Brusly Middle School student Kaden Perrault, 12, sat quietly at a table in the East Baton Rouge Library Main branch teen room Nov. 24, trying to line a series of hex nuts up perfectly in a braid of leather string.

“You really need a third thumb, don’t you, to keep everything tight,” said Elaine Boudreaux, library staff member conducting the workshop on creating jewelry from hardware.

Perrault and Boudreaux kept running into the same issue with the project: If the braid wasn’t held tight as the hex nuts were incorporated on alternating sides, the hardware didn’t line up, and the bracelet became a jumbled mess.

After a couple of false starts, the two got into the rhythm of the project, and soon, Perrault had a shiny metal line that resembled a perfect backbone.

It was difficult, Perrault said, but ultimately worth the finished product, as he put the bracelet on, adjusted the length, and tied it off.

Boudreaux moved on to the next participant, Olivia Zachary, 11, a homeschool student, who was working on the same project.

This is the most difficult of the planned projects, Boudreaux said, but she encouraged all the students who participated to use the materials donated by Goodwood Hardware to be creative, and come up with their own projects, too.

Alexis San Miguel, 13, a Westdale Middle student, did just that, playing around with different hex nut and washer configurations on a braided string of her own.

Perrault used the remainder of his time to work on a backpack zipper pull he braided out of brown leather string, while a few other students wandered in to peruse the craft supplies.

The goal of the workshop, and all workshops like these, Boudreaux said, is to foster creative expression and ingenuity, and to teach teen patrons how to look at ordinary objects in new ways.

For more information on library programming for the holidays at the main branch at Goodwood, and all other branches, visit the library’s website,