Teen Librarian Toolbox
Inside Teen Librarian Toolbox

MakerSpace: DIY Iron On Patches


Our newest MakerSpace station at The Public Library of Mount Vernon and Knox County was inspired by a teen I know in Texas, and it has proven to be very popular.


Technique Used: Cross Stitch

Supplies Needed:


  • Cross stitch fabric
  • Craft floss
  • Cross stitch needles
  • Small cross stitch hoop
  • Small scissors
  • Small cross stitch patterns (perler bead patterns work best for this)
  • Permanent peel and stick fabric adhesive
  • Iron

Step 1: Patterns



We have found that perler bead patterns work really well and are plentiful on the Internet. They also have a lot of pop culture characters that the teens are interested in. All you have to do to find a pattern is Google “Character Name + Perler Bead Pattern”. We print off two copies, one for the teen and one to keep in a pattern notebook for future use. There are several good Pinterest boards out there with a large collection of perler bead patterns:

949 best Perler Bead Patterns images on Pinterest | Pearler beads

Step 2: Cross Stitch 101


You will then follow your pattern to create your patch. Some teens pencil the pattern onto the fabric, but this is not necessary. It depends on your skill level. Our teens are using YouTube tutorials to help them learn how to cross stitch.

From WikiHow: The Easiest Way to Cross Stitch – wikiHow

  1. Cut your fabric and floss. The size of your fabric will depend on the size of the pattern you are using. …
  2. Thread your needle. Take your single thread of embroidery floss and create a loop at the end. …
  3. Begin your cross stitch.
  4. Continue stitching.
  5. Finish your piece.
  6. Wash your cross stitch.

Step 3: Cutting Out Your Patch, the First Time

After you complete the cross stich portion of your patch, you then need to use your little scissors to cut it out. Leave a little bit of a white edge around your patch.


Step 4: Making it Stick

You then want to iron your permanent peel and stick on the back of the patch. Then you’ll have to cut it out again around the edges. You can fin HeatNBond Ultrahold in the fabric aisles of craft stores. You’ll want to by fabric sheets, not the skinny strips, so that you can work with any and all sizes of patches.

Step 5: The Big Iron On

You then iron your patch onto your book bag, jeans, purse, whatever. Just follow the instructions on the HeatNBond.

It’s a longer maker project, depending on the size and complexity of your pattern, but the teens are loving it.

Online Tutorials:

DIY Iron On Patches by PaulTheDIYGuy – Nerd Crafting

DIY Iron On Patch – YouTube

Make Your Own Decorative Patches With Cross Stitch – Crafts