Make Paintball Jerseys

Jerseys distinguish your team during a game of paintball.

Like any team sport, paintball requires you to have a jersey that separates your team from the opponent. Since hats and other gear can make your teammates difficult to spot, team jerseys are an effective way to create distinction. Make your own paintball jerseys to get a custom, personalized look.

Instructions

1. Discuss a team name and mascot. It won’t be enough to rely on the color of your jerseys to distinguish your team during a game, since other teams may wear the same color jerseys—so you will place the team name and mascot prominently on your team’s jerseys.

2. Decide on two to three colors to represent your team. One of these will be the color of your jerseys and you’ll need one or two more colors for the words and possible decorations on the jerseys. Choose colors that make sense with your name or mascot. For example, choose green and black if you’re the Vipers.

3. Buy matching long-sleeved shirts for each person on your team. It may be tempting to buy short sleeved shirts if you’ll be playing in the heat, but it’s wise to protect your skin. Long-sleeved shirts made of a breathable material such as cotton is an effective, comfortable choice.

4. Draw various sketches of your mascot on sheets of paper, combining it with your team name to create a design or logo for your jerseys. Use pictures from books, magazines or the Internet for inspiration—but don’t copy the images exactly, unless you’ve cleared or purchased all usage rights. Write in block letters so that you can cut them out later. Don’t overlap the letters because you’ll want them “clean” for cutting.

5. Cut a square piece of cardboard the width of the smallest jersey. This is the basis for the stencil you will use to apply the design to the jerseys.

6. Use a pencil to draw the jersey design onto the cardboard. Draw it large enough to cover the entire piece of cardboard. Go over the design with a thick marker. Don’t use a thin marker, pencil or pen—or the lines won’t be thick enough for you to cut out the pieces of the design to make a stencil.

7. Use a box cutter to trace the outlines of the letters in the design to cut them out. Cut out the mascot in pieces, using the box cutter to trace along the insides of the lines so that the end result is a collection of holes that you can fill in with color.

8. Cut a piece of cardboard the length and width of the smallest of your team’s jerseys. Slide this cardboard into the first jersey and lay the jersey on a flat surface with the side facing up that you wish to apply the design to. The cardboard will keep the design from bleeding through to the back side.

9. Place the stencil on the center of the jersey. Use one hand to hold it firmly in place and use fabric paints to color in the different elements of the design. Squeeze the fabric paint bottle gently to draw out paint and move the nozzle in small circles to spread it in the area you’re painting. Avoid a bulbous, 3D effect since this may cause individual pieces of the design to fall off. Instead, apply the paint so that it forms a flat, full and smooth color.

10. Remove the stencil from the jersey, careful not to smear the paint. Insert a hanger into the collar and pick up the hanger to hold the jersey upright. Catch the cardboard insert as it falls out.

11. Hang the jersey to dry. Avoid areas where people or objects may smear the paint.

12. Repeat steps 9 through 11 for all your team’s jerseys. Hang them at least 2 inches apart.