DIY Snakes for World Snake Day!

July 16th is World Snake Day! I was not aware of this until I received a donation of small snakes made from pipe cleaners. I thought they would make great gifts for people who checked out items. What better day to hand out snakes than World Snake Day.

Coincidentally, we were having Knit and Nosh on that day and in need of a project. Making snakes is pretty simple if you have a sewing machine. We bought our sewing machine last year and it has been a great success. We also have a large supply of donated upholstery samples, and a few bags of Poly-Fil left over from making snowmans at Christmas, so we didn’t need to buy anything new for this project.

The snake makers chose their fabrics, and I ran the sewing machine. The first step for sewing was to connect all of the fabrics. Then I made a long inside-out tube tapered at one end (the tail) and open at the other end (the head). Tongues were made from ribbons, and eyes were buttons. The teens flipped the snakes right-side-out, stuffed them, and sewed the mouths shut. We had snakes of all shapes and sizes. What Fun!

Frankentoys

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This idea came from Jennifer King, who works at the Great Bend Public Library. Our teens were so excited that they arrived almost an hour before the activity was scheduled to start. I told them they could make sketches and plan what sorts of creatures they wanted to create. The activity is very cheap and relatively simple, but it is pretty messy, so plan for extra time to clean up. All of our stuffed animals were donated by the Community Assistance Center (a local thrift store). We also used hot glue and sewing supplies (needle, thread, buttons).

If you are feeling adventurous, you can use plastic toys, and cut them apart for the teens with a serrated knife. However, the activity is fine without getting into the realm of plastic toys. The animal’s appendages can usually be hot glued to the chosen body, but there are times when sewing is more effective. Let’s face it there is something oddly satisfying about cutting up stuffed animals to create your very own frankentoy!

DIY Magic 8 Ball

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At first, I had some reservations about this project… A glass jar filled with water coated in clay? I thought the jar would leak. And it probably would, if you didn’t seal it with hot glue. As long as you make sure your jar is dry, the hot glue really does make a good seal. It is amazing! Model Magic is also an easy way to coat the outside of the jar. It was cool to see what people made with their model magic.

Become a Masterpiece!

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In the age of the selfie, it only seemed appropriate to create a Summer Gallery Walk exhibit that encouraged taking photographs. We used a projector to trace the outlines on multiple pieces of watercolor paper, and everyone helped watercolor while looking at colors in the original paintings. After taping pages to cardboard in the correct order, we created frames out of cardboard and then hung them from the ceiling with fishing line. Some folks hadn’t heard of the artists before, so it was educational as well.

Improv Class

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Improv Class involved clips from comedies and a fun team game. Team members could pick a character, a location, and a scenario. At one point it was necessary to repeat “I am a Penguin!”

DIY Tutus

The tutu activity was another one of our teen-lead activities. All you need is some elastic and a mountain of tulle (a yard makes a little less than a quarter of a small skirt). You can sew the elastic to itself, use stitch-witchery, or you can knot it. Yards of tulle can be cut into long strips, or you can buy tulle on a spool (rhyming is fun!). The length of each piece of tulle is twice the length of the skirt. It is a great activity, just make sure you get a lot of tulle.

Here is a video that is very helpful:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nuFNLMFGTUA