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Host a DIY Game Day Shirt Extravaganza

Posted by Liz Schulte on 1/28/19 5:30 PM
Topics: spirit wear, bookstore events, collegiate retail

Creating DIY game day fashion is a fast, easy and fun way for students to personalize their outfit for big games. Popular DIY designs can range from simple to elaborate, but they all have one thing in common: They’re an affordable way for students to update their wardrobe. Help students embrace their creativity with a fun, spirit-boosting DIY t-shirt event.

Host a DIY Game Day Shirt Extravaganza

Gen Z Style Trends

One of the most popular fashion trends, especially for Gen Z students, is to wear athletic or workout clothing in any setting from the classroom to work to going out with friends. For day-to-day wear, today’s students favor simple styles and muted colors. However, when planning an outfit for big game or a night out, some students may want to take their look to the next level while still showing their team support.

By applying DIY ingenuity to game day apparel, students at schools like Iowa State University and Arizona State University have created affordable, fashion-forward looks that help them stand out from the crowd — some savvy students have even leveraged their design skills to earn extra income.

How to host a DIY t-shirt event

The most important factor in creating a successful DIY shirt is the base material that will be altered. Better quality shirts hold up to alterations and produce superior results. Students can find high-quality collegiate shirts at the college store, but they would be naturally hesitant to cut up a full-priced shirt.

For this event, identify any extra clothing stock that you would like to clear and mark it down to give students a fantastic deal. You could also invite students to bring in a shirt they already own.

  1. Set a date and time to host the event.
    Look at the basketball schedule for the upcoming games that are most likely to boost school spirit and enthusiasm. Choose a date before the game that leaves plenty of time to set up and spread the word about your event.

  2. Research t-shirt designs
    Between Pinterest and YouTube, you can find instructional blogs and videos for creating a variety of DIY t-shirt designs. Select three or four styles that are simple and can be easily made in your store with only a few supplies. Make note of the instructions and supplies you will need for each design. For example, if a student is making a simple halter top or an off-the-shoulder crop top, the only necessary supplies are a shirt, fabric scissors, a pencil and a ruler. More elaborate designs may require additional materials and sewing skills.

  3. Collect the supplies you need
    Now that you know which shirts students will make at the event, collect the supplies you will need to provide students for each design. Will students need to bring additional materials to the event? Will they need to bring or purchase a t-shirt? Will you charge a nominal fee to attend and provide a shirt? Set the specifics for how your event will run. 
  1. Advertise the event
    Use your most effective, least expensive advertising methods: put up posters and signs, display event information at the checkout, talk about the event on social media, etc. Be sure to include all the details students will need to know and share examples of what they will be making to help build enthusiasm.

  2. Create examples and easy-to-follow instructions
    Write easy-to-follow steps for the designs you selected and recruit your student employees to do a test run. Have them follow the instructions exactly. This will tell you which instructions don’t quite work and help you find the areas where you can add clarity. For more creative and enthusiast student workers, give them the option to create their own design with the materials you have on hand. Ask them to write out instructions and film a how-to video for other students to follow.
    Pro Tip: If you have a student worker who is willing to create a how-to video, share it on social media while advertising this event.
    Take pictures and videos of the student employees making the shirts and modeling their finished products (good and bad) to share on social media. If there are any really great finished products, display those shirts in your store leading up to the event — you could also use the designs to create a window display advertising the event.

  3. The event
    Set up tables where students can work on their designs. Displaying the t-shirts your student employees made is a fantastic way to help students visualize the end product. Be sure to take a lot of pictures during the event and post them to social media. Also, encourage students to tag the bookstore the event pictures they share on social media.

Fun, engaging events like this remind the campus community that the college store is more than retail. It is a social hub where students can come together, destress, have fun and support their school.

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About Liz Schulte

Liz Schulte is an author and business owner with a background in customer service, marketing and higher education development.

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