Make & Takes are projects that your makers can create at your makerspace and then take home and keep. Here we’ve rounded up our favorite Make & Take project ideas – many of these are very affordable and a great way to upcycle!
DIY Fidget Toys
Fidget toys are easy to make and you only need a few basic supplies. You can make your own fidget spinners, squishy toys, and more very easily and they are great things for your makers to make and keep.
There is no shortage of getting free cardboard for your makerspace, whether you have people in your community save + donate boxes, tissue paper rolls, or even cereal boxes.
There are so many great things you could do with these for make & takes! Here are some fun ideas for things to make with cardboard:
- Marble Runs out of cardboard tubes
- Cardboard Houses and Buildings
- Cardboard Costumes + Masks
- Cardboard Sculptures + Statues
- Cardboard Simple Machines
- Cardboard Robots
- Weaving Looms
Plastic Bottle Projects
Plastic bottles can be reused in so many different ways, whether you use them to make a planter, decorate them as pencil holders or you could even build a bird house out of them.
This is such a simple activity and everyone has a lot of fun with these. All you need is a drinking straw, some paper and tape. While rocketships are popular, you could actually do these with any kind of design or shape – maybe you could even make it rain cats and dogs for example.
Learn how to make straw rockets here.
Paper Bead Crafts
Paper beads are another fun project to make that is very economical – you simply need some old magazines that students can cut up and roll into beads and your only cost is the glue.
While jewelry is popular to make with paper beads, you could also make functional items such as bowls, boxes, and more.
Recycled Book and Magazine Projects
There is no shortage of projects you can create with recycled books, whether you use them to build structures, make hidden compartment boxes, create journals, origami, and more. If you can make it with paper or cardboard, you can make it with old books and magazines!
You can make keychains so easily out of almost any kind of material. Keyrings are another one of those things where you can buy thousands of them at a time and it becomes very affordable to be able to make them.
Here are some ideas for things to use to create keychains:
- Plastic containers
- Rubber bands
- Bottle lids
- Pipe cleaners
Craft Stick Projects
The wooden craft stick is one of those things that can be used just like cardboard in so many different ways! Students could make their own miniature furniture, miniature houses and structures, boxes, photo frames, and so much more!
This is another one of those economical supplies that provide a lot of value for a very low cost.
Rainbow Loom Projects
Rainbow looms are very common at makerspaces and it’s easy to see why. You can make all kinds of things with rainbow loom bands, whether it’s jewelry or even your own 3D characters.
Fuse Bead Crafts
Fuse beads are tons of fun to work with – whether you are creating pixel art or even making parts for 3D designs. They are also very economical, especially if your makerspace has a Tax ID to get wholesale pricing.
Rope and Cord
My Dad volunteers to do historic demonstrations at a lot of Colonial fairs and one of the things he got “roped into” doing is making rope – which is HUGELY popular with kids and adults alike – there is always a line!
You can buy a rope-making machine fairly inexpensively or you might even be able to find a maker to make one for you. My Dad usually uses sisal twine for rope making as it’s the most accessible and affordable for them. For demonstrations where you can make your own rope to keep, he usually makes them jump rope length – about 6-7 feet.
You aren’t limited to just using twine, however – you could make rope with plarn (yarn made from plastic bags), regular yarn, or even long strips of paper, which could then be used to make all kinds of projects!
Your makerspace will need to invest in a button maker to make button pins, but they are definitely a worthwhile investment and people love to make them. You can usually buy the blank button parts in bulk at great deals (especially at wholesale prices with a TaxID) and so the cost per button is only a few cents.
In addition to just being a lot of fun, buttons can also be great fundraisers for your makerspace. If you host a maker fair or set up a booth at another community event to fundraise, you can charge $1-$2 per button and see a nice profit to go towards investing in future equipment and supplies. Plus, it helps introduce the community to just how much fun it can be to make things!
Do you have any makerspace make + take projects to add to the list? What types of things do your makers like to make and keep? I’d love to hear your ideas in the comments below!