How to make embroidered patches

What Are Embroidery Patches?

If you're an enthusiast of custom embroidered patches or a seasoned badges UK collector, chances are you've had your fair share of experiences with these vibrant pieces of embroidered art. But for those who are just starting to explore the world of machine embroidery, allow us to introduce you to the fascinating realm of embroidery patches.


Embroidery patches have a unique place in the hearts of many. They are often our first encounter with the intricate world of machine embroidery. Whether it's the iconic merit badge we earned as scouts, the array of patches adorning military uniforms, or the rock-and-roll band logos we carefully stitched onto our school-age jackets and backpacks, patches have held a special spot in our lives for decades.


At its core, an embroidery patch is a masterful creation that combines thread and backing fabric to display a unique design or logo, symbolizing a specific community, achievement, or affiliation. The history of patches dates back to the days of hand embroidery, with skilled artisans meticulously crafting each piece. However, modern advancements in digitized machine embroidery have made these stunning works of art accessible to a wider audience.


Now, here's the exciting part: You can easily create your very own custom embroidered patches using any embroidery machine! It's a lot simpler than it may appear at first glance. I recently rekindled my love for patches while working on a project that involved crafting patch-styled designs. Although I had extensive experience making real patches for commercial purposes, designing these playful variations of military-style patches, even though they were created using direct embroidery, reignited my passion for making custom patches for personal use.


Custom embroidered patches, like those available at many reputable badges UK shops, offer a world of possibilities. Whether you're looking to express your unique style, commemorate a special event, or represent your favorite club, these patches can be a creative and personalized way to do so. With the right embroidery machine and a bit of creativity, you can bring your vision to life through the art of custom patch-making.



Which Fabric Should I Use for Embroidering Patches?

When it comes to creating custom embroidered patches or badges UK enthusiasts will love, choosing the right fabric is a crucial step in the process. The material you select can greatly impact the final result, determining not only the appearance but also the ease of crafting these stylish patches. While there are various options available, one fabric that stands out as a favorite among patch creators is felt.


Felt, a versatile and user-friendly fabric, is my top pick for making custom embroidered patches. Whether you are a beginner or a seasoned embroidery expert, felt is a fantastic choice for several reasons. Let's delve into why felt is an excellent choice and explore some creative options for your patch projects.


Why Felt Is the Preferred Choice

One of the primary reasons why felt is a popular material for custom embroidered patches is its resistance to fraying. Unlike some other fabrics, felt doesn't easily unravel, making it a breeze to work with. This property allows you to maintain clean and tidy edges, giving your patches a polished look.


Felt is also available in a wide array of colors, providing you with plenty of options to match or contrast with the item your patch will eventually adorn. Whether you want your patch to blend in subtly or stand out boldly, felt has got you covered. It's a fantastic canvas to unleash your creativity, ensuring your patches perfectly complement your garments or accessories.


Choosing the Right Fabric for Your Project

While felt is a fantastic choice, there are other suitable fabric options depending on your specific project requirements. When crafting custom embroidered patches, it's essential to consider the following factors:


  1. Fabric Weight: Patches are best stitched on medium-weight fabrics. Lighter fabrics might not provide enough stability, while heavier ones can be challenging to work with. Felt falls within this ideal weight range, making it a preferred option.


  1. Stretch Factor: Non-stretchy fabrics are ideal for patches since they maintain their shape and stability over time. Felt is a non-stretchy material, making it a reliable choice for your patch projects.


  1. Color Matching: To achieve a subtle look, consider matching the fabric color to the item the patch will eventually be attached to. This approach creates a harmonious, understated appearance that complements your clothing or accessories seamlessly.


  1. Contrasting Colors: On the other hand, if you want your custom embroidered patches to make a statement and stand out, opt for contrasting colors. Felt comes in a variety of vibrant and bold hues, making it easy to create eye-catching patches that demand attention.


What do I Need to Make a Patch?

