Custom Boy Scout Patrol Patch




Introduction: Custom Boy Scout Patrol Patch

Hello, Instructables!

This is my first Instructable. So, I want to keep it simple. I promise they will get more interesting!

My son and his Webelos den are crossing over to Boy Scouts this spring, and as part of the ceremony preparation, they needed to pick a patrol logo/patch. Sparing you the details of the decision process, they chose a custom lightning bolt that is part of the school logo they all attend. I thought that was pretty cool and unique. Like any other Maker-Dad, I offered to make the custom patch happen. I'm good with a needle & thread, would have 2 weeks off for Christmas, no problem... HA!

Let's just agree that while my embroidery skills are good, they are NO match for a CNC embroidery machine. I know you can order custom patches from several patch makers out there, but anyone can do that. With time flying by quickly, I had the idea to try an iron-on. So, here we go...

Step 1: Get Creative!

The first thing to do is create the artwork for the patch. You should have a relatively clean picture, without too much detail. Even though you can probably print a more detailed iron-on compared to an embroidered patch, the working area is only 1 5/8" diameter. Details & contrasting colors with a simple design will show up well on a small shoulder patch.

Work with your patrol to try different ideas, have a contest, make if FUN! Some scouts may be better at hand drawing & coloring than on the computer. Work as a team and make use of everyone's strengths.

Things to consider regarding the patrol emblem:

  1. Is the emblem scouting appropriate? You will be wearing this on your uniform, at meetings, at scout camp, during fundraisers, etc. Keep it fun & get your scout master's approval.
  2. Will this be too difficult to cut out? Avoid long, skinny pieces that may be hard to position for the ironing process, and anything would have to be cut out of the center. Instead color the artwork to match the patch background color, and leave the iron-on a solid piece. (such as the center hole in a donut, or tire)
  3. Rounded corners last longer for iron-ons.
  4. When you are finishing the emblem on the computer prior to printing, place it in a circle to get an idea of how it will look & fit in the circle.

Step 2: Get Blank Patches & Print Your Emblems.

Blank patrol patches are available from your local scout shop, and should be stocked with the regular ones. Pick up some extras for those oops! moments. If you're not sure where to get the blank patches ask your scout master.

Run test prints on regular paper, using your 'iron-on' printer settings to verify orientation, size, & mirroring, if appropriate. The mirroring will be determined by instructions that come with the iron-on paper. READ THE INSTRUCTIONS!

Always print more emblems than you need. Allow for mistakes, and learn from them. The emblems are small & you can probably print plenty on one half-sheet of paper if laid out carefully.

Step 3: Iron-on the New Patrol Emblem.

Again, follow the instructions that come with your iron-on paper kit. There are specific steps regarding temperature, time (duration), ironing base hardness, protective cover sheets. If you can iron your uniform (and you should be able to do that), then you can make a custom patrol patch!

This last step requires some patience, but makes all the difference. Make sure your ink is dry & carefully align your emblem on the blank patch.

Your troop could also make custom patches for its own special events. Save some money, have fun, and make some great patches! Feel free to send me a picture of them, I'd love to see them.

Happy Trails!

P.S. Thanks for all the great feedback. As an Eagle Scout myself, it's nice to hear from other 'experienced' Scouts. Success, you've encouraged me to write more Instructables!

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    9 Discussions


    4 years ago

    As an eagle, this is amazing. Tis a shame i did not come across this in the last years, i only have 3 months till i age out. Though as a leader I see uses for this in other aspects. Thanks for the instructable!


    Reply 5 years ago

    Thanks for the link to see the UK Scout patches! Of course, where would we be without Lord Baden-Powell. Cheers!


    Reply 5 years ago on Introduction

    Hehe, we went to Florida (well, Disney & Universal) years ago - the only armadillos we saw were about three or four feet wide and half an inch tall...


    5 years ago

    Very nice making the custom patch. Hopefully these kids will remember it. Im an eagle scout from NYC, and my patrol was the owls. Me and my best friend still keep the patch on our adult shirts.


    5 years ago on Introduction

    From another Maker-Dad (hey, I love that term!) I have to say, very nice work.

    I hope we see many more great projects from you!


    Being a dad of two grown adults who went all the way to Eagle, I think
    you'll remember these days as the best years of your life. You'll
    never walk this way again, I commend you for taking the time to
    involve yourself in this activity.


    5 years ago on Introduction

    Being an Eagle Scout I think that this is wonderful! Thinking back I don't think that I ever made any custom patches though. I really liked how your's turned out! Great Job!! I'm excited to see much more from you in the future!