Wanting to encourage our patrons to try their hand at sewing, we created a mini-maker kit with everything they'd need to create a felt pocket cat. This passive program allowed patrons to take a kit — given out at the front desk, displayed next to a completed cat and flier — and create their own cat/pencil holder/fuzzy friend.
We created 40 pre-made kits, which included all the necessary materials (minus scissors), plus instructions.
To create a kit:
- Pre-cut the felt into squares/rectangles. A full-size paper cutter did not work on the felt, but we found a smaller trimmer that did work. The cream-colored felt is used for the body, while pink, black and brown are used for details. The ratio for the detail colors were approximately 1/2 pink and 1/2 black to 1 brown.
- Tape one needle and three pins to a small piece of cardstock, and then wrap brown and cream thread around it. (View a photo under Photo Slidehow at right.) This was a time-consuming process (even with a volunteer's help), so for future reference I would recommend just buying sewing kits from a dollar store, if you have the budget for it.
- Create a pattern based on this example , found online.
- Take photos as you make your own cat, and use these photos for the instructions. The instruction sheet folds into fourths. (View under Attachments at right.)
- Put the felt, sewing kit, stuffing, pattern and instructions into small plastic bags for distribution.
Since this was a passive program, we didn’t market it extensively. We placed one lone flier (View under Attachments at right.) at the front desk next to a completed example of the felt cat, and also created a couple Facebook posts. Since we only made 40 kits and limited the kits to one per person, the limited marketing worked fine. The example on the desk also drummed up interest.
Since we already had several items on hand, this project cost us very little. If all of the items below need to be purchased, expect to spend between $30 and $50. To make approximately 40 kits, you will need:
- large roll of cream, or other solid color, felt for cat's body (we had a giant roll of cream felt, leftover from a previous event)
- regular-sized sheets of black, brown and pink felt from Walmart, approximately 25 cents each
- inexpensive pins and needles, purchased in in bulk, or buy sewing kits at a dollar store
- brown and cream thread
- Poly-Fil stuffing
- sandwich-sized zip-top bags (we already had these on hand)
Save yourself the time and buy small sewing kits, instead of making them by hand!
About This Library
Ardmore Public Library is a single-branch system that serves a population of about 50,000 (2014). The library has roots as a Carnegie library, which opened in 1906, a year before Oklahoma statehood. The Ardmore Public Library connects people with ideas and supports lifelong learning by providing reliable information resources, a well-rounded book collection and other materials and programs that foster a literate, informed and culturally aware community.