Published on May 20th, 2015 | by Chantale Pard
Budget Conscious Anime Club Crafts
In Anime Club: Enthusiasm, Patience and Public Performance Rights I explained that all you really need to start an Anime Club are the basics – the rights to show some anime (like a Crunchyroll Outreach Account), patience, and enthusiasm. You’ll need teens, too, of course. Maybe some Pocky if you can afford it. I personally like to save the Pocky for special events since snacks from the international food aisle aren’t always the cheapest, but every once in a while … I let myself go a little Pocky-Wild. My teens always appreciate it – but then, they also appreciate just about any snack I put in front of them.
Speaking of saving money, let’s get to some budget conscious anime crafts. We’ve talked about letting the teens blow off some steam by simply letting them squee! it out at the beginning of each meeting, but youth will also benefit from some structure. If they’re as excited about Anime as I’m so confidently promising, they’ll ideally appreciate some of these cool crafts that could be set up prior to your anime screenings. They’re all paper based, too, so you should ideally be able to use resources you already have in your youth craft supplies and avoid spending any money!
Let teens practice their art skills! I’d say about half of my Anime Club regulars bring their own sketch books each time and will work on their original manga character drawings as they sit at the table and chat away with the other members. We’ve had the occasional request to spend club time practicing manga basics – so sometimes I’ll put out a bunch of paper, pencils and erasers on the tables. I’ll also have copies of “How to Draw Manga Eyes” tutorials. These can be found in some of the Cartooning — Japan books you might have in your collection or from an online resource (a simple Google search brings up a few great ones).
Pockybox full of Stars
We’ve made these Origami Lucky Stars at a few different meetings now – they’re a fairly simply craft to keep your hands occupied while you’re talking about the latest episode of Fairy Tail. Origami ties nicely into Anime Club because so many enthusiasts are thereby interested in Japanese culture in general.
I’ve found some sparkly and pretty patterned lucky star origami paper for decent prices at an Asian grocery store before, but you really don’t need to get that fancy. Most online Lucky Star instruction sheets will give you the ideal measurement for the paper – you can use whatever you have kicking around in your craft supplies to avoid spending money.
We’ll have some teens who make one or two lucky stars, and others that will sit and make as many as possible during our hour and a half meeting time. It was actually a suggestion from a regular club member to try and fill up a jar or box (I’ve since chosen a Pocky box) with as many Lucky Stars as possible – made by everyone in the club. They also decided that they wanted to allow each new member to take a couple home during their first meeting, too.
It really warms my heart to see them so welcoming of others into their club – ours really is quite inclusive! A few of my regulars even have this thing that they do whenever the program door opens for latecomers. They all turn around and go “Friend?!” (Think SQUIRREL! from the Disney Pixar’s Up!). If it’s someone they know, they’ll usually jump up and run for a group hug yelling “Friend!!” If it’s a new teen, the response will be an equally enthusiastic “New friend!! Yeah!! Hi!! Welcome!!”
Discarded Manga Papercraft
If you have a manga collection at your branch, consider saving some of your discards when it comes time to weed. These might traditionally go to your book sale, but I like to try and keep a couple back for crafting purposes. Have your teens rip out some pages. Note: there’s always one or two who have a giant problem doing the ripping, of course. I’ll normally try and have a conversation about our weeding criteria, assuring them that this dusty old volume is already damaged or hasn’t been touched in a couple of years.
We’ve used the manga pages to make mini notes with envelopes, feathers, pinwheels or little heart mobiles. You can find lots of different papercraft instructions on Pinterest to have printed instructions ready for your meeting. One of my more creative teens even came up with her own pattern to make a beautiful Sailor Moon inspired paper wand to give to me as a thank you gift – It’s still on my office bulletin board, of course. Check this beauty out:
Anime “Cubees” or “Paper toys” are always very popular with my group. I try to print off a few new designs each time we do them. All you need is the ability to Google “Anime Cubee” or “Anime Paper toy”, paper, a color printer, scissors, glue and/or tape. You can find some really intricate patterns with lots of confusing little bits, but most are fairly simple and self-explanatory. The great ones will even include instructions of what to cut/fold and when, but it’s also a great team problem-solving activity to have your group try and figure out how to construct one of the more complicated instruction-less designs. Actually – now that I type this, I see a team-based Cubee Race in my Anime Club’s future!
Stay tuned for my further Anime Club articles – my next post will discuss even more Anime Club crafts, but these ones will require a bit of money for some unique supplies.