Monthly Archives: August 2017

Benzonia Workshops


We had a great time in Benzonia this week!


The first day we had our Making Makers Learning: Intro to the Maker Movement workshop, with some great discussion!


The second day we had our Selling Handmade Goods Online workshop, where we discussed the business end of craft businesses, followed by our Fashion Hacking workshop. It was really great to see the diverse projects that people made during our fashion hacking time, and people really went out of their way to help each other, it was a great workshop!


That evening we hosted a Maker Fest open to the public and had stations such as glass etching, button making, paper puppets, and crochet. It was great to see the kiddos engaged and enjoying themselves with all of the activities!


The next day we wrapped up with our Gaining Financial Support workshop and a Maker Idea Swap, where we had a great discussion about the successes and challenges of Maker programming.


Thanks to everyone at the Benzonia Public Library for hosting us and to everyone who attended for their thoughtful contributions! Have a good fall everyone!



Workshop in Houghton Lake: Creating Design Challenges

We had a great final workshop in Houghton Lake by learning more about the usefulness of Design Challengs for libraries and schools.

We started by introducing our design thinking game. We then explained the design thinking cycle and had the participants complete one iteration of it. We finished by exploring other subject areas and how they can use design challenges as well.

Check out our folder of resources here. More pictures can be found here on our Flickr. Stay tuned for more events in Benzonia and around the state this fall!


Workshop in Coopersville: Selling Handmade Goods Online

Our final workshop in Coopersville was on how libraries can amplify the work of beginning or intermediate sellers of online arts or crafts. Here are our resources from the workshop.

We taught the participants of the importance of photography, and SEO, as well as brainstormed potential ways the library could help surface sellers from its own community.

For connecting sellers, we including several examples of ways that other libraries have been able to amplify the sellers in their community.

Finally, we included a brief overview of several sites that stock inventory and can be used especially with budding entrepreneurs or artists.

Check out our Flickr for photos of the event. And let others know about our remaining events in Coopersville and Benzonia.

Workshop in Coopersville: Creating Design Challenges

Our final day in Coopersville started off with everyone showing up early (including us!), and learning about how to balance open-endedness with structure to increase creativity among students or people at our programs. Here are the resources from the day.

We started by introducing the room to Strawbees, and had some fantastic responses to our first challenge.

Then we broke down the design thinking cycle so participants could implement it. They went outside in the sprinkling rain and research each other’s vehicle dashboards.

Eventually, after going through the steps of the design thinking cycle, they made prototypes with cardboard (and junk box materials — and Strawbees) and Make-Do screws.

Finally, we introduced the idea of a challenge not simply based around technology, but rather drama, with our paper puppet people. After getting used to the movement, participants did short skits.

Check out more photos on our Flickr. And let others know about our remaining events in Coopersville and Benzonia.

Workshop in Coopersville: Fashion Hacking Full Day

We had a lot of fun learning about fashion hacking today in Coopersville! Here are our slides and other info from the day.

Due to the high amount of knowledge in the room we tweaked our usual run-through and covered some of the theory behind fashion hacking.


We discussed different uses for a t-shirt, including costumes for kids and dog toys. Yarn from t-shirts was another topic.


It wasn’t long before our participants were making some pretty amazing things. We even had several finished pieces before lunch!


In the afternoon, we were able to teach the participants about making stencils using a Silhouette machine. Additionally, we taught them about how fun kids find the button-maker.


Hope you can join us at some of our remaining events throughout the summer. Check out the rest of our pictures at our Flickr album here.

Workshop in Coopersville: Introduction to the Maker Movement

Our first workshop in the new, lovely, expanded library in Coopersville was a hit. Here are the resources from the day, including slides.


We started off with a notecard activity to get the participants thinking with their hands. We then dived into the history and aspects of the maker movement, along with our experience.


After asking participants to think about their own communities, we made a flashlight and hacked it into some pretty unbelievable things. (With a junk box that’s been whittled down, even!)


Finally, we had a lightning round of game design followed by tools time where participants got to check out our tools.

Here are all the pictures from the day. Be sure to check out our remaining workshops!