how-to-make-under-the-sea-snow-globe-aquariums.html.

Shark Origami

I think the title kind of says it all. Click the link for instructions.

Crayon Resist Whale Shark

 I’ve always liked crayon resist painting. And, there’s science involved! I admit this is definitely for say the Tween set more so than your teens, but if you have stations and an awesome shark movie playing in the background – may I suggest Jaws? It’s covered under Movie Licensing USA – they may enjoy it.

Clothespin Shark

Yes, again, this one seems youngish. It was very hard to find older shark themed craft ideas. BUT, it’s back to school time and smack some magnets onto these bad boys and you could make a cool Sharknado themed locker. Don’t forget to add some blood!

Shark themed party outline at SheKnows
40 plus Shark Week activities at A Day in Our Shows

This site has 40 Shark Week crafts including making a cool shark themed watermelon, papercrafts and more.

And here is a cool shark themed manicure.

And here is a YouTube tutorial on how to build a Lego Shark

Basically, my thoughts are this:

  • Do a book display
  • Have Jaws playing in the background
  • Have food – it can be something simple like gummy fish/sharks or something elaborate like the watermelon shark
  • Have a few craft stations set up
  • Get out your smart phone and make Vine video of tweens & teens trying to do the dun dun, dun dun, dun dun dun dun theme music from Jaws. Or reciting some of its most famous lines: “We’re going to need a bigger boat.”
  • If you really want to get fancy, set up a photo booth station with shark fins and other fun beach items

TPiB: Minecraft, or what happened when my new gaming equipment didn’t get ordered & I had to punt

Earlier this year I put together all of my SRC programming and publicity at the same time we submitted an order for new gaming equipment. One of those programs was a Minecraft day. Except, sometimes orders get held up in processes and bureaucracies, which means that my new gaming equipment never actually got ordered. Which was only problematic because we had spent the last 3 months advertising a Minecraft day. But having done this for 20 years now, I am excellent at punting. So punt I did.

I do have an XBOX 360 and 2 controllers, and the game is available for the XBOX 360 – so let me take a moment here to make sure and say thanks to my branch manager who ran out the day before the program and purchased the game because I know she reads this blog 🙂 But I also spent the day before putting together a variety of other activities that were Minecraft related in some way that my tweens and teens could do while they waited for their turn to play Minecraft. Because with only 1 system and 2 controllers, it could get ugly. Here is my Minecraft Emergency Prep. I ended up having around 40 tweens and teens and they loved it. No blood was shed over those 2 controllers and a good time was had by all.

Paper Crafts

It turns out, there are a ton of Minecraft Papercrafts available readily online. Every single one of those teens at my program folded a Creeper face. But you can also print and fold a variety of materials and make Minecraft in the real world. For example, you can buy a set here at Amazon. You can find some free patterns here: Instructables

Post It Note Art
I have previously done some Post It Note art and it occurred to me that this would be a good way to bring Minecraft into the real world as well. My tweens and teens were challenged to make animals, faces, and swords on the wall using Post It Notes. It looks cool, but it takes a little teamwork to make it happen. Skills like math, organization and communication are subtly being taught here.

Lego Challenges
Using only the 2×2 Legos in my Makerspace, I challenged my tweens and teens to a variety of 5 to 10 minutes challenges: build a house, make an animal, make a story, make a face. This was hands down one of their two favorite activities of the day.


 Bottle Cap Crafts

For a previous event, I ordered a ton of Bottle Caps and have been using the leftovers for a while now. It was very easy to create some Minecraft themed circle inserts to make a new set of Bottle Cap Magnets. This was the other of their two favorite activities of the day – besides playing Minecraft of course. To make your inserts, you simply create a 1 inch circle in Publisher and use the picture fill feature to fill it with whatever you wish. Pictures, clip art or letters all work. Then you glue it into the bottle cap. I like to purchase epoxy bubble stickers to place over top. Other sites will tell you to buy and mix and epoxy resin, but the circles are quicker, easier, and make less of a mess. Then just slap a magnet onto the back and voila! Or, you can buy a special punch and turn them into charms, just add an “o ring”.

