Teen Librarian Toolbox
Inside Teen Librarian Toolbox

Cindy Crushes Programming: 10 Tips for Make and Take Crafts During a Pandemic

  1. Use Fandoms: I always try to include fandoms with my crafts. It makes teens be able to recognize that the craft is. Teens will always have their fandoms.
  2. Pick something useful: I have done a lot of light crafts and also this month we are doing handwarmers. It is certainly cold enough for them. We have been in a polar vortex for awhile
  3. Keep costs low: This really depends on your budget. I know a lot of libraries are going through budget cuts including mine. I have been using a lot of the craft supplies I already had. I also have been using sales. I was so excited when Joann’s had a felt sale a couple weeks ago. I also use coupons.
  1. Put a picture on the craft showing what it is: This is so important. Teens will not know what they are taking if you do not display what the craft is.
  2. Make an Example Craft: This is super helpful so teens can see the craft in person and are able to know that it is possible to make
  3. Make the instructions have pictures if the craft is hard: Many teens are visual learners and need to see the steps in the craft. I go through my coworkers craft and look at the instructions and will let them know if I am confused. I figure if I am confused, the teens will be confused.
  4. Make a video for the hard crafts: If you are choosing to do a hard craft, having a video will allow the teens to see your process.
  5. Do not pick very hard crafts: Give teens crafts they can complete and feel good about. Some things are too hard and you do not want to put too much pressure on them.
  6. Do not worry if the craft does not go right away: Sometimes during the pandemic you will not see many teens or their parents. This is okay. Do not stress.
  7. Do not overcraft: I am guilty of this one sometimes. I get so excited about a Take and Make that I want to shove it in a month we are pretty full in. Resist the urge if you can you do not want to bog yourself down with crafts.
  8. Don’t choose super messy crafts: I did this recently when I had a craft with cornstarch. I was covered in it all day. Plus super messy crafts will not make parents happy with their teens doing the craft at home.

Stay Safe during this weather! Here is a picture my dog Harry Winston in winter PJs.

Cindy Shutts, MLIS

Cindy is passionate about teen services. She loves dogs, pro-wrestling, Fairy tales, mythology, and of course reading. Her favorite books are The Hate U Give, Catching FIre, The Royals, and everything by Cindy Pon. She loves spending times with her dog Harry Winston and her niece and nephew. Cindy Shutts is the Teen Services Librarian at the White Oak Library District in IL and she’ll be joining us to talk about teen programming. You can follow her on Twitter at @cindysku.


  1. Stacy Nockowitz says

    What are some of the Make and Takes that you’ve done? I’m sure you’ve posted about them, but do you have a bunch in one place, like a Drive file, that you can share? Thank you.

  2. Hello Stacy,

    These are the Take and Makes we have done since July
    Nail Polish splatter art titles
    Animal Crossing Necklace
    DIY Foot Scrub
    Riverdale Pins
    DIY Paper Coffin with Candy
    Fandom Shrinky Dinks
    Magical Lanterns
    Animal Crossing Bell Bags
    Baby Yoda Ornament
    Winter Care Kit
    Penguin Pom Poms
    Stress Ball
    Paint and Sip
    Mug Cakes
    Among Us Hand Warmers
    Star Wars Origami

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