Fall weather has finally arrived in Charlotte, and along with the crisp mornings and colorful leaves come some great new trends. One of the hottest trends right now is patches. Editors and bloggers alike are showcasing denim patches on jeans, playful badge patches on denim (also seen on tee shirts and bomber jackets) as well as the always classic elbow patch. The best thing about this patch trend? You can DIY it to your own clothes at a low cost and in about 10 minutes. My first fall project was heart-shaped plaid elbow patches on a favorite sweatshirt of mine, but it was so easy and the patch trend is so fun that I may have to DIY a few more items in my closet.

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Here’s how to DIY patches in 5 easy steps that take less than 10 minutes.

1.  Choose your patch material. I was originally thinking red but was almost giddy when I found iron-on fabric in three different plaid patterns on Amazon.

They also have badge and denim patches, as do Michaels and Joanne’s, and you could also cut up an old pair of jeans for a more distressed patch look.


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2. Choose your pattern.  Oval is the traditional shape for an elbow patch. But if you are feeling adventurous, you could do  hearts, stars or diamonds.


3. Trace and cut out your pattern, then carefully cut the iron-on fabric. Tip: use sewing or very sharp scissors so as not to fray the fabric when cutting.

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4. Put on the article of clothing you are using and with your elbows bent, make a mark at the tip of your elbow. This will be your middle point for your patch. If you do choose a heart shape, make sure it’s placed correctly. The heart should be right-side up when the garment is placed face down.

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5. Heat up an iron. Make sure the smooth, somewhat gummy side is the side touching the fabric and iron lightly across it for 20 or 30 seconds. Note: With a thicker sweater, you may need to hand-stich around the pattern to ensure it doesn’t come off while washing.

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And voila! Just like that, you have a finished customized product. The possibilities are endless. I just got a black and white striped tunic top that will be getting the red pattern treatment and the next trip I make to Michael’s I’ll be looking for suede fabric. I might just put elbow patches on every sweater I own.

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P.S – If you are not a DIY girl, or just need some inspiration, we’ve sourced some great options: ASOS sweater with elbow patches, denim with badges at TopShop , denim skirt with badges, denim patches on jeans at Gap and Express.