Category Archives: a movie and a make

A Movie and a Make: Jupiter Ascending


Once I heard the abysmal reviews of Jupiter Ascending, I knew I wanted to watch it with our hilarious teens and hear their commentary.  When looking for a project to go with it, I initially wanted to do galaxy tshirts, like the ones found here. It wasn’t until I was making the supply list and realized how tricky it always is to estimate tshirt needs that I reconsidered. I always suggest teens bring their own shirts, but we have to have some on hand in case they don’t read the program description or can’t afford a shirt to bring or just forget. Blank tshirts are kind of expensive, yo! Plus if you over-estimate you’re stuck with shirts, and there’s the whole guessing what size shirt people want/can wear. TOO HARD!

I was trolling Pinterest and Google Images for other space-themed crafts that weren’t too baby-ish or easy, and I stumbled across this amazing DIY Galaxy Necklace tutorial at Oh the Lovely Things.

Here’s what I ended up buying:

2 packs of makeup sponges from the Dollar Tree ($2)
Nail polish in clear coat, navy blue, grey, white, hot pink, white, and lilac from the Dollar Tree ($7)
Two three packs of brass charms on clearance at Hobby Lobby ($3)
One ten pack of shell charms from Hobby Lobby ($3)

I have a ton of findings and cords left over programs people did before I got here, so I also pulled those out. Total expenditures: $15. I would have purchased more blanks for decorating, but historically, this program has had pretty low attendance, so I figured with the sixteen blanks and some other tiny blanks I had on hand, we’d be fine.

How’d it go?


As the time for my program came and went, I had a sinking feeling I was going to have a goose egg program. Fortunately, one of my teens who was a new face at anime club last week showed up (YAY!), and then a couple more kids came in.

Jupiter Ascending is, in fact, a terrible movie. The teens were mocking it relentlessly, and it’s chock full of groan inducing dialogue. The galaxy charms worked really well as a movie craft because you need to wait a while between each coat of nail polish for it to dry, and the actual crafting doesn’t require a lot of fine detail work that would be hard in the dark. The teens did a much better job at making their galaxy charms than I did (mine just looked like I had spilled a lot of nail polish, oops!)

Overall, I’d say it’s a success! Even though I only had three teens at this program, I’m hopeful it might continue to grow? Maybe? Next month we’re watching Jurassic Park, so at least the movie will be awesome.


A Movie and a Make: Big Hero 6


When I first arrived at my library, I created a survey for the teens, asking what kinds of programs they would like to see. One of the most surprising answers to me was that so many teens wanted more movies at the library. I definitely love straight-up movie nights, because they’re easy as pie and cheap cheap cheap. The real lightbulb moment for this program, though, came when I was racking my brain trying to think of more ways to integrate Maker programming into our events. Why not combine a movie with a cool craft or project or tech fiddling? And BOOM – A Movie and A Make was born. I’m hoping that by showing once-a-month movies, I can grow an audience of teens who are coming to the library specifically for programming. I’m also doing the movies on Saturdays, in the hope that I can capture some of the teens who are already at the library and show them some cool stuff we have on offer.

What better movie to start with than Big Hero 6? It’s well-made, popular, and will definitely make you feel all the things. If you haven’t seen it yet, you should probably stop reading this blog post and put it on hold at your library. This is also a good idea if you have already seen it – it totally stands up to rewatchings!

For the project portion of the program, I initially wanted to make Baymax mugs. I figured this was an easy entry-level craft that even uncoordinated folks (like your intrepid author here) could make look good. I also thought that we could talk a little about how you really need the oil-based Sharpies to make the decoration permanent, and it would lead to a discussion about how everything you see on Pinterest isn’t accurate. Good plan, right?

Well, serves me right for waiting until a week before my program to get supplies, because when I bopped over to the Dollar Tree to pick up some cheap white mugs, they had none. There were tons of flowery white mugs, and black mugs, and white plates, but not a single white mug at any of the three Dollar Tree locations I tried. It was too late to order any cheap mugs, and all the other places where I could get white mugs locally were out of the program’s price range.

After some frantic scrambling and brainstorming, I decided that Sculpey Baymaxes would be just as cool! Plus we could stick a loop in them and make them keychains. To the craft store I went to purchase the clay and the tools. Never one to stick to a shopping list, though, I wandered around the store for a hot second and ended up in the little kid craft aisle. My eyes fell on a huge container of Model Magic, and I was struck by how Baymax-y it looked. Also: MUCH CHEAPER. I picked up a box with four bags of Model Magic in it for much cheaper than I could have gotten a large block of Sculpey. I also picked up some simple sculpting tools for the teens to work with.

How’d it go? Well, I only had three teens who showed up, but! They were all real teens, and they all came specifically for the movie. I’m going to count that as a success! Next month, we’ll be showing The Hobbit, Battle of the Five Armies. If you have any movie/make suggestions for future showings, feel free to send them my way.