How to Put a Patch on a Shirt: 2 Easy and Quick Methods

How to Put a Patch on a Shirt: 2 Easy and Quick Methods

Have you ever wanted to personalize your shirt with a cool patch but didn’t know how? Maybe you found the perfect patch, but the thought of sewing turns that excitement into worry.

You’re not alone! Many people look for ways to add personality to their clothing without learning complex sewing techniques.

One amazing fact is that iron-on patches offer an easy and quick solution. They allow anyone to upgrade their wardrobe in a few minutes. In this article, we’ll guide you through simple steps for attaching patches to your shirts with two methods.

Get ready for an easier way to show off your style. Keep reading for all the tips and tricks!

Key Takeaways

  • You can attach patches to your shirt without sewing by using iron-on methods or fabric glue for a quick and easy application.
  • Before attaching a patch, decide on its placement. Make sure you have all the necessary materials.
  • If you choose sew-on patches for extra security without sewing, consider pinning them in place first, then using fabric glue or seeking professional help for complex applications.
  • Enhance your shirts by mixing and matching different patches for a unique style. Or use them to cover stains or holes.

How to Put a Patch on a Shirt: Preparation

To start, select a suitable patch for your shirt and decide where to position it. Then, gather all the materials you’ll need to attach the patch.

Select a suitable patch

How to Put a Patch on a Shirt

Choosing the right patch is crucial for a successful application. Iron-on patches work well with natural materials like cotton, polyester, and denim. Avoid using them on leather or fabrics sensitive to heat.

For patches without adhesive backing, consider fabric glue as an alternative attachment method. This approach offers a strong bond and is suitable for various garment types.

Choose the placement of the patch on the shirt

Deciding where to position the patch on your shirt is a step you shouldn’t rush. The spot you pick should align with the message or look you’re aiming for. So, thoughtful consideration of design and location is essential.

If your patch reflects a specific theme or style statement, it’s important to place it in a visible area that complements the shirt’s appearance.

Gather the necessary materials

Once you’ve decided where your patch will go, it’s time to gather everything you’ll need for the attachment process. Ensuring you have all the right materials ready will make attaching your patch easier and more efficient.

  • Iron or Hair Straightener: An iron is essential for applying iron-on patches. A hair straightener can be an excellent alternative for harder-to-reach areas or small patches. Make sure it’s clean to avoid transferring any residue onto your patch or shirt.
  • Parchment Baking Paper or Pressing Cloth: Protect both the patch and your shirt by placing a piece of parchment paper or pressing cloth between the iron and the patch. This prevents overheating and the possible melting of the adhesive.
  • Assorted Embroidered Patches: Choose patches that complement your style. Iron-on patches are versatile and adhere well to cotton, polyester, and denim fabrics.
  • Needle and Thread: For sew-on patches or extra reinforcement of iron-on patches, have a needle and thread ready to match the color of your patch or shirt.
  • Scissors: After sewing the patch by hand, use sharp scissors to trim any excess threads from its edges.
  • Straight Pins: If you plan to sew a patch, pins will help keep it in place while you work.
  • Ironing Board: Provides a stable surface for applying heat evenly across the patch during attachment.
  • Fabric Glue (Alternative Method): In case sewing or heat application isn’t suitable for your material, fabric glue can be used as an effective way to attach patches without heat or sewing tools.

Application Method 1: Iron on Patch

How to Put a Patch on a Shirt

Position the iron-on patch on the shirt, ensuring it is centered and aligned. Place a pressing cloth over the patch to protect it. Then, apply heat with an iron, following the specific patch instructions.

Position the patch on the shirt

First, choose the right spot on your shirt for the patch. Make sure the surface you’re working on is flat and stable to help ensure an even application. Before proceeding, the patch must be centered or aligned according to your preference.

Next, carefully place your chosen patch on the designated spot on your shirt. Double-check to see if it sits exactly where you want it. This step could significantly influence your outfit’s final look.

Place a pressing cloth over the patch

Lay a pressing cloth over the patch to safeguard the fabric and the patch from direct heat. This protective barrier shields delicate or heat-sensitive materials and guards against potential harm from high temperatures.

The pressing cloth’s heat-resistant fabric ensures an even distribution of iron heat. This eliminates any risk of discoloration or distortion of the patch or garment.

Furthermore, a pressing cloth helps prevent the adhesive from melting and sticking to the iron. It ensures a clean and practical patch application without leaving any residual mess behind.

Apply heat with an iron

After placing a pressing cloth over the patch, apply heat using an iron. Remember to follow the specific instructions provided for the patch. Set the iron to the appropriate temperature for the fabric, ensuring that the steam setting is turned off.

Apply even pressure and hold the iron in place according to the recommended duration. Remember to allow enough time for the heat to reach and adhere to the patch correctly.

Allow the patch to cool before checking the adhesion

After applying heat, it is crucial to allow the patch to cool before checking the adhesion. This step ensures that the adhesive has properly bonded with the fabric of your shirt, providing a secure attachment for your embroidered patch.

Allowing enough cooling time helps maintain the longevity and appearance of your patches over time.

