Monday, August 6, 2012

Made 4 Math: T-Shirt Wall Display

My Calculus and Physics classes often become very close. They are small classes who bond over shared experiences, shared struggles, and inside jokes. Some will decide to commemorate the year with a T-shirt.

What is a teacher to do with a closet full of outdated T-shirts that can neither be worn nor thrown away? Make a lovely wall display, of course.

A bunch of the designs came out off-centered. It really bothered me for a while, but I am so happy with the end result that I decided the off-centeredness is part of the charm. And I am sticking to that. No OCD here. None at all.

A bunch of my favorite teaching memories, right there for me to look at every day. As an extra bonus, I am hoping that my Algebra 2 students will look at these shirts, see how much fun we have, and sign up for Calculus and/or Physics. In the future, I add more shirts!

Here are the specifics, if you are interested . . .

You will need:
1.  Old T-shirts, cut off the sleeves and cut down the sides.
2.  A 4 x 8 sheet of 1/4 inch OSB. ($7 at Lowe's). They cut it down partially for me in the store. At home, the Hubs finished cutting into 24 12" x 16" rectangles for me.
3.  Quilt batting (to add dimension). Cut into 12" x 16" rectangles as well.
4.  A staple gun.
5.  Some type of wall mounting. I used industrial strength velcro.

For each rectangle, I layered one side of the t-shirt with a couple rectangles of batting and stapled it all to the back of the particle board. It is helpful to have two sets of hands for this part. (Thanks again, Hubs).

Trim the excess fabric.

Like I said, off-centered is beautiful.

Then add velcro strips and stick to the wall.

Sounds simple, but it honestly took a ridiculous amount of time. Totally worth it, though.

P.S. If you know an English teacher (and I know that you do), encourage them to check out Teacher, Teacher, I Declare! I am so excited that my former English teacher (now a colleague and friend) has started a teaching blog. Mrs. E has years of experience, but she has never stopped learning. She is always introducing the rest of us to fresh ideas and innovative ways to use technology. You know that teacher in your school who is the glue? That's her. We all love her. I know the English edublogosphere (is there one?) will, too.


  1. what a great idea! I moved to a school district that has a strict teacher dress code, so I can't wear my math shirts. Now I can display them!

    1. What?! Can't wear math shirts? I am sad for you, but happy that this will give you another way to enjoy them. Have a great year!

  2. Your wall looks awesome! I've thought of making a t-shirt quilt but I like this idea even better! Thank you!

  3. This is totally awesome! I can't wait to copy it

  4. Your wall looks great! I know that as an Algebra 2 student I would be so jealous of the classes creating these shirts. I may be stealing yet another idea from you.

  5. Very cool idea, Amy. I don't have that many old math t-shirts, but I think I'll steal your idea to do this with my kids' sports jerseys! I have 3 kids, all teenagers now, and while I've always brought their gentled used clothing to Goodwill, I've saved all their jerseys. (I wanted to put them into a quilt, but yeah... this idea sucks because it's not gonna happen.) I can do this though! THANK YOU!!

  6. This display is awesome! It is really the showplace of your room. Bet the kids love it. Thanks for the shout out, dear sweet colleague! PS. I hear they love your new room!