DIY Team Shirt For This Year’s Olympics

2021 Olympics merch

 No matter why you want to design a DIY team shirt for this year’s Olympics (whether it’s for yourself, friends and family, or your store), it’s a great project to show support for your favorite team. Here’s how to get started designing and printing your own DIY team shirt!

How to Design a DIY Team Shirt For the Olympics

Know Your Printing Options

There are various printing options when it comes to making your DIY team shirt. They each have advantages and disadvantages and different costs, production times, and materials. Let’s look at the three most common printing options:

  • Heat Transfer Vinyl

Heat transfer vinyl is the best way for most people to make their DIY team shirts. It’s a cost-effective, simple, and quick process. This method involves using rolls of colored vinyl to cut out a design and heat that design onto your team shirt using a heat press. Similar to screen printing, you can feel the design on the t-shirt, although it’s a slightly different feeling.

Unlike screen printing, you can use heat transfer vinyl on one or multiple t-shirts, and unlike direct-to-garment printing, you can use this method on any color shirt. When using heat transfer vinyl, you align the different parts of your design and the different colors by hand. As you add more and more colors, this method does increase in complexity, but you can use as many designs and colors as you wish.

Related: Best T-Shirt Printing Methods

  • Screen Printing

In screen printing, the screens act as a stencil—the ink gets pushed across the screen and only goes through to the design. It’s a manual method, and if you want a unique color, you’ll have to mix the ink by hand. There are some automatic screen print presses, but the process itself is often done by hand by pressing the ink over the screens with a squeegee. Once the design is finished, you’ll feel the ink on the fabric. It’s the slowest, most hands-on method of printing.

  • Direct-to-Garment

Direct-to-garment printing is generally the easiest printing method, but it has two big drawbacks: it only works on lighter colored t-shirts, and the design tends to fade more quickly than screen or heat transfer vinyl printing. However, it does allow for the printing of full-color pictures. The entire t-shirt goes into the printer, and the design gets printed directly onto the fabric, leaving you with a design that cannot be felt on the shirt.

Brainstorm Your Design

Different Olympic event designs

Now, onto the fun part! It’s time to decide what design and colors you want on your DIY team shirt. You have a ton of choices, and the only hard part is making a decision. You could do a simple Olympic rings design, the team’s name, the country’s flag, or anything else you can imagine. Let’s go over some of the design choices you’ll have to make when creating your DIY team shirt:

  • Team Shirt T-Shirt Types

Choosing the right t-shirt is the first step to creating your DIY team shirt. From hoodies to t-shirts, tank tops, and crop tops, there are plenty of choices for your Olympics shirt. If you’re using heat transfer vinyl, you can choose any color t-shirt you want, but if you’re using another method (like direct-to-garment), keep in mind that you’ll need to use a white or light-colored fabric. 

Related: Best T-Shirts for Sublimation

As you begin making your designs, physically place them over the shirt you want to use to visualize how it will look. This way, you can make size adjustments as necessary to ensure that your DIY team shirt design looks perfect on different-sized fabrics.

  • Style and Imagery


One of the most fun parts is designing the style and imagery of your team shirt. It’s time to decide on the exact design you want, whether it’s the classic rings or a team USA t-shirt. Typically, flat, simple designs work the best when designing a shirt that will look good on anyone. While designs that use color gradients and intricate linework can look amazing, it’s more difficult to make the designs look right on multiple sizes of shirts and for people with different body shapes.

  • Typography

letters on a shirt

If you’re planning on printing “Go Team USA,” “2021 Olympics”, or any other words on your DIY team shirt, you’ll want to take some extra time to consider which font to use. Serif fonts and script fonts give you more of a classic look, while Sans-serif fonts can make your design look more modern. DIY team shirts give you a huge opportunity to get creative not only with the design itself but with the fonts you choose also. But, keep in mind that while it’s fun to play around with crazy display fonts, you still want it to be easily readable. Don’t let your DIY team shirt’s message get overshadowed by the use of swirly, loopy fonts.

  • Team Shirt Design Color

Your design color is what makes the team shirt pop and communicate its personality. Each different shade, tint, and hue can evoke different emotions and responses. The two colors to keep in mind are the fabric color and the print color. To ensure that they complement each other, it’s important to use your t-shirt’s color as the background while creating your Olympic designs. Also, it’s important to note that colored canvases can impact what the ink looks like once it’s printed.

  • Specialty Printing

You can take your DIY team shirt designs to another level by adding some unique flair, like:

Related: Guide to Creating a Rhinestone Transfer

Create Your Olympic’s DIY Team Shirt With Avance Vinyl

A blank t-shirt

Designing and creating an Olympic’s DIY Team Shirt with heat transfer vinyl is a simple and fun project that anyone can enjoy. All of our heat transfer vinyl is “stretch,” meaning that your designs won’t crack or peel when applying them to your t-shirt—a huge problem for other printing methods. 

Ready to bring your DIY team shirt ideas to life? Get started with Avance Vinyl!

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