Doctor Who Night -Take 2

Our Whovian teens are crazy about all things Wibbly Wobbly. If I plan it, they will come and it doesn’t have to be an all out party. In fact the last Who night, all we did was sit around and discuss our favorite monsters, watch clips from the Weeping Angel episodes, and eat way too much sugar! This summer I wanted to do a little bit more with our regular attendees and bring in some new kids into our growing fandom group. I had skimmed a few sites online and read a bunch of blogs to get ideas. The one that I liked the most involved making t-shirts. This one will cost you a bit more so plan about $40-60 depending on the numbers you allow in. You can do this a bit cheaper if you already have t-shirt paint on hand. That is the supply that cost the most. As always feel free to use any ideas that I have listed!

Doctor Who Night – Take 2

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The plan for the night was to make t-shirts, do a few crafty activities, and enjoy some themed snacks. I asked in our advertisement for the kids to provide their own t-shirts for decoration. This cut down on my cost since all I had to provide was paint and snacks. I also took registration for this event because of the supplies that I would need. We ended up with 19 teens which was a good number. I thankfully had one of my wonderful volunteers on hand to help with the painting process. I will apologize for the lack of photos. It was enough to just get the kids sorted out and started on their t-shirts. Photos were not really an option. I realize that photo instructions would have helped explain the process so please check out the following link for more details. I am just going to give you a brief idea of what we did.

For our t-shirts I used this idea: Freezer Paper T-Shirts  I tweaked it for our purposes and only printed out a few designs for the teens to choose from. I used a heart, K-9, a simple Tardis design, and the Doctor Who symbol. We do not have a fancy machine cutter so they cut everything out by hand. NO EXACTO KNIVES!! For obvious reasons. Just go online and do an image search for Doctor Who silhouettes and you will find a nice selection.

Other Supplies: I have added links

  • Fabric Spray paint– This is similar to what I found at Walmart. Our Walmart had some spray that was for Sports T-shirts and was $4.98 – $6.98 a bottle. I got two cans of Black and Two cans of blue.
  • Fabric Paint- We had some left over from previous programs and I put out red, white and black. These are the brush on kind like the tutorial above.
  • Paint Brushes- Use soft bristled brushes. It makes the paint go on a bit easier.
  • Freezer paper– make sure you get the kind with the plastic coated kind
  • Iron
  • Cardboard that will fit in between the shirt layers
  • Plastic Drop cloths or something similar

Make sure to cover your tables so there is not over spray from the painting process. Have the kids choose a design or two and decide how where they want it on the shirt. Next, they will need to trace it on to the freezer paper before they do anything else. Then they need to decide how it should look. Do they want the painted part to look like this like the Tardis at the top:

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If so, they need to trace the design on to the middle of the freezer paper and cut it out. Then you will iron the freezer paper on to the t shirt with the center Tardis part cut out. Then they can paint it. Or you can do the easy route.

Here is what I recommend. Have them cut one of the designs from the freezer paper and iron what they cut out on to the t-shirt. It will save you lots of time and trust me lots of explaining! Then they will just spray over it with the fabric spray paint. Let dry for a few mins and peel off. So easy!!! Make sure you have printed instructions for washing the shirts. I sent the kids home with printed instructions for all the paint varieties that we used. Most require 72 hours of dry time before you can wear them or wash them.

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See how well they turned out?!!! Super cute. The spray is easy to use and dries just enough during the program for the kids to see how it turns out. One girl didn’t want to use the spray paint and found a fabric marker to use. Here is her design:

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This design was the group favorite. The young lady who did it wanted a vortex like look.

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For the kids that got finished early we had pin the Bow Tie on the Doctor:

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Lastly, I went online and printed off some word searches, Mad Libs, and bookmarks. You can find my links below.

What worked: 

I highly recommend printing out some templates before the program. I only had 6 choices for the teens and it helped cut down on time. The fabric spray also worked really well when lightly sprayed over the ironed on design. The most invaluable thing was having a large plastic drop cloth over everything. It made clean up a breeze. I also had pre-cut cardboard that would fit under each design.

One thing I used for the snack table was this sign: Silence Snacks  It was hilarious and got the message across. I printed a bunch of random Whovian memes and hung them up all over the room. I also had a large cardboard Tardis standee that lives in the teen department on display for selfies.

