Mother and Maker are two roles that I identify with fully, however sometimes the two feel at odds. That challenge was the inspiration behind creating this #MunchkinMakerMamas workshop in partnership with Munchkin. I met the brand at Alt Summit in January, and this idea hit me as an up-all-night thinking and planning inspiration. I imagined a craft workshop for moms where the kids could come along and be cared for in an on-site Kid Craft Center while moms had some creative time. I even pitched the idea complete with the hashtag title! It was amazing to see the workshop come together so wonderfully, bringing moms from around the area–some even from a couple hours away– with their littles, to meet, craft, eat, and enjoy time together without the hassle of finding a sitter. The seats for the event were gone within a couple hours of being available, which told me this type of event is needed and wanted!
In this first workshop, the moms each created a caramel leather folded Date Night + Diaper Clutch, which turned out awesome for everyone. I want to share some of the details of the fun morning– the first in a mini-series I’m hosting this year.
The talented Melisa Mckinney photographed the event, and these photos she took really capture the delightful day! Look her up for beautiful images if you’re in the Austin area.
I chose The Paper + Craft Pantry as the venue because I love the owner, the lighting is beautiful, it’s a sweet local shop, and the separate but adjoining office space made a perfect on-site childcare room.
The workshop tables were set with the supplies and tools needed for the clutches. Each seat also had a Drink Pod with a bottle of water. I had just recently discovered these awesome drink holders that can clamp onto anything: strollers, bike handles, car seats, shopping carts, beach chairs…The possibilities are endless! I stuck one on my bucket bike and fell so in love I wanted every mom to have one! Some simple flowers sat in multi-cups and requisite crafting chocolate in multi-bowls.
The Kids Craft Center was set up with all sorts of fun from Munchkin. These Galaxy Foam Playmats are so cool! I had never seen them before, and they are awesome! The foam pieces hook together to make a great big play area, and the center lights up with a touch, creating interactive entertainment for kids of all ages. The littlest ones could lay down and crawl around the middle, while the toddlers lit it up with their stomping feet. Everyone loved it.
Of course the classic White Hot Duck Tub was a favorite toy. I left it inflated but empty, and it was soon filled with kids and Mozart Magic Cubes. Perfect play area for littles. We also had crayons with coloring pages, and fruit loop necklaces for the making.
The Kids Craft Center was staffed by a local certified babysitter service and the sitters were amazing with the kids. Everyone was entertained, and for some of the moms this was their first time ever leaving their kids with someone besides family! A big milestone that went super smoothly.When moms checked their kids into the Kids Craft Center, each received a Miracle 360 Cup (my very favorite type of sippy and the only ones we use with Plum!) and a Snack Catcher filled with goldfish, both with their names on them for keeping straight among the other 15 kids. After my six years of mothering I’ve learned that a lot of trouble can be avoided if kids have a snack and a drink in hand!
We had kids from ages 3 weeks (who stayed with her mama, of course) up to age 5, with everything in between. Lunch for the kids happened on Lil’Apple Plates keeping the blueberries separate from the dino nuggets, from the apple sauce.
Once the kids were settled into the Kids Center, the moms found their seats and I introduced the craft: the Date Night + Diaper Clutch. I designed this no-sew leather clutch specifically for this event, and am really happy with how it turned out. The sides are boxy enough to allow for multiple diapers, wipes, and a changing pad. Or a phone, keys, wallet, and maybe a little scarf or lightweight cardigan for a night out. I love teaching. It feels like something I was made to do, and being in front of a group talking about things I love to do is a happy place for me. Hosting workshops has been such a natural fit to combine my love of teaching and my love of making, then adding the motherhood aspect into this one made it feel like a real success.
I gave everyone an overview of the craft (including some of my history as a pizza-box folder which I believe is where some of my three-dimensional design understanding began) then we got to work! Tracing the pattern, cutting it out, folding and sticking, and punching, and screwing until the whole thing looked just like the example.
The tables of women were alive with chatter, people helping each other figure out the tricky parts, as I wandered the room troubleshooting and explaining further steps. We had moms further spread out onto the workshop floors, tracing and talking, and enjoying some creative time together.
Its so fun to see people making things they’ve never made before, and being so pleased with their new skills!
I also loved seeing some of the younger babes snuggled in their mamas arms while they worked. Maker Mama workshop indeed.
As people finished up their clutches, we dove into our lunch of Fricano’s Deli sandwiches (the cajun turkey is life-changing), salad, fruit + chips. I love a hearty, classic lunch, and crafting makes people hungry!
Behind the curtain in the back we had set up a little diaper-changing area, which I unneeded up needing as well (when Plum had a blow-out that left her in her diaper alone for the rest of the afternoon!) This little corner was equipped with the Mist wipes warmer, and the brand-new Step diaper pail. It was just released, and while opening it up for the event I kept commenting about how great it was! The features include a new modern look, odor-locking technology, a fresh-smelling Arm & Hammer® scented disc, and the best, easy-to-open front and top to replace bags. Plus, Munchkin is planting a tree for every pail sold. We’re starting to potty train over here, but are using this pail until we’re done for sure.
As we were wrapping up, one of my favorite local food trucks, Bananarchy, delivered frozen-chocolate-and-sprinkle-dipped bananas made on colorful Lift spoons. Needless to say, they were a huge hit!
Then everyone took some final photos with the Munchkin Heart Photo Wall (made by sticking some Ice Heart Teethers to the wall) and got ready to head home. We sent them from the workshop with a swag bag of goodies, including the items their child picked up in the Kid Craft Center, as well as a White Hot Ducky, Ice Heart Teether, and the super fun Waterpede bath toy.
Partnering with Munchkin is such a perfect fit for this series. I’ve used and loved their products since I became a mother, and am over the moon to share them with other maker mamas. They are also so supportive of making lives easier and more enjoyable, creating inviting experiences to delight parent’s and babies, and “ridding the world of all things mundane” -from the Munchkin Mission Statement. This are all things I am on board with, and appreciate their willing collaboration on making this workshop great!
It was really a perfect day for me and my munchkin, too, who I loved bringing along and sharing the experience with. I can’t wait for the next Munchkin Maker Mamas workshop coming up in June, to share the fun with some more moms around!