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Materials Lists

Key

storage needed Significant storage space required

weekly visits Appropraite for repeat visitors, such as afterschool programs, workshops or camps

budget savor Good option for tight budgets

high cost Requires a significant monetary investment

short time length Can be used in a very limited time frame

medium time length Can be used in an intermediate time frame

child appropriate Appropriate for young children

multiple ages / families Recommended for family or multi-age audiences and spaces

no groups Not a good option for large groups or field trip visits

temp warning Warning: Hot

sharp warning Warning: Sharp

eye safety warning Warning: Requires Eye Protection


 

  • General Supplies

    These are items that are applicable across multiple disciplines or are good for general use.


    Tools

    Cordless drill 

    sharp warningeye safety warning

    no groupsUseful for general projects in your makerspace by use of the facilitators and for manufactoring things like jigs or stands to help a younger audience engage with certain tools or processes.

     

    Screwdrivers

    budget savormedium time lengthsharp warningmultiple ages / familiesCome in a variety of shapes and sizes. It is useful to have a full set of phillips head and flat head screwdrivers. Can be used for both woodworking and electronics projects including the taking apart of broken electronic devices.

     

    Staple Gun

    sharp warningeye safety warningno groupsUseful for securing materials together. Come in a variety of sizes and require specific sized staples. Recommend a smaller sized staple gun for younger children to use. This tool requires supervision when working with younger children.

     

    Utility Knife

    sharp warning no groupsUseful for processing large pieces of cardboard into smaller pieces. Requires a cutting mat or cutting board to protect tables and other surfaces. Should only be used by adults and older children with supervision.

     

    C-Clamp

    A heavy duty metal clamp in the shape of a “C” that can be used to temporarily secure a variety of large objects to surfaces. Used mainly with woodworking projects but can also be used to for other purposes.

     

    F-Clamp

    multiple ages / familiesA heavy duty metal clamp in the shape of an “F” that can be used to temporarily secure a variety of large objects to surfaces. Design makes it quicker to use than a C-Clamp. Used mainly with woodworking projects but can also be used to for other purposes.

     

    Quick-Release Clamp

    child appropriateA heavy duty metal clamp that can be used to temporarily secure a variety of large objects to surfaces. Does not clamp as secure as an F-Clamp or C-Clamp . Used mainly with woodworking projects but can also be used to for other purposes. Easier for smaller children to use. Good for less heavy duty projects.

     

    Hot Glue Gun

    budget savortemp warningA great tool for any space. Used to attach a variety of materials together. Comes in a variety of sizes and temperatures and require specific sized glue sticks. Recommend a 10 Watt glue gun. Stands are available and recommended. Requires supervision. Recommend a dedicated location for this tool in your space.

     

    Combination Square

    A measuring tool that is helpful for marking and making straight lines. Useful in woodworking and recycled materials projects. Also good for cutting large, regular-sized quantities of fabric.

     

    Try/Speed Square

    A measuring tool that is helpful for marking and measuring angles. Useful in woodworking and recycled materials projects.

     

    Tape Measure

    A measuring tool used for marking and measuring. Comes in a variety of lengths. Useful for larger projects.

     

    Ruler/Yardstick

    A measuring tool that comes in either 1 foot or 3 foot lengths. Helpful with woodworking, recycled materials and textile projects.

     

    Large Self-Healing Cutting Mat

    storage neededUseful for protecting surfaces and cutting tools. Comes in a variety of sizes. Recommend a table sizes mat. Used in processing fabric and cardboard.

     

    Pliers

    Tool that is used to grip and remove or bend small materials. Useful for steel wire projects and general woodworking projects. Can be helpful for removing stuck drill bits and staples.

     

    Needle Nose Pliers

    A skinnier version of pliers. Used to grip and remove or bend small materials. Useful for steel wire projects and general woodworking projects. Can be helpful for removing stuck drill bits and staples.

     

    Scissors (small)

    sharp warning multiple ages / familiesA must have for any maker space. Can be used by a variety of ages of students for a variety of projects.

     

    Scissors (utility)

    sharp warning no groupsA larger pair of scissors. Useful for cutting and processing larger, more heavy duty materials. Should be used with adult supervision when working with younger children.

     

    Hole Punches

    Tool used for punching holes in various materials. Works best with paper and cardboard. Comes in a variety of sizes. Can be difficult for young children to operate.

     

    Spring-Loaded Center Punch (add sharp icon)

    Tool used for punching holes in a variety of materials. Can handle more heavy duty materials than a standard hole punch. Useful for punching holes in fabric and leather. Should be used with supervision when working with younger children.