Are you feeling crafty and looking to create custom embroidered patches or badges UK? Crafting your own patches can be a fun and rewarding project, and it's easier than you might think. Here, we'll guide you through the essential supplies you'll need to make a patch that represents your unique style and personality.



First and foremost, you'll need the right fabric for your custom embroidered patches. The ideal choice is felt or medium-weight, non-stretchy cotton. These fabrics provide a sturdy base for your patch and are easy to work with. Felt, in particular, offers a classic look and feel, making it a popular choice for patch-making.


Embroidery Pattern

Your patch's design is crucial, and to bring it to life, you'll need an embroidery pattern. This pattern is typically printed on water-soluble, adhesive paper, making it easy to transfer to your fabric. It acts as your template, guiding your needle and thread as you create your custom embroidered patches. You can find or create patterns that match your interests, from floral designs to custom lettering for personalized patches.


Embroidery Hoop

An embroidery hoop is a circular frame used to hold the fabric taut while you work on your patch. It helps maintain even tension, ensuring that your stitches are consistent and your design looks clean and professional. These hoops come in various sizes, so choose one that suits the size of your patch.



Thread is the lifeblood of your custom embroidered patches. Choose high-quality embroidery thread in the colors that best complement your design. The thread you select can make a significant difference in the appearance and durability of your patch. Ensure you have a range of colors to match your chosen pattern.



To sew your patch design onto the fabric, you'll need a sturdy needle. An embroidery or tapestry needle is ideal for this purpose. The size of the needle should match the weight of your fabric, ensuring it easily pierces through without damaging the material. A sharp, fine-point needle will make your work more precise.


Creating custom embroidered patches can be a delightful and personalized craft project. The supplies listed above are the fundamental building blocks for your patch-making adventure. Whether you're an experienced embroiderer or a novice, these essentials will set you on the right path to crafting beautiful patches that reflect your style and creativity.


For those who are looking for a more convenient option, you'll be pleased to know that there are customise kits available. These kits often include themed transfers, needles, and threads, making the patch-making process even simpler. So, if you're in the UK and eager to dive into the world of custom embroidered patches or badges UK, keep an eye out for these handy kits that can streamline your creative journey.



How to Make an Embroidered Patch?

Are you looking to add a personal touch to your clothing or accessories? Custom embroidered patches are a fantastic way to showcase your unique style and creativity. Here, we'll guide you through the process of creating your very own custom embroidered patch using a straightforward technique. With just a few materials and some creativity, you can craft beautiful patches to adorn your favorite garments.


Materials You'll Need:

- Transfer paper

- Inner and outer embroidery hoops

- Fabric

- Embroidery floss and needle

- Scissors

- Lukewarm water

- A flat surface


Step 1: Design Selection

Begin by choosing the design you want to embroider onto your custom patch. For this demonstration, we'll be working with the Hummingbird design from the Tropical Customise Kit. Cut out the design from your transfer paper.


Step 2: Prepare the Fabric

Separate the inner and outer embroidery hoops. Place your fabric over the inner hoop, reposition the outer hoop over the top, and retighten the screw to make sure the fabric is taut and secured.


Step 3: Apply the Design

Peel off the shiny paper backing from the transfer paper, revealing the adhesive side. Apply the sticky transfer piece to the front of the fabric, ensuring it's smoothly stuck down.


Step 4: Start Stitching

Now, it's time to bring your design to life! Begin stitching your chosen design. If your fabric is prone to fraying and you want to enhance the patch's durability and appearance, consider using a Back Stitch around the edge of the design. This step is optional but can prevent fraying. Ensure that your ends are securely tied off to prevent unraveling.


Step 5: Trim the Edges

Once you've finished stitching, carefully remove the fabric from the hoop. Cut around your embroidered design, leaving about 0.5 - 1cm of fabric from the stitching. The transfer paper will help keep the patch stiff and prevent the backing fabric from fraying excessively.


Step 6: Remove the Transfer Paper

To remove the transfer paper, run your fabric under lukewarm water. You'll notice the transfer starting to break up and fall away. Gently agitate your fabric to assist in removing the paper. Use your finger or the blunt end of a needle to brush the stitching and eliminate any residual residue.