What I would do differently: 

I would have only let them do one option with the freezer paper. It was really confusing to explain how to cut it out and paint inside the design. Even with an example a few kids just did not get it. Also, some of the spray paint cans worked really well and one did not. It kinda did a globby thing and sprayed out in clumps. Do a quick check spray before letting the kids try it.

I also think that I will do 12 and up for my next program. I had some little brothers sneaking in during the program and it made things very tricky to make sure they did not grab paint or irons. This is an ongoing challenge that we face in our library. Our resolution is to have a separate program for the little kids and families. We are also going to have an adults only program this winter. We hope that having multiple programs will give options to all of our patrons and they won’t feel left out of the fun.

Things you can use:

Here are some activity links that I used for print outs:

BBC Links

Coloring book/Activities

Party Printables

 

Final thoughts: 

This was a fun program. I plan to do it again since I have lots of paint left over. I also plan to do something similar with adults and kids. Just maybe not t-shirts! Another idea you can do is have a trivia night and a costume contest for adult. For the littles maybe do a special storytime and break out the parachute for a bit of Tardis tossing!

As always feel free to steal and message if you have questions. If you have a Doctor Who program you have blogged about send me the link!

 

 

Multipurpose Library Puffs and a giveaway!

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So why am I posting a picture of giant pom poms? Because they are stinking awesome! They were an impulse purchase from Joann’s Fabric Store last year. I am a sucker for glittery objects and these were on clearance for under a dollar. My Mister was less than enthused and asked what I was going to do with them. I think I replied with “The real question is what can’t you do with them?!!”

When I took them to work, my fellow Librarians were pretty excited. I mean giant cheap pom-pom kind of excited. We really are easy to please! Since then I have used them in lots of programs.

  • They became Wuzzle fluffs for Dr. Seuss’s birthday celebration. The kids tossed them at the Cat’s hats.
  • They were asteroids and moon rocks for two Space story-times.
  • Teens threw them at each other for our Maze Runner program. They are really soft no matter how hard you throw them!
  • The white ones will be used for an indoor snowball fight.
  • The black pom-poms became rocks to throw at Orcs and trolls for our Hobbit Day party.

That is just a small example of what we have used them for. They are pretty durable for passing through that many programs and kids hands! It’s proof that sometimes the most random purchases can be super useful. You can still find them online here.

I am sure that we will come up with more ideas in the future. Till then … What would you use them for? The best answer gets a package of giant pom-poms of their own! Leave a comment below with your answer and I will pick my favorite. You have until September 30th to answer! Be creative and be wacky!

 

Vintage Virtue – A shop you should check out

Craft handmade items are my number one weakness. There are so many cool artists out there with wonderful handmade items for sale. I spend way too much money buying geeky things, library related things, and gifts for friends. One store that every geeky librarian should know about is:

Vintage Virtue

We all have to wear boring lanyards with our name badges so why not geek it up with some cool badge reels. Vintage Virtue has an amazing selection of Badge Reels for almost every fandom. She is even willing to create custom reels if you can’t find your favorite character. Right now she is making me some seriously cool Star Wars reels with Boba Fett and Ahsoka Tano. She also offers geeky earrings, tie clips, hair bows, and much more. Bonus- They are all affordable and you get free shipping! Whoot!

Check out some of her uber cool work:

 

 

 

Have a happy Friday!!!

 

 

DIY-Easy Ribbon Bookmarks

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Since everyone is under an Arctic Freeze this week I thought an easy DIY post was in order. Ribbon bookmarks are pretty and fun to make. They only require a few items to put together and are a great way to use ribbon scraps. There are several ways to make them. It depends on the ribbon that you choose. The fancy ribbon in the picture has a loosely woven back that would snag on the pages. Because of this I doubled it up and glued it together. Grosgrain ribbon will not require this. I only doubled it up to make it a bit stronger. Instead of glue you could also sew the sides together. Today I will show you how to make them using glue.

Here is what you need:

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Step 1– Glue the ribbon together. The fabric glue says it takes 2 hours to dry fully. You can still complete the other steps while it dries.

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Step 2– Add the ribbon clamp to the cut ends of the ribbon. If you are adding charms you will need a clamp with a loop at the end. You can also add a plain clamp to the other end.

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Step 3– Use jump rings and pliers to attach charms to the end of the bookmark. I also added some beads that matched the ribbon. After this is done let your ribbon dry and then enjoy! I put my ribbon under a stack of books to make sure it dried flat. Next time I will sew the ribbon together.

