Posted by mkrueger on 06/03/13

For May we had a DIY project that was a bit of a throwback, string art. String art has been around since the early 19th century but didn't really become popularized until the 1960's. Using cork board, some map pins, and embroidery floss you can create really interesting mathematical and other geometric designs. You can see a gallery below of what our attendees created.
Would you like to create your own string art? Take a look at the video below to find out how!

Posted by amypelman.res on 05/13/13

We had a great program last Saturday.  Here are some photos of the awesome tattoos we made:
If you want to make your own, it's pretty easy.  Here's how:
1. Stencils.  We used adhesive contact paper to cut out shapes and stick on the skin to be painted in.  The best stencils are made using an exact-o knife, so if you go that route - be very, very careful!  Try to get a cutting mat surface to use because that makes it a lot easier.  You could also tape pre-made paper stencils to your skin, but they are a little tougher to work with than the contact paper.
2. Eye shadow.
3. Liner Sealer (this one is about $10.00 on amazon, not including shipping).  Sephora sells one by "Make up Forever" that is $22.00. 
How you do it:
Scrape some eye shadow into a small container (even a soda bottle cap will work).  Add 3 or 4 drops of liner sealer and mix with a paintbrush.  Fill in your stencil using the paintbrush, or the little applicators that come with the eye shadow.  Peel off your stencil.  Voila!  It's now a waterproof tattoo that should last a few days!  Want a little more detail or a different explanation?  Here's where I got the idea.

Posted by Trixie on 05/09/13

Last Saturday, May the 4th (be with you), was National Star Wars Day. In celebration, the HUB had a program where we learned about basic circuitry and made jawa figurines with light-up eyes. I promised to post instructions for those that weren't able to finish during the allotted time - threading conductive thread into the eye of a needle is difficult! If you didn't attend and want to make your own jawa with light-up eyes, I modified this build to accommodate budget and length of the program. Please feel free to stop by the HUB if you have any questions or need help with your jawa!
  1. Using conductive thread, sew the positive wire. Make sure you are sewing the LEDs on the inside of the figurine.  In the diagram below, it's shown as "+" signs. 
  2. Once your wire is below the battery access slit, attach the battery holder by sewing through the copper positive terminal.
  3. Next, sew the short negative wire, shown as "-" signs and highlighted in the diagram. Begin at the copper negative terminal on the battery holder. The end of the wire should be on the front side of the figurine (opposite the battery holder).
  4. Now, sew one part of the metal snap using the conductive thread. This will serve as the switch for the jawa's eyes.
  5. You will now sew the other negative wire, also shown as "-" signs and highlighted. Begin by sewing the other part of the metal snap switch to the flap on the front of the figurine.
  6. Insert the battery into the holder and test the LEDs to make sure that your circuit is complete and not shorting out.
  7. If the eyes light up, sew most of the jawa body closed around the outer edges of the figurine. Leave a small opening so that you can stuff the figurine with polyfill.
  8. Stuff the jawa and sew the small opening closed.
  9. Put the robe on your jawa. Tape the black construction paper around it's body to hold the robe closed and serve as his equipment belt.

Posted by amypelman.res on 04/22/13

Those of you who follow us in Instagram and Twitter (*hint hint* for those who don't we're: Hub500) might have seen the photo above already.  Last night I was just on the couch in my pjs and I decided to do something I'd been thinking about for a while: wrapping my earbuds. I hate the way they get tangled in my bag, and I heard this might help.  Plus it makes them look better!  It works on all sorts of cables, not just earbuds.  Want to do it?  All you need is some scissors and embroidery floss.  You can get embroidery floss at needlepoint stores and craft stores like Michael's.  I experimented with thin yarn last night too, but I liked the way the embroidery floss looked better.  Anywho, if you already know how to make friendship bracelets, you're pretty much set.  If not, just watch this quick video to see how to do it:   
Tweet or tag us if you do it! 

Posted by mkrueger on 04/19/13

April saw an interesting DIY! We learned how to solder electronics together to create personalized flashlights from mint tins! You can view a gallery below of the event.
Couldn't make the program? Don't Fret! You can read the instructions to create your own mint tin flashlight, courtesy of the ever amazing

Posted by Trixie on 03/28/13

If you're anything like me, you can't get enough of Reese's Peanut Butter Eggs. Instead of dyeing hard boiled eggs for Easter, try making this easy recipe (via chicagoist) for yummy, homemade peanut butter eggs. Everyone will love a delectable, handmade treat in their Easter basket!
4 cups powdered sugar
1 1/2 cups natural peanut butter
1/4 cup butter, melted
3 Tbs 2% milk
3 cups semisweet chocolate chips
2 Tbs butter
First, combine the powdered sugar, peanut butter, and butter using an electric mixer. Next, slowly add the milk until it becomes a formable dough. Now, you're ready to form the eggs (or any shape - consider using cookie cutters if you want different shapes).
Place the formed dough on a wax paper-lined baking sheet and place in the freezer to harden for about a half hour.
Once you are ready to dip your dough in chocolate, melt the chocolate chips and 2 tablespoons butter in the microwave, warming and stirring in 30 second increments. 
Next, coat each egg with chocolate and place back on the wax lined-baking sheet. Let the eggs set in the freezer or fridge and store in the fridge until you are ready to eat them.
Finally, enjoy the fruits of your labor! 

Posted by mkrueger on 03/25/13

Teen Tech Week is every March and it gives libraries the opportunity to show Teens all new types of technology. With this week in mind, we ran a program that would be considered a little different from our "traditional" DIYs.
Behold the MaKey MaKey! An awesome little circuit board created by two MIT students that allows you to use almost any object as a key on the keyboard.
To use the MaKey MaKey you plug it into your computer and simply attach an alligator clip to one of the designated spots on the board, then attach the opposite end of the alligator clip onto anything that carries an electrical charge. Objects include keys, coins, aluminum foil, even bananas! Watch the video below for a demonstration.
Still interested? If you click the link below you will be directed to the MaKey MaKey's homepage where you can order your own MaKey MaKey.

MaKey MaKey Homepage


Posted by Trixie on 03/01/13

Looking for the perfect bookmark to hold your place in a library loaner? Well, look no further! You can make your own with glue (the school or white variety), the indented top of a pencil case or anything else you can use as a mold, and whatever you'd like to decorate your bookmark with. I'd probably go with something small like glitter or confetti so that your bookmark sits between the pages of your book. Colored pencils or crayon shavings would probably work well too. You can even use markers or watercolors to color or produce a pattern on your bookmark.
Follow these steps or watch the tutorial to make your own unique bookmark!
  1. Gather all the supplies needed: pencil case/mold, glue, markers, glitter or whatever you'd like to use to decorate your bookmark.
  2. Draw a pattern or color in the indentation on the pencil case or mold. Keep in mind that anything not colored in will be clear.
  3. Fill in the indentation with a thick layer of glue. Make sure not to use too much glue; it shouldn't spill over the edge of the mold.
  4. Add glitter, confetti, or anything else you want to decorate your bookmark with.
  5. Practice patience. Let the glue dry for 1-2 days depending on the thickness. It should look clear, not white, when it is ready.
  6. Carefully peel off your bookmark. You can trim the edges with scissors if you want.
  7. Dive into a good book without worrying about losing your place!

Posted by mkrueger on 02/18/13

This February we ran the DIY: Pixel Art program. This project is so simple and you can make some really great pieces to hang, wear, or whatever you want! Posted below is a gallery of the program and what our attendees created.
Also posted below are all the instructions, and a few extra sites worth looking at, to create your own pixel art.
Pixel Art Tutorial - This site contains everything you need to know to get you started making pixel art, the tutorial covers what materials you will use and a couple links to useful sites to get you started.
That 8-Bit Guy - This link goes to a guy on Facebook that makes all different characters from video games, movies, and a number of other subjects. Totally worth checking out.
Make Your Own Cross Stitch - This site is for generating cross stitch patterns from photos you upload. What does this have to do with pixel art? Well, cross stitching patterns and bead patterns are nearly identical! You can upload a photo and play around with the sliders to generate a pattern that is modified for the number of colors you want to use, and size.
Kandi Patterns - If you're looking for ideas on what to create using the bead materials, then look no further. This website contains a database full of characters from video games, television shows, and a number of others.

Posted by mkrueger on 01/28/13

Wow did we start out with a great DIY for 2013! Below are photos of our DIY: Crayon Art program held January 26th. This project is fun, and cheap! All you need is some poster board, crayons, and a hair dryer.
If you missed out on the program don't worry! Posted below is a video on how to create your own Melted Crayon Art!