Tag Archives: hands on

Christmas Decorations – Maker Style

The boys and I headed down to 757 Makerspace today after a little bit of a hiatus.  Great to be back and such a fun afternoon!

We got to use silicone molds to cast some snowflake ornaments, the customize some glass ornaments with the laser cutter.  Creative, hands-on afternoon and some really original ornaments to bring home.  Justin said we should plan to make a custom ornament every year.  Great idea!!

Here are a few pics.

We worked with the liquid plastics last year when we were first introduced to mold-making.  Last year we made this cool storm trooper using the same technique.


This year Beau had snowflake molds already made up and ready to go.


Both times we used Smooth-Case liquid plastics, mixing two part solutions that you pour into the mold, wait for it to cure, and voila!  (provided your measurements were solid) 🙂

Most times we have tried it it worked great.  Today one of my my snowflakes flopped, but we quickly mixed up another one.



While the casts were curing, a small group of us headed over to the laser cutter.  We were able to design the images and text that we wanted on our ornament, then watch as the laser cutter did its magic.


Pretty amazing that the laser cutter can hold and laser cut so many different substances – even wood, stone, and in our case glass.


Always lots of great creative energy around Makerspace – and today was no exception.  🙂





Get Up And Make! The Maker Movement

We got a peek into a great ‘maker’ community here in Hampton Roads today at 757 Makerspace, and I am SO excited!  It reminds me of the many years that I coached creative problem solving teams with Destination Imagination.  Artists, crafters, makers – learning and experimenting aLearning, imagining, creating, messy and imperfect – and FUN!   The idea that if you can imagine it, you can make it.  And have fun learning how and trying.

Check them out!


757 Makerspace website

And if you are not in Hampton Roads, see if you can find a similar community center in your town.

Today we checked out a blacksmithing class.  About 25 kids and their parents braved 30 degree temps to try their hand at learning the basics of blacksmithing.  Metal, fire – what else do you need, right???










And we are definitely lucky to have the guys and gals of 757 Makerspace who were fantastic with the kids and families.  A little teaching, some hands on practice, and some fun!  We are so excited to get back there next weekend for another class and see what other  things we can get into.

I think most of us love to try our hand at new things.  And exposing ourselves and our kids to the things we can do, create, make with our own hands and the help of others is a perfect antidote for too much screen time and standardized testing.  To get us all taking our ideas and trying them out, bringing them into reality.

Here’s a Parenting Idea for 2015:

FLIP THE SITUATION!  Instead of lamenting how much time kids spend in front of screens this year, plan an outing to do something hands on – whether that’s an outing in nature or a class where you can all create something with your hands and learn a new skill!  

Maybe find a way to create a little ‘maker box’ or ‘maker space’ of your own home for tinkering.  Try to get your school to get a ‘maker club’ going to get kids engaged with their minds and their hands.

And the same applies to all of us.  What kind of projects have we had in mind that we would love to see come to life?

Let’s find some new, fun and creative alternatives and get the creative juices flowing!