Teen Librarian Toolbox
Inside Teen Librarian Toolbox

Cindy Crushes Programming: DIY Evee Evolution Pins, by Teen Librarian Cindy Shutts

We are joined again by my fabolous Coworker Faith Healy who is here to talk about her super cute craft Eevee Evolution Pins! So if your teens love Pokemon give this a try. 

So I am particularly proud of this craft as I created the template from scratch and it came out so cute. This is not the first time I made a template from scratch, but sometimes you get an idea in your head and it does not work out the way you want. This one worked out great!

Designing the Template

So I was looking for program ideas on my go to site Pinterest when I came across a cute template for sewing Eevee evolution plush heads here is the link for anyone interested: https://cholyknight.com/2018/01/12/eeveelution-blob-plush/ . For My teens,  the amount of sewing it called for might be a little tough, but I hoped I could do something with the template. Unfortunately the template was very complicated, but it did have a reference photo. I looked at the photo and knew I could make a template that was simple just using the photo. It was harder than anticipated, but I did it. I used the Silhouette studio to trace the image to create an outline. It did not work great on all the images. Some I had to trace myself, but all that matters is that I created a usable design that I am happy to share!

Deciding the Materials

I went with foam, but you can use any material with this template. I just happened to have foam around to make some samples when testing my DIY template. I chose to do pins since I did have a bunch available from a past craft and I have done Pokemon badges before in foam and my teens loved them. You could do this using foam, felt, paper even. You could make them pins, pendants, earrings. I would just test out materials before making any decisions.

Making the Craft Kits

So I made the terrible decision to put all nine templates in one kit. I was just unsure which Eevee evolutions would be more popular with teens so I decided to all nine. I do not recommend this. It was a lot of work. I did make 36 kits, 12 for each of my library’s three branches. The cost was around $50 for the foam, pins, and bags.  If attempting this craft kit, I would break it down by Eevee Evolutions, just make sure to include Eevee in all the kits. If you are unaware, Jolteon, Flareon, and Vaporean are the og Eevee Evolutions. Umbreon and Espeon were the next generation. Then Leafon, Glaceon, and Slyveon came out, though Slyveon I believe came out a generation after Leafon and Glaceon.  Enough of pokemon lore, that would be how I would break it down in the future and what I would recommend to anyone attempting this craft kit. It is possible to do all nine, but be prepared for a lot of work.

One thing I had to do when making the kit is figuring out how much of each color I needed in each kit.  So I made the following charts below. I figured out the color breakdown of each eevee evolution, than I broke it down by color. The colors that are used more, I made sure to buy more of them in foam.  This method might not work for everybody, I am just more of a visual person.

Once I figured out what I needed I bought the foam. I cut up the foam so I would have 36 of each color that are big enough for what is required to be cut. From there I did the lengthy process of stuffing them with each color, 9 pins, 9 templates, and instructions.

Making the Instructions

I feel like it is pretty clear on how to construct, but I know instructions are always helpful. I made sure to include a color guide on the instructions so they know what colors to use with what piece. The instructions are not as pretty as I like, but I got sick with bronchitis and had to take a week off work and the release date was looming near, so I might have done them in a rush.

This is a simple and fun craft. It works great as a Take and Make. We literally have people come in to just pick up this craft kit.

I will also say this craft could be a fun program where you watch Pokemon and make your favorite eevee evolution pin.

Please feel free to share and use any of the documents I have provided.

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.

Cindy Crushes Programming: Tips for Me, and Maybe You Too, by Teen Librarian Cindy Shutts

So at my library I have begun to program in person again. It has been a challenge for sure. The first program I did was a pirate themed scavenger hunt. I had no one sign up. I did get two to do it who had walked into the library. Then I did a backyard clean up of the library for volunteering. It was eventful. We got locked in the courtyard. Oops. We found a dead animal. We also found trash that should have not been left under our tree. So I started to remember what in person programming was like. I have to remind myself that everything is different. Here are the things I told myself:

