Homemade Holiday is a wildly successful program series that the Hopkins District and Dorr Township libraries have hosted for several years now. It’s an opportunity for patrons to get out and relax with friends while making their own gifts and decorations for the holidays. We’ve done projects such as linen gift bags, etched snowflake mirrors and glass-fused ornaments (view the finished products in the Photo Slideshow at right).
Because of its popularity, we’ve stretched the series from mid-October through the end of December, and now we host them twice a week rather than once. This year, we’re considering adding a pre-holiday-pampering-palooza for adult and teen women as a programming fundraiser.
Sometimes we have to purchase materials one year in advance. When you’re writing down your list of craft materials, don’t forget to add table covers. (Glitter is not my friend when I’m doing clean-up!)
Library staff members teach the majority of these programs to keep costs to a minimum. It’s also important that they make the craft before they teach it. To help the participants, we print out a variety of pictures to give them an idea of what the finished products should look like.
Our budget varies with each program, but we spend about $40 per program for 10 to 20 people.
The materials should be easily accessible to participants. With crafts like these, it’s critical to cover the tables. Depending on the activity, you may want to also cover the floor.
Before the program, we have the participants sign release forms. After searching for several of our projects on Etsy or at local craft stores, we let participants know how much the crafts would cost if they had bought them, which is a great “value of libraries” advertisement.
Be sure to have a sign-up sheet! This has become a major issue every year. We've had people just show up for the program, and we simply don’t have the space or materials to accommodate them.
About This Library
The Hopkins District  and Dorr Township  libraries are located less than 10 miles from one another. They are both part of the Lakeland Library Cooperative, which provides shared resources and services to libraries from eight west Michigan counties. Hopkins District Library is a small library located in the heart of the Village of Hopkins, which has a population of 600. Dorr Township Library holds more than 27,400 materials.