When I was a girl, I loved making things I read about in books. I read all of the Borrowers books by Mary Norton. The Borrowers were tiny people that lived inside the walls of regular size people that they called “human beans.” Borrowers “borrowed” items from regular sized people–a pocket watch became a wall clock, fibers from a doormat for a scrubbing brush. I had a bookcase that I used as a doll’s house, and I made beds out of Kleenex boxes, and water cisterns out of plastic containers used for baby wipes. I wish I’d taken photographs, since I can only remember those two things; I had a lot more–almost all of my doll furniture was up-cycled from something or other.
So, why am I telling you about making things from books? Well, today is the second day of National Library Week, which is sponsored by the American Library Association. This year’s theme is “Unlimited possibilities @ your library®.” There is a contest, and anyone can participate! Did you or your child make something at a library program or something you read about in a book? Take a picture and post it on Twitter, Instagram, or Facebook with the hashtag #librarymade, and you could win a prize! See official rules here. You have until noon on Friday April, 17. The prize is a $100 gift certificate to Maker Shed or Amazon.
But wait, you haven’t made anything yet? Well, you have four days! Here are some library resources that may be able to help you:
make it! by Jane Bull. This book is full of bright photographs featuring things you can make out of things you might otherwise throw away. The book gives a short primer on recycling, and then is separated into sections by the types of materials: paper, plastic, metal, or fabric. At the beginning of each section, you are asked to imagine a world without paper/plastic/metal/fabric and you get some history on how that material was created. Did you know that plastic was invented in 1862 by a chemist named Alexander Parkes?
Kid Made Modern by Todd Oldham. Where to start? This book gives information about color blending, colors, and describes the Modern movement of design. WAIT!! Don’t walk away, this is NOT a boring book. The colorful pages have projects based on different designers, and feature pictures of kids doing all sorts of fun projects. I’m kind of in love with the “World Weaver” on page 180 which involves weaving shredded paint chips and then gluing them to the cover of a spiral bound notebook.
For the very young craft enthusiast, I’d recommend Create with Maisy, which features Lucy Cousin’s fun-loving mouse, Maisy. While an adult will need to read the instructions and help with the crafting, illustrations of Maisy and her friends are mixed in with colorful photographs of the craft projects, with fun notes like “Maisy makes flowers for Ella.” On the opposite page, the photograph of “Tissue Flowers” is embellished with drawings of bees and a ladybug, things an adult could point out to a small child while talking about which craft project to start.
Here are some pictures of some things made at library programs at the Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh.
In August, we made ice cream cones using paper towel rolls and stickers for the cone and colored tissue paper for the ice cream at CLP — Downtown & Business!
The Kids Club at CLP — Carrick made parachutes last week!
Malayah, a Lego Architect, displays her latest design at CLP — Carrick!
So have fun this National Library Week. Make something, and don’t forget to enter the #librarymade contest!
By Suzi, CLP–Downtown & Business