  1. Low attendance is okay: Not all teens are vaccinated. I would rather teens be safe than sorry.
  2. We are starting over again: A lot of my teens aged out and I have not been doing school visits because of Covid so the younger teens do not really know me and what the library offers to teens.
  3. Do not spend a lot of money right now: We do not know how the attendance numbers will be so try to not do programs that will take up a lot of our budget.
  4. Keep doing some virtual programs: We know that some teens can not get to the library right now and this is a way to keep them engaged with the library.
  5. Try to not do too many educational programs: Things are hard and teens want to have fun and be able to take their minds off the pandemic.
  6. Do not over program: This is the number one thing I have to tell myself. I love doing programming but quality over quantity is key with programming.
  7. Be kind to yourself: You are dealing with a lot right now. The pandemic is still here and does not seem to be going away as much as we wish it would.
  8. Let things go: If something happens and you have to cancel a program that is okay. Things happen. It does not make you a bad person to cancel a program.
  9. Listen to the teens: This is what I have been doing the most. I am trying to do stuff that they want to do. Not things I think are cool. They are going through a hard time. We have to try to help them.
  10. It’s okay to be upset: If a program goes wrong it is okay to be upset and feel those feelings. You do not have to lie to yourself about how you feel.

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.

Cindy Crushes Programming: Making Silhouettes with Faith Healy, by Cindy Shutts

Today I am here to share with you a fantastic program idea with my coworker, Faith Healy. Faith made beautiful fandom silhouette crafts and she is here to walk us through what that process looks like.

A silhouette is basically an outline or shape of an object or person filled in with a solid color, which is often black but does not have to be. Silhouettes work best for a recognizable shape, object or person.

A Completed Silhouette Craft

One great way to do an easy and appealing craft kit is to do Fandom Silhouettes. This is a simple craft to do for any teen.

Supplies

  • 4×4 Canvas ($9 for set of 24 I got 2)
  • Red, Blue, Green, and Yellow Paint ($1.99 per bottle) – I used washable paint for parents sake since it is easy to wash off if it gets on clothes or anything. One drawback is that the paint went on much lighter to the canvas but you can layer it for a darker color and just have to wait between coats for it to dry than add more paint. I made 48 kits and only used half of each bottle.
  • Container for Paint ($9 for a set of 100)
  • Vinyl Sheets ($1 per 12×12 sheet, I used 12 sheets)
  • Precut silhouettes made with a Silhouette Cameo or Cricut – this is a preparation step you do before the initial program

Putting the Kits Together

For the fandom kits I gave teens six options to do, five different ones for each color. We did keep one fandom silhouette consistent across the board and that is the Among Us Silhouette.

I tried to keep from the same fandoms for each kit. I made sure each kit had a Disney silhouette, Star Wars Silhouettes, Pokemon, Video Games, and Sponge Bob while picking different characters that correspond to the different paint colors. Those are pretty popular fandoms for my teens, but you can always switch it up.

I made and cut out each of the stickers on vinyl. I made them about 1.5 in x 1.5 in which fits perfectly for a 4×4 canvas. I used the Silhouette Studio and the Silhouette Cameo Cutter to make them. I simply search for a silhouette of the image I want then in the Silhouette Studio I trace that image to make the cut design.

This can be done on any cutting software. I just happen to work in a library with the Silhouette Cameo Cutter and am familiar with using it. It did take me about four hours to finish all the cutting so it is a bit time consuming, but the results speak for themselves. This kit only lasted two days at my branch before they were all gone.

I had made 16 for each of the three branches in my library district. 4 of each color. I created instructions and color coded them as well as included the silhouette options. This was helpful in picking out which color they wanted. I found cute white gift bags at my local craft store that were perfect for making the colors pop.

The kit can be done one of two ways. You can paint the canvas, let it dry than place the vinyl sticker on it. This is the most simple way and might appeal to teens who want it done faster.

The second way is placing the sticker and painting around it. I did have some issues with this method in that if you glop the paint on too thick it bleeds under the vinyl sticker (You can see this in the example photo of Cinderella Silhouette.)

You can also have fun with this craft in how you apply the paint. The paint I used tended to leave paint strokes so I had fun in changing my direction, dabbing, using different methods that created different results. Using something like a sponge would leave an awesome texture on the canvas. 

Red: Charmander, Kylo Ren, Mario, Mr. Krabs, Mulan, Among Us

Blue: Squirtle, Stitch, R2D2, Squidward, Cinderella  Among Us

Green: Bulbasaur ,Baby Yoda, Peter Pan, Tiana, Yoshi Among Us

Yellow: Pikachu, Hamilton, Spongebob, C3P0, Belle, Among Us

Here are some other silhouette ideas and walk throughs for you:

Here’s a tutorial that walks you through turning your own photo into a silhouette using the open source (which means free!) online GIMP program

These various items were made using the GIMP silhouette tutorial above

Here’s a tutorial that walks you through using the Silhouette App on a smart device to create your silhouette. There are several photo apps that you can use to create silhouettes.

These silhouettes were made using the Silhouette app. The one on the right is then blended with a space background using the Fused app. Because this graphic is from a different post it was made blue, but black silhouettes often make the most striking contrast.

Here’s a tutorial that walks you through creating a silhouette using the Silhouette Cameo machine

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.

Cindy Crushes Programming: Harry Potter Inspired Dragon Eggs

cindycrushesprogramming

Cindy has long been a fan of dragons. And who wouldn’t be? Dragons are cool! Today Cindy is sharing with us how she made Harry Potter inspired dragon eggs with her teens. Dragons not included.


dragoneggs1

I had made a dragon’s egg before with modeling clay and the results were not what I wanted. Thankfully, I found a YouTube video and saw how I could make this activity work.

I saw this method was very similar to the Harry Potter wands I made, that use hot glue to model the shapes. I had a lot of issues when creating this process in real life. I learned that making the egg was easy but getting the paint to dry fast enough was going to be an issue. I also wanted to make sure when I finished it looked like a dragons’ egg and not an Easter egg.

Editor’s Note: There is a lot you can do with hot glue. Check out this 5 Minute Crafts tutorial

Supplies:

  • Hot Glue Guns and Glue sticks
  • Plastic Easter Eggs or Foam Eggs
  • Paint, Metallic Fast Drying
  • Glitter Paint
  • Nail Polish (Optional)
  • Mod Podge (Optional, for sealing your egg)
  • Table coverings, paint pans, etc. to help create an environment that is right for painting

Step One:  Pick an egg, if using Easter eggs try to find one that is closest to the color you want to paint the egg.

Step Two:  Use hot glue to make a design. Since it is hot glue, if you make a mistake you can take off the glue if it dries.  I used a scale design for my main egg. One of the teens chose a lovely drop design, where they had small dots in rows neatly all over the egg. You can glue the egg shut if you want to. I did not.

Step Three: Paint that egg. I made sure that all the teens rolled up their shelves because this could be messy.  This is the hard part is you have to make sure to use fast drying paint. Metallic makes the eggs look the best. Do not cover the egg with lots of paint one solid layer will do the job. You can do it with nail polish, but be aware you have to have thick nail polish and that it will smell like nail polish.

dragoneggs2

Wait for your paint to dry completely before going on to the next steps.

Step Four: Paint with glitter paint. This makes it have more of a shimmer.

Step Five (Optional): My co-worker Maisie Ivens let me know she had sealed her eggs with a layer of  modge podge.

Final Thoughts: It took a little more prep time then I expected but it made the craft worth it. As long as you have patient teens, this is a great craft.

Pair your activity with a display of YA lit featuring dragons using this list found at Epic Reads (https://www.epicreads.com/blog/17-ya-books-with-dragons/)

Pair your activity with a display of YA lit featuring dragons using this list found at Epic Reads (https://www.epicreads.com/blog/17-ya-books-with-dragons/). Graphic by Epic Reads

Cindy Shutts, MLIS

cindy

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.

