How to Do Iron-on Patches
Do you want to make your own iron on patches? Embroidery machines are costly. Plus, when buying ready-made iron on patches, your options may be limited.
So what do you do? How to do iron-on patches? There are two ways: first make your own iron on patch using scrap fabrics. Second, you can do an iron on patch made with flock heat transfer vinyl. Third, combine both techniques.
Not familiar on how to create these crafts? Don’t worry! In this craft guide, you’ll learn about the step-by-step process on how to create your own iron-on patches.
You’ll learn how to make iron on patches made of fabric, and how to transfer it to your shirt. Also, you’ll learn a technique not many crafters know: iron on patches made of vinyl.
DIY Iron-on Patches Techniques
Clothing patches were originally used to patch holes in denim jeans or jackets. These days, patches are used for aesthetic purposes as well. In fact, overly designed denim or varsity jackets with patches have been a great fashion hit.
These days, you can purchase ready-to-press embroidered patches online or at any craft store. Then you can design any piece of clothing with as many patches as you want. However, the struggle is finding a design you really want!
So why not create one of your own? As mentioned, if you want to create your own iron-on patch, there are techniques you could try. Here are three ways:
- DIY iron-on patch made of scrap fabrics
- DIY iron-on patch made of flock heat transfer vinyl
- Combination of these two techniques
Let’s dissect each process, the supplies you need, and the step-by-step process on how to create these wonderful pieces of art.
Technique #1: DIY Iron-on Patch Made of Scrap Fabrics
These iron-on patches work best if you want an iron-on patch that’s thick and to patch holes on your existing clothes. Also, this process works best for a one-colored design.
If you want to create an iron-on patch with multiple colors, using flock heat transfer vinyl is a better option. Proceed to the second technique if you want multi-colored iron-on patches.
- Fabric scrap
- Heat transfer glue
- Felt fabric
- Exacto knife or cutting machine
- Print out of your desired design
- Fabric glue
- HeatnBond UltraHold Iron-On Adhesive
- Iron or heat press machine
- Pressing cloth
The step-by-step process if you don’t have a cutting machine:
- If you don't have a cutting machine, print out the design you want using Microsoft word on bond paper.
- Cut out the design using scissors, and cut the design closer to the lettering. You don't want any blank spaces on the design.
- Pin the lettering to the fabric scrap you have, then cut out the design. You can use an Exacto knife to remove those unwanted blank spaces.
- Once the design is all cut out, add fabric glue at the back of the design. Then glue the design to the felt fabric. Let it dry.
- Cut the blank spaces of the felt, closer to the design to eliminate blank spaces.
- Then cut out a HeatnBond, a little bigger than the design of your fabric patch.
- Place the HeatnBond’s adhesive side at the back of the patch.
- Lay both down so the dull side is facing up. The next step is to bond the back portion of the patch to the HeatnBond adhesive.
- Lay an extra piece of fabric on top of the HeatnBond adhesive and iron it using a regular household iron or an EasyPress machine (some use a hair straightener as well). The glue will attach itself to the patch, then let it cool completely.
- Note: If you're using a regular household iron, make sure it doesn't have the steam settings on.
- Once the patch is cool, cut away the blank spaces of the felt paper and HeatnBond adhesive using an Exacto knife.
- Then peel the plastic backing of the HeatnBond adhesive.
- The next step is to iron the patch on the fabric using the highest heat setting of the iron. You can start by ironing the patch from the inside (the reverse side) of the fabric for about 8 to 10 seconds.
- Make sure to use a thin pressing cloth as a barrier between the heat source and the patch. Also, make sure to cover the patch and the surrounding fabric as well to avoid burn marks. Use an ironing board or iron it on a flat surface.
- Then once again, iron the patch from the front side for 8 to 10 seconds as well.
There you have it! You now made a DIY iron-on patch using the scrap fabrics you have at home. You may be asking, what kind of scrap fabric can you use? Denim works best because it is a thick material that makes a great iron-on patch.
The process if you have a cutting machine:
If you have a cutting machine at home, you can skip the part of printing out the design using a word processor and printer. Most cutting machines are able to cut fabrics so you can directly place the cloth on the cutting machine and cut the design.
Then follow the rest of the steps mentioned above, from applying fabric glue to sticking a HeatnBond UltraHold Iron-On Adhesive on it, to introducing heat by using a regular household iron or an EasyPress machine.
Technique #2: DIY Vinyl Iron-on Patch
If you want to create an iron-on patch with multiple colors, then using flock heat transfer vinyl from TeckWrap Craft is an excellent option. If you’ve worked on heat transfer vinyl before, it’s just like layering multiple layers of HTV.
- A cutting machine like Silhouette or Cricut
- Heat press machine, EasyPress, or a household iron
- Measuring tape or ruler
- A garment of choice (Fabrics like cotton t-shirt, canvas bag, or cotton pillowcase)
- Your choice of heat transfer vinyl. Make sure to check out the HTV collections of TeckWrap Craft.
- Cutting mat
- Parchment paper, Teflon sheet, or any thin fabric
- Weeding tool or tweezer
- Optional: Craft knife, lint roller, thermal tape
Step-by-step process in creating a DIY vinyl iron-on patch:
First, choose a design you want and the heat transfer vinyl pattern you think will look best on the patch. Don’t limit yourself to the plain heat transfer vinyl because there are plenty of design and pattern options at TeckWrap Craft.
TeckWrap Craft carries different HTV designs such as camouflage, rainbow stripes, colorful splash, galaxy, Christmas patterns, animal prints, glitter, metallic, and many more. Once you’ve decided on which HTV design to use, the next step is to determine the size you want.
Glow In The Dark Puff Heat Transfer Vinyl from TeckWrap Craft
You have to determine the size of the iron-on patch you want to create. For intricate designs that are smaller than 3 inches, it may be challenging.
So you may want to consider other forms of printing like printable vinyl. It doesn’t have to be patch-size per se. This printing process can be done for bigger printing decal sizes as well.
For bigger sizes, a multi-layered vinyl patch will look great. If you’re not sure how to determine the right size of the vinyl decal, make sure to read this crafting guide: Vinyl Decal Size Chart: For Shirts, Bags, and Many More.
- Once you’ve determined the right size, cut the vinyl by colors. Make sure to use a cutting mat.
- Click the design, copy and paste. You want to have a reference design, later on, to determine which color is which.
- In the Silhouette or Cricut Design space, right-click on the design and select Ungroup. Select weld to cut the most dominant color (usually the bottom vinyl or the base layer).
- Once all the colors have been cut. Prepare to layer the design on the fabric.
- Make sure to stack all the layers of the vinyl you cut to ensure they fit well like a puzzle.
- Make sure to pre-press the fabric for 5 to 10 seconds to wick away the moisture from the cloth.
- Start pressing the base layer using your EasyPress or heat press machine. You can use a regular household iron. However, it’s always better to use a heat press machine to ensure accurate time and heat settings.
- As a general rule, follow the recommended heat and time settings of the vinyl you used. Check out this complete guide: Heat Press Temperature Guide for Vinyl: The Ultimate Guide.
- Once one layer has completely cooled off, proceed with the next layer until you’re done. Make sure to alight each layer before pressing it.
- You can use a thin layer of Teflon sheet or parchment paper while pressing.
There are several things you need to know when layering multiple HTVs when creating your own DIY iron-on patch:
- Make sure to iron the patch on a flat surface. As the name implies, a ‘patch’ HTV doesn’t really work well to patch a whole in garments like jeans.
- As a general rule, you can layer up to three HTVs only. Four or more HTVs layered will be too thick and may not adhere well.
- As for the base layer of the iron-on patch, you’d want to use plain or regular vinyl. Avoid specialty vinyl like glitter as a base layer. Usually, glitter vinyl is the last or the top layer.
Technique 3: Combine Both Techniques
Here’s a clever technique that not many crafters know, you can combine both techniques! Say, for example, you need to patch a hole in your denim jacket but you need a multi-colored logo to cover it up. However, you can’t press vinyl directly on it because vinyl works best for flat surfaces only.
So the best thing you can do is to combine both techniques mentioned above: print heat transfer vinyl on a fabric scrap. Clever isn’t it?
When you combine both processes, instead of pressing the vinyl directly to the garment, press it on the scrap fabric, and skip the fabric glue part as you can press the HTV directly on the fabric scrap.
Follow these steps:
- Place a HeatnBond UltraHold Iron-On Adhesive below the fabric piece (where the vinyl decal was printed)
- Introduce heat by pressing the back portion of the HeatnBond Adhesive.
- Then press the patch onto your garment.
Now you have a multi-colored iron-on patch to cover up the holes in your pants. Or if you just want to achieve that ‘embroidered patch; look then this is an excellent technique to follow.
Do Your Own Iron-on Patch Now!
Now that you have these techniques in mind, you won’t need to buy those embroidered patches. You can create your DIY project at home with TeckWrap Craft’s heat transfer vinyl and a piece of fabric scrap.
Excited? To make beautiful and unique iron-on patches, make sure to check out the collection of TeckWrap Craft’s affordable and cute vinyl designs. Happy crafting!