Receiving a gift that was made with love is such a good feeling. But since we’ve outgrown school crafts, it seems to be a rare occurrence in adulthood. Our children, nieces, and nephews might still make us hand-print ornaments and things of that nature but when is the last time you made something for somebody with your hands? If you’re nice with a needle and thread (or even if you’re just ok), consider stitching together a cute, customized DIY Ankara accent t-shirt for your next secret Santa, birthday, or just-because occasion.

Ankara accent t-shirt supplies

Honestly, I already have a couple of these wrapped up under my Christmas tree and made a sweatshirt for myself, too! It was so easy to make a DIY Ankara accent tee, I couldn’t stop at just one. And I’m sharing the love today to help you check off anybody on your shopping list or just inspire you to get crafty at any time of year. Below, we’ll get into what you’ll need and how to make your own Ankara accent t-shirt quickly and easily. This DIY project only takes a few minutes to complete.

What is Ankara?

Before we get into the tutorial instructions, you might be wondering what Ankara actually is. You’ve probably gathered that it’s a type of fabric but might not know what makes it significant or where to find it. Ankara is also known as African wax printed fabric and is typically 100% cotton. The bright colors and patterns of Ankara are the same on the front and back of the fabric, making it very versatile. The wax printing method is found throughout Africa but is especially popular in West Africa and linked to the batik tradition of Indonesia. I get my Ankara from Nigeria through direct purchase or gifted from family members visiting the U.S. Locally, you can also find it via African tailors, food stores or fabric stores.

materials needed to make Ankara accent t-shirt

What You’ll Need

  • Craft or fabric scissors
  • Stick pins
  • Needle and thread
  • Plain T-shirt with a front accent pocket–I used this shirt (just $7!) from Target.
  • Ankara fabric (can be found via African tailors and African food or fabric stores in the U.S.)

DIY Ankara Accent T-Shirt Instructions

  1. Measure the pocket on your t-shirt then cut a piece of your selected Ankara fabric that is the same width as the pocket and twice the length. If the bottom of the pocket is angled, be sure to cut away the corners of the fabric so that it lines up with the angled edges.
  2. Slide the fabric all the way into the pocket of the t-shirt so that half of it sticks out of the top. Fold the fabric over and pin in place using stick pins.
  3. Stitch the fabric around the sides and bottom of the pocket, making sure to stitch through both sides of the fabric but not through to the body of the t-shirt.
  4. Remove stick pins and admire your handy work.

Dash of Jazz holding Ankara accent t-shirt

In case you’re a visual learner, I definitely am, I’ve included a quick video below. Check it out and let me know what you think. Video seems to be the wave with content creation these days. It takes a lot more work to pull off but I definitely want to ensure I’m putting out content that is the most helpful for you. This video is also on my Instagram via IGTV.

I hope this DIY Ankara accent tee inspires you to get crafty. Do you ever make or receive handmade gifts? Thanks for reading!

step by step photos for of sewing Ankara piece on t-shirt