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I thought my King Arthur bookmark worked well with Jane Yolen’s book. I made another bookmark using blue ribbon, a fairy charm, and a mini Peter Pan book.

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There you go! Three easy steps and only a few supplies gives you a beautiful bookmark. I hope you enjoyed this tutorial. Let me know if you have any questions!

Happy reading and stay warm!

Book page Christmas Trees- Recycling tired books

If you ever announce on social media that you need old books to cut up, be prepared for the backlash! I offered to make centerpieces for our Library Holiday party. I thought that recycling old books that were destined for the shredder or the trash would be a perfect homage to everything literary. Holy wow was I in for a surprise! People kinda freaked out when I said I wanted books to cut up. Reactions varied from “OMG- I feel kinda sick” to “Murderer”. Granted several responses were meant as a joke. Still… what is our big hang up about tossing old books?

Some Librarians tend to get a bit on the hoarder side of things when it comes to books. We hang on to every single copy until it falls apart and then we keep on repairing it. Heaven help you if you decided to weed or *gasp* throw things away. I am more of a practical person. If it’s old and worn out either re-purpose it or recycle it. There is no need to hang on to outdated material unless it has some historical merit or value. I could go on about the importance of weeding but I will leave that for another day.

In response to my friends and their utter horror that I would dare destroy a book… I posted the following photo:

Yes, that is a butcher knife and a dead book.

Other than tormenting my archiving friends, I did have a purpose for destroying readable books. I found a DIY link for recycled book page Christmas trees. I thought they would be cute for our Library party as give-aways. Here is the link for the easy stacked page trees: Stacked Trees    Here is the link for the easy curled page trees: Curled pages

Six hours and six trees later I can say that Pinterest is full of lies. Things are never easy. Take any craft on Pinterest and multiply it by an hour and add a date with a vacuum cleaner. I am still finding bits of book pages all over the house. However, despite my complaints they did turn out pretty cute.

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I also had fun ripping pages out of books. It was liberating and I felt like a very naughty library lady! Bound to Stay Bound lives up to its name. Those were the hardest books to take apart. I had to use the Mister’s pliers and wire cutters to get the pages out of the sewn binding. I am hoping the other Librarians like the little trees. I like the curled pages the best. I made my own cones out of paper and hot glued the strips of paper on. It was much faster than using pins and foam.

I still have a stack of left over pages to create something else. Has anyone else out there tried some book recycling crafts? What did you make??

Happy Holidays and Happy literary destruction!!

DIY- Star Wars Fighter Pod Earrings

I just finished an earring tutorial on my other site GeekyKool.com. I decided it would be fun to post it here as well. FYI- I am doing an giveaway on Geeky Kool for a pair of Stormtrooper earrings, so when you are done here head on over for a chance to win! (Enter here)

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I love finding a good deal, especially when it can be used for a geeky craft project. I saw these tiny little plastic Star Wars characters at a friends desk a few months back and instantly thought “craft project”! Star Wars Fighter pods are these tiny one inch figures that come in mystery bags with a clear pod. You get two figures and a pod for $3.99. They are a spinning game where you place the figure either inside or outside the pod and use it to knock over your opponents fighters. See video commercial here and here.

Instead of paying $3.99, I went to my favorite markdown store called Tuesday Morning. They have these little dudes for 99 cents a pack! Major score! The Mister and I went a bit crazy in the car opening all the bags to see which figures we got. He was super excited about Boba Fett and Chewie. I was excited that they all weren’t the same thing! I ended up buying 20 packs.. don’t judge me. It was a really good deal. I even got a Han Solo in carbonite!

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What you need:

  • Star Wars fighter pod figures Depending on where you find them (Wal-Mart, Toy R Us, Walgreens, or discount)  they are 99 cent to $3.99 a pack. Or if you are lucky and have kids, steal their duplicate figures!
  • Testors Cement for Plastic Models– Wal-Mart or craft stores like Michaels will carry it. ($3-6) Make sure you get the package with the precision tips. Superglue also works well and is cheaper.
  • Earring wires– Wal-Mart or craft stores have these in multi packs.  ($2) Or take apart an old pair of earrings that you hate and use those wires.
  • Eye Pins– Wal- Mart or craft stores (around $2)
  • Needle Nose pliers and a needle

Total cost– It depends on what you have on hand. ($5-10)

Difficulty level- *** (the use of a needle and the sealer means adult supervision needed)

**Click on the photos to see more detail**

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Step 1– Choose your figures. I decided to go with Boba Fett since he is everyone’s favorite bounty hunter! Next, trim your eye pins to a half an inch. You can use the needle to start a hole in the top of the figure. Trust me these things are tough and I bent a few eye pins trying to force them through by hand.

