Make an easy custom applique patch to add to or change any clothing. 

Kids go through clothes quickly weather they grow out of them or through them, that’s no surprise and yet it can still be a little alarming. To lighten the toll on the bank account I am a huge advocate of hand me downs, thrift stores, consignment and of course homemade! It helps that I also find the hunt and discovery of second hand goods fun. This project combines the thrifted and homemade aspect, upcycling a thrifted shirt with a homemade applique patch.

I found this shirt at the thrift store in a bin of clothes meant to be stuffed in different sized bags with a flat fee for whatever you can fit. The shirt itself cost less than a dollar since it was a 2.99 bag and I had gathered a handful of items. I hesitated to grab it at first since I really didn’t like the patch on it and have gathered a good collection of baby clothes and don’t need things I don’t like BUT It is so soft, and a really nice style overall. I am so happy I did! Since it’s been made more our style it has become a go –to.

How to make a painted applique patch on linen

white linen in embroidery hoop


White linen, or cotton.

Embroidery hoop


Aloe vera

Derwent Inktense paints

Fabric markers *optional

In order to make the painting process easier stretch the linen over an embroidery hoop. Draw your design on a piece of paper then either hold it or tape it to the underside of the fabric and trace it lightly with a pencil. You could skip the tracing and just gently sketch out the design on top too, if you sketch lightly enough the pencil erases easily enough.


When the image is dry and fully set, cut around it leaving about a cm of extra space, this can be trimmed down more if it is too bulky later. Fold the extra space towards the back and press with an iron. When using linen I like to simply pinch it tightly to create a fold then press all at the same time, makes this process very easy. Trim any spots where there is too much to fold over nicely. You can clip around any parts that are curved but make sure you don’t cut too far.

Sewing the patch on: Applique

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