Tutorial on Patching Clothes

finished clothing patch

Patching clothes was never something I had to do before, but kids are really hard on their clothes! In the last year, I’ve patched quite a few knee and elbow holes.

At first I bought those patches that are sold at Joann, but then I realized I have lots of fabric scraps that would make adorable patches so why not make my own? It’s super easy and fast. I can patch a knee hole in about 15 minutes. Of course right now the knee holes are very small as the Larva is only 2 years old…


  • fabric scrap*
  • Heat ‘n Bond
  • needle & thread
  • pencil
  • scissors
  • iron

* Generally, you want to use a fabric that is similar weight to the clothing item you are patching. For kids’ clothing, I like to use something a bit sturdier, so I use high end quilting cottons or bottomweight fabrics like twill.

Draw your shape on the paper side of your Heat n’ Bond piece. I wanted to do a heart shape so I folded my piece in half.

draw patch on heat n' bond

Using your iron, fuse the Heat ‘n Bond to the wrong side of the fabric scrap. If you’ve never used Heat ‘n Bond before, you can read the directions that come with the package.

iron patch to fabric

Cut out the patch along the line you drew. Peel off the paper backing on the Heat ‘n Bond.

cut out patch

Now you need to iron the patch on to the hole in the clothing. If you plan to do a lot of ironing of sleeves and pants legs, having a pressing ham is very handy. A pressing ham is a stiff shaped pillow that you put into the sleeve or pant leg so that it’s easier to iron the curved surfaces.

pressing ham

With our without a pressing ham, the next step is to fuse your patch over the hole. If the hole goes all the way through the clothing, you’ll want to put a piece of scrap fabric (like muslin) on the inside of the pant leg so that the Heat ‘n Bond doesn’t melt and get all over the inside. You can peel the scrap fabric off after you’re done ironing and throw it away.

iron on the patch to clothing

Not take your needle and thread and whipstitch around the patch. Try not to skip this step as it helps the patch stay on through washings and activity. It doesn’t have to be a perfect stitching job, you just need to make sure the edges of the patch stay attached to the clothing.

stitch patch to clothing

And that’s it!

finished clothing patch

Isn’t it cute? Next time I’m going to use red patches for her black pants though…