DIY: Tyler Hardiman, aka "The Glue Master," and another student prep their locker designs.Photos by Terry Dean/Staff

Unlike some of his buddies, Tyler Hardiman doesn’t have a locker at school.

Everything he needs he carries in his book bag, said Hardiman, a junior at Oak Park and River Forest High School. Yet Hardiman was at Oak Park Public Library, holding a hot glue gun and shooting gobs of adhesive onto little pieces of broken CDs, all part of a do-it-yourself workshop showing teens how to “trick out” their lockers.

His friend and fellow OPRF Huskie, Mimi Fiala, helped him glue the pieces onto a cut-out, blue jean pocket — she used her pieces to spell out the letter “M,” for her name, on her pocket.

“I will put it up in my room,” said Hardiman, 16, who didn’t know anything about the library’s “Rock Your Locker” workshop before last Friday. He and bunch of friends happened to be there studying after school when the workshop got rolling. Susan McClelland, who’s in charge of the library’s adult and teen programs, came up with the idea.

“I wanted them to do something creative with crafts, and something green,” she said. “We used blue jeans, beads, nothing that will scar or mutilate their locker.”

The materials were items found around the library, McClelland said. She had whole CDs and cases, 4 x 6-inch picture frames and colored adhesive wallpaper.

Ashley Jones, a 17-year-old OPRF senior, glued two blue jean pockets onto a rectangle piece of Styrofoam that she planned to place in her locker. She had another idea — to glue a CD onto a couple of beads and then glue it all onto the pocket. She wanted the CD to kind of tilt downward. Jones said she’s always wanted to decorate her locker but never had the materials.

“My locker’s pretty boring,” she confessed.

Some teens worked together and alone. Jones’ friend, Kyle Foronda, wanted a jean pocket and a mirror for his locker. He also called his locker at school “boring, normal, nothing exciting.”

In fact, the other students said none of their friends have decorated lockers. McClelland thinks it’s because students are too busy to do so but also because they’re wired into their electronic devices. McClelland recalled her school locker was decorated to the hilt.

“I had my books on the top shelf and photos of everybody I knew everywhere. It was my domain. I didn’t have CDs in there but I had my album covers — you guys don’t know anything about album covers,” McClelland said to one of the teens.

Naomi Fothergille, who attended the workshop with her daughter Madeline, 10, remembered decorating her middle school locker.

“We had a home economics class and made pockets for my locker,” said the Oak Park mom.

Her daughter, who attends a school in Berwyn, was making a picture frame with pieces of cutout blue jeans for edges with glued-on CD shards. Fothergille snapped a photo of Madeline posing with McClelland and frame just as the workshop wrapped up.

“I liked that we had high school students and a middle schooler; we had some guys and some girls; it was a nice mix,” McClelland said.

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