YA Programming Behind the Scenes: Design Your Own T-Shirt

We have held this program four years in a row, and it is always a hit. We’ve worked out most of the kinks. Like the quote art program, this program is designed for teens who love customizing their world. Many businesses like Nike and RedEnvelope allow customization of mass-produced items, and almost every social networking site and electronic game is set up for users to define themselves via customization, so our library tries to plan a few programs a year that work on the same premise. While this is a gender-neutral program, most often this program draws more guys than girls.

713 Design TShirt

Supplies:
computers
printer
t-shirts of various sizes and colors
iron-on t-shirt transfers
scissors
iron
wooden cutting board
pillowcase

Directions:

Step One: Teens design their t-shirt in Microsoft Publisher or another graphic design program. I always stress that the teens can not sell their t-shirt if they use any image from the web.

Step Two: Teens print their image out on t-shirt transfer paper. It is critical to follow the t-shirt transfer directions. Our Library’s white t-shirt transfers images needed to be reversed (If you’re using Publisher, you can handle this in “Printer Preferences”) while the Library’s color t-shirt transfers did not.

Step Three: Cut out the images.

Step Four: Place a pillowcase over a wooden cutting board and then “dress” the pillowcase/cutting board with the t-shirt. Iron on the transfer by following the specific iron-on transfer directions (peeling off the transfer backing was different depending on what type of transfer the teens chose). Be sure to press firmly down on the t-shirt transfer.
Ironing

I love this program because I get the opportunity to find out teens’ interests beyond the library walls and because the program draws teens who are not library regulars, so we have an opportunity to make new connections.

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