Crafting Community: Instax Locker Decorating
Welcome to a new guest post series called Crafting Community, with me, Stacey Shapiro. I work in a standalone library in central Jersey, but we are fortunate in that every year we can apply for a grant from Union County, the county we reside in. This year, we’re planning to use that money to create a Crafting Community. Cranford is a town with a strong downtown shopping area and lots of local businesses to partner with, so the children’s librarian, Lauren Antolino, came up with the idea of Crafting Community to pay local businesses to host workshops for our patrons. Most of the money will go towards that, but the first big expenditure was Instax cameras.
I first learned about the possibilities of crafting with Instax photos from this blog, and I’ve wanted to do programs with them since then, but haven’t had the funds. The cameras themselves are $50, plus film which you will go through quickly. Luckily, our cameras arrived in plenty of time for the first Instax program.
Instax locker decorating
- Instax cameras (I purchased 6)
- Instax film
- Washi tape
- Roll of magnets to cut
- Color lenses
Stickers and other decorations would have been ideal, too.
Step One: Show the teens how the cameras work, turning them on and turning them off. Make sure to take out the film cover prior to any programming (the first photo is always the cover). Then let them loose! I had a limited quantity of film so I tried to limit them to two apiece, but they were quickly overrunning me. I had enough film for them to all go home with several magnets.
Step Two: Let the film develop. Instax photos don’t need shaking like a Polaroid; it’s easiest to put them down on a table and leave them. Only start decorating once they’ve developed which should be fairly quickly, or else the inks might get squeezed out.
Step Three: Cut out squares of magnets for them to stick on the backs of the photos, and voila, they have magnets to decorate their locker!
I was cautious about how receptive the teens would be to the Instax format, but several teens had their own at home, and they had their friends there and took a bunch of pictures of each other and themselves. All of the teens had fun, and really enjoyed decorating the photos with washi tape. Several didn’t develop at all, and a teen drew on them with Sharpie and took those home as well, so they weren’t wasted. Towards the end of the program, we had one picture left and a kid’s finger slipped and took an accidental, artsy shot and then we were out. But the teens were definitely interested, and they want more crafty programs like this one.
Stacey Shapiro is a teen librarian in Cranford, New Jersey, a cat mom, and a BTS fan. She was a 2019 ALA Emerging Leader and is currently serving on the Printz 2020 committee. When she has any free time, she’s playing Breath of the Wild on the Switch.
More on the Instax Mini at TLT
Filed under: Teen Programming
About Robin Willis
After working in middle school libraries for over 20 years, Robin Willis now works in a public library system in Maryland.
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