Programming on the Cheap: Post-It Note Art

Funds are tight. We all know what it’s like trying to make every dollar count. Teen programming usually stretches those boundaries to the limits. They also carry the extra worry about spending a lot of money and having little to no teens show up. Trust me, we’ve all been there. That’s where Programming on the Cheap comes in. It’ll be a regular series that’ll highlight programs that cost $20 or less. Programs that won’t break the bank or stress you out over low attendance.

My December program, Post-It Note Art, was not new or revolutionary, but it was a lot of fun. As the teens came in, I asked if they had any ideas of for their design. Most didn’t, so we hit google and pinterest for inspiration. I printed out the pictures, gave them a stack of Post-Its, and let them go at it. We had to move some some of the furniture around, but ultimately the teens worked alone or in pairs and needed very little supervision. Best of all, my windows became “art” and gave the area a more teen feel.

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So, how many post-it notes did we use? My guess would be around 500. Maybe a little more. I should have kept better track of this. However, I know I had a nice stack of post-its left over in the end that will be used by staff or some future passive programming. Of course, once the art comes down, we’ll use the old post-its for scrap paper as well!

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If I were to do this again, there would be a couple of things I would do differently. First, I would make sure I had white and black post-it notes. For some reason this didn’t cross my mind and the teens had to substitute a different color. It didn’t really hurt the design per se, but it did make some of them a bit more wacky!

I also think I would have made it a two hour program and used the first 30 or so minutes as a design/pick your project time. 3-M has a great page that not only has design ideas, but has a tool where you can create your own mural. Of course, giving the teens colored pencils and graph paper would accomplish the same thing. While the teens found projects they liked with ease, I think this extra time to create/search would have been helpful. Of course, be mindful of time. Most projects took 30 minutes or more to complete. The more complicated the design, the longer it will take. Don’t let the teens get too crazy or they may be left with an unfinished project. If you’d like a little more inspiration, I created a Pinterest board with some awesome designs others have done.

Have you done a post-it note project? If so, let us know how it went and if there are any tips/tricks worth mentioning. And if you do this project, but sure to come back and let us know now how it went!

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