Welcome to the Indian Loft Maker Program!

  • Our maker programs are designed to support our whole school community. We offer flexible scheduling for students, staff, and classes to take advantage of our resources and knowledge. Please contact your librarians, Ms. Ashwood and Mrs. Whited to schedule a maker event. We offer both digital (electronic tech) and analog (old school low-tech) options and are working to expand our offerings. If you have a maker-related skill and we have demand--we'd love to put interested makers together for collaboration!

    Happy making!

Maker Programs/Events

  • Digital Style


    These are a class set of tiny robots that travel color coded pathways you create. They can also be programmed to "dance" using a tablet and the associate free app. Try the "tornado"--it's Ms. Ashwood's favorite!

    Jellybox 3D Printing using (software)

    This is recommended for multiple sessions so that proper training on the software will lead to successfully printed projects. Our little Jellybox was assembled from 3D printed parts by SHS staff and must remain on a stationary surface to maintain proper calibration. Mobile carts give the heebie jeebies. Please visit our library to use the Jellybox. When your .stl file is complete and ready for printing, please contact a library staff member to submit your file for manufacture (we have a Google Form). The process is slow so we'll run your file so you can run your day.

    Cricut * New for 2021-2022! *

    This is recommended for multiple sessions so users can learn the free app and have ample time to develop their final file for manufacturing. We have 1 Cricut machine for in-llbrary use with staff supervision. The materials for this device are a bit more pricey so we appreciate thoughful arrangement of your design for more economic cutting. Cricut uses a grid to cut or draw on paper, cloth, or vinyl materials. The lettering for our library rooms was made in sections on a staff member's Cricut with a font chosen by our design class students in 2018. For inspiration and ideas, check out some of our books in the 700's (arts, construction, crafts) . . . or the internet.

    Green Screen Recording

    SHS Technology can provide a green screen backdrop and mobile stand for you to record your own layered videos or photos using tablets. This has been very popular near Halloween for Munch 'n' Make!

    Audio Recording

    SHS Technology can provide tablets and microphones to support audio recordings for podcasts or other projects.

    On our wishlist: Sphero robot, programmable drone for obstacle courses/gyro programming

    Analog Style

    Building & Engineering

    Cardboard Construction

    We stash plain cardboard boxes--no gloss--just for this. Check out a set of cardboard cutting safety knives, make a solid plan before you start and get messy! Current assembly options include using tabs and notches (similar to carpentry), Elmer's glue with rubber bands or painters/masking tape as temporary clamps. We can also supply butcher's paper (the big rolls) for wrapping large areas in color or brushes and tempera paints for more detailed accents. We're hoping to expand into using plastic joints to provide rotating parts in the future. What can you make? Students have made bridges, recreated midieval castles, houses for the three little pigs, a Minecraft engchanting table with an embedded laptop as a programmed game console, and a wearable robot costume.

    Keva Planks

    These simple wooden planks allow for extremely open-ended creation! Using only gravity and balance, can you match all the challenges on the challenge cards? Teachers can check out the whole mobile bin for their class.

    On our wishlist: Legos


    Duct Tape Crafts

    Make a rose-shaped pen topper, a wallet and more. The tape's on us! Please have a plan before you start though.

    Paracord Crafts * New for 2021-2022! *

    We provide the cordage, clips/clasps, and some basic instructions on knots and weaving. You provide the motivation and handiwork. Paracord bracelets are often part of a survivalist's collection or bug-out bag. If you make yours, you'll know how to take it apart and use it more easily than if you buy one--plus, you get to choose the design and colors! In the Navy, boatswain's mates practice to create "monkey fists" for key chains and other intricate knotted work.

    On our wishlist: a paracord jig to anchor the cordage while working

    Culinary Maker

    Buttercream Icing Techniques

    This is a once-a-year SHS exclusive. Your librarians arrive with delicious ninjabread cookies ready for your creative touch! We'll have home-made (or Culinary Arts made) buttercream icing ready to go in bags. Decorative candies may be included as well. If we get the greenlight after the pandemic, it'll happen in December.