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Step two- Coat your eye pins in glue. This help keep it in the figure. You could skip this step because I found that the plastic grips the pin really tight even without glue. It would take some major pulling to yank them off. I just like to be extra sure that Boba doesn’t ignite his jet pack and take off!

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Step 3- Use the pliers to shove the pin into the hole that you started. Don’t worry about the glue that builds up at the top. It dries clear and you can barely see it. Let it dry a bit and meditate on the coolness of the Fett!

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Step 4- Add your earring wires. Open the wires and slip on your figure. Use the wires to clamp down the loop. That’s it! You are finished. These are really really cool. They are also light weight so you won’t be dragging the earlobes down.

Here is another pair that I made using a Chewie and a Han in Carbonite. Who says that earrings have to match?

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Remember the awesome lightsaber earrings I did on Geeky Kool a few months back? Use one of your lightsabers and add a figure for a really cool necklace! I went Sith and made a Darth Vader necklace with a red lightsaber. I used a shot bead chain and some jump rings to extend my charms. I plan on wearing this on days that I have to send out overdue slips in the library. “I find your lack of book returns disturbing.”

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Want a pair of earrings for you, your favorite Princess, or as a gift to that special girl on Tatooine? I am giving away a pair of Stormtrooper earrings. They are holding blasters, but don’t worry they can’t seem to hit the broad side of a Rebel fighter! Head on over to Geeky Kool for your chance to win!

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DIY- Superhero Bookmarks


As a Children’s Librarian I often find really icky things in my students books. (The worst was the used band-aid of 2011) I won’t even mention the really gross things that my public librarian friends have come across. I try to find fun bookmarks that my students will actually use. I came across the idea for craft stick bookmarks on Pinterest and had to pass the idea along. If you have kids, work with kids or are just a big kid at heart; these are super cute!!

The original pattern and idea comes from Amanda Formano on her blog “Crafts by Amanda”.  I used her patterns for the Iron man and Hulk sticks. Green Lantern and Wonder Woman are my own creations. See the original post here: Avengers Bookmarks

What you need:

  • Jumbo craft sticks-  (trust me the really skinny ones are hard to paint)
  • Acrylic paints-  I used green, purple, black, white shimmer, blue, gold, yellow, brown, clear glitter paint and red. I also mixed colors together to get the right shade.
  • Detail paint brushes
  • Modge Podge or Acrylic sealer
  • Pencil and pen

**Click on the photos to see more detail** 

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Step 1– Select your sticks. Make sure the edges don’t have broken spots and the wood  is mostly clear. This makes for easier painting later on! Sketch out your design in  pencil on the stick. Here is  my design for Wonder Woman and Iron Man.

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Step 2– Start adding the paint! I used really skinny brushes to get the detail of her  costume. Instead of painting stars on her skirt I used dots and glitter paint to make  her more girly! Let the top dry and continue the pattern on the back or paint with a  solid color. I decided to use a solid color for the backs of my sticks and just paint the  fronts. Let them dry for several hours before adding all the details.

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Step 3– Use a ball point pen to add the tiny details like the eyes and the outlines of  each piece of the costume. My hulk muscles are kinda crazy! He has a very tiny 6  pack! Make sure it’s a pen that will not smear when you add your sealer. I found that  using a pen was a lot easier than paint and more forgiving.

Step 4– Follow the directions on your sealer and use a good brush to paint it on. Look for one with soft neat bristles or you will have lines. Let dry between coats and seal one side at a time. My sealer made my detail on Green lantern run a tiny bit. It’s not that noticeable but still annoying!!

Once everything is dry you have a set of super fun bookmarks for your little guys or yourself. Trust me your librarian will be very happy that you are not using band-aids! Wonder Woman is one of the coolest things I have painted this summer. She just rocks my geeky socks off! Please feel free to use my Green lantern and Wonder Woman ideas as gifts for friends. (just not to sell for profit)

You could try this craft with your students using crayons or markers. Markers tend to bleed on the wood so crayons might be a better choice. If anyone tries this please post a link to the photo below. I would love to see some Batman sticks or other superhero ideas in either paint or crayon!

Happy crafting and geek out!!

~VEB