How to make embroidered patches – The basics


Updates 2023

The nineties are back! Fashion is taking inspiration from our strange but colorful 90’s choices. One of the top trends on the 90s list? Patches! They’re so colorful and versatile which is exactly why we’re seeing them on everything from shoes to coats.

Unfortunately, anything pre-adorned with patches is expensive. However, don’t let that keep you from participating in the patchwork fun. We’re showing you three ways to make iron-on patches. 

Keep reading to find out more about how to make your own iron on patches!

How to Make Your Own Iron on Patches

Choose The Artwork

Before making DIY iron-on patches to express yourself and impress your friends, you have to select the design you want to print. Where you take your inspiration from is up to you. One blogger used her children’s artwork, so she’d have a bit of them with her every day.

The most important part of the artwork is its simplicity. It will get complicated if the design is too intricate, and the finished product won’t look as good. We recommend opting for something colorful that has powerful lines.

This will keep the artwork-to-patch process as simple as possible. Keeping the size in mind is essential as well. The finished product should be at most 5 inches in all.

Ways to Make Your Own Iron on Patches

There are three ways to make your patches easy enough to mention. For each, you’ll need the following:

  • Artwork
  • Sturdy fabric
  • Fabric Fuse
  • Scissors

The Inkjet Printer Method

This method is the easiest, assuming you have a printer at home. All you’ll need to buy is the peel-and-stick fabric fuse and transfer sheets instead of worrying about the embroidery supplies. 

To start, identify the piece of art you’ll be using. Using the newest phone in the house, take a picture of the art and upload it to your computer. Email is the best method for retaining picture quality. Using your computer’s photo editing program, resize the image to the patch size you want.

Load the inkjet transfer page into your home printer. Print the image and let it dry well before removing it from the printer tray. Once it’s well dried, collect your thick fabric, scissors, and iron.

Position your transferred image face down on the thick fabric on the ironing board. Follow the package instructions for time and heat. Once the image has transferred, peel it up and let the image dry.

Please scroll to the last section to learn how to attach it to your clothing.

The Hand Embroidery Method

For this method, you must feel confident in your artistic abilities. That’s not to say you need to be an artist, but some handiwork is required. Before you start, we recommend you watch a few how-to embroider videos on YouTube.

After you’ve watched the videos, you’d better know if this method is a good choice for you. To turn your embroidery into patch, you’ll need the following:

  • Embroidery Floss
  • Embroidery Hoop

To start, cut out the piece of art you’ll be turning into a patch. Tape it right side up to the back of your heavy fabric. Then, take the embroidery hoop to a window or light box and trace the design with a pencil.

Once the design is traced, choose the colors of embroidery thread you’ll use to make the DIY embroidery patch. Carefully fill in the design with your embroidery thread. YouTube has plenty of beginning videos that will show you the easiest stitches to use.

When you’re finished filling it in, clean up the back. Tie knots where needed and cut off the excess thread. This step is crucial because if you miss this step, the sticky page will not transfer later on.

The Sewing Machine Method

This might be the best method if you have a sewing machine at home and are well-versed in using it. The steps are similar in preparation to the embroidery step. Trace your image onto a thick piece of fabric.

Then, set your sewing machine to 0, 2 for nice and thick lines. Using a zigzag stitch, follow along the lines of the design. Take care to lift and pivot the needle as needed. The thickness of the lines will make it very easy for the thread to tangle.

Work slowly and with precision. This method is not for those with little patience. Once the artwork is finished, be sure to go over your last stitch to secure it. Pull it out of the sewing machine, and voila! You have a machine-embroidered patch.

How Do Iron-on Patches Stick?

We couldn’t tell you how to make your iron-on patches without telling you how to mount them! You could sew them on, but that would take more work than necessary. Look for peel and stick fabric fuse (or the equivalent) at your local craft store.

Each brand will differ slightly, so read your package carefully. Cut out your embroidered design and place it on the sticky side of the paper, with the design facing you. Using your fingers, press down firmly on your design.

Some brands may want you to iron the sticky paper onto the design, so keep that in mind!

Start pressing in the middle and work to the edges to avoid bubbles. Once it’s secured, cut the design out carefully, leaving the sticky paper backing on. When happy with the image you cut out, peel off the remaining protective paper.

Before placing your patch, think carefully about where it is placed. Once it’s put down, it’ll be hard to get back up. As you did with the transfer before, carefully massage the patch onto your clothing.

The Final Say

Make sure the edges are well pushed and established, and voila! Now you know how to make your own iron-on patches. Depending on the access you have to artwork, the opportunities are endless.

Don’t feel like doing all that work? Our designers specialize in custom patches and labels. We have selections to choose from pre-made or will work with you to get everything just right. What are you waiting for? Start designing today!