How To DIY a Denim Patch Jacket + Patch Shopping Guide

A few season ago I noticed that everyone from designers, to models, to street style bloggers were embellishing their denim with patches. This trend has slowly grown from matching blue squares sewn to denim skirts, jackets and jeans, to a more daring look of  bolder, retro-inspired patches covering all sorts of denim apparel. I have become obsessed with this new trend, and just had to get my hands on a patch-filled jacket. I decided to create my own because I wanted it to be more unique to my own personal style. I have been collecting patches for months, and finally got to a point where I had enough to create this how-to post. Of course, I fully intend on adorning my entire jacket with more patches in the future. The more the merrier, right?

If you want to make your own piece, I recommend starting with a denim jacket. You can purchase a new jacket if you like, but if you want a more authentic vintage style, try looking for one at your local thrift store.  Don’t feel limited to just a jacket either. Like I said before, I’ve seen skirts, pants and even bags covered in patches, and they always look amazing!

Patches from left to right - Green Stamp: Vintage l Horse: Jo-Ann Fabrics l Space Explorer: Mokuyobi Threads l Hot Dog: eBay l Swan: Hello Holiday l GK: Vintage l Pretzel: Etsy l Strawberry: Tuesday Bassen/Darling Distraction l Whatever Forever: Sara M. Lyons l Magic Mountain: Vintage l Banana: eBay l Frog Prince: Etsy l Roller Skate: eBay l Air Surf: Vintage l Nope: Hello Holiday l Flamingo: Etsy l 100+: Vintage l 

With this trend gaining more popularity, the places you are able to find fun and unique patches has increased. Some of my favorite online shops where you can find a variety of new patches are Hello Holiday, Pygmy Hippo Shoppe, Strange Ways, Darling Distraction, and Mokuyobi Threads. There are also a bunch of stand alone artists that have really awesome  patches for sale like Sara M. Lyons, Tuesday Bassen, You Were Swell, and Penelope Gazine.

If you are looking for vintage patches, or a more specific type of patch, eBay and Etsy are great places to look. I seriously spent hours searching through all sorts of patches on both of these sites. Another great place to find vintage patches are local specialized vintage stores and antique malls. If you are having trouble finding them, you can always ask an employee if they have any for sale, and where exactly they are located in the store.

Before applying any of your patches it is a good idea to lay them out on your jacket and arrange them to your liking. If you are not great at sewing I would highly recommend buying patches that are iron-on, or using a sturdy glue to apply them. You can also use a strong fabric glue to attach the edges of your iron-on patches that don't seem to want to stick, or for the entire patch in general. I used E600 Fabri-Fuse for the sew on patches that were on areas I could not sew through, like bulky seams and pockets.

The hardest part to this project was seriously waiting to build up my patch collection before attaching them to my jacket. Once I found a good technique for applying each kind of patch, it only took about 30 minutes until my jacket was done. Of course, I had to wait for the glue to dry so I could not wear it right away, but knowing my patches were stuck on for good was well worth the wait!

If you decided to try out this cool DIY let me know by commenting below. You can also share a pic on Instagram by tagging it with #wearthecraft !