DIY@Your Library for Teens: Wreck Your Tshirt

What I did:

This was a pretty easy program to do! It’s the second in our DIY@Your Library for Teens series, which was supposed to focus on a different community expert teaching a skill each month. So far, though, it’s pretty much just been me (although hopefully that will change soon!) My event description invited teens to bring a t-shirt they didn’t mind destroying to work on.

We had five teens sign up for this program, which is a pretty big number considering it’s over at our less-used community center location. To prepare, I bought a few cheap pop-culture tshirts from Woot.com for teens who didn’t have a shirt to wreck, a couple of pairs of fabric scissors, hand-sewing needles, and several colors of thread. We also had some fabric paint kicking around from time immemorial, so I threw that on my cart, along with painter’s tape and some foam brushes. I also printed some example shirts from this awesome blog called WobiSobi, checked out all our books on sewing and customizing clothes to our unit card, and grabbed a laptop for teens to use to look up more tutorials.

How It Went:

Well, only one teen showed up. On the other hand, ONE TEEN SHOWED UP! She was a cool kid, and we chatted for an hour while we cut up and re-built our tshirts. Hopefully she’ll return to future programs and bring friends. I’m trying to give this program time to grow and breathe before I kill it. It was a pretty cheap program – I definitely could have done without the extra shirts, or hit up the thrift store for some dollar shirts, and if we’d had fabric scissors on hand for program use, it would be almost free!

How long do you let a program languish with low attendance before you scrap it?

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5 thoughts on “DIY@Your Library for Teens: Wreck Your Tshirt

  1. Our situations are so similar, it’s not even funny.
    How are you spreading the word about the programs?

    1. Usually, I promote all my programs via a link on our library Twitter, in our weekly newsletter, and in our digital calendar. I also produce a monthly paper calendar for teens, and during summer we have special summer reading for teen brochures that includes information about all our programs. When we launch a new program (like the first time we had DIY@Your Library for Teens, we put out a press release. I’m hoping to use some of our SRP signup info to create a teen email newsletter, too!

      1. Wow! Do you get quite a bit of traffic on Twitter? I’m basically building from scratch; all I have at the moment is a Facebook page! Do your paper formats circulate pretty well?

      2. I took over the Twitter from a colleague…I would say we don’t get a *lot* of traffic from it, but it’s so easy to do that I just keep doing it. I try to retweet interesting literature/publishing/tech articles, so people will follow us.

        Our paper forms go out a lot! I don’t know if people are actually reading them!

        And clearly all that hustle isn’t paying off too well…with my one attendee and all 🙂

        Like Dora, I just keep swimming!

        On Thu, Jun 11, 2015 at 7:20 PM, hushlander wrote:

        >

  2. I just attended the Booklist webinar on Makerspace fashion – have you seen it? They had some hack your t-shirt type ideas, plus some other great ideas like cutting down a pair of pajama pants to make scarves and headbands, plus tye-dyeing with Sharpies and peroxide. I’m going to schedule a couple of teen programs for the summer – wish me luck!

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