Application Method 2: Sew on Patch

How to Put a Patch on a Shirt

Pin the sew-on patch in place on the shirt. Thread a needle with matching thread and sew the patch onto the shirt using a basic stitch or preferred sewing technique. Knot the thread securely and trim the excess thread.

Pin the patch in place on the shirt

Secure the patch on the shirt’s desired location with straight pins. Use enough pins to keep the patch flat and prevent it from shifting during sewing.

Position the patch securely before you begin stitching to achieve a professional-looking result.

Sew a patch onto the shirt

Attach the patch to the shirt with a basic stitch or your preferred sewing method. Ensure the stitches are secure and evenly spaced to hold the patch in place.

For a decorative touch, consider using colorful thread or embroidery floss that complements the patch design.

Knot the thread and trim the excess thread

Knot the thread securely to ensure the patch stays in place. Pull the needle through and make a double knot for added security. Trim any excess thread with scissors for a clean and neat finish.

This will prevent loose threads from unraveling over time, keeping your patch firmly attached to your shirt.

Troubleshooting Tips

If the iron-on patch does not adhere properly, reapply heat using an iron. Reinforce stitching if a sew-on patch becomes loose. Seek professional help for complex patch applications.

Reapply heat if an iron-on patch does not adhere properly

If the iron-on patch does not adhere properly, reapply heat to ensure proper adhesion. Follow the patch instructions and place a pressing cloth over the patch before using a hot, dry iron.

Allow the patch to cool before checking if it has adhered properly. If necessary, apply extra heat to secure the patch to your shirt.

If heat reapplication doesn’t work initially, consider fabric glue or hand sewing for a more permanent fix.

Reinforce stitching if a sew-on patch becomes loose

If a sew-on patch becomes loose, reinforcing the stitching can secure it firmly to your garment. Take a needle and thread and carefully restitch around the edges of the patch.

Make sure to knot the thread securely at the end to prevent further loosening. This will ensure your patch stays in place longer and maintains its appearance on your shirt or jacket.

Remember to take proper care when reinforcing stitching on special materials such as leather, denim and unique patches like PVC or beaded patches. These materials may need specific sewing techniques or reinforcement to keep everything intact.

Creative Ideas

How to Put a Patch on a Shirt

Mix and match patches to express your unique style. Embellish patches with extra embroidery or beads for a personalized touch. Use patches to cover up stains or holes in your shirt, adding a stylish and creative touch.

Mix and match patches for a personalized look

Mixing and matching different patches on your shirt can create a unique look. Combine various shapes, sizes, and designs to express your style. Experiment with placement options to achieve the perfect personalized look.

Embellish patches with embroidery or beads

Enhance the visual appeal of your patches by embellishing them with extra embroidery or beads. Incorporating intricate embroidered designs or delicate beads for extra flair will amplify the uniqueness of your patches and infuse a personalized touch.

Experiment with different textures, colors, and patterns to create one-of-a-kind pieces that reflect your style.

Don’t shy away from customizing sew-on patches with various stitch patterns and thread colors to elevate their aesthetic appeal. Personalize your patches using embroidery techniques that make them stand out.

Use patches to cover stains or holes for a stylish fix

Cover unsightly stains or holes with stylish patches. Enhance the visual appeal of your shirt by strategically placing patches to conceal imperfections, adding a unique touch to your garment.

Whether you opt for iron-on or sew-on patches, this creative solution offers practicality and flair at the same time.


Achieving a personalized look by attaching patches to your shirt is simpler than you think. Whether you opt for the hassle-free iron-on method or hand-sew for a secure finish, these techniques are practical and efficient.

How might mixing and matching patches enhance your garments? Have you considered using patches to cover stains or holes creatively? Empower your clothing style with our tips! Ensure proper placement of patches, seeking guidance when needed.

These strategies can effortlessly elevate your fashion game. Ready to embark on this creative journey? Let’s delve into the endless possibilities of patch applications!


Q: Can I attach a patch to my shirt without sewing it?

A: You can attach patches without sewing using an iron-on patch or fabric glue.

Q: How do I use an iron-on patch?

A: First, preheat your iron to high heat without steam. Place the adhesive side of the patch on your shirt where you want it. Cover it with a piece of fabric or a thin towel to protect the patch. Then, press down with the hot iron for about 30 seconds.

Related: How to Iron on Patches: 10 Effortless Guidelines

Q: Is there another way to attach patches besides using an iron?

A: Yes, using fabric glue is another easy method. Apply glue to the back of your patch and place it in the exact spot you want on your shirt. Make sure to let it dry completely before wearing it.

Q: Will these methods work on any fabric?

A: Iron-on patches work best on cotton. Synthetic fabrics like nylon may not withstand high heat from an iron well. Fabric glue can be more versatile, but always check the product instructions first.

Q: Can I wash my shirt normally after attaching a patch this way?

A: For both methods, wait at least 24 hours before washing. When you wash, turn your garment inside out and consider handwashing or using a gentle cycle to protect your newly attached patch better.

Q: What if I make a mistake? Can I remove or reposition my patch?

A: If you’ve used an iron-on and haven’t heated it too long, carefully peeling it off might work but could leave a residue. Fabric glue offers easier removal options, depending on its strength and how recently you’ve applied the patch.

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