When we were pre-teens, we used to watch teen movies from the 1980s and admire the heck out of the fashion we saw in the films. Besides the big hair, one of our very favourite trends were the awesomely distressed and customized denim jackets we saw. We loved the styles and the creative ways people found to add colour, but we mostly loved the way that distressed denim jackets featuring things like patches were worn by both guys and girls. No matter who you were, you could show your support for the people, bands, politics, or things you supported and liked by sewing or ironing patches onto your favourite jacket! We’ve gone on loving the idea of patches ever since those years of weekend movies, so imagine our excitement this season when distressed and customized jackets started coming backn into style! That’s how we found ourselves looking up different ways to make homemade patches. Sure, we could buy them in stores (particularly since they’re so in style right now), but we’ve always found making things ourselves a little more gratifying. Besides, making your own means you can create any picture or design you please!
Just in case you’d like to try your hand at making DIY patches in the custom designs you’d like most as well, check out these 15 designs, ideas, guides, and tutorials that will help you make it happen.
1. DIY embroidered patches
There are plenty of ways to make patches happen, even if you’re working towards a design that’s completely custom and not already pre-existing so that it can be traced or copied. If you’d like to keep your patches as close to the authentic, old fashioned kind you loved seeing in those old movies, however, then we’d suggest making yours by doing a little bit of hand embroidery! Larissa D’Sa guides you through the whole process in a way that’s so easy you’ll be able to recreate the process even if you’re a beginner at needlework based crafts.
2. Embroidered gemstone patches
Perhaps you’re actually already familiar with the techniques involved in hand embroidering and you’re not intimidated by the idea if making it from scratch at all but you could use some help when it comes to design suggestions? Well, jewel tones have been trendy recently in the world of colour in fashion, so we were pretty obsessed with Brooklyn Craft Company‘s idea for harnessing those shades in the shape of actual gemstone patches. Check out their tutorial to see how they created differently shaped gems!
3. DIY Tumblr inspired patches
We’ll fully admit that we’re not exactly the most “with it” or “in the know” when it comes to all things social media, but we do love a good shaped sticker and emoji, so we were absolutely enthusiastic when we stumbled upon this fantastic tutorial by JENeration DIY for creating all kinds of simple graphic Tumblr inspired patches! They show you how to base your designs off the cute little gifs and stickers you find on your computer and make them for yourself so you can affix them as a patch to whatever you please.
4. Funky DIY patch dress
Perhaps you’ve actually already got a collection of patches but now you can’t help feeling like you could use some guidance when it comes to where you should put them or what to do with them? In that case, we’d absolutely suggest taking a look at how The ArtGorgeous arranged their patches all over a cute denim dress that they already knew they liked the fit and style of, customizing things in a way that adds a whole lot of colour and personality.
5. DIY embroidered patches with a cross stitching hoop
By now, we’ve already shown you a number of ways to make different patches in all different kinds and styles but just in case none of those quite work for your particular DIY skills and you’re still like to make a classic embroidered patch, here’s another tutorial that might appeal to you a little more! After all, it’s always nice to have options, right? Check out how Armour made their embroidery a little bit easier by using a classic cross stitching hoop!
6. Hand stamped fabric patches
What if you like the idea of having customized images on fabric patches but you’re just not sure that you have the time or confidence to actually fully embroider the design you were hoping to put on your jacket? Then perhaps you’d have a better time creating fabric stamped patches instead! We love the way When Creativity Knocks made theirs on some scrap fabric and then customized them with painted and a bit of stitching around the edges.
7. DIY patch denim jacket
Have you actually already got a collection of patches, whether purchased or hand made and customized by you, that you’d love to transform into something stylish and wearable but you’re just not convinced yet about which option is best for you and you feel like you could use some guidance and convincing? Well, maybe sticking with creating your own version of the original movie jackets that inspired you to start making patches in the first place would be the best idea for you! Check out how Milica Begecki arranged and attached their patches just right!
8. Felt and embroidery camp style patches
What if you’re determined to make awesome patches of your own but the whole idea of detailed embroidery is just a little too intimidating for you? Well, we’ll certainly admit that it does take a lot of patience and concentration to make the embroidered kind, so sometimes it’s nice to have options. That’s why we were so happy to find this step by step tutorial by Gather Here! They guide you through the process of making custom images and lettering on patches using thread, canvas, and felt.
9. Scrap fabric and quote patches
As you’re scrolling through our list, are you realizing that there are actually quite a few DIY patch style and technique ideas that appeal to you quite a lot but you’re feeling a little bit restricted when it comes to materials? Well, as long as you’ve got some thread and some pieces of scrap fabric, you’ve actually got everything you need to make some very simple patches! Just in case you still feel like you could use a little bit of guidance making it happen, here’s a fantastic tutorial from Megan Weller.
10. Landmark patches
Are you actually quite familiar with different ways to make patches but you still feel like you could use some inspiration when it comes to the actual design itself so you’re looking for tutorials that relate to the things you love most? Well, travel lovers rejoice, because we’ve found the perfect tutorial for you! Design Sponge shows you how to make DIY patches shaped like landmarks from around the world.
11. Felt patches made with sequins
Were you quite intrigued indeed by the idea of making handmade patches using felt and thread but your personal style is a little more flashy and full of personality than what you’ve seen so far? In that case, we have a feeling you’re going to be very interested indeed in this slightly more sparkly patch idea featured on NotMikaReyes! They guide you step by step through the process of adding sequins to a patch you’ve made (or perhaps even embellishing one that you found somewhere else).
12. DIY printable patches
Are you absolutely intent on making your own stylish patches yourself but you’d actually prefer to cut out just about any element of sewing and needlework besides the light hand stitching that’s required to affix the patch to the jacket, since you don’t really have any embroidery experience at all? In that case, we’d absolutely suggest taking a look at how PoppyTalk created custom patches that have actually been printed straight onto fabric rather than sewn or stamped!
13. Hand embroidered medal patches
Are you actually completely fine with the idea of embroidering your very own patches, particularly if there’s felt involved since it’s so easy to sew, but you’re absolutely open for suggestions when it comes to design and shape? In that case, we’d definitely encourage you to take a look at these adorable patches featured on Instructables that are shaped like awards ribbons! The best part of them, of course, is customizing them to say funny, everyday life things, just for a bit of amusing extra motivation on a daily basis.
14. Emoji patch jeans
Did you actually get a little too excited when you were making stamped or printed patches and now you have some left over emojis ready for another project? Perhaps you’re actually just looking for a project that involves pants because, while you love the concept of patched denim jackets, you’re just not sure you’ll wear the jacket often enough to justify putting the work in to make a custom one? In that case, we have a feeling you’ll really enjoy the look of these graphic patch jeans outlined on Mark Montano!
15. DIY sparkling patch clutch
Perhaps, now that you’ve reached the end of our list, you’re realizing that you’re not quite ready to make your own patches from scratch yet so, instead, you’re seeking inspiration for embellishing something exciting with the sparkly patches you found at the local craft store? In that case, we definitely think you should take a look at the way Style Sense Moments placed their patches all over an awesomely coloured clutch, just to give it a little more personality. If you are actually very skilled at things like hand sewing, embellishing, and embroidery, you could even make sequinned patches of your own to create an even more DIY version of this project.
Have you used other techniques to make different kinds and styles of DIY patches to embellish your clothing and accessories with and you were very happy indeed with your finished products but you don’t actually see anything quite similar to what you created on our list? Tell us all about how you did it in the comments section or link us to photos of the patches you made!