Question: School T-shirts by a new PTO?

We are a brand-new PTO with no funds yet. We would like to have school T-shirts but were not able to prepay for an order and have them ready for the start of school. Do you think it’s still worth doing, and how would we go about it? No one on our board is artistic, and we don’t know where to start.

Asked by



Advice from PTO Today

Elly writes:

Yes, you can pull this off! Some of the most successful parent group activities are those done despite the lack of funds, experience, or resources. And this will be an easy one compared to some future challenges. Customized T-shirts are very popular with students and a great way to show school spirit.

Ask around for referrals to reputable companies, and consult a few about pricing and designs. Staff at these companies have access to lots of stock art and ideas to help get you started. Once you start working with them, you’ll be amazed at how the ideas flow and how creative you can become.

Starting late may actually be to your benefit, as you won’t have to guess at sizes and quantities to order. You can send T-shirt order forms home with students and have all the shirts ordered and paid for in advance. In pricing your shirts, consider your costs and any profit you need to make. Don’t forget to factor in sales tax if the T-shirt sales are taxable in your state. Most PTOs try to keep the price of the shirts fairly low so that all families can afford them.

Answer this question: