My original title was “Making for $20” but as I searched for a Dollar Store on MacLeod Trail, I ended up at Dollar Tree – Beware! Everything is $1.25. And I purchased 22 things so my bill was still under $30.
I started in the far aisle with some tool type things, including duct tape and screw drivers (the two most common types – a slot and a Phillips). I added tooth picks for building and testing bits of things. Jute twine is a very strong string. Plastic garbage bags can be cut apart for coverage of a structural prototype or used on the desk for preventing messes. Tinfoil is a conductor and is easy to shape.
Sponges can be cut apart for various painting textures or poked with wooden dowels for structure creation. Shells and rocks provide different textures and shapes to work with and rocks provide weight. Coffee filters are an interesting shape and absorb colour in very interesting ways.
Pipe Cleaners are great for holding shape and using wire to bend and manipulate. Spaghetti is a cheap and easily manipulated building device (tall towers). Masking tape and play dough can “glue” things together but can also be used to build models on their own. Masking tape over skeleton structures or Play Doh can be a free standing model. The paper plates can be used within the prototype or to handle the kit of smaller bits required for a prototype and the plastic foam rectangles can provide a background for an idea to be presented or large infill for structures.
Balloons are a latex no-no in some schools but great for getting a prototype moving with your own breath. Glow sticks are not necessary but always lead to interesting discoveries. Shot glasses are plentiful and help to hold small bits and to create knobs on prototypes. The Styrofoam ball create solid spherical prototypes examples.
Here is another example of a portable dollar store Maker Space, created by undergraduate students at Werklund. They had great ideas as well.
And where do you get other parts to enhance the building of prototypes? Perhaps here:
This appliance can provide plastic bits, wiring and springs that would add, for free, many building materials for your portable Maker Space. Printers, computers and appliances offer a wealth of free parts for your Maker Space.