Introduction: Custom Embroidered Patch

About: Hi! I love helping others so don't be afraid to ask me anything! psst.... I am on DeviantArt if you are interested: and @sheepianna1 on Instagram

After watching some videos on youtube on patch making I was inspired to create one of my current youtube channel logo. I adapted the process to what materials I had on hand, specifically recycling an old white camisole.

Interesting story, this logo was made right before summer of 6th grade while we where having free time in PE and was inspired in part by an awesome minecraft youtuber's series "Building with BdoubleO", and his two axes crossing design. Comment if you watch him too :)

Let's get started!

psst... if you enjoyed this instructable, please consider voting me up in the contest I entered :)

Step 1: Materials

You will need:

- An embroidery hoop (alternative is to use a hoop clamp over a roll of masking tape) I prefer the plastic kind because it is smooth and doesn't snag fabric, though I personally have never tried wood: found at most craft stores or amazon:

- a piece of fabric from an old and too-small-4-you piece of clothing (preferably white)

- tracing paper (normal paper works fine too you just have to hold it up to a light or press it against a window)

- the image you want to embroider, color printed or drawn

- embroidery floss (any craft store like Michaels)

- glue

- a needle

- iron on adhesive (optional)

- clear nail polish/lacquer (optional)

- scissors

- color pencil

- non-water-soluble, permanent black marker.

Step 2: Preparing the Image

Choose an image with clear areas of flat color, a heavily shaded/realistic image won't work.

If you are printing, print a mirror of the image. It should be as big as the patch you want.

If you are tracing a hand-drawn image, get an outline of the key features, and then flip the tracing paper over to see the mirror image.

(Personally, I had to up-scale my drawing since the original was too small. I eyeballed the first enlargement and then used tracing paper to refine the outlines to look smooth.)

Step 3: Transferring the Image

From the clothing, cut out a circle of fabric that will fit to your hoop, make sure you have test fitted it before you start.

Transfer the outlines to the fabric. Use a light-box if you have one, or put your tracing paper (with the mirror image) behind the fabric and hold it against an open window, using the color pencil to trace.

When you flip the fabric over you will have a light image of your logo that will not show in the final result but will guide your embroidery. If you can barely see it, you can trace over it again lightly till you are satisfied.

Step 4: Mounting on the Hoop

Unscrew the outside hoop and place the fabric, correct image side up, on the inside hoop.

From the top put the outer hoop in place and screw it tight. Pull lightly on the edges of the fabric to make sure it is taught, but don't over-stretch it.

Step 5: Selecting Colors

Now's my favorite part! Picking colors.

Pull out all of your embroidery floss and select the ones the match most to your image. Keep in mind what kind of clothing you will eventually be mounting the patch on.

Step 6: Embroidering

Start with the "lowest" part of your image, a.k.a the background.

For example, in my image, the background is the wood and crossed axes, the middle ground is the ribbons, and the foreground (topmost image) is the "A".

You find out what's what by looking at what sections cover what other sections. Like in a pizza: you can see all the ingredients on top, but they are covering the cheese, and the cheese is covering the crust... e.t.c e.t.c

Cut a length of floss you estimate you will need, thread your needle and tie a knot at the end. Enter the fabric so the knot hides in the back of the patch.

It can be tricky to get embroidery floss into an ordinary needle so I used a threader to help me, otherwise you can use a needle with a slightly bigger eye.

Then just use a basic stitch going down into the fabric were your want your stitch to end and up (usually) right next to where you began the first stitch -- keep the stitches neat and close together. Follow the outlines and leave spaces where other elements overlap the one you are working on.

The cool part about this free style of embroidery is having complete control over the direction of your stitch. This way, you can create compelling textures. Utilizing this, I used a small stitch that radiated around the center of the logo for the bark of the wood. (see diagram)

Step 7: More Embroidering

To contrast the bark, I used a stitch perpendicular to the bark that mimicked the circular wood grain. (see diagram)

Again, make sure your stitches are never long enough to sag.

Step 8: Even More Embroidering

In this manner, I continued filling in the rest of the shapes.

Step 9: Last Embroidering

Step 10: Outlining

(optional) Use a non-water soluble black marker to outline around the patch and to emphasize key parts.

Step 11: Covering the Back of the Patch

Spread some glue on the back of the patch to help seal the ends and beginnings of the thread. Use another piece of cloth from the old clothing to glue onto the back. Make sure you don't use too much glue or if will bleed through and ruin the whole thing!

Step 12: Cutting It Out

Carefully cut out the patch and add some more glue to further seal the edges. Use the marker to color in all the excess white edges, or leave them if you like the outline.

Step 13: Sealing the Edges

Another great way to seal the edges permanently is to brush them with some clear nail polish. Make sure to do this outside so the smell doesn't stink up the room :)

Let it dry for a couple minutes.

Step 14: Put It on Things!

Now you can choose something to spice up with your new patch!

To be honest, I still haven't decided where to use mine, too many options! :D

To attach it to clothing, you could sew it on, or glue it on, or attach come iron on adhesive. You could even use it as a key-chain if you add a ring.

Hope you enjoyed! Thank you for reading :)

Before and After Contest 2017

Participated in the
Before and After Contest 2017