09 May

Educator to Educator: Suck Pads

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As a chapter, we noticed a need for suck pads for our buckles and mei tais. After all, those teething babies tend to suck (& drool) on just about anything they can. Our members appreciate having them available at check out and it helps keep our carriers in good condition. Win-win!

We were lucky and had several pairs donated to us, however, it was not nearly enough to cover our growing need for them. As a chapter we sat down and decided the solution was to make some. Always looking for reasons to see each other, we turned it into a volunteer get together! We are fortunate to have several excellent crafters in our organization, so we picked a day and everyone brought their equipment. While you don’t have to turn it into a get together, and it could be done by a single person, we always have a blast working together as a group!

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Our super awesome volunteers at BWI of Greater Austin hard at work on a new batch of suck pads!

Getting started:
Things your will need:
Towels
Fabric (we use scraps)
Fabric marker or pencil
Snaps
Snap press
Surger

Make sure you wash the towels ahead of time to avoid bleeding later. We tend to choose white towels, but any color will work. We want these suck pads to be cute enough that people will take them and use them, but not so cute that they will not make it back to us. As I noted, we are super lucky and have very crafty volunteers, so our items were all donated, however all of these things can be purchased easily at local stores or online.

Making the suck pads:
1. Begin with your towel and fabric.
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2. Cut into rectangles
We do six inches by nine inches, which we have found give good coverage.
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3. Line up the fabric on top of the towel and trim as needed to line them up.
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4. Surge the edges all the way around.
(Tip: we did some just made from towels and found those did not hold up as well over time, which is why we now do it with both towel and fabric)
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5. Sew on a tag now if you are going to do so.
I failed at getting a picture of this, but we learned it is easier to do it before the snaps are on. Since each of our suck pads will be individually numbered, we try to position the tags where they will be visible to our volunteers working the front desk. We have a smaller accessory tag we use for things like suck pads.

6. Add snaps.
For this it is helpful to decide where they are going to be and use the fabric pen to mark where they need to be put on the opposite side.
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Done! 
That is it, you now have easy suck pads for your library carriers!
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Look at all the suck pads we finished that day! Go team!
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Everyone who checks out a buckle or mei tai gets a set. When they return the carrier, the suck pads are removed, put into a bin for dirty ones and cleaned between meetings.
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A stack of brand new suck pads all ready for our carriers at our meeting!
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We have found this to be an easy and affordable way to keep carriers clean and in good condition. I hope you and your library have found this helpful!

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