Patches are a fun and popular way to add style to your favorite denim jacket or bag. DIY embroidered patches are easy to make. You can create any design of embroidered patch and personalize it exactly as you wish.
This tutorial will walk you through four methods for making and attaching your handmade patches. For each of these, choose patterns based on how large you want the patches to be. There’s no rule for this, but smaller designs, such as the elements in a fruit pattern, work well.
While there are four distinct methods for making patches, you’ll find that you can mix and match some of the techniques. For example, you can make a felt patch with adhesive, or a pin with different edge stitching. Have fun experimenting with these four DIY patch-making processes.
1 Iron-On Patch
- Choose a pattern, marking it with the transfer method that works best for the fabric you’re using (the patch in this tutorial was stitched on linen).
- Stitch the design, leaving room around the edges.
- Cut a second piece of fabric to a similar size, as well as two pieces of a paper-backed fusible web.
- Iron one piece of fusible web to the non-embroidered piece of fabric. Be sure to follow the manufacturer’s instructions and watch that you place your iron on the paper side.
2 CUT AND FINISH PATCH
Cut around the embroidered shape, following the lines of the motif and leaving some space around the embroidery.
The fusible web helps prevent fraying, but you can also stitch a line of running stitches near the edge to add extra against fraying. To make your patch look more like a commercially made patch, use whip stitch around the edge as shown in the pin patch tutorial below. If you are attaching this to an item that is washed regularly, you may want to wait to add the line of stitching after it’s ironed in place for extra security.
When you’re ready to attach your iron-on patch, hold it in place and iron the patch from the back of the item you’re attaching it to. Make sure your iron is set on a high enough heat setting to get through the layers.
3 SELF ADHESIVE PATCH
Use permanent peel and stick fabric adhesive on the back of the patch. This material comes in sheets or on a roll as shown. Cut a single piece or strips to fit the patch within the stitched edges.
To attach the patch, peel off the self-adhesive backing and press the patch onto your backpack or even a notebook. Just remember that this type of adhesive is permanent, so removing your patch could prove quite tricky.
4 REMOVABLE PATCH PIN
For those times when you want to sport a patch temporarily, why not make a pin that looks like a badge? This method is also great for gift-giving.
To make pin patches, you will need your embroidery fabric, a piece of felt, and a bar-style pinback.
- Hold or pin the two layers together and, using three strands of embroidery floss, start whip stitching around the edge. Hide the starting knot between the layers, coming out the back.
- Go down to the front to the back, making the stitches very close to each other. They should look like a satin stitch.
- When you run out of thread, tie it off with a knot close to the felt, thread the needle through a few stitches on the back and trim the thread. Start your new thread just as before.
Now you can attach your new pin to any article of clothing or accessory and move it whenever you wish.