Customizing your clothing or accessories is a great way to show off your personality. Patches and rhinestones allow you to show the world who you really are. 

Patches are especially powerful. Their ability to showcase your interests and accomplishments are unmatched in the fashion world. They can even be used for marketing material.

Rhinestones add a special sparkle to your outfits. They’re hard to miss and easy to feel comfortable in.

Attaching patches and rhinestones onto clothing and accessories could be a frustrating process, especially when trying to sew them on. How are you supposed to get them to stick and not fall off? Read on to learn how to attach patches and rhinestones without sewing.

How to Attach Iron-On Patches

Chances are that you might have an iron-on patch. These patches have an adhesive on the back of them. To check if you have one, flip your patch over. Check if the back of your patch is smooth and glossy. It should look similar to the one in the photo below.

iron on patch with glossy and smooth back side

Here’s how to attach an iron-on patch:

  1. Prepare your fabric. Whether it be clothes, shoes, or a backpack, you’re going to need to prep it. Make sure it’s free of wrinkles and that it’s on a flat surface.
  2. Preheat your iron. Set it to 350 degrees (F) with no steam.
  3. Find a spot for your patch. Put it somewhere that won’t be moving too much! An upper arm or upper breast placement is best.
  4. Iron the surface for 30 seconds. Press with a strong but not aggressive pressure. Move the iron in a slow, circular motion. Do not move it up and down or side to side.
  5. Turn inside out and repeat. You should be doing the same thing on the flip side of the area that the patch is on.

The process should be done! Make sure to wait a few minutes before using it or tugging at the patch. Once you wait until the patch is at room temperature, check to see if it’s really stuck there. If not, then repeat the process with increased heat, length of press, and pressure.

How to Glue Patches On

Gluing patches onto clothes or accessories is a great and reliable option. If you don’t have an iron-on patch, then this is probably the easiest option to go with. It could be just as effective as sewing if done correctly. 

Follow these easy steps:

  1. Clean your fabric. It’s important to rid your fabric of any dirt or grime. Glue doesn’t stick to dirt. 
  2. Dry the fabric. Don’t use dryer sheets or fabric softener. This might leave residue that can ruin the glue.
  3. Find a spot for your patch. Put it somewhere that won’t be moving too much! An upper arm or upper breast placement is best.
  4. Lay cloth on a flat surface. Put your patch and fabric on a flat surface.
  5. Apply glue to the back of the patch and the target area. Put a light amount of glue on both surfaces.
  6. Wait 2 to 5 minutes. Let both surfaces air out during this time.
  7. Push them together. Apply pressure to the patch on the fabric during this time. Ensure that you’re doing this on a flat surface, it should make applying pressure easier.

You’re done! Wait about 24 hours before washing, drying, or taking it out in public. This gives it time to settle in and become more permanent.

You’re going to want to get yourself a reliable glue for patches. We think that the best glue for patches is this one from BEACON.

How to Glue Rhinestones to Fabric

Rhinestones add a special shine to anything you own. While there are more sophisticated tools for applying rhinestones out there like the Bedazzler, doing it by hand is definitely feasible for the everyday DIYer.

Glue is best for belts, hats, and clothing that will be worn gently and be hand-washed only. However, glue is still a viable option for clothes that will experience heavier wear and tear.

Here’s how to attach rhinestones to fabric and accessories:

  1. Clean your fabric. The rhinestones won’t attach correctly if there’s too much dirt and grime on the fabric.
  2. Find a spot for your rhinestones. Put it somewhere that won’t be moving too much!
  3. Lay on a flat surface. Lay your clothes or accessories on a flat surface so the process goes by smoother.
  4. Apply glue. Manually apply the glue to each rhinestone one at a time. Make sure to only put a dot of glue on each rhinestone. If you put too much, things will get messy very fast. We recommend this glue from BEACON for attaching rhinestones.
  5. Let it dry. Wait 24 hours before trying to move anything. Do not move anything! This is why the flat surface is important.

Now rock it! Your rhinestones should stick on.

Making the Most Out of Rhinestones

Rhinestones could be an intimidating material to use. They look fantastic, but you have to know where to put them. Remember that you are your own artist and you know what look you want best! We left some examples in the photo below for inspiration.

3 rhinestone examples. one of a shoe with rhinestones following design one with rhinestones across back of denim jacket one with rhinestones attached on top of slip ons

Rhinestones along the shoulders or arms look fantastic. They also look great when they align with a shoe’s design. They could be a great addition to your backpacks as well. You should also consider stencils. You could print them out online or create your own. Simply draw and cut out a shape from paper, put the paper on an accessory and fill the hole with rhinestones.

The Best Glue for Patches and Rhinestones

If you’re looking for glue that was made for patches and rhinestones, then we’ve got you covered. BEACON’s Gem-Tac Permanent Glue is the solution for any custom clothing and accessory needs.