How to Frame a Sports Jersey

Written by Mark Rogers

Framing isn’t just for photos or paintings. Many collectors use frames to memorialize and display their collectables—especially collectible jerseys from their favorite sports teams.

Some people think framing jerseys is a difficult and daunting task, so they end up spending a lot of money by taking it to someone else to frame their prized possession. However, there is a smarter and more budget-friendly way to frame jerseys.

Save some money (and show off your true dedication and passion for your team) by taking a look at how to frame a jersey the DIY way:

Materials You'll Need

The materials needed for framing your own jersey (other than the jersey itself, of course) include:

  • Either a shadow box frame or standard frame
  • Mat board (if using a shadow box)
  • Foam backing board (if using a standard frame)
  • Plexiglass or Acrylic (if using a standard frame)
  • Measuring tape
  • Needle
  • Thread
  • Pins
  • Foam insert (optional)

What Jersey Frame Size Do I Need?

Start off by measuring your jersey which will make it much easier to find the right frame size. Most jerseys will either be 30” by 36” or 32” by 40”. It’s also a good idea to bring your jersey with you while shopping for your shadow box or standard frame. This way, you can lay it out in the store to ensure it’s the right fit for your jersey and that you can adequately display the important parts, e.g., the number, the name, etc.

If you’re purchasing a standard frame, make sure there is a foam backing board and the glass is plexiglass or acrylic. It may be easier to use a shadow box, as it provides more space between the object and the glass.

How Should I Display the Jersey?

Once you’ve decided on the frame or shadow box, it’s time to figure out how you want to display the jersey. Lay the jersey on either the mat board (shadow box) or foam backing board (standard frame), and fold the jersey, making sure the number, player name, and sleeve patch logos are visible. Some collectors will use a foam insert, which makes the jersey look more filled out. If you choose to use a foam insert, make sure it’s cut in a rectangular shape that fits snugly in the torso of the jersey, leaving room to fold the arms.

After making sure the jersey looks exactly how you want it to be displayed, pin the fabric in the desired position. Next, iron on the folds you made on the jersey to make sure it stays in place.

Securing the Jersey in the Frame

After you’ve ironed the folds of the jersey, take those same pins that you used to hold the folds in place and pin the jersey to the backing of either the mat board or foam backing board. It’s recommended that you use stainless steel framing pins, because they don’t rust—which will keep your jersey from damage.

Take a needle and thread and stitch the jersey to the backing board below the neckline, at the start of each sleeve, and on the bottom hem of the jersey. Make sure the stitching goes through the back of the jersey, so you can’t see the stitched lines when it’s finished. If you use an embroidery sewing needle with clear thread, it’s not quite as visible.

Next, knot the ends of the thread and use tape to make sure they are secure and won’t come unknotted once the jersey is hanging.

Final Steps

If you’re using a shadow box, simply close the box securely, and then hang it on your wall.

If you’re using a standard frame, there are a few more extra steps pertaining to the glass and the frame itself. The plexiglass will come with protective film on each side of the glass. Remove the film from one side and lay that side down on top of the jersey, making sure it’s perfectly straight before moving on to the next step. Once you’re sure it’s straight, it’s safe to remove the film from the other side of the plexiglass and frame.

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2 thoughts on “How to Frame a Sports Jersey”

  • Peter P Topa

    You should tell what kind of pins to use and what the iron should be set on.

  • Indigo Wolf

    Oh, I want this! Great tips! I've always wanted to frame some of the original jerseys that I have stored up for the longest time but never gotten to knowing how to do it. This is brilliant, I thought that it would be a bit more complicated.

    Thanks for the great post!


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