Tuesday, January 26, 2021

Crafting with Teenagers: DIY Pinback Buttons

 Okay, this isn't so much a teenager-specific craft, because Syd has been happily creating her own 1" pinback buttons since she was a brilliant and adorable three years old:

Check out my amazing little peanut in action!

Yes, she's always been a creative and mechanical genius.

Even though we never go anywhere to show them off anymore, Syd still likes making pinback buttons (here's the exact button machine I've apparently owned for over a decade now!), and I'm pretty sure that this is a universally appealing teenager craft. Here's one of the handmade Black Lives Matter pinbacks that she made near the start of the pandemic, when we were quarantining our way through a homeschool social justice unit:

I REALLY miss homeschooling that kid. 

A little while ago, Matt and Syd were cleaning out the garage, when Syd came across a box with the moveable type for my business card stamp inside (the one we own is the same brand and very similar to this one, only mine is self-inking, which after a decade of use I actually think I do not prefer!):

She asked if she could use my stamp set to make her own pinbacks, and even though putting the moveable type of my business card back on the stamp afterwards was a PAIN IN THE ASS, I told her yes because I love her.

Want to know what kind of custom stamped pinback a teenager would make?

This kind:

It's very on-brand!

And now I'm on the lookout for more fun stamped phrases that would fit on a 1" pinback button, EVEN if it means having to redo that whole entire business card stamp again, ugh. I also think they would be a great canvas for creating adorable and intricate little artworks... if only I can convince my local artist to make a bespoke creation or two!

I even found a way to display them that doesn't require going out into society:

If you, too, want to sneak some learnin' into DIY pinback button making, here are some ways we've incorporated homemade pinbacks into our homeschool:

  • slogans. Syd did this for our social justice study, of course, but it would also be super fun to let kids make their own campaign buttons for civics or history studies.
  • party favors and giveaways. One year, the kids designed their own Girl Scout cookie pinbacks and gave them out as "prizes" when customers bought a certain number of cookies. It was a terrific kid-led marketing exercise!
  • moveable alphabet. When Syd was a pre-reader, I used an alphabet punch set and made several sets of moveable alphabets, using the button base but not the pins. The kids used them interchangeably with the rest of our moveable alphabet collection for all kinds of early reading exercises.

  • chores. For a couple of years, when the kids were especially high-energy and rascally, I kept a bag of a billion chore buttons in a little bag on a hallway table. Each of the million times a day that the kids did something ratty--punched her sister, left her half-eaten lunch in the middle of the floor, lost her shoes for the fiftieth time that hour, etc.--instead of dealing with the emotion or reasoning or whatever behind the infraction like a good parent, I'd just wearily tell her to go pull a chore. They were all small and random tasks that would take anywhere between 5-10 minutes to complete, stuff like picking up all the sticks in the backyard, or spray cleaning the bathroom sink, or vacuuming the couch with the handheld minivac. When the kids weren't in trouble they could also pull a chore to earn quarters, and if a kid's infraction had been something ratty towards her sister and I was mad about it, I'd sometimes make her pull a chore and complete it, and then hand her a quarter and make her GIVE IT TO HER SISTER, MWA-HA-HA! I don't necessarily think chores as punishment is a sound discipline strategy, but each time I did welcome the chance to lower the everyday chaos in our household a tiny bit.
Interested in even more unsound but highly effective discipline strategies? Well, you'll barely even find those on my Craft Knife Facebook page anymore, but you WILL find a bunch more random craft and homeschool projects and a lot of chaos energy that will probably make you feel a ton better about your own household!

No comments: