DIY Personalised T-Shirt

DIY 70’s & 80’s Message T-Shirts

Let’s step back into the 1970’s by making our very own personalized t-shirts! After Mamagamy’s super cool DIY t-shirt activities, now it’s time for one more. 🙂

According to Apparel Search, “A ringer t-shirt is a t-shirt in which the primary jersey shirt fabric is one color, but the ribbing used for the collar and the sleeve bands are of a contrasting color.”

These tees were popular in the 1970’s and also in the 1980’s as sports shirts. Today, they have officially made a come back as message t-shirts.  So why not make our very own t-shirt with a unique personalized message?  With this DIY project, you will make two t-shirts instead of just one! The results are fabulous and will provide you with that extra special vintage tee that you won’t be able to find in your local vintage shop.  Siblings or friends can enjoy them and wear them with pride!
What message would you add to your t-shirt? We’ve decided on a couple of words inspired by our current family summer trip. You can view a few photos on Instagram. Can you guess where that may be? 😉

What you will need:

– 2 t-shirts in contrasting colors (for example: black & white)
– iron on letters
– sewing thread (the same two colors as the two shirts)
– sewing needle
– scissors
– seam ripper
– iron
– sewing pins (optional, but handy)
– sewing machine (optional, but easier and faster)


Step 1
Unstitch the collars of each t-shirt with the seam ripper.
 DIY Ringer t-shirt
DIY Ringer t-shirt


Step 2
Place the bottom of the unstitched collar along the top of the contrasting t-shirt neckline, right side against right side.  Sew the opposite collars on to each t-shirt by hand or with a machine with a 0,5 cm margin.


DIY Ringer t-shirt

Step 3
Cut approximately 3,5-4 cm off each sleeve of each t-shirt.

DIY Ringer t-shirt
DIY Ringer t-shirt

Step 4

With the t-shirt and the cut off sleeve pieces inside out, place the sleeve piece around and on top of the t-shirt sleeve, right side against right side. Sew the contrasting sleeve pieces on to each t-shirt by hand or with a machine leaving a 0,5 cm margin. You can use pins as a guide line for the stitches.

DIY Ringer t-shirt

Step 5

Turn the t-shirt right side out and fold the contrasting band in half over the t-shirt sleeve. Sew along the edge to secure the contrasting band.
DIY message t-shirt
The stitches should be along the white dotted line seen in the photo below.
Step 6
Once you have decided what message you would like to write, carefully place the contrasting letters on to each t-shirt. I found several nice, fuzzy letters on Amazon and Etsy.
 DIY Message t-shirt
Step 7 
Iron on the letters for 10-15 seconds on the front side and then for 10-15 seconds on the inside.
 DIY vintage style tee
Presto! You are finished and ready to sport two t-shirts or share among siblings or friends!
DIY iron on t-shirt
DIY friendship t-shirt
NOTE: If you are lazy and would like to avoid the sewing part of this activity, you can also purchase inexpensive ringer style tees or raglan style baseball t-shirts at various shops, then iron on your letters.  Here are a few spots where you can buy shirts for men, women, children, or babies.
DIY Ringer message t-shirts
DIY Sports style t-shirt
DIY vintage style tee






This post is also available in: French

Check Also

Nouvel an avec enfants

New Year’s Eve with Kids

So…. what are you doing for New Year’s Eve? This is the eternal question that …

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *