These Cheeky Iron-On Patches Will Help You Spruce Up Your Jeans This Fall
This morning, I shared a step-by-step guide on how to add iron-on patches to a jean jacket — a skill you’ll want to master in order to tap into one of the prominent denim trends for the autumn season. I also mentioned that Etsy was a great resource for finding patches of all different styles. To illustrate that point, I amassed 20 patch designs you can find on Etsy.com — badass biker pieces that celebrate a rebellious and rule-breaking spirit, cutesy and flirtatious designs with a nostalgic touch, splashy and colorful comic book-worthy characters and illustrated words, machinery-centric steampunk designs, gothic animals and apothecary labels, and pieces referencing modern-day lingo and ubiquitous pop culture phenomena.
Check out these 20 jacket-worthy finds!
Your wardrobe will be ready of its own Kodak moment when you jazz up those jeans with this vintage-inspired camera appliqué, made of a cherry red felt and boasting black heart accents.
Four Eyes Handmade Foodies Are So Haute Modern Merit Badge Iron-On Patch, $8. Available at Etsy.com/shop/foureyeshandmade
Is your favorite Instagram hashtag #foodporn? Do you spend countless hours on Seamless, GrubHub, and UrbanSpoon.com searching for new eateries in your nabe? Never miss an episode of Master Chef, Top Chef, or The Next Food Network Star? Then celebrate your well-developed palate with this “Foodies Are Haute” patch, which features a fork, spoon, and knife at its center. Tasty!
Haus of Trashglam 80s Neon Pink Cassette Mixtape Iron-On Patch, $12.43. Available at Etsy.com/Shop/HausofTrashglam
That classic moment in Say Anything when Lloyd Dobler stands outside Diane Court’s bedroom window in his camel-colored trench box, holding up an enormous boombox playing Peter Gabriel’s “In Your Eyes”? It never would have happened if Lloyd hadn’t recorded the song on a cassette tape. Years later, as Rob Gordon in High Fidelity, John Cusack once again explored the romantic power of music via the art of the mixtape. As Rob put it in the movie, “Now, the making of a good compilation tape is a very subtle art. Many do’s and don’ts. First of all, you’re using someone else’s poetry to express how you feel. This is a delicate thing.” Remember the days when you spent hours perfecting this art — or listening to an admirer’s own mixtape creation — with this 4″-long, 1980s-flavored cassette tape patch.
The Crochet Towel Love Potion No. 9 Iron-On Patch, $9.95. Available at Etsy.com/shop/thecrochettowel
Whether you’re acquainted with the phrase “Love Potion No.9” thanks to The Clovers’ chart-topping 1959 song by that name, The Searchers’ 1963 cover version, or even the movie inspired by the tune, by now you know the story of the down-on-his-luck man who, in a search for long-lasting love, visits a gypsy who prescribes him a healthy dose of Love Potion No. 9. This apothecary-styled patch pays tribute to the spell-casting potion in a way that feels old-timey and magical.
The Houndstooth Horse POW Embroidered Iron-On Patch, $5. Available at Etsy.com/shop/thehoundstoothhorse
Leaf through vintage Batman comic books, and you’ll find that most of the dialogue during any fight sequences consists of the words “Pow,” “Bam,” “Zap,” and “Bang.” This patch, measuring 3″ in width and 2″ in height, celebrates the age-old comic book illustration technique.
Mokuyobi Threads Camera Crew Iron-On Patch, $5. Available at Etsy.com/shop/mokuyobithreads
No flash photography? Please! Shutterbugs of all kinds — even compulsive selfie-takers — will appreciate this handmade patch, which measures 2.5″ in height and 2.125″ in width.
Waggons West Red High Heel Iron-On Patch, $2. Available at Etsy.com/shop/waggonswest
Diamonds may be a girl’s best friend, but shoes are her true love. Stitched on upcycled denim, this round patch features a red border and a saucy red pump at its center. Measuring 2″ in diameter, it mimics the shape of a classic merit badge. If only Girl Scouts could earn badges for having great taste in footwear!
Psycho Swami Catwoman Iron-On Patch, $10.95. Available at Etsy.com/shop/psychoswami
As far as female comic book villains go, few are as fierce — and as sexy — as Catwoman. Go on the prowl and have them hear you roar with this statement-making patch, which measures 3.5″ in height and 2.4″ in width. The 100% embroidered patch shows Catwoman’s masked face as inspired by Michelle Pfeiffer’s performance in Batman Returns.
Dahlia Soleil 100% Organic Whoop Ass Can Iron-On Patch, $5. Available at Etsy.com/shop/dahliasoleil
Ever wanted to open up a can of whoop-ass on somebody? Then you’ll appreciate this tongue-in-cheek, machine-embroidered patch, which measures 3.33″ in width and 4.61″ in height and is shaped like a cylindrical can much like those used for packing beans, corn, and other staple pantry items. The fact that the words “100% organic” are added as descriptors heighten the design’s sense of whimsy by poking fun at the all-organic, must-be-farm-raised, farm-to-table crazes.
Regina’s Front Porch Cat Face Iron-On Patch, $6.50. Available at Etsy.com/shop/reginasfrontporch
This whiskered cutie seems to be taking a cue from Lana de Rey with her heart-shaped sunglasses. Adopt this purr-fectly adorable kitty, which measures 3″ in height and 2.7″ in width.
Mokuyobi Threads Space Explorer Patch, $5. Available at Etsy.com/shop/mokuyobithreads
This pentagon-shaped patch, measuring 3 1/4″ in height and 2 5/8″ in width, will have any gal walking on the moon. If you can’t get enough of flicks like Apollo 13, 2001: A Space Odyssey, Armaggedon, and Gravity, you’ll think this groovy patch, featuring an astronaut in full gear, is just outta this world.
Seams Geeky PacMan Inky-Inspired Patch, $7. Available at Etsy.com/shop/seamsgeeky
Made with 100% polyester thread and measuring 2.5″ in height and 2.5″ in width, this retro patch depicts one of Pac-Man’s age-old enemies: Inky. If you ever lost an arcade game because of this cyan blue ghost, now’s your chance to get him in your clutches — and on your jacket.
Haus of Trashglam Chandelier Cameo Iron-On Patch, $12.43. Available at Etsy.com/Shop/HausofTrashglam
Measuring 4.8″ in height, this cameo-inspired, oval-shaped patch features a white chandelier design for an ornate, palatial feel.
Elsie Michelle Designs Embroidered Lady Sugar Skull Applique Patch, $9.75. Available at Etsy.com/shop/elsiemichelledesigns
Inspired by Mexican Day of the Dead celebrations, this folkloric patch shows the sugar skulls so often used to commemorate deceased ancestors. Deep, saturated colors give this particular sugar skull depth and dimension, while the addition of hair — styled in a voluminous way, with great height at the crown, and adorned with lush flowers and feathers — keeps the patch extra feminine.
Gerri Tullis It’s Not About Age, It’s About Attitude Iron-On Patch, $11. Available at Etsy.com/shop/gerritullis
Forget “30 is the new 20” and all those number-specific idioms. The truth is you’re only as old as your state of mind. Celebrate your eternal youthfulness with this clever embroidered patch and let everyone know you could care less about the number of candles on your birthday cake this year!
Tattoo It Big Rubik Cube Iron-On Patch, $3.25. Available at Etsy.com/Shop/TattooIt
If you came of age in the ’80s, chances are you spent hours tinkering with a Rubik cube, hoping to line up all the colors and beat what seemed to be the world’s most impossible puzzle (or, if you were like me, peeling off the stickers and reattaching them to make it seem like you’d cracked the code!). This large patch, measuring 1.5″ x 2″, pays homage to one of the childhood toys most closely associated with the 1980s era.
Patch N Patterns Walter White Heisenberg Iron-On Patch, $4.99. Available at Etsy.com/Shop/PatchnPatterns
Even if you’ve never watched an episode of Breaking Bad (in which case, what are you waiting for?),by now you know that Walter White — AKA Heisenberg — will go down in history as one of the best television antiheroes. Sure, he seemed gentle, meek, and thoroughly unthreatening when the series started and he was an underpaid high school chemistry teacher but, once he started cooking that blue meth, he became a whole other beast. And when Heisenberg came knocking, it was time to hide! This patch, measuring 3 x 2 inches, winks at the Emmy-winning series and its complex leading man.
Elsie Michelle Designs Steampunk Raven Applique Iron-On Patch, $18.50. Available at Etsy.com/Shop/ElsieMichelleDesigns
If you’re familiar with the steampunk genre of science fiction, then you know it was influenced by the works of Jules Verne and H.G. Welles and that it fixated on steam-powered machines and their effects on industrialized 19th century societies. This oversize patch — it measures 6.84″ in width and 4.72″ in height, making it great for the back of jean jackets and other large surface areas —features a gothic raven against an industrialized setting defined by vintage wheels and cogs. Even the bird seems to be part machine — or part ornithopter, to be precise —with gears propped atop its wings.
Spider Stitches Parlor Huge Giant Octopus Iron-On Patch, $20. Available at Etsy.com/Shop/SpiderStitchesParlor
This brilliantly detailed, 100% embroidered octopus patch can rule the ocean — and your marine-colored denim jacket. Measuring 11″ in width and 5″in height, it’s imposing in the best possible way. True to the creature’s locomotive tendencies, the patch portrays the octopus mid-movement, its tentacles contorted into undulating shapes. The hot pink suction cups adorning the underside of its tentacles, meanwhile, add an unexpected pop of color.
Bleed Gingham 6 Cupcake Iron-On Patches $3. Available at Etsy.com/Shop/BleedGingham
Get a box’s worth of treats — six cupcake-themed patches with striped liners in different hues and a bakery’s worth of cake flavors, frosting colors, and decorative toppings — for just $3. If you’ve got a sweet tooth, or a penchant for baking, you’ll love adding these tiny cupcakes to your garment, each of which measures 1 1/2″ in both height and width.