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Crafts for Kids: How to Make an Olympic Rings T-Shirt

Sarah has been an online writer for over seven years. Her articles often focus on DIY home projects.

DIY Olympic rings t-shirt

DIY Olympic rings t-shirt

Olympic Rings

The five-colored Olympic rings represent the five regions of the world with countries that participate in the Olympics. One might think there should be six rings, but South America and North America are counted as one—as the Americas.

The five colors—blue, black, red, yellow, and green—do not each correlate to a particular area. Instead, at least one of the five colors can be found in each country's national flag. The Olympic rings are interlocked to symbolize the unity of the participating countries.

Teaching Children About the Olympics

Children can learn so much from the Olympic Games—patriotism, geography, cultural differences, and hopefully good sportsmanship. To peak your child's interest in the summer and winter Olympics, consider using a few of these strategies to prepare for the games:

  • Find some fun history facts about the Olympics.
  • Determine when and where the next Olympic Games will be held.
  • Learn which countries will participate.
  • Find out which sports will be played and have your child pick a few favorites.
  • Plan a time to watch the favorite games with your child (record coverage if necessary).

To kick off the excitement, help your child make his own Olympic rings t-shirt following the instructions below. Whether your child is in preschool, middle school, or somewhere in between, these shirts are fun to make and wear. You may decide to make shirts for the whole family!

Materials Needed for Olympic Rings T-Shirt

  • White t-shirt
  • 5 small bottles of fabric paint: royal blue, black, red, bright yellow, and green
  • Small glass jar about 2 inches across the top
  • 5 shallow plastic lids wider than 2 inches
  • Newspaper
  • Paper towels or rag to dry jar

Instructions for Making Olympic Rings T-Shirt

  1. Wash and dry white T-shirt.
  2. Wash and dry glass jar and plastic lids.
  3. Print out a color picture of the Olympic rings to follow as a guide.
  4. Cover work area with newspaper.
  5. Place a piece of newspaper inside t-shirt to prevent paint from bleeding through.
  6. Fill plastic lids each with one color of fabric paint.
  7. Dip top of jar into black paint, and print first ring on top-center of the shirt.
  8. Rinse and dry jar.
  9. Dip jar into blue paint, and print second ring ½ inch to the left of the black ring.
  10. Rinse and dry jar.
  11. Dip jar into red paint, and print third ring ½ inch to the right of the black ring.
  12. Rinse and dry jar.
  13. Let the first three rings dry for at least one hour.
  14. Dip jar into yellow paint, and print fourth ring below and interlocking with blue and black rings as shown in your Olympic ring picture.
  15. Rinse and dry jar.
  16. Dip jar into green paint, and print fifth ring below and interlocking with black and red rings as shown in your Olympic ring picture.
  17. Let the shirt dry for 4 hours before wearing.

Making an Olympic Ring Print

Dip top of jar in paint and apply to t-shirt.

Dip top of jar in paint and apply to t-shirt.

Slightly twist jar to right and left for a solid ring print

Slightly twist jar to right and left for a solid ring print

Tips for Making Olympic Rings T-Shirt

  • Practice making ring prints on the newspaper before applying them to the shirt.
  • As you apply the ring, twist the jar slightly to the right and left to get a thicker, more uniform ring.
  • For a faster project with the kids, use more than one glass jar instead of rinsing and drying between each print. (just make sure the jars are the same size)
  • Let kids know that the rings do not have to be perfect. Each shirt will be unique!

This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and is not meant to substitute for formal and individualized advice from a qualified professional.


Victoria Van Ness from Fountain, CO on February 08, 2014:

I love this! What a cute idea for the Olympic Games!

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Veenoo from India on February 08, 2014:

Nice, thanks.

Sarah Johnson (author) from Charleston, South Carolina on July 28, 2012:

Perfect timing, FreezeFrame!

FreezeFrame34 from Charleston SC on July 28, 2012:

Great hub! I can't wait to try this! I'm running out to buy t-shirts now!

Sarah Johnson (author) from Charleston, South Carolina on July 28, 2012:

Hi, Teresa. It really is a simple craft, and my daughter loves wearing her design. Her grandmother is bringing over her own white tee shirt soon to get the Olympic rings design!

Teresa Coppens from Ontario, Canada on July 28, 2012:

Great craft for kids of all ages. Looks very easy and your instructions are very clear and easy to follow. Great way to start off a season watching the games!

Sarah Johnson (author) from Charleston, South Carolina on July 11, 2012:

Hi, Angela. Great question! There are copyright laws protecting the ring symbols, so definitely don't sell this craft. The symbols should not be used to promote or market anything - that is reserved for the official Olympic sponsors. This craft was designed to be used by families, classrooms and camps. The design was kept simple to celebrate the Olympics in general. I hope your son's design turns out great!

Angela on July 11, 2012:

Just wanted to check - was going to make one of these with my son for his school project but have been reading about the copyright laws of the olympic rings - can you advise on this. Don't wan't him to get into trouble. Thanks

Sarah Johnson (author) from Charleston, South Carolina on June 15, 2012:

Hi, naimishika

It is a very simple project, so even preschoolers can do it. But kids of all ages will take pride in their creation. Take care.

Sarah Johnson (author) from Charleston, South Carolina on May 29, 2012:

Thanks, cardelean! My plan was to add a link to your Olympic party hub as well and I will do that right away. I was also a late learner on all things having to do with the Olympics, so I would like to give my kids a little exposure to see what it is all about.

cardelean from Michigan on May 29, 2012:

Great hub! I'm going to link it to my summer Olympic party hub. I was in high school before I knew about the meaning of the rings. This is a great teaching tool for kids.

Sarah Johnson (author) from Charleston, South Carolina on May 29, 2012:

Glad to hear that, lasertekservices! My daughter is 11 and loved the activity.

Sarah Johnson (author) from Charleston, South Carolina on May 28, 2012:

Thanks, teaches12345. Good point about summer camp competition - I can even see a friendly neighborhood competition between the kids.

Dianna Mendez on May 28, 2012:

This is a great summer activity for kids. It will help them take interest in the Olympic sports. I can see this as a good way to inspire a summer camp competition as well. Thanks for sharing this idea.

Sarah Johnson (author) from Charleston, South Carolina on May 28, 2012:

Thanks, joaniebaby. I just read your profile and think you can do anything you set your heart to! I bet there are kids in the community who would love to have someone show them how to do crafts. Welcome to Hub Pages!

Sarah Johnson (author) from Charleston, South Carolina on May 28, 2012:

Thanks, kittyjj. It really was an easy project to do and now we all know our Olympic ring colors and order. It also helps the kids think outside of their little world when you start talking about Olympic games!

joaniebaby on May 28, 2012:

What a great fun and educational project for young children, or even teenagers. Every time I see a craft such as this I wish my children and grandchildren were younger so we could do them together again. Thanks for a great hub.

Ann Leung from San Jose, California on May 27, 2012:

This activity looks easy and fun. It is perfect for my kids to do. Voted up and shared.