Make Your Own Pet Monster is a craft program intended for children ages 9-12. Participants will use fabric scraps and buttons/beads/etc. to design and sew their own stuffed toys, which they will then be able to take home. Materials will be partially donated—local craft stores and chain craft stores such as Fabricland and Michael’s will be approached about donating fabric scraps that they are unable to sell, as well as promoting the program within their stores through use of flyers.
The goal of this program is to promote the library as a community center and encourage children in developing creativity, a love of the arts, and the practical life skill of sewing, as well as promoting the library’s collection of resources on the subject of handicrafts. The objective of the program is to hold a single three hour session during which children will design and create their own stuffed toy which they can then take home. The program will also promote recycling and repurposing of materials by using fabric scraps and other found materials. This program may help to fill in the gap left by the defunding of arts programs in schools that has been going on recently.
This program is aimed at children aged 9-12, since they should be capable of the manual dexterity required for sewing. Since the crafting session should last at least three hours in order for there to be enough time to teach basic stitches and to design and craft the toy, it is recommended that the program be held on a weekend or else during the summer or other holiday from school. Since materials are required, registration is recommended so that there will be enough materials for everyone. However, the program should be free to all participants.
The timeline for planning should be approximately one month. This will allow for time to approach potential businesses for sponsorship and community partners for volunteers. Local sewing groups may be an excellent source of expertise to teach the children. In addition, this could be an opportunity for a student with sewing experience to gain some volunteer hours for high school. This time will also allow for promotion of the program.
- Basic sewing materials: needles, sewing thread, embroidery thread, fabric scissors, stuffing, paper, pens, fabric glue, glue gun, etc.
- Anything that can be found or donated: fabric scraps, loose buttons and beads, old worn-out clothing, bits of broken jewelry or toys, anything that could be used to decorate the toys
- Space: a room with tables and chairs
- Display: books and other collection resources about crafts—sewing in particular, but there is no reason to limit the subjects to sewing alone. The point is to be creative!