     

    WD40

    A greasing spray that is used to keep moving parts operational. Useful when working with gears and motors.

     

    Broom

    Used for general cleanup of the space.

     

    Garbage Can

    Receptacle for waste products and materials. Useful for any maker space.

     

    Step Stool

    storage neededUsed for reaching high spaces. Useful when working with young children to give them leverage when working with certain tools.

     

    Shop Vac

    storage neededGeneral tool used for clean up. Useful for cleaning up small materials such as saw dust and wood shavings.


    Materials

    Drill Bits (1/8″-1/2″) 

    sharp warningUsed for making holes in a variety of objects. Come in a variety of sizes. Useful for woodworking and recycled materials projects. Will break if bent or used improperly.

     

    Chalk

    Used for general mark making and sketching. Great for sewing projects and can be used to draw a shape on fabric for easier cutting. Comes in a variety of sizes and colors.

     

    Masking Tape (1/2″ or 3/4″)

    budget savor child appropriateshort time lengthUsed frequently in maker spaces. Comes in variety of sizes and colors. Useful for temporarily attaching materials together. Younger children may need guidance on how to use this material.

     

    Paper Clips

    child appropriateshort time lengthAn all purpose material used to temporarily attach materials together. Can also be bent into sculptures, explored with magnets and be used for switches with electronics projects.

     

    Brass Brads

    child appropriateshort time lengthMade of soft metal and can easily be manipulated. An all purpose material used to temporarily attach materials together. Can also be bent into sculptures, explored with magnets and be used for switches with electronics projects. Can be reused for various projects.

     

    Binder Clips

    child appropriateshort time lengthAn all purpose material used to temporarily attach materials together. Great for organization of paperwork and instruction manuals. Can also be used for switches with electronics projects. Can be reused for various projects.

     

    Pencils 

    budget savorUseful for sketching ideas, taking notes and marking for measurement.

     

    Paper

    Useful for sketching ideas and taking notes. Also can be used to make origami and other folded projects.

     

    Ribbon

    Useful material for tying things together. Can also be used for decoration.

     

    Crayons

    Used for sketching and coloring. Useful for recycled materials projects. Come in a variety of colors.

     

    Rubber Bands

    budget savorA stretchy, elastic material. Useful for a variety of recycled materials projects. Can also be used to temporarily attach or bind materials and tools together.

     

    Craft Sticks

    child appropriateshort time lengthUseful, wooden materials that can be used for a variety of projects. Can be difficult to cut or drill holes into.

     

    String

    child appropriateAll purpose material used for tying other materials together or hanging materials on display.

     

    Straws

    child appropriateUseful material that can be used for a variety of projects. Great when coupled with string to created geometrical sculptures.

     

    Zip Ties

    no groupsUseful material for temporarily binding or attaching other tools and materials together. Stronger material than rubber bands or string.

     

    Duct Tape

    no groupsA strong adhesive tape used to attach materials together. Used for more heavy duty projects.

     

    Gaffers Tape

    A specialized adhesive tape that is great for securing electrical wires to floor or other surfaces. Great material for creating a safe maker space void of tripping hazards.

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  • Digital Media

    For makerspaces hoping to get into digital media, these are some tools and supplies you may want to consider. High-tech tools are attractive to the audience of the space but may require special knowledge or training to use.


    Tools

    3D Printer 

    storage needed high costtemp warningweekly visits3D printers come in a huge range of price points, sizes, levels of technical complexity and available official or well-documented support information.

    Before purchasing a 3D printer consider whether you will be using it for use by your institution, by your visitors, or both. Will it be used as a tool to help people create, or as a means of producing already-existing content? How does that use drive your institution’s mission? Also consider how employees or facilitators will be trained to use the equipment, and how you will care for and calibrate the delicate machinery.

    3D printers typically require a sizable, dedicated space with enough room for the printer, filament, and computer, all with access to electrical outlets. Most printers exhibit a reduction in functionality when near vents, windows or air conditioning units. All printers have extremely hot extruding elements. Additional costs will include filament and possible repair of small parts. Printing can take a long time and is therefore best suited for longer workshops or returning visitors.

     

    iPad 

    high costchild appropriatemultiple ages / familiesA tablet device can be used as both a tool and a resource. Also useful for documentation of projects. Requires an electrical outlet for occasional charging.

