DIY Silly Putty

Hey Everyone,

Don’t you just love Snow-days….the dark bitter cold, the winds, the being stuck in the house???

Well, if like me you don’t, here is an activity to help you pass the time!

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DIY Championship Belts

For this weeks makerspace activity the students and I will be making Championship Belts & Crowns. These were the ideas of the students, so my job was to turn their ideas into reality.

Up first is this super cool championship belt you see below!20170213_101608

This came out better than expected, and my daughter is already dancing around the house with it on. As this is a makerspace activity you can have conversations with your students (or kids) around the following;

Names of Shapes

What it means to be a Champion or Hero

How to make their belt unique

and much more.

Click here for the instructions, and here for a free template, & here for more maker activities!

D.I.Y. Moroccan Inspired Side-table

Hi Everyone,

I am in the process of sprucing up my downstairs (livingroom, dining & kitchen), so Pinterest is my go to thing right now. Last week I saw this small side-table on Pinterest and fell in love:

right-moroccan-inspirationThis was, until I saw the $330 price tag. Like seriously, wth….for a small side-table?!? So I decided to make my own, and you can check out the quick process below. Btw, the total cost was under $20. (I already had the spray paint and glue.)

Making Polymer Clay Bracelets

Hey Everyone! Im back with another easy tutorial making Polymer Clay Bangles. This is something anyone can make, and is a hit with kids (and is a great snowday activity). If you are looking for more fun and easy activities that can be done with kids please be sure to check out my HAPPISPACE page.

 

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*If this is a one time or once in a blue moon activity a regular oven is fine. However, if planning to use polymer clay on a more regular basis (as the possibility of finished projects are limitless) think about getting a toaster oven solely for this purpose. This is because polymer clay is made from polymer- a plastic and who wants to worry about getting those chemicals in their food. Toaster ovens can be found in thrift stores, Target, or anywhere. I got mine in Target for $25.

Up-Cycling a Thrift Store Bench

Sorry for the delay everyone! I can say it was for something worth while…I am now Shayla Amenra M.Ed.!!! Yes, I was busy finishing up a Masters so fun, and life, had to take a backseat. But…. now that I AM DONE……its about to be project overload. SO sit back, relax and let the fun begin!

First up is this little thrift store bench. I got this bench for $5 about 3 years ago, and its been looking like this for the last year

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This is a disgrace! How have I been living with this in my house?! Anyway, this is what I did to make this horrible bench go from, “oh no”, to “oh yes”.

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First, unscrew/unhook the seat from the base like so..

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Next, select a fabric . (I chose this one from Gafney’s Fabric in Philadelphia.)

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Next you want to cut out a piece slightly bigger than the seat.

 

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Now, to get a nice fit, you want to staple one side, gently tug and then staple the other side.img_0023

Next, you want to get a good sandpaper and work those arm muscles! This step can be skipped, but any lumps, bumps, and imperfections will show. After you give your bench a good sanding, pick a good paint color, and get to work. This color is a mixture of 2 leftover cans of paint i had in my basement.

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After the paint dries simply reattach your newly re-upholspered seat cushion, and viola! This bench can now proudly sit in my living room, instead of hiding in my basement.

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Be sure to tell me what you think!

-Peace

Supplies for A Makerspace and Kinetic Sculpture

This week for class I had two separate assignments that I really enjoyed working on. The first was preparing a presentation on the two most important tools for a makerspace. The second was to creating a kinetic sculpture.

As part of my thesis I am looking at makerspaces. One of the questions I see many people asking is “what are some tools that make a ‘great’ makerspace”, so I was glad Allison, my professor, asked us to name our choices. So without further ado, here are my two must haves for a good makerspace.

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First Tool: Computer

Why: With access to a computer you can essentially learn how to make, fix, alter almost anything using a search engine. A computer gives you access to various online communities with their own specialties. Within these communities you can learn new ways of making a particular item, you can discuss problems with your item, and collaborate on ways to fix problems with your designs. I would even gor further and specify a Mac computer just because of the extra items such as IMovie and GarageBand, offering additional things I could make.

Second Tool: Dremel with workstation with Attachments

Why: A small Dremel with a workstation and its’ allows turns a simple dremel into a drill press, a flex shaft and a rotary tool. This then allows anyone to drill holes, polish metal objects, sand and grind. One could woodwork, make jewelry, fix household objects and solder just about anything you can think of.

For this weeks ‘make’ project we were tasked to make a Kinetic sculpture. I love mobiles and the beach, so when I was offered a free bag of seashells I knew exactly what i wanted to make. Using my dremel, I drilled holes in the shells, and combined them with beads I already owned. I then wrapped it all with copper and the final result is below. I am thinking of making more, what do you guys think?

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The beginnings of HAPPISPACE

This past week I began piloting my mobile afterschool makerspace for elementary students, HAPPISPACE. For those of you asking, “What is a mobile makerspace?” Its a movable place where children (and adults) can explore, create, tinker and discover using any, and every tool available to them. Mobile makerspaces can be found in your school library, a recreation center, or your local university.

HAPPISPACE is located in a childcare center. This was a strategic choice as many school age children in my neighborhood attend these centers for after school programming, so since they can’t come to the library, university, or museum I decided I would go to them.

For our first session we made Buckminster Fuller shapes. We discussed, and modeled, how the triangles, unlike squares and rectangles, remain stiff under pressure. While making our domes we also had to taste the marshmallows, to ensure they would work, lol. Eventually the students then made their own shapes, thus using their creativity to invent something new! Check out the pictures from this activity below.

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P.S. Next weeks’ activity involves a graffiti wall and walking water, be sure to check back!

Making Opal Clay Beads

My birthday was the other day (I’m the prodigal 33) and for one of my many gifts the hubby took me to Michael’s where I bought some polymer clay. They make it in so many awesome colors and effects. I settled on this Opal clay from Fimo.

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After being baked it’s supposed to be similar to Opal gemstones. I can say this clay doesn’t disappoint. It certainly reminds me of thre real thing. What do you think?

 

Grandma’s Jewels

Every so often I find myself pulling out a strand of pearls that belonged to my grandma. There is nothing special about the pearls and they aren’t even real. But before i know it I’m rubbing the Strand thinking of her…I wonder if she would be proud of me. What would she think of her great-granddaughter. I then shift to memories of us sneaking ice cream, my brass bed in her house and her smile. It’s funny how many memories and emotions that can be conjured by a simple old necklace. Do you have an pieces that bring up good memories for you? If so please share!