We all love patches. They are eclectic, you can collect them and they can make a bold statement about your personality and what you believe in. Historically patches were for repairing things that were broken or symbolising ranks and achievements. Today they are used for all sorts of expression and fashion statements. Here are 12 ideas of how to use patches so you can start your collection now!
- A patch jacket
- Patched Jeans
- Patches to personalise a bag
- A patch cushion
- A patch blanket
- A patch cork board display
- Patch fabric display wall banner
- Patch cape or poncho
- Patched up-cycled furniture
- Patches on a sweatshirt
- Patches on a cap or hat
- Patches on shoes
Here are some examples of the ideas listed above. You will be surprised how different and creative you can get with patches. On researching this article i have been thoroughly inspired and can't wait to start my own patch project.
1. A patch jacket
This is a classic. When we think of patched jackets we think of patches collected from various places, all different colours and eclectic styles like the jacket shown below on the right. However have a look at this example below left where silver and metallic patches are added as adornment, elevating the day time denim jacket from a casual to a more evening piece simply with the choice of patches. Keeping to a simple colour palette when adding patches can also have a really nice result.
The addition of patches in a spaced out, grid style on this more formal style jacket really stands out. It is such a modern take on a patched jacket. You don't have to just stick to bomber jackets, military jackets and the traditional denim jackets when it comes to adorning them with patches.
2. Patched Jeans
This look comes from the teenage bedroom and has found its way to the catwalk. This layered patch look down both or just one of the legs of a pair of well worn in denim jeans is a classic. It is a fun project that anyone can do from home with a needle and thread.
Using asymmetry to focus on just one side of the jeans is a great affect as shown above. Layering the patches also gives the vibe of a school kid, girl guide aethetic which has evolved from the camp site to the catwalk.
These gorgeous jeans featuring rainbow knee patches shows a completely different feel you can achieve just by considering the placement of the patches.
3. Patches to personalise a bag
You can add patches to commemorate different trips or experiences you have been on with this bag. Its a common thing for backpacking.
Stitching embroidered patches onto a canvas tote bag is probably the easiest kind of bags to attach patches onto it. Even bags from high fashion brands such as this white one above by Anya Hindmarch is a luxury version of the bags that you would make as a teenager. Fashion brands are forever trying to capture that innocence and wild creativity that children have. This brand does a pretty good job of this, i think.
Our orange classic backpack was designed based on a classic school bag, from the boxy shape to the generous pockets, this bag and its flat panels and padded structure lends itself as the perfect canvas for personalisation. You can still buy this bag there are a few left on the website HERE.
4. A patch cushion
Cushions are largely decorative items that you have sitting plump and proud on your sofa. For decorative cushions, its a nice idea to attach patches to them. It adds both an aesthetic touch and a story to your interior, and create a nice talking point for guests.
You can have different cushions with different themese such as "USA trip summer of 2022" featuring travel patches or it could be your child's swimming and school achievements on a cushion which celebrates them personally. Kids can also make their own personalised patch cushions which express things that they like and are into.
5. A patch blanket
This is also known as a 'memory quilt' which is a lovely idea for a child as they get older they can start collecting their own patches and even ironing/sewing them on themselves. Having little souvenirs to jog memories of past trips, experiences and achievements is one of the nicest things someone can take away with them when they leave home, either for college or when they move out of home.
The nice thing about the memory blanket with patches is that it doesn't have to be orderly and the patches can vary in size and style. The picture on the right shows patches of a different kind, memories taken from old t-shirts or other items that are not traditional patches.
Above is another example but its on a soft blanket for baby and the patches are laid out in a simple grid-like pattern.
6. A patch cork board display
A collection needs a nice home. Even if you don't have a specific project such as a jacket or blanket, even thinking about a nice display case for showing off your patches and memorabilia is something that is nostalgic and visually gorgeous. There are many examples of how patches and badges are incorporated together capturing a time and place like a time capsule.
Patches can be simply collected and displayed on a cork board or piece of fabric wall hanging.
7. Patch fabric display wall banner
The idea of the wall banner filled with patches is a more finished, curated version of the blanket or cork board idea. The banner could be a gift in itself and encourage the collector to curate and display their collection in a really nice way.
8. Patch cape or poncho
9. Patches on up-cycled furniture
Using patches to add personality to bland pieces of furniture is a great idea for personalising and adding colour to furniture, whether it be a lampshade or a cushion (above) or even a whole sofa, there are no limits to where patches can be attached when it comes to upcycling furniture.
10. Patches on a sweatshirt
Similar to the jacket idea, you can also attach patches onto shirts, t-shirts and sweatshirts. Its a great idea for hot climates where you might not wear a jacket or coat all that often but still want to personalise your clothing.
When we think of patches we think of souvenirs and patches that we buy ready made. However this sweatshirt above shows that you can also make your own patches. You can keep the designs raw and simple and create your own style. The edges can be frayed and this may even add to the message you are trying to convey within the patch itself.
11. Patches on a cap or hat
A little more difficult to stitch on, but definitely worth it. Logos are a classic adornment to the trucker cap, but we have also seen brands such as DSQUARD also use patches layered on a cap as you can see on the above right picture.
12. Patches on shoes
You would think that a shoe is too small to think of for putting on patches. However, think again. Tiny patches can also adorn footwear in a similar way to jackets, jeans and blankets.
Here is a website showing how you can attach patches to sneakers, if you have a glue gun it will be pretty easy! Once you get the DIY bug you will want to personalised everything!
Even Louis Vuitton was influenced by the patch craze with these pre-patched shoes retailing for over £500. Whether it be an activity that you do yourself on a tight budget or a pre-made shoe selling under a high fashion brand, the idea of collecting and curating has been a trend that has been bubbling away and ever-present for a long time.
I hope you feel inspired by seeing all the different ways people use patches. Its great to collect but its even better to use your collection and display it. When i turned 40, i asked my friends to each give me a patch and i stitched them all onto a denim jacket which i still have and wear all the time. Don't just stop at jackets, you can really be creative with all kinds of items, including accessories and interior products that are create canvas' for your patch collection.
Are you ready to get started? Read our blog post: How to sew a patch onto your bag HERE.
We take you step by step through the process. Its a lot of fun you will get hooked (pardon the pun)
Please leave a comment below if you have anything to add or would like to get in touch!
You can buy our Pigeon patch HERE
You can also buy our "my name is" patch HERE
Or you can buy our PIN here
We had a lot of fun putting together this blog post, you can see even more of my research HERE on my Pins and Patches Pinterest Page.