     

    iPad Stand

    child appropriatemultiple ages / familiesUseful tool for securing an iPad or tablet to a table or surface in your space. Helps protect the device. Also useful as a stationary stand when making stop-motion animations. Great for spaces with younger children.

     

    MaKey MaKey 

    child appropriatemultiple ages / familiesA tool used to extend a computer’s keyboard keys to other conductive materials (foil, bolts, people, water, fruit, etc). Used for interacting with computer programs such as Scratch in creative ways. Can be used to make digital interactions with complex controls more accessible to a young audience.

     

    Digital Camera

    A useful tool for documenting projects and your general space. Can also be used for digital projects such as stop-motion animation, movie making, photography and light painting.

     

    Laser Cutter 

    storage needed high cost eye safety warningLaser cutters come in a huge range of price points, sizes, and levels of available support. They are useful for cutting or etching materials in ways that are difficult using hand tools (cutting precise lines, interior shapes, multiples, etc). Technically complex but relatively easy to run, laser cutters require training to use and more extensive training to trouble shoot.

    Before purchasing, consider the needs of your space and audience. What level of precision is required? What types of materials do you plan to use in the laser cutter? What size material will you be using?

    Additional costs will include replacement of air filters and/or water. Occasional repairs may include replacement of lenses, laser tube or mirrors. Laser cutters require one or multiple electrical outlets as well as either self-contained air filtering units and/or external exhaust pipes.

     

    Power Strips

    Helpful for spaces with few outlets. Provides flexibility for arranging activities and reduces the number of wires that may cause tripping hazards.

     

    Extension Cords

    Helpful for spaces with few or strangely located outlets. Provides flexibility for arranging activities. Secure cords to the ground to prevent tripping.

     

    Projector

    multiple ages / familiesstorage neededHelpful for use with groups and classes, to ensure everybody can see what is being demonstrated on the screen. Consider using with the MaKey MaKey to create a large-scale, interactive digital experience. Can be projected onto a screen or wall. Keep in mind the lighting conditions of your space.

     

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  • Electronics

    There are a huge number of microcontrollers and advanced electronic components available. This list is targeted towards introductory-level electronics. Most items are small, but consumable and therefore may incur frequent replenishment costs.


    Tools

    Soldering Iron

    temp warningeye safety warning weekly visitsno groupsA specialized tool used for melting solder (a specialized metal) to form attachment joints between small pieces of metal. Useful for electronics projects and wire sculptures. Should not be used by children under approximately age 10 without assistance. Requires a dedicated work space or surface in your maker space. Requires adult supervision. Requires an electrical outlet. Requires safety glasses when used.

     

    Wire Cutter

    sharp warningA cutting tool that can be used to separate a variety of sizes of insulated electrical wire. Come in a variety of sizes. Stick with a smaller size when working with younger children.  Use with supervision.

     

    Wire Stripper (20-30 awg)

    sharp warningSpecialized cutting tool used for removing the plastic insulation from electrical wire. Can be used to cut a variety of sizes of wire. Requires supervision. Difficult for younger children to use.

     

    Helping Hands

    A specialized set of alligator clips that are useful for holding materials when soldering. Can be used to hold materials in place while working. Basically an extra set of hands.


     

    Materials

    Copper Tape 

    no groupssharp warningmedium time lengthAdhesive, conductive tape. Useful for flat circuitry on paper or cardboard. Will become less conductive over time due to rips, tears and wrinkles. Good for prototyping.

     

    Rosin Core Solder (1 mm dia.)

    Soft metal with a high melting. Used as an adhesive for certain types of metal. Useful for attaching electrical wires together.

     

    Steel Wire (.23 gauge)

    A flexible, conductive material. Useful for making a metal sculptures and for practicing soldering.

     

    DC Motor (1.5-3 V)

    child appropriatemedium time lengthA small motor that is useful for exploring circuitry. Has a spinning shaft that can be used to make various materials spin or move. Requires two AA batteries to work. May require the addition of electrical wires/leads for ease of use.

     

    LED (10 mm) 

    child appropriatemedium time lengthA Light Emitting Diode that comes in a variety of colors and sizes. Useful for exploring circuitry. Have a negative (shorter) and positive (longer) wire/lead coming out of them. The positive lead must be hooked up to the positive end of a battery to work. Can work with coin cell 3 volt batteries and AA batteries.

     

    Insulated Wire (20-30 gauge)

    Braided metal wire coated in plastic. Used for electronics projects. Comes in a variety of sizes, lengths and colors. Requires a pair of wire strippers to process.

