Custom T-Shirts for Summer Events

Summer time – people are out and about and the events are strong. Grills are sizzling and so are the sales for custom t-shirts for summer events.

Summer events are a big opportunity for custom apparel decorators – especially for the potential of larger orders.

Between summer sports leagues, family reunions, summer camps, and more, there are lots of shirts to be printed.

In this post, we’ll take a look at some of these summer events and some t-shirt printing tips for each.


Family Vacation Shirts

Vacations are coming back in full swing, and families are eager to get out and explore. Shirts make any vacation fun, whether it’s for a beach destination, mountains, amusement park, or elsewhere.

Besides the fun factor, they can also be very practical. When you want to be able to see each other in a crowded space, bright t-shirts help keep kids and family members visible to stick together.

Vacation shirts also make a great souvenir for the trip, along with a great family photo.


custom family vacation t-shirts


Family vacation orders can be small, such as a family of 4, or can be on the larger size for an extended family get-together.

For smaller runs, try UltraColor Max direct to film (dtf) transfers. These are great for small runs, with no minimum quantity. This transfer type can make small jobs profitable.

[Related Content: How to Sell Vacation T-Shirts]

If you live near a tourist site, it’s an extra opportunity to sell vacation shirts to visitors. You can easily print shirts and partner with local restaurants, etc. to sell them, if you don’t have your own storefront.


Shirts for Summer Sports Leagues

Sports are a big part of summer, for both youth and adults. Youth baseball and softball leagues, soccer, and plenty others are large apparel orders.

Get the whole league and you are set. Screen printed transfer numbers make uniforms a breeze, and apply in just 4 seconds with your heat press.

Does your league want names, too? Screen printed Express Names make names on jerseys just as easy.


baseball shirts - front and back


Adult softball leagues are prevalent in most cities, as well, along with volleyball leagues in some areas.


volleyball summer league t-shirt


For heat sensitive polyester uniforms, Elasti Prints will be the screen printed transfer type to use.

They apply at a low temperature to reduce scorching the material.


print baseball uniforms with names and numbers


Otherwise, for normal cotton and cotton/poly blend t-shirts, Goof Proof will be perfect.


Summer Family Reunion Shirts

Family reunions can be your summer bread and butter for t-shirt printing. Family reunions range in size, but often are on the larger size of a few dozen to a few hundred extended family members.

These large orders are very profitable, especially using Goof Proof screen printed transfers. Using Easy View online designer, you can choose from hundreds of family reunion layouts that are ready for you to customize with a family name, city, year, etc.

[Related Content: Ideas and Tips for Selling Family Reunion T-Shirts]

You can easily create mock ups right in Easy View to show your customers if wanted a preview of the design.

Since family reunions include both adults and youth, you can print all sizes from the same order of transfers, without having to order different design sizes.


custom family reunion shirts


You have two options here:

  1. Size the design for a majority of the people, usually around 9-10” wide. This will look great on most, with it being on the larger size for youth small, and a little small on adult 3xl sizes, for example. This is typical and really won’t be noticed since the design is the same size.
  2. Utilizing a gang sheet, you can have a larger print for adult size shirts, along with a smaller print for youth size shirts or baby onesies. Jumbo transfer sheets really make this easy with plenty of added space.

[Related Content: How to Handle Multiple Shirt Sizes]


Shirts for Shows, Festivals, and Fairs

A quick internet search will give you a list of plenty of shows, festivals, and fairs that will be in your area. Plan ahead and you can schedule to be at a lot of them.

Work with the event coordinators to set up a booth selling apparel for the event.

[Related Content: Your Guide for Exhibiting and Selling T-Shirts at Events]

You can even bring your heat press to print on-site, which can create some buzz at the event and save you from having left-over pre-printed apparel that didn’t sell.

Printing on-site will also give you the ability to offer personalization to customers.

Some examples of shows include car shows, equestrian shows, livestock shows, art shows, air shows, etc.

Many clubs and special interest groups will have an annual show for the public to attend.

Festivals include music festivals, art festivals, food festivals, and many other nationality festivals, such as an Irish Festival.


art festival t-shirt


music festival t-shirt and other apparel


music festival t-shirt with foil finish


wine festival t-shirt


Besides county fairs, many fairgrounds have a schedule of events that occur at the fairgrounds all summer. Just search your nearby fairgrounds for a calendar of events.


county fair t-shirt


Since these are all mostly local events, you can really get your business name out there to all sorts of groups. This could turn into future orders, as well, when these clubs want shirts for their groups.

equality t-shirt


night hike event t-shirt


Summer Camp Shirts

School is out and summer camps are in. Most summer camps have hundreds of kids participate at one point during the summer.

And depending on the type of summer camp, the camps give the kids shirts as part of the registration, or they sell shirts at their camp shop.

[Related Content: Summer Camp Transfers with Gang Sheets]

If they are selling merchandise at their own camp shop, they usually have many other printed items along with the t-shirts, like towels, bags, caps, etc.


summer camp t-shirt


For more of the day-camp style, these types of camps often take trips where the kids wear matching shirts to easily keep them together, almost like a uniform.

Sometimes the entire camp will wear the same shirt, or different age groups wear the same shirt.

If the kids wear different shirts in different age groups, you can use a color change within your transfer order to keep costs low and profits high.

[Related Content: Money Saving Color Changes]



There are many, many road races for runners during the summer. You can easily find a list on the internet of all of the locals races. Usually there is a sponsor or running club that puts the schedule together.

Connect with the club and become a sponsor as well. You can print all of the shirts and get your logo on each shirt.

There are also a lot of walks in conjunction with the races on the same day, for those who want to participate but can’t run.

This is also true of fundraisers. Many organizations will hold a fundraiser run/walk event. The same still applies – talk with the event coordinator and offer to be a sponsor for the event, which often times, will add your logo to each shirt.


volunteer t-shirt with logos


Hundreds of runners participate in summer road races/walks. Runners will register for multiple races throughout the summer, so the more races you print for, the more they’ll remember your name, too!


What’s Next? Get Even More Ideas and Tips

These are just a small portion of ideas and tips for summer event t-shirt sales.

Download our ebook, 15 Sizzlin’ Summer Ideas, for even more ideas.

Included in the ebook are layouts and clip art to get you started, along with special tips for each type of event.

t-shirts for summer events ebook



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