How to Make Your Own Iron on Patches


The design possibilities are limitless with iron-on patches. Try these tips and tricks to make your own iron patches at home.

Have you heard? 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, we’re seeing them on everything from shoes to coats.

Unfortunately, anything pre-adorned with patches is expensive. Don’t let that keep you from participating in the patchwork fun though. We’re showing you three ways to make your own iron on patches. Learn the easy steps below.

How to Make Your Own Iron on Patches

Choose The Artwork

Before you can make your own iron on patches to express yourself and impress your friends, you have to know what they’re going to be. What 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 over complicated if the design is too intricate and the finished product won’t look as good. Look 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 important as well. The finished product should be no bigger than 5 inches in all.

Ways to Make Your Own Iron on Patches

There are three ways to make your own patches, that are 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 out, 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 out 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.

On the ironing board, position your transferred image face down on the thick fabric. Follow the package instructions for time and heat. Once the image has transferred, peel it up and let the image dry.
Scroll to the last section to learn how to attach it to your clothing.

The Hand Embroidery Method

For this method, you need to feel confident in your own 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’ll have a better idea if this method is a good choice for you. For this particular method you’ll need:

  • 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. 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, make sure to clean up the back. Tie knots where needed and cut off the excess thread. If you don’t, the sticky page won’t transfer well in the next step.

The Sewing Machine Method

If you have a sewing machine at home and are well versed in how to use it, this might the best method for you to try. 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 Does it Stick?

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

Each brand will differ slightly, so be sure to 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 out to the edges to avoid any bubbles. Once it’s secured, cut the design out carefully, leaving the sticky paper backing on. When you’re happy with the image you cut out, peel off the remaining protective paper.

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

Make sure the edges are well pushed 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!