     

    Electrical Tape

    no groupsStretchy adhesive tape that is useful for attaching insulated wire together. Comes in a variety of diameters and colors.

     

    AA Batteries

    temp warningchild appropriateA safe size of battery for children of all ages to use. Contains 1.5 volts of electricity. Will eventually need to be replaced after repeated usage. Come in rechargeable varieties.

     

    AA Battery Clips

    A useful material for holding two or more AA batteries together in a series.

     

    Hex, Star, Triangle or Unusual Screwdriver Sets

    multiple ages / families

    Many children’s toys and/or high-end electronics use unusual or proprietary screws in order to make it more difficult to take them apart. Consider investing in a set of specialty screwdrivers to allow you to explore inside electronics.

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  • Fiber and Textile

    Fiber and textile work is accessible to many ages and most tools and materials are inexpensive and transportable. Fabric donations are often easy to solicit. 


    Tools

    Sewing Machine

    no groupsmedium time lengthsharp warningmultiple ages / familiesweekly visitsA specialized machine used for stitching fabric together. Requires a dedicated surface or table to be used. Requires an electrical outlet. Requires supervision and maintenance. May require occasional parts replacement or professional servicing. We strongly recommend against “child” sewing machines or machines with plastic internal gearings.

     

    Embroidery Needles
    budget savorsharp warningmultiple ages / familiesSewing needles that have a larger eye which makes threading easier. Durable tool. Requires some supervision when working with young children. Used to stitch fabric together or stitch designs into fabric. Requires a storage space due to small size to alleviate loss of needles.

     

    Pincushion

    Used to store pins and needles. Recommend a magnetic version for pins and needles storage in your space.

     

    Pins 

    sharp warningA sharp, tiny tool used for creating a temporary stitch to help secure your fabric while you sew. Requires a storage space due to small size to alleviate loss of pins. Requires some supervision when working with young children.

     

    Rotary Cutter

    sharp warning no groupsA rotating blade that is useful for cutting large pieces of fabric. Requires a cutting mat to help protect the blade and table surface. Very sharp. Should not be used by children under the age of 10.

     

    Fabric Scissors

    sharp warningSpecialized scissors used for cutting fabric. Will become dull over time and should not be used to cut any other types of material.

     

    Embroidery Hoop (4-6″)

    multiple ages / familiesA set of circular wooden, plastic or metal rings that are used to help hold a piece of fabric taught or tight. Useful for embroidery projects or sewing practice.

     

    Safety Pins

    sharp warningUsed to temporarily attach two or more materials together.

     

    Needle Threader

    Specialized tool used to help thread needles with small eyes.

     

    Knitting Needles

    no groupsKnitting needles can be useful for knitting, but can also be helpful for poking holes, pushing fabric through small openings or using as a small lever. Knitting needles on display telegraphs that there may be somebody knowledgeable about knitting nearby, which can cause confusion.

     

    Crochet Hooks

    no groupsSimilar to knitting needles, crochet hooks are a useful tool for fiber work but may also be helpful for various small tasks that crop up.

     

    Floor Loom (4 harness)

    storage neededhigh cost

    short time lengthDesigned to create complex-patterened woven fabric, a floor loom is a large, non-electrical machine. Looms are popular with a wide range of ages and have interesting historical connections to computer programing and computational thinking. There are many math and algorithmic connections to be made.

    Looms take up dedicated floor space and require relatively time- and labor-intensive set-up for each weaving project and use a relatively large quantity of consumable material. If considering a loom be sure to take into account how staff or facilitators will be trained to set up and maintain it. Decent-quality string should be used for the warp; the weft can be created out of anything flexible.


    Materials

    Cotton Thread 

    budget savorSkinny, durable thread used to sew fabric together. Comes in a variety of colors and lengths. Supplies will need to be replenished over time.

     

    Yarn

    Thick, twisted fibers. Comes in a variety of colors and lengths. Useful for knitting and crocheting project. Can also be used to attach materials together.

     

    Sewing Buttons

    multiple ages / families budget savor child appropriatemedium time lengthA great introductory activity for sewing is practicing attaching buttons to fabric. Buttons can also be used for sorting, counting or other simple activities. Avoid shank-style buttons with only one button hole. Spaces with young children should be mindful of size in relation to choking hazards.

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  • Wood

    Woodworking tools can be used for general improvement of your space and most tools can be used by a wide audience. Consumable costs can be a potential burden. Wood is a hard material and therefore most wood tools are quite sharp. We recommend hand-powered tools over electric.


