Skip to content

Uni Watch DIY Project, Super Bowl Edition

[Editor’s Note: Today we have a Super Bowl-themed DIY project from Steve Speicher. Enjoy. ”” PL]

By Steve Speicher

Last year, due to my second-least-favorite AFC team participating in the Super Bowl, I decided to make my own DIY Eli Manning Giants jersey. Being a Steelers fan, this year I have my truly least favorite AFC team in the Super Bowl, so I’ve decided to make the DIY jersey a tradition.

In keeping with the quarterback theme, I decided to go with a Colin Kaepernick jersey. The first step was to find a decent image that I could create the basic numerals and NOB from. I picked this, even though it was from a knock-off jersey web site. It was ideal because it provides a straight-on view of both sides of the jersey, and seemed to be fairly accurate.

Using Photoshop, I made a vectorized version of the big 7 (which also works for the TV numbers) and each letter of “Kaepernick.” I could then scale these graphics to any size without losing image quality. I grabbed an image of the 49ers’ wordmark from Chris Creamer’s site and also used a vectorized version of the NFL logo that I had previously made for another project. Then I used these graphics to make a digital layout of the jersey.

I picked up a plain red T-shirt and took some basic measurements of it to create an actual-size template. Then, in Photoshop, I placed the the front and back jersey graphics on the template, and eyeballed their sizes until I thought it looked good. To try these graphics on the actual shirt, I printed some test sheets onto regular paper — first adding a thin red outline to all of the white-only graphics. I cut them out and laid them over the jersey to confirm their fit on the actual shirt. (I didn’t bother to cut out each letter of the NOB for this — the printout was good enough.)

Satisfied that the sizes of the graphics worked, I printed the same sheets onto iron-on transfer paper made for dark cloth that I obtained from a craft store. This proved to be a much better method than I used last year (which was hand-painting with acrylic paint). I printed the graphics onto the transfer paper, and then tediously cut out each letter and number with a combination of scissors and a razor blade. Starting with the front of the jersey, I ironed each letter, number, and graphic onto the shirt — again by eyeballing what I thought was the the proper location — by peeling off the backing paper, positioning the transfer paper in the proper spot, covering it with parchment paper, and pressing it with a dry iron for 20 seconds.

Here’s the front of the jersey after everything was ironed on, and here’s the back. I then added the TV numbers to the shoulders.

For the sleeve stripes, I took a bit of artistic license. I’m not a fan of the 49ers’ partial sleeve stripes, and accurately reproducing them would’ve been a bit of a headache. So I just decided to add true wrap-around stripes that align with the cuff. I made them easily enough by cutting out half-inch strips of transfer paper and ironing them on.

So after all that, here’s the final result: front and back. It’s hard to see from a distance, but I had a bit of burn-through, I guess, on the large 7s and a couple of NOB letters. I think either the iron was too hot, or I left it on for too long. It’s a bummer, but not bad enough to prompt a redo.

All in all, it was a fun project — about $10 for the shirt and transfer paper, plus a few hours’ work. Go Niners!

+ + + + +

ESPN reminder: In case you missed it yesterday, my latest ESPN column is the annual Uni Watch Super Bowl preview.

PermaRec update: A psychic visits a vintage store and tries to channel the stories behind the old clothing — that’s the subject of the latest entry on the Permanent Record Blog.