Minecraft Themed Duct Tape Journals
As part of my Makerspace, I have a large amount of duct tape on hand. And I had some blank journals left over from a previous event. So I challenged the teens to cut the duct tape into squares and make a Minecraft journal. The most fascinating part was that after they made the journals many of them started writing in them. One boy was writing down tips and cheats to play Minecraft. Another boy started writing and illustrating a Minecraft themed story.

Games!
Going along with the cube/grid theme, I also brought out Connect Four and Chess/Checkers for them to play while they waited. And many of them did. You could also use other cube/grid type games like Scrabble or Boggle.

I also brought two Rubik’s Cubes to do races.

As a side note, in my emergency searching I did find that lots of people make perler bead Minecraft things, but I didn’t have this on hand and didn’t want to purchase. But I also think you could use Shrinky Dinks for this type of an event as well.

For more on Minecraft, check out Heather’s post on what happened when she let her teens lead a Minecraft after hours event.

TPiB: Sharpie “Tie Dye” T’s

Every summer I run at least one T shirt decorating program because they are surefire hits for my group.  Tie dying is the classic, but truth be told, it really pushes the limits of my willingness to tolerate mess and spend gobs of setup and cleanup time. This year we’re trying a different spin on the familiar style, using permanent markers. Fortunately, it dovetails nicely with this summer’s CSRP, Spark a Reaction, thanks to the hidden science that we’ll get to later.

Here’s how it’s done:

Stretch your T-shirt over a pice of cardboard (above, I used a flexible plastic place mat which also works). Alternately, you can stretch your T over a plastic cup and rubber band it taut to give you a circular workspace.
Experiment with ink patterns and shapes. In the above example, the yellow/orange/red section was created by dotting the ink on, and the blue/green/purple one was done with lines.
Spray or drip rubbing alcohol onto your design, starting from the center. If desired, use a chopstick or pencil to poke the center up, ensuring that the alcohol moves away from the center.
The result is a blending and bleeding of colors that simulates the tie-dye look.  Teens can also get creative, drawing designs and spraying them to give them a glow effect.  Below, you can see how my daughter salvaged her drawing of princesses by spraying the heck out of them to turn them into something much more interesting and mystical (in my opinion). Karen says: Weeping Angels!
Send teens home with instructions to iron it on the highest setting for the fabric once it has dried. This will help set the color so it won’t fade too quickly in the wash. I recommend washing alone the first time, and using cold water. 
The hidden educational bit here is that what you’re doing is basic chromatography. By spraying the alcohol on the ink, you see the colors change and blend because, in part, they are separating into their components.  If you’d like to play up the science end of things, consider purchasing the Sharpie Pen Science kit from Steve Spangler Science

Supplies:
T shirts, bandanas, or other fabric items
Sharpies
Rubbing alcohol
Spray bottles, eye droppers, or straws
Cardboard
Plastic cups
Rubber Bands

Cost:
If you already have the Sharpies and kids bring their own T shirts, you could run this for as little as the cost of a bottle of rubbing alcohol, about $2.

Time:
15 minutes to 1 hour

Setup/Cleanup:
Minimal

Ages:
Great for both tweens and teens

-Heather

More T-Shirt Fun:
Meme All the Shirts
Making a Tardis T-shirt

TPiB: Washi – The Kinder, Gentler Tape

We’ve all done the Duct Tape thing. Stone simple and super fun, right? Yeah. But…

We’ve all wrestled with it when it doubles back and sticks on itself. We’ve all despaired when a kid wraps a whole five dollar roll around his pant leg because he’s going to be the Tin Man, then realizes that it’s a bad idea and cuts it off and throws it all away. We’ve done it.

If you’re looking to capitalize on the simplicity and flexibility of Duct Tape programs but want to change it up a little, meet its kinder, gentler cousin: washi tape.

