Picture of 8-bit Felt Applique' - Ms PacMan and Ghost
In the beginning, video games had only 16 colors and the graphics were chunky. And we were happy.

Revisit those happier, simpler times with these fun felt applique's of your favorite video game characters. Once you have all of the materials, this is an easy fifteen minute project.

I like to decorate cheap walmart t-shirts with these, but they could just as easily adorn your book bag or any other fabric surface.
Remove these adsRemove these ads by Signing Up

Step 1: Surround yourself with

Picture of Surround yourself with
Start by picking out the character that you want to make. I provide two designs here: Ms. Pacman and Ghost.

You need to get felt sheets for all of the colors in the character. One sheet per color is plenty. You'll use a lot of black with these, so you may want to pick up a few extra. (MsPacman uses black, yellow, red/pink, and blue/black)

You also need to get some fusible interfacing. I got the kind with a sticky side. You'll need at least two sheets.

You'll also need some nice sharp scissors. There a lot of corners to cut, so you may want to use very pointy ones.

Finally, you need access to a good iron and pressing mat or ironing board.

Oh! and of course, you should have something to iron the applique to -- like a t-shirt or book bag.

Step 2: Transfer your design to a grid

Picture of Transfer your design to a grid
All of the old video game characters were drawn, and then transferred to grids. Originally the grids were 8x8 (like the aliens in Space Invaders), but later cheap memory allowed designers to expand to grids of 16x16.

I give you two grids here, one for Ms PacMan and one for a Ghost. I based the grids on images that I found online at (props to pixelparty!) Do a google image search for 8-bit art to see lots of other characters.

Once you have developed the grid, print it out on a couple sheets of paper, at your desired size. I put this on a t-shirt, so I printed them at about 8"x8". You don't have to print it in color. Gray-scale is just fine (and cheaper!).
yoshi13 years ago
Would Kirby be easy to make? I am thinking about making all the different coloured Kirby's.
Doctor What6 years ago
Right now I'm working on Bowser (NES Bowser), and Mario. I've bought enough felt to do MS. Pacman, so I might make her a patch! I'll post results when I'm done. Bowser is proving to be quite difficult...
Bitsi (author)  Doctor What6 years ago
Which version are you doing? :-)
NES bowser.
The one on the far left.
Bitsi (author)  Doctor What6 years ago
So maybe a base of black, then green and brown on the next layer, and white and more brown on top? If you try to cut out holes for all of those spots on the shell, and then fit the white into them, you'll inevitably end up with gaps. Or were you thinking of something else? :-)
I'm already "almost" done. All I have to do is iron it. If you cut holes for the shell, but cut the pieces slightly bigger than what they are intended to be, you can trim them down little by little to fit.
I did one at the beginning, but it was too small, the pixels were hard to cut out, and I used a black marker for transferring the pattern. It turned out like crap. But for the second one, I blew it up a tad, used similar (but slightly different) colors for each of the different colors, so they were hidden better. For instance, green felt = dark green marker.
bounty10126 years ago
would this work to make a mario or yoshi?
why wouldnt it :p
mario is smaller pixels but is harder to use because of all of the colors used on him lol OWNED!!!
He only has three colors...
does he now? well it would be hard to put all the little squares together
Are you talking about flat mario, or squishy mario? Because I just finished with eight bit mario.
flat i think the one from super mario world 1 on the snes
believe me, mario isnt that hard..
Yeah, I know, now try bowser, or cutman.
8-bit Mario, I mean.
the "OWNED!!!" part doesnt make it look really serious.. nad it should be possible, it would just be harder ..
how is that even a "OWNED" moment. like this guy over here, posts a question to setup an answer so he can say OWNED. if you already know it will be harder why ask the question. heres a good one that doesnt seem that hard
I didnt post it to say owned... I meant the more detailed snes mario from super mario world

well you did post it to say OWNED!!! hahahhahah
you "lol" at yourself failing?
i lol at you for that comment sir now good day! YOU EAT PANTS oh god i forgot you cant say pants on the internet
pants are hard to be eaten, and they don't taste very well, thats why i do not eat them.
how do you know you do not like them if you havent tried them hmmmm can you explain that?????
do not eat, which is in the present, not never have eaten, which is diffrent. to be honest i once tried eating them.
lol I Tried eating some too it didnt turn out too well i lost my teeth and had to eat a ladybug named paulo lol
obviously given the context he has eaten them and does know. gawsh
Bitsi (author)  bounty10126 years ago
This technique is def better for large blocky characters. I tried making Frogger with smaller pieces and wasn't happy with the result. Also try to keep the black "outline". It seems to help it look more distinct.
bounty10126 years ago
I made a 1 up mushroom out of this :D im gonna put it on my book bag :D
Bitsi (author)  bounty10126 years ago
Cool. Post a pic. :-)
bounty10126 years ago
you should make it an airfreshener then iron it onto your pants when you fart blame it on the fat kid lolz
Doctor What6 years ago
Absolutely fabulous! This is an instant favorite. Now I can make my own custom 16 bit videogame character apparel! Yay!
darkmuskrat6 years ago
This is Scary Awesome!!! Last night I was thinking about giving out some things like this to friends, thx for showing me how. thx again.) P.S. This so matches my pacman sweater
asyrith6 years ago
Sweet! I totally adore this! Well done! It looks super easy and your instructions were great! I'll have to go check out those cheap shirt at Wal-Mart myself. :D How do they hold up? +1 and favorited, by the way.
Bitsi (author)  asyrith6 years ago
I use the fusible interfacing for all sorts of clothing edits, especially hems. It holds up pretty well, but too much hot water will weaken it. Turn them inside out to wash, and use cold water. Thanks for the 'fav'. Send pics when you try it. :-)
This is really pretty sweet but only one question do they easly come off