+ + + + +

Uni Watch News Ticker: Here are some graphics from a group that’s trying to bring the Hornets name back to Charlotte. They have their own uni design, too. … New logo for Harvard University Press (from Yancy Yeater). ”¦ New mask for Maple Leafs goalie James Reimer. … Here’s something I missed from last week: an absolutely gorgeous redesign for 7-Eleven coffee. Hmmm, wouldn’t that stripe pattern make for a killer stirrup design? (Big thanks to Doug Keklak.) ”¦ Teebz has discovered some good uni-related info about the California Seals. Recommended. ”¦ This is pretty good: a periodic table of soccer players (from Cort McMurray). ”¦ Soccer tidbit from Kenny Loo, who writes: “When Ivan Zamorano transfered to Inter Milan, his #9 shirt was taken, so he chose the number 18. But he placed a plus sign in between the numerals to simulate a 9. Clinton Morrison did something similar. I might get another membership card in honor of that.” … Hey, look: the Harbaugh brothers in stirrups! (From Charles Bowman.) … While looking for something else, I came across a photo of the Caps’ ill-fated white pants that I hadn’t seen before. … New baseball uniforms for Michigan. ”¦ I’ve been a 49ers fan for over 40 years, but here’s something I didn’t know: The Niners wear red and white because the original owners were alums of Santa Clara University, which also uses those colors (from Eric Iwamoto). ”¦ Very interesting article on the company that made the Super Bowl jersey patches. “They use a process called Chromaflex,” says Steve Foster. “Looks like we can expect to see these types of patches in other sports, as well as in law enforcement.” Recommended reading. ”¦ The Yankees tweeted this photo of Mark Teixeira making in appearance during a performance of Rock of Ages. “The logo on the back of his jacket seems to be a bit askew,” notes Mikhail Herrera. ”¦ Here’s a ranking of all 47 Super Bowls based on their logos (from Coleman Mullins). ”¦ Some family that appeared on Family Feud wore Rangers-style jerseys. “On the back they had FNOB with no numbers,” says Ryan Risse. ”¦ Here’s a spreadsheet that shows which uniform each team will be wearing for each week of the upcoming UK Rugby Super League season (from Les McCaughan). ”¦ Michael Princip just scored this awesome-looking 1957 Wilson football catalog, which includes a listing for those crazy plexiglass facemasks. ”¦ New women’s basketball uniforms for Baylor (from Ryan Robey). ”¦ The Chilean soccer team Huachipato uses a jersey crest that should be familiar to Steelers fans (from Omar A.). ”¦ Here’s the soccer ball that will be used for the Champions League final (Kenny Loo again). ”¦ Here are some of Nike’s new sneakers for the NBA All-Star Game. “Durant’s glow in the dark,” says Ben Rushing. ”¦ Lowell Wood plays on a rec league basketball team called What Would William Henry Harrison Do? Here’s a team portrait and a close-up of the jersey. ”¦ Yesterday I did something I hadn’t done in over three months: I hopped on my bike and rode a few laps in Prospect Park. It was my first time back on my bike since the accident (even though my cast came off in late December, I was told not to bike for another six weeks after that), and it felt sooooo good.

Comments (108)

    Ticker item appears to be missing something: ” I’ve been a 49ers fan for over 40 years, but here’s something I didn’t know: The Niners wear red and white the company that made the Super Bowl jersey patches. “

    Also wonky: Here are some graphics from a group their own uni design, too – link doesn’t work and the sentence doesn’t make sense.

    Did you forget your morning coffee or what?

    For those who have been wondering when the Deion facemask originally debuted, there is an old one from the 50’s or 60’s for sale on eBay right now that adds to the overwhelming evidence that it was indeed NOT developed for Eric Dickerson in the early 80’s:


    I had no idea what you are talking about, but I did notice the “?” at the end of the guy’s listing.

    PS: via a Helmet Hut search it DOES look like it is from the 50’s or 60’s.

    Also from that pic, a question:
    Who was being memorialized by the Dolphins in 1981 (#51 decal on Kim Bokamper’s helmet)?

    They were also the company who probably did the patches that appeared on last year’s World Series caps.

    Also, lets hope next year has a better matchup so Steve can DIY something more complex than a red & white jersey with no outlines and simple sleeve striping. I want to see the t-shirt version of the Falcons, Bengals or Seahawks.

    Steve’s eye for detail is worth coveting. But, yeah, teams with crazy-ass striping are going to provide unusual challenges.

    Charlotte Knights wearing 1990 jerseys, black with white pinstripes, on Friday nights this season:


    Hope the team also uses the black pants that went with the set, though that would seem unlikely.

    “….. which includes a listing for those crazy fiberglass facemasks”

    Paul, you meant to say plexiglass here.

    Bring Back the Buzz!!! It won’t be long until the Hornets name is right back where it belongs. Paul, am I correct in assuming you know the origin of the hornets name?

    paul, that link for the rugby league “who is wearing what” spreadsheet is not actually for the super league, it’s for the championship, which is the 2nd tier.

    Hmmmm. Was just going by what the reader who submitted the link told me. I can’t tell a Super League team from a Championship team….

    Super League is in that file, it’s just that when you open it it defaults to Championship. Select SL 2013 from the tabs at the bottom.

    Yep Super League is definitely there ,this seems to be a response to teams over the last couple of seasons changing there designated kits without warning or there being a clash of primary kits

    I came to the comments to see if anyone else thought the same thing. Yes, Jim is prone to ass-face quite often!

    Kudos to the guys wanting to bring the Hornets name back to Charlotte. My only nitpick is that I think they should emphasize the purple more than the teal. While I think they should keep teal since it was an original team color, I think purple works better for two reasons: 1.) It frankly just looks better, despite what our Fearless Leader might say, and 2.) Charlotte = Queen City = royalty = purple, the color of royalty. If the Kings indeed move to Seattle and become the Sonics again (what’s happened to that news?), going with purple wouldn’t be stepping on anybody’s toes.

    Regardless of whatever happens, it would be great to get rid of the Bobcats name, one of the least inspired team names of all time. Ditching orange and blue would be a bonus (it’s my least-favorite color combo).

    Well, great … but shouldn’t his number be red? Or is that an intentional reminder that color doesn’t matter?

    My first thought were they were a throwback the team would be wearing this year.

    Other than Stanford, I can’t think of too many major D1 baseball program wearing pullover jerseys.

    Its probably a tribute to one of their late 70s or 80s powerhouse teams. Their high water mark as a program was when the entire reds infield – morris, Doran, Larkin and ssabo were um alums

    Not trying to nitpick, but after graduating high school, Doran simply drove up US 127 and played his college ball at nearby Miami University (Ohio)…not UM.

    It’s too bad pullovers have fallen from favor, because I like the appearance of the trim around the v-neck. Colorful, yet dignified.

    I absolutely LOVE those black Phoenix Suns throwbacks. The first jersey I ever got was a Purple Charles Barkley Suns jersey. I love the design, so nostalgic.

    PHX should go back to that design or at least make the black the official alternate. Its so unique and looks pretty good too.

    Could someone tinker with these graphics and see what a Hornets logo with Bobcats colors would look like? I’d do it but I dont have any computer skills


    BigDub81 did a really fantastic job on the new Charlotte Hornets new uniform! I really like that! Plus Adidas does a HORRIBLE job designing uniforms! Did I mention that already:)

    Of course, the Steelers can’t complain about a soccer team “Steeling” their logo! They’re kinda’ guilty themselves!


    From your wiki link:

    “Co-owner of the Steelmark logo, Cleveland-based Republic Steel approached the owners of the Pittsburgh Steelers about placing the logo on their helmets for the 1962 NFL season, figuring that it would be a perfect product placement for the steel manufacturers”

    Not really “steeling” if it’s offered to you.

    Sigifnicant difference, though, is that the “steelmark” was for any steel produced in the US, whether by Republic, US Steel, CFI or any other number of manufacturers. Most of today’s logo creep is advertising specific to a company rather than a trade association.

    @ Dumb Guy:

    You’re right. I hadn’t read that the Steelers were approached to use the logo. My bad!

    Went to SiriusXM to listen to music at work and saw this:
    link No big whoop, except the facemasks caught my eye. Very close to actual facemaks, but no company actually produces that.

    Honestly, the weirdest part about those helmets to me was that they actually went with the left-side version of the Ravens helmet.

    There’s so many facemask variations today, it’s really hard to tell if any random image is using a real option or a fictional one.

    I had those posters plastered all over my walls as a kid, still have pics somewhere of them in the background, the entire West Division because of the Seals of course. Ordered from the back of a Wheaties box!!!


    Good job by Teebz on the video about my team, the Seals (see my membership card)

    In addition to his info about the white skates, it should be noted that the Seals had 4 different variations of colored skates – the first year under Finley they had yellow (gold) skates with green trim and the less-often seen green skates with gold trim. A year or two later they changed to white skates with green trim, then finally all-white skates with only green shoelaces.

    Finally, when the team was sold back to the league in late 73-74, they ditched the colored skates and wore traditional black/brown boots for the first time in the green/gold era. I saw one of those games on TV in NY, Rangers at Oakland.


    One of the things on my list of “research this info” are skate colors. As you know, the Seals notoriously wore several color combos, and the St. Louis Blues wore blue and yellow for a short time. The New York Golden Blades wore white for sure, and there were other teams who decided to fancy their skates up.

    Basically, it’s an exhausting search because so little information has been kept online, but I’m not giving up hope. The Seals only make my resolve more determined to find as much info as I can.

    Pittsburgh wore colored skates briefly also, here is an absolutely killer photo from an Ebay seller but I’m reluctant to pay that much for a photo or I’d have it already:
    Blues and Pens colored skates in the same game!!!


    It was probably more a “don’t pay the Dodgers royalties” just like all the baseball cards you used to see with the uniforms altered. I’d bet it wasn’t done by a baseball guy or even if it was, they simply thought “he’s known for Dodgers, blue and white, sooo…”

    Was at the Astros’ FanFest last weekend, and they were taking pics of players interacting with fans. Apparently, they were promoting some coconut water drink the team is using. The players all had bottles of water in front of them, so as they would take photos, a staffer would turn the labels on the bottles of water around, and carefully turn the label on the coconut water so it faced the camera, and whisper in the players’ ear to not cover the label of the coconut water as they swigged it for the camera. Douchbaggery.

    “The Lombardi trophy will continue to be part of future Super Bowl logos, but ‘the variable information – the Roman numerals, and dome (stadium) – will change every year,’ Abrams said. ‘The NFL wants the variable information to be made using a process that is more flexible and less expensive.'”

    So was this why Goodell wanted the Super Bowl logos to look similar every year now? Just so it’s less expensive to mass-produce the patches?

    I didn’t know FiberLok made the jersey patches for the Yankees Inaugural Season at new Yankee Stadium and the jersey patches for the 2009 World Series. I also like to believe the World Series and Postseason patches on the MLB hats in 2012 were made by FiberLok too (the World Series patch seems to share similar elements with the Super Bowl patch)

    I mentioned this here before but in the Steelers 79 highlight film there’s a Dolphin wearing a “Deion” mask. Haven’t seen it in years because my copy is on tape but it was someone from Miami’s secondary.


    That link did prompt me to ask … that different logo for this year’s game … I thought the standardize SB logo was meant to eliminate personalized logos for each year’s game (besides the number), but in the past couple weeks, I’ve seen more of the NO-specific logo in stores and websites than I have the boring version.

    Historically, most hockey teams had only one pant color, which they wore at home and on the road. This has changed a bit in recent years, as some teams now have separate home and road pant colors, but most still have only one pant color. And if you only have one color, you don’t want it to be the same as either of your jerseys, because you want the jersey and pants to contrast. And since everyone has a white jersey, nobody has white pants.

    The washington capitals wore white pants for a few games in 1974 (their first season) they wore them with the red jersey.

    While I understand the explanation, I’m stuck on one sentence: “And if you only have the one color, you don’t want it to be the same as either of your jerseys, because you want the jersey and the pants to contrast.”

    It just made me think of the Red Wings and Maple Leafs in monochrome red and blue. I’m just thinking that applies to white, but I can think of no good reason other than it looks funny in white (even though every other sport normally will wear white pants and white jerseys together).

    It used to be tough to color-match fabrics in hockey, since the sweaters were durene, the breezers were nylon, and the socks were acrylic wool (feel free to correct my “facts”). The advent of the Pantone matching system probably made teams feel more comfortable about monochrome uniforms.

    Don’t forget, also, that the breezers come in contact with the ice more than other parts of the suit. Light colors show where the water has soaked through more obviously, so fashion choices like the Kings in yellow pants, or the Caps in white ones, tend to be short-lived.

    Whenever I am reminded of what the LA Kings wore at home for most of the 1970’s, I think of “Home Alone”:


    I found this pic of Rick Wakeman from Yes in a 1972 Flyers fan jersey (Clarke?):


    My apologies if it’s been previously posted on UW.

    Back in my mis-spent youth (circa 1979), I remember when Rush was on their “Hemispheres” and “Permanent Waves” tours, they would perform an encore in hockey jerseys. Here’s the only photo I could find: link

    Judging by the hairstyle, I would say that this was taken sometime during the ’82-’84 tours, so it looks like the tradition lasted for at least a little while longer.

    Tony Banks and Phil Collins of Genesis would frequently wear hockey sweaters in the 70s. Here’s the video for “Ripples”, with Collins wearing a North Stars sweater:


    And if you do a YouTube search for the video of “A Trick of the Tail,” you’ll see Mike Rutherford wearing a Champion-made Seton Hall “football jersey”, # 75.

    Back in my day, Champion would make heavy cotton three-quarter sleeve football jerseys with your school’s name and colors, and the number on the front and back would serve as a visual symbol of your class year. So, for example, I bought an “85” during my first week at school.

    Actually, the story of Ivan Zamorano’s shirt number is a bit more complicated, as the “9” jersey was actually taken from Zamorano, not just already taken.

    He had the number 9 (marking him as the team’s lead striker) for a year, but when Ronaldo (of Brazil, not Christiano of Portugal) joined the team in 97, he received the number 9, and Zamarano did the 1+8 thing as a kind of protest.

    Oh yeah, and coincidently, Nike launched its “R9” shoe and brand campaign that same year. Funny how that works, huh?

    Couple interesting things to notice in this MSU vs. Michigan 1987 CCHA hockey game.
    1) Kip Mill – FNOB or NNOB
    2) Michigan with white helmets
    3) Michigan goalie wearing #24
    4) MSU goalie Norm Foster colored his cage black aroung the “eye holes.”

    Steve, I love the DIY Project and I may have to look into doing one for next year’s season or Super Bowl.

    I would also like to give a +1 for the 7-Eleven Stripe Stirrups.

    I would also like to point out in the video embedded in the article for the Seals there is a Golden Seals poster in the background that is just like the NHL Posters that have been posted on here from ebay.

    Today was an epic day for Uni-Watching for me.
    Went to Jazzy’s Cafe in NYC on corner of Varick and Charlton for a sammich. While on line I noticed special Super Bowl cookies for the big game. Well I was astonished at what I saw.


    The Niners “one off” helmet! How in the hell did this goofy deli/cafe screwup and use this helmet in error? They got the Ravens correct. Didn’t use the old double winged shield.

    Had to buy a Niners cookie. I’ll eat it to support our Uni-King Paul during the game.


    So I totally read that Wm Henry Harrison thing as Woody Harrelson for some reason. When I clicked the link I was disappointed to not find a whole team all dressed like him in White Man Can’t Jump.

    According to local reporters in Baltimore the Ravens end zone was repainted in black. I thought they were joking so I did a Google search and it does suddenly look darker.


    From the excellent website Flip Flop Flyball, featured on Uni Watch on occasion, the career of just-retired Nick Johnson. link

    I saw the jersey patches up close at the NFL Experience today and, while I hate the cookie cutter design they’ve gone to, these look really nice and shiny on the respective jerseys.

    Love the DIY shirts, should make a website where you make and sell them, would love to buy or make a green bay one

    Has anyone noticed the helmet pictured here floating around?


    Trying to figure out where this came from. Clearly it eschews the NFL/ Lombardi branding. Really nice, if a bit plain by comparison. I’ve seen it on RantSports, SB Nation, and a few other minor blogs now, so maybe it’s just a fan-created thing, but it could be a glimmer of hope for those of us who miss the old Super Bowl logos.

    And if you scroll down the page, you’ll see two other uses of the style of that logo as well.

    I asked about that same logo earlier today in the comments, and was shocked that nobody replied about it. I’ve seen that logo in many different places in past weeks, I think over the past month, I’ve seen more of it than the “official” SB logo (outside of this site, anyway).

    Jim, sorry I missed you comment. Scanned the last few entries for one, but must have missed yours.

    I’m really not a big fan of the league-mandated look at all, so even though it’s tame by comparison to others, I’m a fan. Didn’t realize it was official (or at least, the NFL would willingly use it).

    Thanks, all, for the compliments!

    As to your comment Derek…I don’t think the nfl would take too kindly to me selling DIY shirts. As for your Green Bay shirt, well, if they’re in the Super Bowl next year against not the Steelers, then there’s a decent chance I’ll make one.

Comments are closed.