Graphic Tees are very popular because it’s a way for teens to express who they are, their fandom, or their favorite band. DIY graphic tees are a great way to turn consumers into producers.
Curriculum: art, graphic design, career exploration
Expensive/Advanced Faux Screen Printing 1
If you have a larger budget or you own a cutting machine (doesn’t have to be a Silhouette), screen printing can be a fairly easy project.
- We had teens design a picture with the free Adobe Illustrator Draw app.
- Teens emailed their design to staff.
- We uploaded their design to the Silhouette software and printed it on adhesive vinyl.
- Teens placed the vinyl on the shirt and sponged fabric paint over the stencil.
- When it dries (use fans to speed up the drying process), teens pealed off the vinyl stencil.
To make this a career exploration program, talk to the teens about logos/branding. Have teens create their own company and ask them to design a logo for their new company.
Faux screen printing can be a program in graphic design for all skill levels by teaching the Adobe Illustrator app.
Expensive/Advanced Faux Screen Printing 2
Repeat steps 1 & 2. Instead of cutting on vinyl, cut on stencil material. To give teens real life experience of screen printing, you can purchase a screen printing board. This does get a little messy but messy is fun, right?
Intermediate Faux Screen Printing
If you don’t have a cutting machine, you can purchase stencil material on Amazon. Teens can draw their design on the stencil and use an Exacto knife to cut it out. Tape the stencil on the shirt and sponge fabric paint.
Easy Faux Screen Printing
If your library has a die cut machine, pre cut shapes or letters to use as stencils. You can also purchase stencil designs.
Last time on Turning the Teen Room into a Makerspace: Week 5 & 6, we played with our new toys and our maintenance staff was assembling the furniture.
Now that you’re caught up:
The furniture is finally assembled and now it time to arrange the room. Here’s how we arranged The Hive:
Since we have an overwhelming demographic of artistic teens, half of the makerspace is dedicated to art. The paintings on the wall were created by our staff member who also teaches our weekly art classes. We will add teen created artwork to the wall. The letters were purchased at Walmart
We have all types of artsy supplies. Supplies include watercolors, all types of pencils/markers, plain/graph/comic paper, and coloring sheets. There’s an art notebook for teens to fill pages. The shelving unit was purchased at Ikea.
There’s a dry erase wall from floor to ceiling. If you are able, I suggest investing in a dry erase wall-teens love it. I’ve seen comic strips and a list of their favorite bands that took up the entire wall. It’s great for passive activities such as polling, listing faves, or program suggestions.
We hung a guitar for teens to remove on their own and play. The guitar hanger and pick holder was purchased on Amazon.
There’s pillows and rugs for teens who like to create/make on the floor. We have clipboards available for use. We will also have a quarterly anthology where teens can submit their short stories, poetry, and artwork. Our Creative Writing Club will organize and assemble the anthology for teens to look through while their in the room.
For the techy side of the room, we mounted three iPads. You are able to restrict adding and removing apps, and getting on the internet. We want to encourage teens to explore apps and not watch videos on Youtube or check in on Facebook so we restricted our iPads. iPad mounts were purchased from Amazon.
The Silhouette pictured is old and our new more awesome cutter will arrive any day now!! When it arrives, it will be housed on this table. I talked about the cutter and the certification in my previous post. See the above link.
Our 3D Printer is the Lulzbot and we purchased the cart on Amazon. Once again, teens will be required to be certified before they may use it. We set up an account through Tinkercad and Projectignite.autodesk.com. You can have teens set up accounts with your email, set up lessons, and track progress. Teens can log on anytime, at the library or at home, take five hours of lessons and then we will teach them how to send their designs to the printer. Once they are certified, they can print on their own.
This shelf contains robotics and maker crafts such as Ozobots, rubber band looms, and Lego Mindstorms.
We have two tables down the center of the room for making. We covered the tables with chalkboard paint. Tables were purchased at Ikea.
We have a book for each piece of equipment we own so that teens can learn on their own during open lab. We also have crafting books in the art corner. The books are reference books and they will stay in the room.
We are trying to stay away from paper flyers because they take up valuable table space. To alleviate this, we have dry erase boards on the walls and a large screen in the front of the room. All digital flyers are created on Canva. Canva is great because you can set your own dimensions to fit any screen. The screen will feature upcoming events, completed projects, and a leaderboard of teens who complete challenges. We have a sign outside the door displaying what’s going on in the room for the week.
FOR THE STAFF
Yay, storage! We kept our TARDIS because it’s a storage shelf that looks like a TARDIS. In it, we keep supplies that need to be replenished and techy equipment that only comes out on special occasions such as the Google Cardboard and the Makey Makeys.
The other cabinet stores our Chromebooks and iPads.
As you can see, we don’t have a lot of decoration on the walls. We have two painted guitars. The teens massacred the strings so we just removed the strings and turned them into wall decor. And the only other thing we have is a clock. We plan to fill the walls with teen created artwork.
We open Tuesday, September 6th and we’re excited for all the new amazing projects our teens will create.
If you have any questions, please feel free to email me at email@example.com or leave a comment below.
In May 2015, we turned our computer lab into a teen room and we were excited! All the usual suspects were there: gaming, crafting, dry erase wall, lounge furniture, pub tables and chairs, and computers. We were averaging about 500 teens a month.
Why are we changing in just over a year? We found that our teens weren’t using the room as it was intended. Teens were using it as a hang out and hanging out is fine but when it incites fighting and bullying, we had to find a solution.