Cindy Crushes Programming: DIY Silhouette Mugs

cindycrushesprogramming

Like most librarians, I get many ideas from Pinterest. When I saw a Disney castle mug made of decorative dots, I knew my teens would love it because Disney inspired crafts are very popular at my branch. Although we focused on Disney inspired silhouettes, any silhouette would work. In fact, you can turn your own photo into a silhouette using this tutorial.

mug2

Supplies

  • Dollar Store Mugs
  • Paint Sharpies
  • Tape
  • A silhouette image for a template (these can be made on a cameo machine). You can also use large, removable stickers. For example, large letters for initials works well.

Here’s an entire Pinterest Board dedicated to Sharpie Mug Art

Steps

  1. Wash and dry the mugs
  2. Tape a silhouette to the mug. Make sure the tape is under the silhouette. You do not want to cover the part of the mug where you will paint with the tape.
  3. Make sure all paint sharpies are prepared and shaken so the paint will come out.
  4. Have teens test sharpies on a piece of paper so they are aware of how the paint will come out.
  5. Then have the teens start adding paint dots around the silhouette. Make sure they are very close together. If the cardstock is thick enough, it is fine to touch the cardstock with the paint pen. They need to make dots all around the image and as close to it as possible.
  6. This process can be done on both sides of the mug.
  7. Allow the paint to dry and then remove your silhouette template.
  8. To complete the mugs, you can instruct teens to bake the mugs at home in an oven for 30 minutes at about 350 degrees. However, this step is recommended but it is not necessary.

mug1

While your mugs are drying, you can tie this craft into the great artistic technique known as pointillism. Artists like Georges Seurat and Paul Signac made entire masterpieces using nothing but dots and their artwork is still influencing artists of today. You can learn more about pointillism here.

Working Title/Artist: Study for A Sunday on La Grande JatteDepartment: Nineteenth-Century, Modern, and Contemporary ArtCulture/Period/Location: HB/TOA Date Code: Working Date: 1884 photography by mma, Digital File DT1026.tif retouched by film and media (jnc) 9_29_11

Final thoughts: This was a fun craft. It is a little bit more expensive than some other crafts because of the cost of paint sharpies. Couponing can help. As long as the teens are patient, they should get good results.

Editor’s Note: This would also work well on a blank canvas, a t-shirt, or even on a piece of card stock that you then frame.

Cindy Shutts, MLIS

cindy

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.

Cindy Crushes Programming: Nail Polish Gems

cindycrushesprogramming

Today Cindy is sharing with us how to make gem stones with nail polish. Please note, the galaxy gemstones would make a great craft to go along with the 2019 space themed summer reading program.

gems3

Supplies

  • Old Nail Polish
  • Clear Glass Gems (can often be purchased at dollar stores or craft stores)

Additional supplies (not needed, but can be used to turn gemstones into magnets)

  • Magnets
  • Felt
  • Hot glue gun

I am always looking for cheap fun crafts and ways to use old supplies. I had lots of old nail polish from a previous craft, so I looked up nail polish crafts and found nail polish gems.

I tried three different types of Nail Polish Gems– crackle, rainbow, and galaxy.

See Also: How to Make Nail Polish Gem Stones

Crackle is when the back of the gem is painted white and then covered by another color. This one did not turn out well and would not recommend making this one.

Rainbow is very easy and very pretty. You make use of all the colors of the rainbow in order. I always make sure to have an image because some people, including me forget the color order. This would be an awesome craft to do with for a library Gay Straight Alliance Pride craft. You could use all the different pride color designs.

gems1

Galaxy was the most popular. You start off using a light glitter nail polish and keep adding more layers of glitter nail polish and the last layer is a dark color like dark blue or purple. Galaxy gems are so shiny and beautiful.

gems2

You have to make sure when doing nail polish layering the teens wait for to it to dry before applying the next layer. Layering is very important.

Finishing touches: If you put a circle of felt on the back it can be made into a magnet by hot gluing a magnet to the felt. They do not need felt, but this can be an added touch to make the back smoother.

Final Thoughts: This craft was so much fun and easy to make.. The teens loved it and the adults who saw the gems were very impressed. I would do this craft again. I would also try to learn a few more complicated designs.

If you still have nail polish left over, here are 31 DIY crafts you can make with nail polish

Cindy Shutts, MLIS

cindy

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.