From Just Something I Made

Washi tape was popularized in Japan where it was made from natural fibers. It’s much more similar to masking tape than duct tape, though thinner and more delicate. It’s papery, and comes in a variety of widths. Like masking tape, it is not strongly adhesive, so it can be removed and replaced if your design needs to be changed. Also like masking tape, you can get those little rips that spin around the roll, so watch out and start unpeeling carefully! It is slightly translucent, which makes it a nice material for covering glass. The translucency also lends itself to being creative with overlapping different colors of tape to an interesting effect.

But what do you do with it? Lots of stuff.  You could…
Source: Apartment Therapy
Source: Crafterly
Source: The Etsy Blog
Source: Silver the the City
Or do what I did and make notebooks and matching pencils like in this tutorial.  I bought the notebooks for 89 cents each and the pencils for about $1.50 for a dozen. We skipped painting the pencils, and covered the notebooks in white copy paper with glue sticks instead of white adhesive paper. Here’s how it turned out for me:
If you noticed some other things in the picture… the light switch cover plate, the battery powered tea candle, the bottle turned vase… it’s because this is just so darn easy and addictive, before you know it you’ll have covered your chair legs and pet turtle in funky patterns.  
You can buy washi tape at craft stores, office supply stores, Etsy boutiques, and perhaps least expensively, at Oriental Trading Company. At the office supply store near my home, they were on sale at about $2 per roll. There are so many different colors and patterns that it does add up fast, but since the projects can be quite small, a little goes a long way. 
Another fun way to run a washi tape program with a lot of different types of tape is to run it as a swap.  Invite each participant to bring a roll of tape and provide each teen with a regular ballpoint pen. Let them select the patterns they like and roll a length around their pen before they settle in to work on their project. Each pen should hold at least three and as many as six different patterns of tape, depending on the widths.

-Heather

Duct Tape! Check out Sticky Fingers, plus learn from my mistakes – cool tips

I own no less than 20 rolls of Duck/Duct Tape. Okay, technically I bought them for the Tween. But you know, I get to play with them too! Plus, I have regular Duct Tape crafting days at the library. Suffice it to say at this point, I am an expert on Duct Tape crafts.

In fact, I have some important tips for you:

1. Don’t use scissors! Buy an exacto knife and a cutting mat. So much easier to use. If you do use scissors, have lots of Goo Gone on hand to keep cleaning your scissors.

2. To make strips, you can in fact use a scrapbook paper cutter thingy. They look like this. They work wonders. I find this particularly useful to make strips to make a piece of “duct tape material” as it is sometimes called, which you can use, for example, as a duct tape wallet base.

3. You can save little pieces you cut off, like corners and such, on a removable surface, like the backside of your cutting mat, and use them to make picture collages on canvas. Or folders.

4. Once a piece of duct tape gets stuck to itself there is no saving it. Just throw it away and get a new piece.

5. Always make sure you have solid color options to balance the cool print options.

I have shared several posts of some of my favorite activities and books, but here is a new book coming out in July from Zest Books called Sticky Fingers: DIY Duct Tape Projects by Sophie Maletsky (ISBN: 978-1-936976-54-6)

I love the step-by-step instructions in full color! And how the activities are not the same ole’, same ole’ activities again.


Duct Tape Crafts and Even More Duct Tape Crafts

TPIB: Divergent Faction Themed Rainbow Loom & Bottle Cap Charm Bracelets and Necklaces

I spent the weekend learning to make fishtail Rainbow Loom bracelets with my tween, in part because we are making Divergent faction bracelets at my upcoming program for the movie release party. Also, because I am a mom that rocks.  I decided to add bottle cap charms to give it that extra touch.  Here’s what I learned . . .

All you need to make a Fishtail Bracelet is these, not the whole loom.  The little blue part removes to be your “mini loom” and the hook is, well, a hook. You can get 15 at $3.65 a piece for $54.75. 
For the bands for Divergent factions, you need the following color bands

Black (for both Dauntless and Candor)
White (for Candor)
Blue (for Erudite)
Grey (for Abnegation)
Red and Yellow (for Amity)
The faction colors are (based on the clothing described in the books):
Abnegation (The Selfless) – solid grey
Erudite (The Intelligent) – 1 blue article, the other colors don’t matter
Dauntless (The Brave) – all black
Amity (The Peaceful) – red and yellow
Candor (The Honest) – black and white

The fishtail is actually pretty easy to make. You can find a tutorial here.

[youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ukv83Cvq3jk]

Once we figured it out we made a ton.  They are very easy to do so you can socialize while looming. 

Faction Symbol Bottle Cap Charms

Teen participants can find out what faction they are by taking a faction quiz at Divergent Fans.
 http://www.divergentfans.com/page/faction-quiz
You can also make faction symbol bottle cap charms and add them to necklaces using an O ring. Simply print out 1 inch faction symbols.  You can make these in Microsoft Publisher by using the “Insert Shape” function.  Size your circles to 1 inch and use the picture fill function (tutorial here).
You can make bottle cap crafts easily using this tutorial.  Bottle caps are available at a very reasonable prize from Oriental Trading, I recommend using the flattened bottle caps for this project because you need a surface to punch a hole for the O ring.  I bought the 1 inch epoxy dots off of Amazon because it is so much easier than trying to use real epoxy glue, less messy and no drying time. 
Before you assemble your bottle cap, you need to use a jewelry punch to put a whole in your bottle cap so that you can add the O ring to attach your battle cap to your bracelet. 

An extra note: We made some bracelets but found that we liked making our fishtail creation longer and using it as a necklace actually.  The charms worked on the bracelet, but they could get in the way.

Also, you can use this tutorial to make any type of Rainbow Loom/Bottle Cap Charm crafts.  Duct Tape works really well if you don’t want to make your own circle inserts for the bottle cap charms.  On the left we used Duct Tape and on the right we made Sherlock themed bottle cap charms as well.

Take 5: DIY on Tumblr

Tumblr is an awesome place to hang out.  It’s visual, fun, and easy to use. And believe it or not, it is a great place to find DIY outlines.  Just last week author Tahereh Mafi shared a tutorial on how to make these glorious Shatter Me inspired shoes.  I myself have shared several DIY tutorial on the TLT Tumblr.  So today we’re going to talk DIY and Tumblr.

DIY on Tumblr usually takes 2 distinct forms. Sometimes, like Tahereh has done on her blog, that entire tutorial is right there in the Tumbl post.  Other times, the Tumblr is simply used to reblog and curate DIY activities, similar to what many people do with Pinterest. Libraries, particularly libraries that have Makerspace themes, should consider starting a DIY specific Tumblr blog as an information resource for teens in their local communities.  In fact, you could even get teens to help you put together tutorials of library craft programs for the Tumblblog.


Five DIY Themed Tumblrs:


Buzzfeed DIY

Buzzfeed is pretty epic all on its own, but they do have a DIY Tumbl blog.  It can cover anything and everything.  My favorite is when they have lists of DIY around a particular theme – say a holiday or just the theme of books – and they link to something like 25 DIY posts on that topic.  Great for program inspiration or planning.

Daisy Pickers

Daisy Pickers shares original and shared tutorials for a variety of craft ideas, many of which have a country chic feel to them.  There are tutorials for making things like craft floss tassels, half log bookends, and tin can stilts.

DIY Hoard

Like Buzzfeed DIY, DIY Hoard is an awesome and eclectic look at DIY around the Internet.  There are a lot of full tutorials right there on the Tumblr (easy to reblog and share).   

True Blue Me & You

True Blue Me & You has a variety of craft/DIY tutorials on their Tumblblog.   For example, they show you how to make these stacked rings, which are epically cool. On the right side bar you’ll see that this person also has a Tumbl blog on Kids Crafts, Halloween Crafts, and Christmas and Holiday Crafts.




Why Not Just DIY

So, interesting note here.  Cussing is pretty rampant on Tumblr.  In fact, there are a lot of Tumblr that are named “Fuckyeah whatever the topic is”.  You can have a Tumblr address and still have a different Tumblr heading.  So this Tumbl blog’s address is Why Not Just DIY (probably what the originally named it), and when you go to the Tumbl blog the title is Make Your Own Shit.  So, there are cool craft resources here, but you probably want to be aware of the title when sharing with teens – especially younger teens – on your library’s professional page.  Having said all that, I really like their tutorial on how to turn paper lanterns into glitter lamps.  Very cool.

