When it comes to Makerspaces, many prefer to think of all expensive, whiz-bang technology and equipment. While that’s perfectly fine and great for students, there’s a lot of benefits that can come from low-tech making as well. The art of creating something from scratch, of taking something from concept to finished product, doesn’t have to be expensive or even digital. Giving students a space to make things by hand, to put together different materials, is a valuable thing. If you doubt the ability of students to make amazing things from such low-cost tools, just check out Caine’s Arcade.
This is meant to be an exhaustive list, and I don’t expect every school to buy every single item on this list This is just a way to get you thinking about different types of supplies you could make available to your students. A lot depends on the age level of your students and the main goals of your space. My plan for my space is to create a crafting cart with lots of different supplies available for students.
Art and Crafts Supplies
- Duct tape – get a mix of solids and patterns. SO many possibilities
- Yarn – Students are getting back into the fiber arts. Provide some books on the basics of knitting, crocheting and weaving to get kids inspired.
- Knitting needles and crochet hooks
- Hot glue gun – With supervision of course.
- Construction paper
- Origami paper
- Mod Podge
- Popsicle sticks
- Rubber bands
- Pipe cleaners
- Markers, crayons, colored pencils
- Rainbow Loom $17.25 – These are HUGE right now. It’s easy to learn how to make basic designs, and students love to teach one another the harder ones.
- Perler Beads 22,000 Count Bead Jar Multi-Mix Colors $14.99 – we had a station set up with these in my library for a month and my students LOVED them. Great way to introduce the concept of pixels
- Die cuts – Most libraries already have these. Why not make them available to your students?
- Fabric scraps
- Recycled items: bottle caps, soda tabs, plastic bottles, cardboard tubes, old magazines, cardboard
Fun crafty accessories
These are great tools to have in addition to a bunch of craft supplies.
- Makedo 33-Piece Free Play Kit $10.95 – These kits allow students to create movable works of art out of cardboard and other recycled materials.
- Rolobox Reuseable Wheel Kit for Boxes $13.95 – lets students create vehicles out of cardboard
- LilyPad Beginner’s Kit $64.95 – A version of the Arduino that can be sewn into fabric, this is a great way to bring computing into crafting. Make a jacket for cyclists that blinks when they turn. Sew a shirt that plays a piano. There’s lot of amazing possibilities, although this will probably require more of an introduction as students might not get it intuitively.
- BarePaint – Conductive Paint (50ml) $39.95 – Paint your own circuits!
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