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How to Create Custom College Patches for Universities: Sports Teams, Sororities, & More

School coming back in session is always a bit of a bittersweet time. On one hand, it signals the end of summer, with chillier weather and more responsibilities lying ahead. But on the other hand, it’s a new beginning. Time to learn something new, move forward towards a brighter future and be involved in a greater community.

Here at The/Studio, we know back-to-school season isn’t just an exciting time for college students, but also the universities at large that welcome them. It involves plenty of planning, organization, and – more often than not – creation of custom products to get students excited and raise money for school programs.

Custom products such as lanyards, hats, socks, pins, and stickers are all in high demand this season – but custom college patches seem to be especially popular. They’re used by students, professors, alumni, sports teams, and clubs to decorate clothing and accessories and show off school pride and affiliation.

Now, creating custom patches might sound intimidating – especially if you’re considering what it would take to make them by hand, with complex embroidery and tools. But nowadays, creating college patches is easier than ever. You can customize every last inch of your custom patch online and partner with top factories worldwide without having to place a massive (or crazy expensive) product order.

The/Studio allows you to customize everything from the type of patch to the backing to the border to the thread used to the design printed, all from the comfort of your laptop. (As in, no DIY required!) Even if you’ve never created custom products yourself before, it’s an incredibly straightforward process that gives you the freedom to be creative.

Whether you know exactly how you could use custom patches in your university or you’re looking for a little inspiration on how they could help your organization raise money or boost school spirit, we’re here to help. Learn how to create custom college patches for universities, including sports teams, incoming freshmen, alumni events, sororities, and more.

cusom patches for college and school

What Are Custom College Patches?

A patch is a piece of cloth or other material used to cover a torn point or (more commonly nowadays) decorate clothing or accessories. Patches might be made of thread, fabric, rubber, chenille, leather, or a mix of a few different types of materials.

College patches often feature a college or university’s logo, mascot, emblem, crest, and/or colors. They may be affixed or ironed onto uniforms, blazers, jackets, hats, or other apparel. 

Many colleges may already sell generic patches decorated with the university’s name or logo – custom college patches can be created to add additional personality or style while still repping a beloved school or organization. When you create a custom college patch, you can personalize the design, the thread, the style, the size, the color, the backing, the border, and so much more.

What Are Custom College Patches Used For?

Custom college patches may be created to represent the college as a whole or specific teams, groups, or clubs within the college. They’re often made for university sports teams, sororities, fraternities, incoming freshmen, and alumni. Patch designs and styles typically vary a great deal depending on the purpose and audience for which they are created. Learn more about how custom college patches may be used in a variety of settings.

Custom College Patches for University Sports Teams

College patches are great for sports team members and fans alike. Whether sold as a personalized touch to team uniforms or loyal fans at concession stands, they can help university teams raise money and show off their school spirit.

Custom college patches are popular among football teams, soccer teams, baseball teams, swim teams, track and field teams, hockey teams, and more. When designing a patch with a specific university sports team in mind, consider incorporating symbols of the sport itself, team mascots, school colors, the year of the season, or a mix of many school elements.

Just coming out of an amazing season? Create commemorative patches detailing the team’s accomplishment or ranking to hand out to the team.

Looking to boost team spirit campus-wide? Place a large order of custom patches and hand them out on campus during game days!

Custom College Patches for Sororities and Fraternities

Custom college patches are also a popular option for sororities and fraternities, or Greek-letter organizations. Around 750,000 undergraduate college students are part of a college fraternity or sorority each year, with over nine million people total members. Create custom college patches printed with the fraternity or sorority symbol to make it easy to spot a member when strolling through campus or networking in the real world. Members could iron these patches on jackets, sweaters, or hats.

Custom College Patches for Incoming Freshmen

So many incoming freshmen are about to be stepping onto college campuses as students for the very first time… and they’re super excited about it. Incoming freshmen often have more school spirit than anyone, purchasing merchandise to rep their new school and show off their acceptance. From gifts from the college to swag for decorating their book bags to merchandise for repping during games, incoming freshmen tend to collect a lot of little things that represent their unique membership in a university, community, club, or sorority.

Create custom college patches for incoming freshmen to send as part of an acceptance package, sell in the school bookstore, or hand out during on-campus events.

Custom College Patches for Alumni

Encourage alumni to continue supporting their alma mater by creating custom college patches especially for them. You could mail out a complimentary patch when asking for donations, sell packs of patches in the university bookstore, or sell limited-edition vintage-style patches that remind alumni of how the school logo looked when they were students.

best custom college patches manufacturer

How to Create Custom College Patches for Universities

Now that you have a better feel for how you could use custom college patches to bring your team together, raise money, or simply boost school spirit, you’re ready to get to work creating the perfect custom college patch for your university. Your next step is to familiarize yourself with the entire process of creating a custom college patch, from the manufacturer you partner with to the design you ought to go with to the many customization decisions you’ll still have to make. Read on to learn how to create custom college patches for universities, step by step.

1. Find a great manufacturer

Your university students deserve the absolute best when it comes to custom college patches. Don’t settle for homemade patches, generic patches you could pick up anywhere, or poorly made patches from a less-than-reputable manufacturer. Rather, choose to partner with a trusted manufacturer that promises excellent quality backed by a 100% satisfaction guarantee. 

Even if you’re excited to start creating your college patches as soon as possible, it’s worth pausing for a moment to research patch manufacturers out there to ensure you’re getting a good value.

Here’s what we recommend keeping an eye out for as you research various patch manufacturers:


  • Multiple patch style options
  • Extensive patch customization options
  • Access to top factories
  • Fabulous customer service
  • Fast turnaround time
  • Competitive pricing
  • Free shipping
  • Free design services
  • No/low minimum order quantities
  • Good customer reviews
  • 100% satisfaction guaranteed

Not sure where to start your search? The/Studio is a great option, especially if you’ve never created a custom product before or you’re looking to order a low quantity with top quality. If you choose to go with The/Studio, you’ll complete the entire patch customization process here in our DIY online product creation portal. Simply select “custom patch” from the different product options and you’re ready to start creating.

custom embroidered patch vintage

2. Choose your type of custom patch

Next up, choose what type of custom patch you’d like to create. Here at The/Studio, you can choose from seven different types of custom patches. The type you select will influence the overall look, durability, and functionality of your patch. Here’s a quick overview of the seven patch types you can choose from:


  • Custom embroidered patches – made with fabric backing and thick threading to achieve a classic textured look. These are the most popular type of custom college patches.
  • Custom woven patches – made with fabric backing and a tighter weave for an untextured look
  • Custom printed patches – made with multicolor screen-printing on fabric, allowing for a photorealistic result and endless color options
  • Custom bullion patches – made with sturdy fabric and durable wire stitching for a bold, textured look
  • Custom chenille patches – made with fluffy, textured fabric for a retro look
  • Custom leather patches – made with real, high-quality leather available in a variety of shades
  • Custom PVC patches – made with highly durable rubber for a three-dimensional look that can withstand any conditions

Note that the type of patch you select may influence the price and additional customization options you can choose from.

Once you select your patch type, you’ll be prompted to select the size of your patches and the number of patches you’d like to order.

3. Customize your patch

This is the part where you make your patch your own! Customize various aspects of your patch to mix up the durability, wearability, or overall look of your patch, including:

  • Backing – choose from iron-on backing, no backing, velcro hook backing, adhesive backing, thin plastic backing, pin backing, magnetic backing, and more.
  • Base material – choose from polyester blend twill, felt, black ballistic nylon, camouflage material, reflective material, and more.
  • Border – choose the type of border you’d like on your patch, whether a merrowed border, an embroidered border, or no border at all.
  • Optional upgrades – add on metallic thread, neon thread, puff embroidery, button loops, rhinestones, or special edges.

Note that some of these customization options may come at an additional cost.

4. Design your patch

Now that you’ve indicated production specifications, it’s time to finalize the design for your patch. If you’ve already sketched out the design you want to be printed, embroidered, or engraved on your patch, all that’s left to do is upload a JPG or PDF of your design and wait for our team to turn it into a beautiful patch. Alternatively, you could also keep things even simpler by using a design you already have, like your team mascot or school logo.

Not too confident in your artistic abilities? Hey, that’s okay! All custom product orders placed with The/Studio include free design services thrown in. As long as you include notes about what you’re looking for, our expert design team can do the hard work and create something beautiful for you. 

5. Approve a prototype of your patch

One step closer! Now, the ball’s in our court. We’ll work on bringing your patch design to life and work up a prototype. You’ll either receive a physical prototype of your patch in the mail or a detailed set of photos showing your patch from every angle. If everything looks perfect to you, let us know and we won’t change a thing as we manufacture the rest of your patches! If you see anything you want to be tweaked, simply reply with detailed feedback and we’ll do whatever it takes to make it perfect. (Free of charge, of course!)

6. Distribute your patches

After a brief quoted lead time, you’ll receive your retail-ready patches straight to your doorstep, with free domestic shipping and a 100% satisfaction guarantee. Then, all that’s left for you to do is distribute them – whether you hand them out to new sorority pledges, sell them in the university bookstore, or sell them to loyal university basketball fans!




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