How to Transform Your Jeans With Iron-On Patches

We’re dedicating this week to all things DIY denim, so check back each morning for more fashion girl-approved ways to customize your jeans–from personalizing with patches to acid-washing flares, distressing boyfriends jeans, and more!

how to patch jeans fashion iron-on Wearing customized Forever 21 jeans, Alexander Wang bag, and C/meo Collective tank.

There are literally dozens of ways to customize your jeans, and the fashion set’s favorite way for spring is all about decals, patches, and wonderfully weird, kitschy decoration. Fortunately, for those of us who can’t fork out hundreds of dollars every time a denim trend comes along, this particular look is actually easy to do yourself.

Yep, even if you were born without the DIY gene, and you’re the opposite of crafty, it only takes four simple steps to turn a boring pair of jeans into something super-unique using inexpensive iron-on patches. Here’s how!

You’ll need:

1 pair of jeans (we used this $12.80 pair of Forever 21 dark denim skinnies.)
1 iron.
1 tea towel of thin rag.
Iron-on patches/decals. We spent between $2 and $7 on each patch from Etsy and Amazon .

how to make patched denim jeans

Step one: Heat up the leg of your jeans, or anywhere you plan on adding patches, by ironing the entire area.


Step two: Arrange the iron-on patches as you want them to appear. It’s a good idea to try this out before applying the heat so that you don’t make a mistake and ruin the decal.

how to make patched denim jeans

Step three: Use a thin tea towel or rag to cover the patches and then iron over each with a hot iron, heated to a cotton setting. Run the iron back and forth over each decal seven or eight times, or until they’re firmly stuck on.

how to make patched denim jeans

Step four: Flip your jeans over and repeat the first three steps. If you’re really skilled, you can also sew around the edges of the decals to make sure they’re firmly fixed. If you don’t, you might need to use a hot glue gun down the edges.

Here’s what our finished product looked like!

how to make patched denim jeans how to make patched denim jeans

Photos: Tiffany Hagler-Geard