How to Do DIY on Tumblr

So in addition to sharing these cool DIY resources from Tumblr, I wanted to point out that Tumblr is a great way to be incorporating more tech and social media into your teen services.  I highly recommend having a DIY themed specific Tumblr blog for your teen services.  As I mentioned in the open, when you do a craft program, you can even get the teens present at your program to help you make a DIY tutorial for your Tumblr blog.  Take lots of step by step pictures (and you can take them over the shoulder if you are worried about privacy issues), outline the steps, and put up your post as you would make a craft instruction sheet.  I would also include a bibliography of some craft books on the topic that can be found in your library.

If your library has a Makerspace or a craft heavy emphasis on programming, this is a great way to highlight what you are doing to the community and be a resource.  Making – arts, crafts – are important I believe because they inspire creative thinking and problem solving, and innovation can not happen without these.  Creativity also is a great way to get teens involved in self-expression and to boost their sense of accomplishment and self worth.  Craft programs also are a great way to have some active programming – as opposed to passive programming, where teens sit and listen to someone speak – while still meeting their social needs because craft programs are ripe for sitting and gabbing while crafting.  In short, maker programs create a library environment that is very 40 developmental assets friendly.

TPiB: Divergent Programming, a guest post by Cindy


Divergent Program Outline
Faction Quiz. J-14 style
Amity Art Contest design a new cover for  Divergen
Erudite Quiz on Divergent and Chicago history
Dauntless (Truth or Dare) Divergent edition
Abnegation  Divergent Snacks
Candor (Who are you challenge)

Divergent is very popular right now and the movie is coming out soon, so we know it will only grow in popularity. Living in a suburb near Chicago, the buzz around the books is great because teens love talking about landmarks they recognize. We have included Divergentin our previous programs doing shrinky-dinks with faction symbols, and for our summer reading program our theme was Have Book Will Travel, so we created literary passports in which many of our teens used Divergent as one of their destinations. We have regular Teen Advisory Group meetings and the teens mentioned wanting to have a Divergent event so I know I had to do it. 
Take the Faction Quiz at Divergent Fans
We are not having our Divergent Program until after the movie comes out. I have learned to do related programs a week after the movie releases. We plan for our program to be held on March 25. Before the program, I plan to ask each of the teens a secret question and pretend it is related to a future program. This will actually be the abnegation portion. But they will not know that until later. 
The next part of the program will be the choosing of the faction ceremony. The teens will pick one of the five factions –Amity, Erudite, Dauntless, Abnegation and Candor.  I am going to make buttons for all of the factions so that they can wear the buttons during the program. The faction ceremony will divide the teens into teams making awarding of the prizes during the program easier. We will then have contest based on each of the factions.  The first contest will be the Amity art contest where each team will create a new symbol for their factions. Points will be awarded for creativity.
Erudite quiz will test their knowledge of the series, but most questions will come from the first book so that teens who have only read it will be able to do all right. We will also include Chicago trivia because the books take place in Chicago. Points will be award on correct answers.
The dauntless challenge will force teens to face their fears in the ultimate game of truth and dare. There will be physical challenges to complete during this section so that the teens can get up and move around.
The fake abnegation challenges will be to eat in the abnegation manner where the food is passed to the right and the teens will have to wait until everyone is served to eat. They will also have to eat plain food and eat quietly. They will be asked not to talk while eating. This is will be fun to see if the teens can succeed at this challenge. After the portion is over we will announce that this was a fake challenge and the real challenge was when they came in and the points will be updated accordingly as long as the teens do not kill us for messing with their minds. 
Candor is a harder challenge so I am going to have them draw a picture of a window and in the window they will have to draw who they are. An example of this kind of drawing for myself would be a window with a dog and a heart, A heart that has a lock on it to show I have a hard time letting people into my heart by when I do they stay there forever. Anyone who puts effort in this will get all the points.
We will then total the points and the find the winner who is a real life Divergent. I am hoping to have Divergent swag to give to the winners. I was able to pick up signed copies of the paperback edition of Divergent for this event. 
Cindy Shutts is the Teen Services Librarian at the White Oak Library District in IL. You can follow her on Twitter at .

