Young Adult

Pawject Runway

Pawject Runway is a pet-centric maker program held annually with a virtual “runway” show to highlight participants and additional submissions. Each participating team for the in-person maker event consists of a dog model and at least two human assistants. Teams are often families or friend groups. For the virtual runway, submissions of photos or short videos from all types of pets are accepted.

Advanced Planning

The goal of this program is for library guests and their pets to have an opportunity centered around making and creativity. It is offered before Halloween when folks might already be dressing their pets up.

Planning for this program begins with booking a meeting room space for an in-person maker session at least three months ahead of time. Since I have been repeating this annually, I pick my October dates around 6 - 9 months out. I contact local police K9 handlers and Pflugerville Animal Welfare Service about a month out to request photos or short videos of K9s and adoptable pets in costumes. Purchasing fabrics and gathering supplies is also completed a month in advance.


Marketing for participation starts in September and runs through the submission deadline. The event is marketed on the library website, event calendars, in-house signage and social media accounts. We use Canva to create graphics and find the virtual runway backgrounds for the final video. I write a newspaper article published in the local Pflugerville Pflag about the program for the first weeks of October.


The majority of the budget is for purchasing supplies for an in-person maker program. Buying a selection of fabrics, adhesives and embellishments can be costly but donations of materials such as old t-shirts is possible.

Many non-traditional materials like cardboard and foam may be sourced from materials already at the library. I store leftover materials from previous years which has brought repeat costs down.

Offering this as a virtual runway only and asking for photo/video submissions brings the cost down to just staff time for marketing and compiling.

Day-of-event Activity

Set up for in-person consists of two 5x3 tables for each dog model and their team to use as a workspace, given at least 6 feet between stations. The number of participants will be based on available space. Larger work areas are helpful. Tables for material selection, sewing assistance and dog water stations are provided.

I suggest using a space with a door so that well-behaved dog models can be off-leash for fittings. Most participants keep their dogs on leash. At least two staff members are beneficial for assisting and helping run the sewing station. Many projects are constructed with adhesives instead of sewing so providing that is optional.

Program Execution

Our first in-person runway program in October 2019 had six teams consisting of seven dogs and 28 people. The event was offered virtually in 2020 and 2021.

For 2022 and 2023, in-person participation had about half of the pre-pandemic levels. The virtual runway has continued to be well received. As a municipal library, we encouraged city staff from other departments to participate with their pets. All feedback seen and heard was positive. The creativity shown by our community more than achieved the goals of this program.

We saw positive outcomes with several pets participating for multiple years with new creative looks. Relationships with other city departments have also been strengthened through this program.


Even though this program aims to encourage making, we accept photo submissions that are likely store-bought from those who want to participate.

This program is a great opportunity to partner with local pet organizations.

Keep in mind that pet parents know the comfort level and temperament of their pets best. Be prepared for possible accidents and check state and local ordinances related to pet programming in your facility.

Supporting Materials