    Royal Icing Techniques

    By request, Ms. Ashwood can give basic instructions and demonstrations to small groups or individuals for how to make those hard sugary sculpted shapes used on cakes and cookies. Thicker shapes require drying times of days. Thin shapes can be piped onto waxed paper and taken home same-day in a small plastic or cardboard container. Any specialized tools involved cannot be checked out as they do not belong to SHS.

    Let's Get Physical -- with games!

    Giant Jenga

    This game set makes a loud CRASH when the game is over so we limit its use when testing is going on and keep it in the Library. It's great for small groups and made by an SHS staff member with care. The best time to play is before or after school--sometimes we'll have it out for lunches too!


    Many of us recognize the shapes when we see them but many more of us missed out learning the actual rules to the game! There's a part that's often forgotten--tossing a small object like a rock into the pattern and having to balance while traveling to pick it up on the way back. We've researched several patterns--look for this to appear at the Library entrance from time to time. If you see it, you can play it!

    Jump Rope & Double Dutch

    Some of our childhoods included these games and some of us really missed out. Get nostaligic while sharing these games and their traditional rhyming songs with our community. It's healthy and can cause a rampant case of the giggles!

    Hoop & Stick

    Driving around Fredericksburg and Falmouth you may have seen the image of a colonial kid playing this game--it's so much harder than he makes it look! See how well you fare at this game of coordination, speed, balance, and skill.


    Bullet Journaling

    We can provide the guiding principles, standard symbols, fun stencils, gel pens, and dot grid paper to get you started on a gorgeous adventure of crafting note and calendar organization to suit you specifically. This method has been gaining popularity and offers tons of flexibility and personalization so you can make it as simple or complex and ornate as you like.

    Calligraphy, Cursive, and Hand Lettering

    We have calligraphy markers, fountain pens, calligraphy brushes and ink stones, and a dip pen so you can try different writing tools from history to the present. Feel the texture of the paper against your pen nib as you experience what it might have been like to draft up the early documents of our country. Learn to make your favorite signature design. See how each of these have evolved into fantastic graffiti street art today.

    Card-making and Stationery

    Remember making Mom a cute card for Mother's Day or a winter holiday card in elementary school? We supply stamps, ink, fancy border-making scissors, cardstock and envelopes so you can make a personalized message for anyone you want to reach out to. Who doesn't like snail mail from someone they actually know?!

    Paper Bag Starflakes

    Use paper gift bags intended for candies, glue sticks, scissors, and string to create endless 3D designs to hang for winter decor. If paperclipped open, they can be collapsed and reused year-to-year.


    Yarn Crafts

    We have a fantastic stash of colorful acrylic yarns for mixed media crafts, playing Cat's Cradle, knitting, or crocheting. Knitting needles and crochet hook sets are availble for checkout to individual SHS tribe members.

    Basic Sewing: by hand

    Rice Hand or Neck Warmers

    The empty pockets are machine-sewn by your librarians ahead of time. This is best done in a smaller group so scheduling well in advance is important for large classes. Fill the pocket with clean dry rice about 3/4 full and learn how to thread a needle, anchor your thread, and stitch the opening shut. When complete, the rice stays in and you can microwave it to warm it for use in your pockets as a hand-warmer, or flop it over the back of your neck like a scarf for extra cozy comfort in winter.


    This program is best suited for individuals or small groups. Choose a pre-printed wash-off-able pattern, learn some basic embroidery stitches through live demonstrations, online videos, or books we provide, and check out a bagged hoop and sample embroidery floss to get started. If you need more floss, cruise on by for a topping up from your librarians. It's totally okay to not finish! First attempts always come out adorably childish. Embroidery can be good for slowing down and taking time to be in the moment. If you get confident in your skills, you could consider embellishing a favorite clothing item or accessory you have--maybe a backpack? Embroider your initials on you gym bag? It can be done, and it doesn't have to be sent out to a professional!

    Basic Hand-Sewing Repairs * NEW for 2021-2022! *

    Did your button come off or the end of a zipper come loose? Got a sorry seam that might give you embarassment if ignored? You can book a librarian for help learning to do easy hand-sewing fixes like these. Not everybody can take a full class that includes sewing skills! 

