young adult programs

Color Me Cool!

Length of Program

60-90 minutes.

Program Description

Tattoos and body art are becoming mainstream and teenagers often see body decoration as a rite of passage. During this program, teens can explore body art, including mendhi, henna, and temporary tattoos. Invite local body artists and fashion experts to discuss style and personal image and demonstrate body art.


Teens are very interested in fashion and body image. Look around your community for appropriate presenters. Ask at beauty supply stores, nail salons, and community colleges for people who will work with teens. As a program supply, purchase The Body Crayon Book published by Klutz. The book contains non-toxic cosmetic crayons and instructions for designing body jewelry and other designs. Limitation: If you hold a henna program, you will need parent-signed permission slips for any “demonstrations” since the art lasts for up to three weeks.


Temporary Tattoos

Paper Mate™ sells “tattoo stick” pens, with ink that is safe for skin and washes off easily. These are available at Target stores, many office and art supply stores, or by mail from Art Supplies Online, Teens love to outline their own tattoos and color them in. Several companies sell special paper to create temporary tattoos on the computer. Try Avery’s Body Art Stickers, available at most office supply stores or online at Let the teens select art from copyright free clip art or create their own online. Most word processing programs, including Microsoft Word, allow users to select pictures from a clip art file or import a piece of clip art into Word by cutting and pasting or by saving the picture file to a diskette. Once the teen is happy with the art, it can be printed on the special 8 1/2” by 11” paper, which runs through most computer printers. Provide books with examples of simple patterns, such as The Tattoo Encyclopedia by Terisa Green. Dover Publishing also offers a series of inexpensive books that provide temporary tattoos.

Nail Art

Invite a local nail care shop to demonstrate nail art. Provide nail polish, remover, stick-on art, and jewelry so that the teenagers can experiment.

Books to Display

  • Body Marks: Tattooing, Piercing, and Scarification by Kathlyn Gay and Christine Whittington.
  • Decorate Yourself: Cool Designs for Temporary Tattoos, Face Painting, Henna and More by Tom Andrich.
  • Everything You Need to Know About Mendhi, Temporary Tattoos, and Other Temporary Body Art by Stefanie Iris Weiss.
  • Temporary Tattoos by Erick Aveline.

Books to Booktalk

  • The Color of My Words by Lynn Joseph.
  • Crystal by Walter Dean Myers.
  • Paint Me Like I Am: Teen Poems from WritersCorps by Bill Aguado.
  • Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants by Ann Brashares.


Beaded Bracelets

  • Assorted beads
  • Stretchable cord, jewelry cord, or hemp
  • Scissors

Provide the teens with an assortment of beads so that they can make bracelets or ankle bracelets. The supplies are available at many craft supply stores, such as Michaels, or by mail order from Guildcraft Arts and Crafts, 1-800-345-5563. Select plastic, wooden, or ceramic alphabet beads, fancy shaped beads, glass trade beads, love beads, and tri-beads. Tri-beads are three-sided and interlock when they are strung together. Purchase stretchable cord, jewelry cord, or hemp on which to string the beads. Teens can tie the cord to the appropriate size for their wrists or ankles.

Group Activity

Read “Pink: A Haiku” by Jane Yolen in Color Me A Rhyme and "Tattooin' Ruth" in Falling Up by Shel Silverstein. Ask the teens to write their own poems or rhymes about fashion and color.

Web-based Activities

What’s Her Face

Girls will enjoy putting together fashion ensembles and seeing the results online, plus trying out the make-it-yourself accessories.

Web Sites

Henna Hante

Make Your Own Cosmetics



Texas Reading Club 2004 Programming Manual / Color Your World...Read!

Published by the Library Development Division of the Texas State Library and Archives Commission

Page last modified: June 14, 2011