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Ideas for Designing Carnival Shirts

Ideas for Designing Carnival Shirts

State fairs have been around for centuries, and traveling carnivals have flourished since the advent of a national rail system. Nowadays, carnivals can pop up almost anywhere, funded by carnival companies or organized as fundraisers for various organizations or charities.


carnival shirts

If you’re planning on hosting a local carnival, you’ll want to ensure that visitors remember your event for years to come. Custom carnival shirts are fun mementos that visitors are bound to enjoy!

But designing carnival shirts can be challenging, especially if you’re unfamiliar with the design process. Read on to discover the best carnival shirt designs!

Carnival Theme Shirt Ideas

While you could create simple carnival t-shirts and hoodies with the name of your event listed on them, it might be better to incorporate some classic carnival themes as well. Doing so is an excellent way to make your shirts stand out, and it can act as a fun reminder of fun times at the carnival.

Examples of top-notch carnival theme shirt designs include:

  • Red and white vertical stripes
  • Popcorn and clowns
  • Rides and roller coasters
  • Big top tents and event name

Not sure which design might work best for your upcoming event? Let’s take a moment to explore these ideas to help you decide!

Red and White Vertical Stripes

Though red and white vertical stripes are sometimes associated with winter holidays, they’re also common at carnivals. Popcorn boxes, big top tents, and exciting animal exhibits often feature these bright stripes. Example below.


carnival design with elephant

So, if you’re considering a simple design for your custom carnival shirts, you might want to choose red and white vertical stripes and place the name of your event over them.

Popcorn and Clowns

Popcorn is one of the most popular and affordable fair foods, and clowns are a common sight at carnivals. Incorporating both of these icons can make the intent of your custom shirts more evident.

However, some visitors may have a fear of clowns, which is something you’ll want to consider before choosing a clown-based design. Additionally, if your carnival doesn’t have any clowns or live performers, this design might be a poor choice.

Rides and Roller Coasters

If you’ve hired multiple ride companies to install thrilling carnival rides around your event space, you might want to make those amusements the main focus of your shirt design. For example, if you’ve rented a Ferris wheel, you can create a shirt with a colorful Ferris wheel in the center.

You could frame this image with the name of your event and list sponsors on the back of the shirt. Visitors that purchase your custom carnival clothing are bound to remember how much fun they had on your carnival’s rides each time they look at this shirt.

Big Top Tents and Event Name

A striped big top tent is one of the most instantly recognizable icons of carnivals. You could choose a big top tent as the primary image of your custom shirt, then add your event name beneath, atop, or inside the tent!

How to Design Carnival Theme Shirts

Hopefully, our design ideas have helped inspire you! But, of course, inspiration alone isn’t enough to help you create custom carnival shirts.

Fortunately, the design process is straightforward. You’ll need to:

  • Consider the carnival activities
  • Choose a shirt type and color
  • Perfect your concept in a design studio
  • Request your custom design

Consider the Carnival Activities

One of the first things you’ll want to do is consider the types of activities you’ll have at your carnival. For example, most festivals have exciting rides, family-friendly carnival games, and unique food stalls.

Depending on your budget, you may be able to provide all or a few of these typical attractions. For example, if the highlight of your carnival is a late-night fireworks show, you could put fireworks on your custom carnival shirts!

However, if the main attraction of your carnival is a big top clown show, you could add a striped tent and some friendly clowns. Be sure to take a moment to review the list of attractions before selecting designs, as your chosen activities can make it way easier to choose a suitable shirt design.

Once you know what kind of activity you’d like to showcase on your carnival shirts, you can choose a shirt type and color!

Choose a Shirt Type and Color

Do you know what type of shirts you’d like to sell at your upcoming carnival? Remember, you’ll be able to choose long-sleeved shirts, short-sleeved shirts, hoodies, sweatshirts, and more!

If you’re hosting a carnival during autumn or winter, opting for a thicker and heavier type of shirt is a fantastic idea. Alternatively, those preparing for a summertime carnival might want to choose a lighter, short-sleeved shirt instead.

You’ll also want to consider shirt color, as darker designs can quickly disappear when printed on dark clothing. Bright, neon colors can also make your custom clothing stand out, making it easier for visitors to spot them.

Always take a moment to consider the expected weather for your event and your design colors before choosing a shirt type. Doing so will increase the likelihood of attendees buying your custom carnival clothing.

Perfect Your Idea in a Design Studio

After choosing a design idea and shirt type, you can perfect your design. But you don’t need a sketchbook and colored pencils to start fleshing out your custom shirt design.

Instead, you can use a shirt design studio to make your vision come to life. A virtual design studio allows you to add text, images, or digital designs in just a few seconds.

You’ll get to view a digital representation of your final product before ordering, ensuring that your carnival design shirts are exactly what you’re looking for. There’s never been an easier way to create custom clothing!

Request Your Custom Design

You might be tempted to design carnival shirts using iron-on patches or compact heat presses. But creating your custom shirts at home can be time-consuming and expensive, especially if you don’t already own high-volume printing equipment.

Ordering custom design shirts from a reputable t-shirt provider is a hassle-free alternative that is often more affordable than making your own shirts. Besides, custom shirt companies can help you perfect your design and offer high-quality products that might be unavailable from your local clothing store.

Create Custom Carnival Shirts Today

Tasty foods, thrilling rides, and fun carnival games are the hallmarks of any successful fair, but you can make your event even more memorable by investing in customized carnival shirts.

Implementing some of the most classic carnival designs, like vertical candy cane stripes, big top tents, and classic rides, is a fantastic way to remind visitors of the fantastic time they had at your event.

Are you ready to make your upcoming carnival an unforgettable experience? If so, request a quote today!