I Am SHERLocked: Sherlock Program/Party Ideas

After the success – and fun – of my Doctor Who program, I decided to have a Sherlock themed program.  Pop culture is a great programming tie-in.  For Sherlock, I am doing some hands on forensic science projects as well as some crafting projects.  The forensic science themed projects can be found here at my CSI program outline. I think the game of observation – where you ask teens to examine a “scene” and then recall what they have noticed – is especially fitting for a Sherlock program.  In addition, I will be doing the craft activities below.

Bottle Cap/Marble Magnet Quotes

Look, I am not going to lie.  I am a big fan of Marble Magnets and Bottle Cap jewelry.  You can make the individual pieces however you want, which means you are encouraging teens to be creative.  And in the case of the bottle caps, you can then string them onto cord with beads and make unique pieces of jewelry (or keychains, etc.).

The basic info for making Bottle Cap Jewelry can be found here

And here is the basic info for making Marble Magnets. 

And here are 50 things you can do with Bottle Caps.

You can download this sheet here

I put together a template of some inserts that teens can use to make their bottle caps/marble magnets.  But they can always make their own.  And you can also take an ink pad and they can make their own fingerprints.

Spray Paint Smiley Face Art

Materials: Blank canvas, various scrapbook paper, yellow spray paint, Mod Podge

Fans of the BBC Sherlock will recognize the distinct wall paper with a spray painted smiley face dripping down it.   So I created my own version using wallpaper (aka scrapbook paper) that would better fit into my personal space.  So give tweens/teens a wide choice of papers to match their rooms.  Then, glue it onto your canvas, giving it time to dry.  Use your yellow spray paint to make your dripping smiley face (this was harder than I would have thought).  Again, give it time to dry.  Then I used stickers to decorate and add quotes.  After it is all dry, apply a layer of Mod Podge over the top and give it time to dry.  You could also do a skull picture onto wallpaper if you choose.

Silhouette Pictures

Materials: A discarded book you don’t mind tearing apart, a blank frame, white paper, a black Sharpie

The Sherlock silhouette is an iconic image.  You can turn your teens into silhouettes and let them make their own pictures (more on this below).  I used pages of a book for a background.  I had extra picture frames lying around from another craft and we are coloring them with Sharpies.

Below is information on how you can create your own silhouette pictures.  I turned a picture into a black and white image and adjusted the settings as far as I could.  I then printed the picture, cut it out, and colored it with a black Sharpie.  Tape it down onto a new sheet of paper making sure you completely cover the edges and you get a crisp black silhouette.

After being colored and recopied

 Here is a great tutorial from this post at About.com

“You can pull characters from stock photos or your own pictures. All you do is separate the character from the background and then color the person with a solid color. This approach is effective because you can shoot your own photos and not worry about lighting and getting the best image. As long as it is clear and has the right pose, you’re fine. Once it’s filled no one can tell what the original looked like.

The Rapid E-Learning Blog - paint images black
  • Open the photo in a graphics editor.
  • Pull the person out of the background.
  • Fill the character with black and save the image.

Tip: If you want a transparent background with the image make sure to save as .gif or .png. You don’t need a fancy graphics application to do this. In fact, I did this demo in Paint.net which is a free download.” Source: About.com

You can see a photo montage of a teen doing their silhouette on the Tumblr: http://teenlibrariantoolbox.tumblr.com/post/72490546309/this-teen-just-turned-himself-into-a-sherlock

Some other Silhouette Tutorials:
HGTV: How to make a framed child’s silhouette
SITS Girls: Uses paint (I substituted paint for a black Sharpie to cut down drying times)
Bower Power: Photoshop Tutorial

You could also just use silhouette images of Sherlock and Watson found online.  That’s what I used in my example craft.