Advice for creating and ordering youth group t-shirts

MinistryMonkey.comAlthough February still feels very much like winter in some parts of the states, summer is approaching quickly and it’s almost time to start thinking about ordering those camp and missions trip t-shirts. I had the privilege of interviewing Ryan Crozier of, a Christian custom apparel company, about that very process. He gave several good tips and ideas about what to look for, how to spark creativity, and more.

Tim: How are youth group t-shirts worth the financial investment for ministry?

Ryan: As a former Youth Pastor, I witnessed first hand how a simple order of t-shirts helped us form community! It was really cool to watch students get excited about wearing our shirts to school and to hang out with friends. Getting Youth Group t-shirts was also a huge help in building our Leadership Team. Our leaders would wear their shirts weekly to help students recognize the leaders. (As if the 50 year-old bald guy didn’t already scream I’M A LEADER!!!!)

Tim: What are some things to look for or keep in mind when ordering shirts from someone?


  • Not all t-shirts are created equal! Always take note of the brand & weight of the t-shirt quotes you get.
  • Watch out for extra fees! Often times the price per shirt will be low, but then you have a $20 charge for each screen or location on the shirt you want to print. So, if you want 3 locations that’s an extra $60! Plus, find out about shipping costs!
  • If you’re planning on using shirts for giveaways, always remember that white shirts are cheaper than colors. Don’t blow your budget on black t-shirts with 4 colors on the front & back if you are just giving them away.

Tim: The hardest part is often coming up with a cool idea or logos for the shirt. What are some ways we can spark creativity for the design?

Ryan: I think one of the best things to do is make a special trip with a few students to the mall. Check out Abercrombie & Fitch, American Eagle, the Buckle, Gap, Old Navy. These places spend tons of money guessing what teenagers will like. Why not learn from the best?

We know that not every church has a graphic designer. So, we’ve got an art team that can custom create something just for you. We’ve had people scan and email us napkins with concept design or email us a link to a retailer’s site. Our art guys then turned it into a Vector file and had it printed on their shirts. Our art fees aren’t hundreds of dollars either. We’ve never charged over $75 for custom artwork. This way you will be getting exactly what you want, not a “cookie-cutter” design template that every other youth group is wearing!

Tim: What makes Ministry Monkey unique from all the other t-shirt printing companies out there?

Ryan: We seriously have trained monkeys that do all the work on your shirts. That’s one major thing that sets up apart. Now, if I had to come up with a few more, I’d say that fact that we don’t charge anything for screen fees, set-up fees, or shipping.

Plus, we’ve really tried to make the whole “ordering t-shirts” thing simple. We don’t assume everyone has ordered shirts before. We give you the creative input to make sure your shirts reflect your goals in making them. Once we’ve got the design finished we send you a PDF art-proof so that you can approve and make sure everything is correct before we actually print the shirts.

Tim: How can we get in touch with you if we have more questions?

Ryan: You can snail mail us at…

Just kidding! You can connect with us in a bunch of ways!

Posted on February 23, 2009

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