Custom patches can transform any garment into something fresh and new, whether you’ve got a faded pair of jeans or a denim jacket that needs new life.
Iron-on patches are the easiest way to attach custom patches to your clothing. In this guide, we’ll share a few helpful tips, so you can rock stylish patches and add a personal touch to your outfit.
What Do I Need To Make My Own Iron-On Patches?
- Fabric for the patch
- Scissors or cutting machine
- Iron on adhesive
- Sewing machine
- Transfer sheets
- An iron
- Embroidery hoop
- Fabric pencil
- Embroidery needle
- Peel-and-stick fabric fuse
- Photo editing software
- A digital camera or phone camera
- Inkjet printer
Designing Your Artwork
Are you looking for custom patches for an organization, or is it intended to be a fashion statement? Search the internet for emblems, logos, letterheads, emojis, and other design inspirations.
Not hand drawing or tracing the design? You’ll need an inkjet printer. In this case, you’ll want to use high-quality images with outstanding resolution so that the images look sharp and clear when printed onto the patch.
Of course, if designing your own artwork is too tricky, you can always hand the test over to the design experts at The/Studio, where you can upload your design and customize the iron-on patch to your liking.
3 Ways To Make Your Own Iron-On Patches
Making iron-on patches doesn’t have to be complicated. There are a few options, depending on your supplies and skill level with hand-stitching or sewing.
Pick a method that suits your preferences, follow our guide, and you’ll have a stylish patch in no time!
Hand Embroidering a Patch
The most challenging yet most effective way to make your own iron-on patches is via hand-embroidery stitches. Follow these steps for this rewarding and authentic project:
- To start, choose a simple design since you’ll need to hand-embroider the design yourself.
- Choose a thread color that is easy to see and complements your patch. Also, choose a fabric suitable for hand-embroidering patches, like denim or cotton.
- Trace your design onto moderate-weight cotton fabric with a transfer pen. Make sure it has a fine tip so that you can clear the defined lines!
- Place the material inside your embroidery hoop, organizing the outer hoop on top and the inner hoop underneath the fabric. Securely fasten for a tight fit.
- Use the embroidery floss to thread your needle, and tie a double knot at the end to secure the thread.
- Choose any starting point and poke the needle into the fabric. Stick the needle from the back and pull it through the front, continuing the process by pushing the needle from back to front, then from front to back. The hoop helps to prevent your fabric from bunching or wrinkling when stitching.
- Remove the embroidery hoop by loosening the screw and lifting the outer hoop.
- Cut the fabric to your desired size and shape. Ideally, you’ll use fabric scissors for precise cuts. Leave a border on the edge, creating a polished look.
- Place the patch onto the sticky side of a peel-and-stick sheet.
- Cut the sheet into the size and shape of your patch.
- Now you’re ready to attach the patch to your garment. Use an iron to activate the backside adhesive.
Using a Sewing Machine
Sewing machines save you the time and hassle of manually hand-embroidering the patch. However, you’ll need access to a sewing machine and the proper procedures to prevent injuries or accidents.
- Pick a design that appeals to you. Consider thick fabrics like denim, canvas, felt, twill, or upholstery fabric.
- Trace the design onto your fabric.
- Set the sewing machine stitch length to 0 or 2 for thicker borders; bold stitches also help you to fill the design quickly. If you need the stitches closer together, use smaller numbers.
- Using a zigzag stitch, carefully follow the lines. Pick a corner as your starting point. The 1-08 setting is typically best for a traditional zigzag stitch. Avoid tangling the threads by pivoting the needle as needed.
- Press on the foot pedal to begin making stitches and hold the patch fabric in place, using your hands to guide the stitches.
- Sew until you reach the edge of the patch.
- Cut the excess fabric to your desired size and shape.
- Peel away the backing cover of the peel-and-stick sheet, and attach your patch to the sticky side.
- Trim the extra sheet until you get the desired shape of the patch.
- Now you’re ready to iron on the patch!
Using Inkjet Transfer Paper
The inkjet transfer paper method is most beginner friendly since you’re simply printing your artwork onto transfer paper, which irons directly onto your patch fabric.
- Start by choosing or creating a patch design. Consider having an illustrator or graphic designer create a custom design.
- Flip your design before printing, as laying the print-out design onto the fabric will create a mirror image. Reversing the design ensures you get an upright image rather than an upside-down design.
- Draw a black outline around your design, as black lines are easily visible on the fabric.
- Choose a patch size, and adjust your image size accordingly to match the patch.
- Print your patch design onto a transfer sheet with an inkjet printer.
- Use a cutting machine to cut the design precisely.
- Place the transfer sheet onto the iron-on patch backing.
- Apply heat using a heat press or iron.
- Carefully peel off the transfer sheet.
- Use scissors to cut the patch out.
Whether you’re designing patches for girl scout uniforms or simply want to add charm to your wardrobe, custom patches serve many purposes. With our tips, you have all the knowledge to make your own iron-on patches.
Want to make custom iron-on patches but don’t have the supplies or time? Let our team of designers work to turn your ideas into a reality. We offer plenty of materials, backing, and designs; the only limit is your imagination. Get in touch with The/Studio to have custom iron-on patches ready-made for you.