Our solution, mostly our director’s solution, was to provide a space that encouraged teens to engage in constructive activities. Simply placing Little Bits on a table was not enough to get their attention but hosting month-long workshops with Little Bits may get their attention.
So our journey began in Mid July and the makerspace is slated to open September 6th.
Month 1: Finding Furniture on a Budget.
We were given $3000 for furniture and since one table costs $3000 from Demco, we turned to Ikea and Worthington Direct. Ikea’s wood tables are pretty sturdy so that’s what we purchased from Ikea and we kept our Demco chairs from the old teen room (Always get library grade chairs).
We decided on tables, chairs, mounted iPads, and shelving to hold crafting and maker tools as our room layout. We will have raised tables for people who like to make while standing. We will have shorter tables for small groups and picnic style tables with benches.
What Equipment Should We Get?
Once again we have a modest budget of $5000 so we chose to focus on coding, 3D printing, and circuitry. Here’s our list of equipment. (Please note-we already owned a 3D printer)
We will have themed months and September is Electricity. We decided to do activities everyday to cut down on the “I am doing something” but they’re really just scribbling on a piece of paper and being loud.
Our room is called The Hive (our high school/town mascot is a bee). Our programming is called the Nectar Collective. We are planning a brochure to send to schools, we will make a monthly activities calendar to give to patrons who use the room, and we’ll get some business cards for community/school visits.
This has been a long and exhausting month. The teen room remained open and the summer reading club was in full swing during the entire planning process so that added to the pressure but my co worker and I tried to come to work with the realization that we are going to start the school year with a new room. We will be able to provide educational yet exciting programs to our teens.
Next week: Repainting the room and assembling the furniture.
Bon ApeTeens is a series that teaches teens how to make no-cook snacks. This month, teens learned how to make salsa and smoothies.
- We borrowed blenders from staff.
- Give teens a variety of ingredients to include in their salsa and smoothies.
- Have teens take their desired ingredients to their station and give them safety kitchen scissors to chop/cut their fruits/vegetables.
- Allow teens to operate the blenders.
- Teens should be responsible for cleaning the blender between uses, their stations, and their utensils.
- Have teens make their own recipes as they make their salsa and smoothies.
- You can use the extras to have a tasting of other recipes.
- Turn it into a competition and have staff judge the finished foods.
I do a monthly booklist on YALSA’s The Hub. Below you’ll find my posts.
- Beauty and the Beast Retellings and other Classic Retellings
- Diverse Debuts 2017
- Equal Rights Through Fantasy and Science Fiction
- 5 Books to Read Based on Your Illvermorny House
- 7 Books if you Liked The Girl on the Train
- 18 Books if You Liked Stranger Things
- Make America Read Again
- The History of YA: World History Through YA Fiction
- YA Fiction for Game of Thrones Fans
- Islamic Mythology and Middle Eastern Folklore
- Urban Fiction Booklist
- Interracial Couples
Each craft had it’s own table and teens were free to move from craft to craft. There was a drying table that was covered with paper. Teens wrote their name on the paper and put their crafts by their name to dry. We put pictures and/or step by step instructions (if needed) on every table. This way, teens needed little to no assistance from staff.
Disclaimer: the Supernatural Wings took about 45 minutes. The Time Turner is hard with a lot of steps.
The wands and the time turner were by far the most popular.
Harry Potter Wand-Instructions we used
Hermione’s Time Turner (Hard)-Instructions These are not the instructions I used but I lost mine.
Death Eater Masks (Harry Potter)-Plastic mask from OTC, Sharpies
Doctor Who galaxy t-shirt-Pinterest Pins
Supernatural Angel Wings-Instructions
Hello Kitty Headband-headbands, felt
Duct Tape Tardis-blue duct tape
Dr. Who’s Sonic Screwdriver-ink pen, clay, marble
Walking Dead-Gelatin, water, makeup, red food coloring
Harry Potter Owlery-Polymer clay, convection oven.
Hunger Games Capital Makeovers
For many of our programs at the ZB Public Library, we try to show teens that their interests can be careers.
Since many youths and teens are interested in animated films, we used simple app to show teens how to create their own animations and short films just like the films they see on TV and at the movies.
What You Need
The app is called Animation Creator and it costs $1.99. If you have multiple iPads, tablets, or computers, you can upload the app on several devices.
We used iPads and supplied each teen with a stylus.
And that’s it!
How The App Works
The app allows you to draw your image frame by frame. It shows you the location of your previous sketch so you can easily track your animation. It also allows you to preview and edit. Once you are satisfied, you can add audio. You can also select the speed of your animation. Once you are finished, you can upload it immediately to Youtube.
How Much Time Does it Take?
Because it can be quite tedious, I recommend allowing a 2 hour program for creation, uploading, and showcasing everyone’s films.
Total Cost-$1.99-$10 (Cost of the app and Styluses)
Below, you will find the projects created by the students in the pictures. There are 9 films in all; click the “next” button to advance the animations.
To jump off our first annual art contest, we hosted bad art night to get teens in the mood for some good art.
What is Bad Art Night?
We set out paint and paper and told them to make the ugliest art they could think of. Many teens struggled with this because, as we all know and this includes teens, art is subjective. Many of them still didn’t “get it” and their art work was really good. So we told them to think of sad clowns and the preverbal bowl-of-fruit still life.
To make the occasion complete, we served meats and cheeses and sparking juice.
We discovered that one girl seemed to watch some inappropriate tv/movies.