Iron-On a Patch

Set of romatic embroidered patches, threads and needle
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  • 01 of 04

    How to Iron-On a Patch

    Iron-On Tote Bag
    Iron-On Tote Bag

    Of course, it doesn't take a rocket scientist to iron-on a patch. There are times, though, when your iron-ons don't quite turn out the way you expected. Let's take it step-by-step to make sure your patches hold on tight.

    What You'll Need

    • Iron-On Patches or Transfers
    • Iron & Ironing Board
    • A towel or sheet of blank paper
    • Clothing or canvas tote
  • 02 of 04

    More About Patches and Material

    Ready Made Tote Kit
    Ready Made Tote Kit

    Take a closer look at what you want to iron-on.

    • If you have store-bought patches that are meant to be ironed-on, then you're in good shape for an easy project. These usually require you to set your iron on a high 'cotton' steam setting, because these patches are thick.
    • Printable transfers take a little more finesse. The transfer paper needs to take just enough heat to melt the adhesive onto your clothing. If you apply too little or too much heat, then it won't stick. Cut out a 1/2"x1/2" square of your printed paper and iron a test patch where it won't be noticeable. The bottom inside hem is a good place on a shirt or pants, and along the inside bottom is good for a bag.
    • You can also make your own patches with cotton fabric and fusible web. Fusible web is like a thin sheet of adhesive that melts when you iron it. I have some free templates for patches, including skulls, hearts, arrows and more that you can use to cut pieces of fabric. Use any quilting-grade fabric, which is mostly cotton. There are so many cute patterned fabrics out there.
    • What should you iron it onto?
      Cotton fabrics work best, as well as denim. If you go for a fabric that has plastic in it, you will run the risk of burning and melting it with the iron. Always test a small part of your clothing first with the iron before you apply a patch.

    For this tutorial, we are using a simple Ready Made Tote Kit, that came with a tote bag and letter patches.

    Now, position your patches before you iron.

  • 03 of 04

    Patch Placement and Design

    Iron-On Patch
    Iron-On Patch Placement

    You know how you want it, right? Well, all I'm asking is that you take a few minutes to try out some different placements. I used the letters from our Ready Made Tote Kit and played with them until my final product was very different from the original idea.

    If you're adding a patch to jeans, get a safety pin and attach it in various places, then strut around in front of a mirror.

    Messing around with your patches can give you new ideas for future projects, too.

    Once you are satisfied, get to ironing.

  • 04 of 04

    Ironing Your Patches

    Iron On Your Patches
    Iron On Your Patches

    If you were a smart little bugger, you would have plugged in your iron while you were arranging your patches. If not, plug in your iron and let it heat up for a few minutes. Set it for a high 'cotton' setting. Do no add water to your iron.

    Lay your garment on the ironing board and make sure one last time that your patch or patches are in place. Gently lay a towel or sheet of paper over the patch(es). The towel is there to protect your patch and your garment from the iron. Sometimes, irons can have a dirty residue on them. Also, some patches or fabrics can be sensitive to heat and will melt if touched directly by the iron.

    Typically, you will press a patch for anywhere between 10 and 15 seconds. Printable transfers and fusible webbing may vary. Check the instructions or manufacturers website.

    Once your patch is pressed, let it cool, then try picking gently at the edges. If it peels up, then you need to iron it just a bit more. Be careful not to over-iron!

    If you liked this project, try making a zodiac symbol patch.