Teen Button Makerspace

DSCN1589The Cambridge Idea Exchange has some exciting news: we’ve added button makers to our branches! While policy is still in the works, as of now, patrons can create a limited number of buttons for free. I ran an introductory maker space at the high school branch – at which over 60 buttons were made in 1.5 hours! It’s not every day that the public library can get dozens of teens excitedly crowding around the info desk…unless you have a button maker.

I created many presized images that I knew would appeal to teens – celebrities, inspirational quotes, sassy sarcastic quotes, popular movie and comic book characters, etc (see downloadable resources). While almost all of the premade images were used (or grabbed for later), I was surprised that over half of the buttons made were hand drawn or written. Never underestimate the creativity and talent of teens!

DSCN1567I also allowed teens to request certain images for buttons. This meant that for each request I had to search for a suitable picture, save it, insert it into the template, resize it, and print it. Now that I’ve got it down to a science though, it can be done in about 1 minutes (depending on how obscure the image is!) I found that letting teens request their own images was an awesome way to get to know what they love. Tons of anime, hardcore bands (or “post-hardcore” as I was told), YouTube celebs I’d never heard of, K-Pop bands. I learned a lot.

The maker is now available upon request for supervised use, and gets used on a regular basis by teens and children in the library. I’ve also found it super helpful to add flare to programs and displays.

Downloadable Resources:

Button tutorial booklet
Formatting the Button Template
Blank Button Template

Templates With Images:
BT quotes
BT Cool Designs
BT funny and inspirational
BT Book Theme
BT banned books

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3 thoughts on “Teen Button Makerspace

  1. Hi, I’ve just discovered your blog today — what a wealth of resources & inspiration, THANK you! I’m wondering whether, for this button activity, you thought of / had to think of copyright when it comes to using images from anime, of celebrities, etc. Is that a concern? Thanks!

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