Cute Flair Kids Can Make

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Clothing and accessories are a totally awesome way for kids — and everyone, really — to express their creativity. But instead of going out and buying new stuff for back to school this year, help your little fashionistas upgrade what they've got with some cool DIY felt patches. They're easy to make and look great ironed onto everything from backpacks to jean jackets.

Step 1: Gather the materials

Start with these must-have supplies:

  • Felt scraps (wool is your best bet because it’s thick, durable and heat-resistant)
  • Fusible web or bar pins
  • Fabric glue
  • Water-soluble removable pen
  • Scissors
  • Pencil and paper

Then choose your embellishments and decorations:

  • Embroidery floss and needles
  • Fabric markers
  • Squeezable fabric paint
  • Glitter
  • Beads
  • Sequins

Step 2: Design the patch

The possibilities are limitless, especially if you avoid the urge to micromanage and let your kids take the lead. Some starter ideas: A favorite emoji, a fruit slice, the first letter of their name or a two-part BFF heart. (It is best to steer them towards something fairly simple!) Help them sketch out their idea and decide what materials to use to create it.

Step 3: Cut the felt

Trace each shape from the planning sketch onto the felt using a water-soluble fabric marker (a washable craft marker could work, too). This should include the main base of the patch, as well as any additional felt elements that will be layered on. Cut out all the shapes carefully with sharp scissors.

Step 4: Add the details

Draw on small details with fabric paint or pens and let them dry. Then add more embellishments with embroidery floss: Add small X shapes that look like sparkles, a lazy daisy stitch for seeds on a watermelon, or a satin stitch for emoji eyes and a back stitch for the mouth. Embroidering around the edges will also make your patch look more authentic.

Step 5: Secure the layers

Stack each layer in the correct position, and then use fabric glue or fusible web to attach them. (Make sure the glue or webbing extends all the way to the edges so that the layers don't curl up.) You'll also want to glue on an extra layer of felt to the back of the patch to create a thicker finished product.

Step 6: Attach your patch

If you want to attach it with a pin, simply stitch the bar pin on about a third of the way down the backing fabric. Or you can cut out a piece of fusible webbing and attach it the the back of the patch. Iron it onto the clothing according the the package directions.

Get ready for the compliments to roll in!

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