    Basic Sewing: by machine * NEW for 2021-2022! *

    Our program now has two basic sewing machines for fiber projects. For inspiration, you can check out our books, ebooks, or the internet. We recommend starting pretty simple like with a small pillow, drawstring bag, shopping tote, or a basic drawstring skirt. We don't yet have a fabric stash, so participants will need to fund or provide the fabrics they want. For starting out, we recommended cotton prints, flannels, or other non-stretchy/sheer/sparkly fabrics. Thread can be provided--please request this in advance when you schedule time and staff support for your project.

    On our wishlist: Simple looms for weaving small yarn projects like hats, scarves, or potholders

    STEAM and Plants

    Mini Biome Gardens * Coming soon! *

    Two plastic terrariums will be used in the 2021-2022 year for the creation and demonstration of mini biomes/ecosystems. One will be a tropical bog garden, the other will be a forest. Make forest biome recommendations to Ms. Ashwood and join the Horticulture-Environmental Club next October to be a part of this fascinating project.

    Outdoor Potager (kitchen) Garden * Returning October 2021! *

    SHS has six raised beds constructed and donated by local Eagle Scouts placed near the Courtyard. Anyone, staff or student, is encouraged to join the Horticulture-Environmental Club in October 2021 to help clear out, re-plan, and grow the garden for spring 2022 transplanting and sowing. Seeding for transplants begins in February and March.

    Mini Composting Program * Returning October 2021! *

    Starting in late October, the compost bucket will return to Ms. Ashwood's desk for those of you who want to contribute to making great organic matter for our Potager Garden! When can you donate?--anytime you have a minute while strolling by the open library doors. 

    Great composting items include: banana peels, apple cores, non-greasy brown paper bags, green beans, corn. Sorta okay composting items include: citrus peels--too many and they work as a preservative instead of rotting. They have to be a lesser percecntage than the better stuff! Composting fails: Fruit pits/hard stems, pineapple tops, avocado skin/pits, salad dressings/sauces, meats, greasy things, waxed papers, inked papers, fruit stickers--these just don't break down or they attract unsafe wildlife to our outdoor compost tumbler.

    On our wishlist:

    Vermicomposting (worm) Bin on Wheels: Can potentially be made by staff/students. The worms are a particular species and will need to be ordered and shipped. Invasive regular earthworms are not well-suited to this system.

    Hydroponic cart with mounted lights to compensate for UV coated windows and weak flourescent overhead lights: Shelf style is more likely than the tower style used at GMS to provide improved lighting.

    Grow cart with adjustable height lights to adapt to the height of seedlings grown

    Aquaponic cart: A mini ecosystem whereby aquatic animals fertilize plantings that are irrigated from the tank. 

Maker Consumables: Support Our Program Via Donations

  • We welcome the donation of consumable maker materials but also reserve the right to re-home donations that we cannot store. We thank you for your kindness and understanding.

    These are the consumable materials we're accepting:

    • Clean, dry non-coated (unglossy/heavily stickered/inked) cardboard as boxes or sheets
    • Three-panel display boards (unused)
    • Posterboard (unused)
    • Blue painter's tape or Masking tape
    • Wood glue (works really nicely for cardboard)
    • Tempera paints (powdered or pre-mixed)
    • Glue sticks (not mini, our glue guns are full-sized)
    • Rubber stamps/ink pads
    • Cardstock (please not scraps)
    • Easy to sew fabrics larger than 6"
    • Buttons
    • Googly eyes
    • Pens: gel type, markers, calligraphy pens
    • Foam brushes
    • Colorful tissue paper
    • Cricut materials
    • Hand-sewing needles
    • Sturdy machine-sewing threads
    • Embroidery floss
    • Yarn
    • Potting media (can include specialty media like for orchid, cactus, etc)
    • Plastic straws, paper straws
    • Pipe cleaners
    • Construction paper
    • School-appropriate magazines for cut paper collages
Last Modified on May 19, 2021