    Tools

    Safety Goggles/Glasses

    Protective, plastic goggles/glasses. Used to protect eyes when using certain tools and processes. It is easier to replace goggles than eyeballs.

     

    Mitre Saw

    sharp warning eye safety warningSpecialized saw that utilizes a mitre box to make straight cuts in smaller pieces of wood. Requires clamps to hold wood and mitre box in place on a surface or table.

     

    Coping Saw

    sharp warning eye safety warningSmaller saw that is useful for intricate cuts. Great tool for cutting dowel rods. Can be used by younger children. Blades will need to be replaced over time.

     

    Rasp

    sharp warning eye safety warningshort time lengthSpecialized shaping tool that comes in a variety of shapes and sizes.

     

    Claw Hammer 

    eye safety warning child appropriateUseful for driving nails into a piece of wood. Claw end useful for removing nails from a piece of wood. Comes in a variety of weights and sizes. Recommend a lighter weight hammer when working with children. A child who is old enough and responsible enough to keep safety glasses on can effectively use a hammer for simple tasks.

     

    Wooden Mallet

    eye safety warning child appropriateSpecialized tool used to drive dowel or bolts into preexisting or pre-drilled holes in wood. Can also be used along with a chisel to shape and alter a piece of wood. Less heavy and less likely to cause a dropping-injury than a metal hammer.

     

    Wood Chisel

    sharp warning eye safety warning no groupsSharp tool that is used to shape and alter pieces of wood. Will require sharpening over time. Requires adult supervision and should not be used with younger children.

     

    Spineless Saw/Ryoba

    sharp warning eye safety warningA specialized saw that is useful for making cuts in smaller pieces of wood. Has a flexible blade without a stiff spine along the back. Can be used by younger children. Requires supervision.

     

    Hacksaw

    sharp warning eye safety warning no groupsSpecialized saw that is useful for cutting through materials other than wood, such as metal.

     

    Brad Awl/Icepick

    sharp warning no groupsA sharp spike with a handle that is useful for punching holes in more durable materials such as metal and plastic. Requires a mallet to help drive the pointy end through the material. Requires supervision and should not be used by younger children.

     

    Crescent Wrench

    no groups A tool used for tightening a nut and bolt together. Will be difficult for younger children to use due to the strength and precision required.

     

    Compound Mitre Saw (10″)

    storage needed sharp warning high cost eye safety warningElectrical saw used for the processing and cutting of larger pieces of wood. Requires extreme supervision and safety precautions.

     

    Drill Press

    storage needed high cost sharp warning eye safety warning no groupsStationary power drill that is useful for the drilling of straight holes through wood and other materials. An easy process but a dangerous tool, can be used by children with reasonable supervision.

     

    Band Saw

    storage needed high cost sharp warning eye safety warning no groupsElectrical saw used for the processing and cutting of small pieces of wood. Requires extreme supervision and safety precautions.

     

    Handheld Jigsaw

    storage needed high cost sharp warning eye safety warning no groupsElectrical saw used for the processing and cutting of larger, flatter pieces of wood. Requires extreme supervision and safety precautions.

     

    Hand Drill (Egg Beater Drill)

    budget savorsharp warningeye safety warningchild appropriateSmall hand drill that can be used by a variety of ages of children to drill small holes into pieces of wood. Require a set of drill bits/hole saws.

     

    Brace and Bit

    sharp warning eye safety warningA larger hand drill used to make larger holes in wood. Can be difficult for smaller children to use. Require a set of drill bits/hole saws.

     


    Materials

    Sandpaper 

    budget savorchild appropriateshort time lengthRough, sand covered paper used for smoothing and shaping of wood. Can be used by younger children.

     

    Drywall Screws (1.5″)

    sharp warningmedium time lengthUsed to attach pieces of wood together. Will typically require a pilot hole drilled in the wood first. Can be used with either screwdrivers or a power drill.

     

    Drywall Screws (2.5″) 

    sharp warningmedium time lengthUsed to attach pieces of wood together. Will typically require a pilot hole drilled in the wood first. Can be used with either screwdrivers or a power drill.

     

    Bright Roofing Nails (1.25″)

    sharp warningchild appropriateshort time lengthA specific type of nail with a larger, flatter head. Easy for younger children to use.

     

    Bright Finish Nails (1.25″)

    sharp warning child appropriateshort time lengthA skinny type of nail. Can be difficult for younger children to use due to its nature to bend if hit incorrectly by a hammer.

     

    Wood Glue

    Used for attaching two or more pieces of wood together. Requires time and compression to adhere correctly.

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