Step 7: Let it Dry

Allow your patch to air dry or speed up the process with a hairdryer if you're in a hurry.


Step 8: Attach the Patch

Once your patch is completely dry, it's time to attach it to your chosen clothing or accessory. Lay the item flat and decide where you want to place the patch.


Step 9: Temporary Tacking

Use very rough Running Stitches to tack the patch into place. These stitches can pass through your embroidery but are intended to be removed later.


Step 10: Final Edging

With a thread color of your choice, use a Whipped Stitch to sew around the edge of the patch. Consider using a contrasting color to make your patch stand out. Keep the stitches close together to anchor the patch securely in place.



How To Make Your Own Custom Patch?

Are you itching to create your very own custom embroidered patches or badges UK? The world of patch-making is a diverse and exciting one, offering limitless possibilities for personal expression. Whether you're a seasoned pro with a plotter or laser-cutter at your disposal or a complete beginner with just a pair of scissors and some water-soluble backing, we will help you get started on your journey to crafting custom patches.


Creating Your Custom Patch

Now that you've got your materials ready, let's break down the process of making your custom patch:


  1. Design Your Patch: Whether you're a tech-savvy plotter user or prefer manual cutting, the design is the first crucial step. You can use vector art and software for precision, or simply hand-draw your design on paper.


  1. Transfer Your Design: If you're using a digital design, send it to your plotter or laser-cutter for precision cutting. If you're going the manual route, trace your design onto the water-soluble backing.


  1. Cut Your Material: Use your chosen base material to cut out the shape of your patch. Make sure to leave a little extra space around the edges to accommodate the edging and prevent fraying.


  1. Edging: This is where you can get creative with your custom embroidered patches. Choose your thread and start edging your patch using a sewing machine or by hand, if you prefer a more traditional look.


  1. Remove Backing: Once your patch is complete, remove the water-soluble backing to reveal your custom creation.


  1. Attach to Garments: Finally, sew or glue your custom patch onto your chosen clothing or accessories. Be sure to secure it well to ensure longevity.




Tips and Ideas for Your Custom Patches

Now that you've learned the basics of creating custom patches, let's explore some tips and creative ideas to help you make your patches stand out:


  1. Mix and Match Materials: Don't limit yourself to just one type of fabric. Experiment with different materials to add texture and depth to your patches. Combining leather with denim, for example, can create a unique look.


  1. Add Personal Touches: Incorporate personal elements into your patches. This could be your initials, a favorite quote, or a symbol that holds special meaning to you.


  1. Custom Shapes: Think beyond traditional square or round patches. Create custom shapes that align with your design and message. Irregular shapes can be eye-catching and memorable.


  1. Experiment with Embroidery Stitches: Try various embroidery stitches to add dimension and style to your patches. Techniques like satin stitch, chain stitch, or even French knots can give your patches a distinctive look.


  1. Color Combinations: Play with different color combinations to make your patches pop. Bold and contrasting colors can create a vibrant patch that grabs attention.


  1. Themed Patches: Create patches around a theme, such as nature, animals, or pop culture. Themed patches can be a great conversation starter.


  1. Custom Gifts: Custom patches make for excellent gifts. Consider crafting personalized patches for friends and loved ones to show how much you care.


  1. Quality Matters: Invest in high-quality thread and materials to ensure your patches are durable and long-lasting. A well-made patch will retain its appearance for years to come.


  1. Customization Services: If you're unsure about making your own patches, you can also explore custom patch-making services. Many professionals and companies specialize in creating custom embroidered patches, allowing you to bring your unique designs to life without the DIY effort.


Get Started on Your Custom Patch Project

Creating your own custom embroidered patches or badges UK is a fun and rewarding craft that allows you to add a personal touch to your belongings. Whether you're crafting patches for your own use or planning to share them with friends and family, the possibilities are endless. So, grab your materials, let your imagination run wild, and embark on your custom patch-making adventure today!