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

Updated on July 21, 2016

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 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!

Step-by-Step Photos for Olympic Rings T-Shirt

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Kids will love to make their own Olympic t-shirt!Cover work area with newspaper.  Gather 1 small glass jar, and 5 shallow plastic lids to hold the 5 colors of fabric paint.Print color picture of Olympic rings to follow as a guide.Dip top of small jar in the black paint and print first ring near the top center of the front of the t-shirt.Wash and dry jar, then dip in blue paint to print the second ring 1/2 inch to the left of the black ring.Wash and dry jar, then dip in red paint to print the third ring.Position red ring 1/2 inch to the right of the black ring.Let first three rings dry for at least one hour.Wash and dry jar, then dip in yellow paint to print the fourth ring interlocking with the blue and black rings as shown.Wash and dry jar, then dip in green paint to print the fifth ring interlocking with the black and red rings as shown.
Kids will love to make their own Olympic t-shirt!
Kids will love to make their own Olympic t-shirt!
Cover work area with newspaper.  Gather 1 small glass jar, and 5 shallow plastic lids to hold the 5 colors of fabric paint.
Cover work area with newspaper. Gather 1 small glass jar, and 5 shallow plastic lids to hold the 5 colors of fabric paint.
Print color picture of Olympic rings to follow as a guide.
Print color picture of Olympic rings to follow as a guide.
Dip top of small jar in the black paint and print first ring near the top center of the front of the t-shirt.
Dip top of small jar in the black paint and print first ring near the top center of the front of the t-shirt.
Wash and dry jar, then dip in blue paint to print the second ring 1/2 inch to the left of the black ring.
Wash and dry jar, then dip in blue paint to print the second ring 1/2 inch to the left of the black ring.
Wash and dry jar, then dip in red paint to print the third ring.
Wash and dry jar, then dip in red paint to print the third ring.
Position red ring 1/2 inch to the right of the black ring.
Position red ring 1/2 inch to the right of the black ring.
Let first three rings dry for at least one hour.
Let first three rings dry for at least one hour.
Wash and dry jar, then dip in yellow paint to print the fourth ring interlocking with the blue and black rings as shown.
Wash and dry jar, then dip in yellow paint to print the fourth ring interlocking with the blue and black rings as shown.
Wash and dry jar, then dip in green paint to print the fifth ring interlocking with the black and red rings as shown.
Wash and dry jar, then dip in green paint to print the fifth ring interlocking with the black and red rings as shown.

Materials for Olympic Rings T-Shirt

You will need:

  • 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

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

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 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 shirt.
  8. Rinse and dry jar.
  9. Dip jar into blue paint, and print second ring 1/2 inch to the left of the black ring.
  10. Rinse and dry jar.
  11. Dip jar into red paint, and print third ring 1/2 inch to the right of the black ring.
  12. Rinse and dry jar.
  13. Let 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 shirt dry for 4 hours before wearing.

Tips for Making Olympic Rings T-Shirt

  • Practice making ring prints on the newspaper before applying 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!

Where are the Summer Olympics 2012?

A markerLondon -
London, UK
get directions

Summer Olympics London 2012

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    • kittyjj profile image

      Ann Leung 5 years ago from San Jose, California

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

    • joaniebaby profile image

      joaniebaby 5 years ago

      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.

    • ChaplinSpeaks profile image
      Author

      Sarah Johnson 5 years ago from Charleston, South Carolina

      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!

    • ChaplinSpeaks profile image
      Author

      Sarah Johnson 5 years ago from Charleston, South Carolina

      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!

    • teaches12345 profile image

      Dianna Mendez 5 years ago

      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.

    • ChaplinSpeaks profile image
      Author

      Sarah Johnson 5 years ago from Charleston, South Carolina

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

    • ChaplinSpeaks profile image
      Author

      Sarah Johnson 5 years ago from Charleston, South Carolina

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

    • cardelean profile image

      cardelean 5 years ago from Michigan

      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.

    • ChaplinSpeaks profile image
      Author

      Sarah Johnson 5 years ago from Charleston, South Carolina

      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.

    • ChaplinSpeaks profile image
      Author

      Sarah Johnson 5 years ago from Charleston, South Carolina

      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.

    • profile image

      Angela 5 years ago

      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

    • ChaplinSpeaks profile image
      Author

      Sarah Johnson 5 years ago from Charleston, South Carolina

      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!

    • Teresa Coppens profile image

      Teresa Coppens 4 years ago from Ontario, Canada

      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!

    • ChaplinSpeaks profile image
      Author

      Sarah Johnson 4 years ago from Charleston, South Carolina

      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!

    • FreezeFrame34 profile image

      FreezeFrame34 4 years ago from Charleston SC

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

    • ChaplinSpeaks profile image
      Author

      Sarah Johnson 4 years ago from Charleston, South Carolina

      Perfect timing, FreezeFrame!

    • rudra007 profile image

      Veenoo 3 years ago from India

      Nice, thanks.

    • VVanNess profile image

      Victoria Van Ness 3 years ago from Prescott Valley

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

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