Iron-on patches are made of fabric fused to an adhesive backing. Heat is applied to the patch, melting the adhesive and bonding the patch to the clothing. When clothing develops worn areas, iron-on patches are applied to extend the life of the clothing. They also can embellish clothing, such as turning plain jeans into designer-style trousers. Purchased iron-on patches can be costly; therefore, creating your own patches with scrap fabric is budget-friendly and allows you to create a one-of-a-kind look.
Draw shapes on paper and cut them out. Shapes can include circles, rectangles, flowers and animals, to name just a few. Use different fabrics to create unique applique-style patches with multiple pieces.
Pin the shape patterns onto the desired fabrics and cut the shapes out of the fabric.
Lay the cutout shapes on a piece of plain paper and place a piece of iron-on adhesive, paper side up, on top of the cutout shapes. The plain paper prevents the adhesive from sticking to the work surface.
Set the iron to cotton with no steam. Press it on the layers of adhesive and cutouts for about two seconds. Let the fabric cool.
Cut the excess iron-on adhesive from around the cutouts. Peel the paper backing off the patch to iron it to the clothing of your choice.
Iron-on patches can be embroidered around the edge by hand or machine prior to or after being ironed to the clothing. Dimensional fabric paints can be used to embellish the patches after being ironed to the clothing. Do not iron after painting unless the paint says it is safe.