A 'Make and Take' typically involves facilitating a hands-on workshop where participants get to make something and take it home with them. ('Make' and 'Take'!)
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What is a “Make and Take”?

First of all, a Make and Take is a lot of fun! A “Make and Take” typically involves facilitating a hands-on workshop where participants get to make something and take it home with them. Pretty simple, right?

Example: Learn to Solder

If your space/group/organization is hosting a Make and Take, there’s a number of things you’ll need to do. We’ll work with an example.

Let’s say you want to do a “Learn to Solder” Make and Take.

You’re probably going to need the following tools:

  1. Soldering Irons
  2. Soldering Iron Holders
  3. Helping Hands
  4. Wire Cutters
  5. Solder Sucker
  6. Lights
  7. Fume Extractor/Fan

And the following consumables:

  1. Simple Soldering Kit (consisting of)
    1. PCB
    2. Components
    3. Battery
  2. Solder
  3. Tape

You’ll probably want a first aid kit on hand. Burn cream, bandages, etc. Access to cool running water is a good idea. You’ll also want safety equipment available, such as safety glasses for the participants and facilitators.

And, you’ll need people. Staff, instructors, makers, what have you. People to actually facilitate the activity. Walk guests through the process of making the thing, and explaing it along the way. Keeping an eye on safety, etc. If you’re working with adults, one facilitator can probably handle at least two (or more) people, though for kids a one-on-one, or one facilitator per two child makers is probably better. It’s also good to have a “floater”, who is a spare person not facilitating, but there to jump in and assist any faciliator when they need help.

You might also need someone to act as a greeter/manager, who can explain what is happening, answer any questions, direct people to an open station, and generally keep an eye on things.

Simple Make and Takes

The above example of a “Learn to Solder” Make and Take might seem complex, but there are simpler versions of Make and Takes, and some can even be self guided, so a person or a caregiver/child team can work through it on their own with minimal guidance. In such a situation the facilitator can handle a much larger group, as they are not as hands-on with the making process.

Things Get Messy

There’s no way around it, some Make and Takes can get messy! We mean literally messy. if you’ve ever done screen print, or print making, or anything involving ink, you’ll have discovered that ink often goes where you don’t want it to. On hands, clothes, tables, tools, in hair, etc. Have whatever cleaning supplies you’ll need on hand, and then have extra. Explain that it’s a messy activity. If kids are involved, explain to their parents that it’s a messy activity.

Messy isn’t always about materials. While ink, paint, liquids, pastes, glue, and other things tend to make a mess, don’t underestimate the ability of someone to make a mess with the simplest of things. I once saw an activity involving art robots which included a little motor with a hot glue stick on the end to act as an offset weight that made a cup with markers wiggle around. A girl with long hair leaner over and the next thing we knew she had her hair tangled up with an art robot. It was a mess. We got it all untanlged, but the facilitator I was working with said “That happens every single time we do this activity.”

Safety is Job One

For any Make and Take, think about safety and what you need to have on hand, and what you may need to do if there is an injury. Have a first aid kit on hand, and remember to stay calm, especially if working with kids.

Minor cuts, scrapes, or burns happen. They happen in daily life, they happen at home, and they’ll happen at your event. Hot glue guns are notorious for being underestimate in what they can do. They can easily squirt out hot liquid glue that is between 250 and 400 degrees fahrenheit that loves to stick to fingers. Ouch!

Like any other maker activity, a Make and Take just needs some careful planning and an eye towards safety so everyone can have fun making things and no one gets too badlt hurt.

What are the Costs?

If you’re planning a Make and Take activity for 25 people and 125 people show up, well… you may have 100 disappointed potential makers. Can you charge money for a Make and Take? Sure! Can you do it for free? Sure! It all depends on what resources you have available. Resources are materials, time, and money, and those three things in various amounts cam allow you to come up with some creative ideas. Got lots of money but no time? Buy materials. Got lots of time but no money? Scrounge and collect inexpensive or free materials.