Take 5: DIY on Tumblr
Tumblr is an awesome place to hang out. It’s visual, fun, and easy to use. And believe it or not, it is a great place to find DIY outlines. Just last week author Tahereh Mafi shared a tutorial on how to make these glorious Shatter Me inspired shoes. I myself have shared several DIY tutorial on the TLT Tumblr. So today we’re going to talk DIY and Tumblr.
DIY on Tumblr usually takes 2 distinct forms. Sometimes, like Tahereh has done on her blog, that entire tutorial is right there in the Tumbl post. Other times, the Tumblr is simply used to reblog and curate DIY activities, similar to what many people do with Pinterest. Libraries, particularly libraries that have Makerspace themes, should consider starting a DIY specific Tumblr blog as an information resource for teens in their local communities. In fact, you could even get teens to help you put together tutorials of library craft programs for the Tumblblog.
Five DIY Themed Tumblrs:
Buzzfeed is pretty epic all on its own, but they do have a DIY Tumbl blog. It can cover anything and everything. My favorite is when they have lists of DIY around a particular theme – say a holiday or just the theme of books – and they link to something like 25 DIY posts on that topic. Great for program inspiration or planning.
Daisy Pickers shares original and shared tutorials for a variety of craft ideas, many of which have a country chic feel to them. There are tutorials for making things like craft floss tassels, half log bookends, and tin can stilts.
Like Buzzfeed DIY, DIY Hoard is an awesome and eclectic look at DIY around the Internet. There are a lot of full tutorials right there on the Tumblr (easy to reblog and share).
True Blue Me & You
True Blue Me & You has a variety of craft/DIY tutorials on their Tumblblog. For example, they show you how to make these stacked rings, which are epically cool. On the right side bar you’ll see that this person also has a Tumbl blog on Kids Crafts, Halloween Crafts, and Christmas and Holiday Crafts.
Why Not Just DIY
So, interesting note here. Cussing is pretty rampant on Tumblr. In fact, there are a lot of Tumblr that are named “Fuckyeah whatever the topic is”. You can have a Tumblr address and still have a different Tumblr heading. So this Tumbl blog’s address is Why Not Just DIY (probably what the originally named it), and when you go to the Tumbl blog the title is Make Your Own Shit. So, there are cool craft resources here, but you probably want to be aware of the title when sharing with teens – especially younger teens – on your library’s professional page. Having said all that, I really like their tutorial on how to turn paper lanterns into glitter lamps. Very cool.
How to Do DIY on Tumblr
So in addition to sharing these cool DIY resources from Tumblr, I wanted to point out that Tumblr is a great way to be incorporating more tech and social media into your teen services. I highly recommend having a DIY themed specific Tumblr blog for your teen services. As I mentioned in the open, when you do a craft program, you can even get the teens present at your program to help you make a DIY tutorial for your Tumblr blog. Take lots of step by step pictures (and you can take them over the shoulder if you are worried about privacy issues), outline the steps, and put up your post as you would make a craft instruction sheet. I would also include a bibliography of some craft books on the topic that can be found in your library.
If your library has a Makerspace or a craft heavy emphasis on programming, this is a great way to highlight what you are doing to the community and be a resource. Making – arts, crafts – are important I believe because they inspire creative thinking and problem solving, and innovation can not happen without these. Creativity also is a great way to get teens involved in self-expression and to boost their sense of accomplishment and self worth. Craft programs also are a great way to have some active programming – as opposed to passive programming, where teens sit and listen to someone speak – while still meeting their social needs because craft programs are ripe for sitting and gabbing while crafting. In short, maker programs create a library environment that is very 40 developmental assets friendly.
About Karen Jensen, MLS
Karen Jensen has been a Teen Services Librarian for almost 30 years. She created TLT in 2011 and is the co-editor of The Whole Library Handbook: Teen Services with Heather Booth (ALA Editions, 2014).
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