Bored of wearing plain clothes? Take them to the next level with unique iron on patches or appliques.
I was inspired to create this DIY tee because after I bought a plain white shirt, I absolutely hated it. I’m sure you’re thinking, what is there to hate about a plain white t-shirt? It’s not about the style, fit, or fabric that I don’t like. I think it’s the color. I have the exact same shirt in black and purple, and I wear both of them frequently. For whatever reason, I don’t wear the white. And by that I mean I have never worn it once.
I bought it because I thought it would be a great neutral and go with everything. Plus, throwing on a plain tee and a pair of jeans is the new chic. I figured, why not? I could totally rock that trend. Clearly, minimalist fashion is not for me.
When I go shopping, I look for pieces of clothing that are unique and different from what everyone else has. I crave attention to detail and a hint of pizzazz. I have a difficult time buying staple and classic items. If there’s not a little bit of lace trim, patterned fabric, or a cut-out back, I’m not attracted to it. I’m all about garments that show off my individual personal style and unique identity.
This is the main reason I started sewing and making things in the first place. I love to wear custom garments and knowing that no one in the world has the same thing. For me, there is no worse feeling than running into someone who is wearing the same thing as you. The thought of it takes me back to my traumatic middle school days. There were only a few “cool” stores to shop at and chances are, someone else would have the same thing as you! It was even worse if you both wore it on the same day. How embarrassing! Instead, a custom garment guarantees that this will never happen.
You’re probably thinking, that would be nice, but it’s not realistic. What if you’re not very crafty? Perhaps you don’t have the time to make your own clothes? What if you don’t have the patience and energy to take on a big project?
There are many, easier, ways to add personality and special touches to your clothing. One method is to use iron on patches or appliques. The good news about this method, is that iron on patches are very easy to use, for those of you who are not super crafty! All you need to be able to do is use an iron (I think you can handle that!). The same idea would also be great for making you own message tees with clever sayings.
Follow along with this step by step tutorial to create your own personalized tee, just in time to show off in the warmer weather. Add a little bit of personality to your wardrobe without putting in hardly any time or effort. Win, win!
Materials: plain white tee, iron-on patches or appliques, iron, ironing cloth, scissors, and pins
Time: 10 minutes
I got these iron on patches at Michael’s. I’m sure you can find similar versions of this at your local craft store or online. I liked this particular brand because the appliques are very thin. Once they are ironed on, they’re extremely flexible and move with the fabric.
Cut out the iron on patches, leaving space around the design.
Use pins to place the patches where you want them to go on the t-shirt. Be careful not to poke through the design. This will risk ruining it.
Be sure to wash your shirt or item before ironing these appliques on. This will remove any finishes on the fabric and help them adhere better.
Heat the iron to the wool setting. Turn off the steam and only use it when it is dry. Test the iron on a discreet part of the garment to make sure it’s not too hot.
Lay out the t-shirt and appliques flat on the ironing board exactly how you want it to look.
Place a cloth over the patches. They are encased in plastic and the design will melt onto the iron without the cloth. This process ensures it will transfer beautifully. I used a scrap piece of leftover muslin. Any type of 100% cotton fabric will do the trick. All you need is something to create a barrier.
Apply pressure with the iron over the cloth for 60 seconds on each part, applying heat equally. Press the outer edge with the tip of your iron to make sure the edges won’t peel. Once you have pressed down the entire design, remove the cloth. Be careful! It will be very hot to touch.
*This process may vary slightly depending on what patches you use. Make sure to thoroughly read the instructions before use and make adjustments accordingly.
Gently, flip the shirt inside out and iron on the inside for an additional 20 seconds one each part of the design.
Keep the project flat and allow time for it to cool.
Once cooled, peel the plastic off the front of the design. Do this very carefully. If the design sticks at all, lay the project down and repeat the ironing process above. Then, trying peeling it again.
Voila, you have a finished, custom tee!
In this look, I paired my t-shirt with jeans and slip-on’s. I also wore a bright coral jacket that matches the flowers and is the perfect weight for spring. While the look is still fairly minimal, especially without the jacket, the floral patches really add something interesting and special to an otherwise basic outfit.
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