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DIY Squishies

March 19, 2019
Audience
Tweens and Teens
Popular Topics
Coloring, Crafts & Hands-on
Budget
$51-100
Advance Planning

I began planning one month in advance by practicing the craft with memory foam. I purchased a 2-inch-thick piece of memory foam from Amazon and precut 3-by-3-inch squares to give to teens to cut.

Marketing

I did an in-house flier promotion two weeks prior, and I posted to the library's social media channels twice: one week before the program and again one day before. All of our programs are featured in our quarterly newsletter, too.

Budget Details

Overall, I spent about $60 on supplies. The memory foam was around $30, the paint around $22, and the tools added up to about $8.

Day-of-event Activity

I gave each of the teens a 3-by-3-inch piece of foam, which I had cut in advance. I then had them draw their designs using a Sharpie. They then cut out their shapes using scissors. I suggested they use small cuts to shape the foam.

Then I instructed them to use puffy paint (or fabric paint) on the foam to decorate their squishies. Then we covered them in acrylic paint to dry out the foam.

Teens can use gloves and paint with their fingers or they can use a craft stick. Puffy paint is expensive, so I asked the teens to paint a thin layer, then use the dotting tools or a paint brushes to paint details.

Program Execution

Thirteen teens participated in this program. Most of the attendees were excited because squishies are expensive in stores, so they were happy to make a free one.

We also used YouTube as an instructional tool. We played instructional videos in the background while the teens were working.

Advice

I suggest purchasing additional memory foam for the teens, since some of them will likely cut too much and will need a new piece.

If you have a TV in your room with access to YouTube or an HDMI hookup, show YouTube videos for inspiration.

Give teens a plate to transport their final product home because the paint will still be wet. Also, remind them to let it dry for 24 hours before they begin to play with it.

Short Title
DIY Squishies

Our DIY Squishies program allowed our teens to be producers as well as consumers as they made/designed their own toys. Using pieces of foam and basic craft supplies, teen participants created a variety of "squishies," in shapes like cookies and pizza, similar to toys sold in stores.

Program Date
Thu, 2019-01-10
  • watermelon squishy toy
    watermelon squishy toy
  • hand cutting foam craft
    hand cutting foam craft
  • hand cutting foam craft
    hand cutting foam craft
  • drawing on foam
    drawing on foam
Summary

The DIY Squishies program allows teens to make and design squishable toys using pieces of foam.