Many patches come with iron-on adhesive already applied. Problem is, even these tend to fall off. Some do last a long time, especially the thinner patches like number, council identification, flags and badges. The adhesive on locally produced council "fun" patches isn't always so great and they don't stick even with perfect ironing technique. Ironing can be quick and a great option if you don't sew but you'll have to learn another method, as not all patches have iron-on adhesive applied.
Hand sewing is great for longevity but it is REALLY HARD to sew through some patches that are heavily embroidered. Ouch!
Honestly, I hate Badge Magic. This is a product sold in Girl Scout stores and expensive, about $8.75 per 8.5x11 sheets! You trace around your badge and cut out a piece and apply. Easy and quick, but in my experience, the patches don't even survive one meeting. We lost several patches which was kind of heartbreaking as some are irreplaceable. Most craft stores sell a product called Peel & Stick Fabric Fuse. I haven't
tried this but it appears to be a similar product, maybe it would work as intended!
I thought I was really onto something when I tried adhesive velcro. I thought it would be quick and easy and give us some flexibility with moving patches if needed. But, the velcro caused the badges to stick out and generally just didn't look very cool.
Sewing Machine Method
My #1 method. Works with every patch and is quick, looks great and lasts forever. Downside, you need a sewing machine! (What a great excuse to learn how to sew!)
- Denim Needles
- Regular needles just won't cut it when going through the heavy twill of the vest & the thick patches.
- Thread - Purchase invisible sewing machine thread for your need and standard thread for your bobbin (I use white but you can use a color like green, khaki or blue to match your scout's vest or sash). JoAnns sells invisible thread in the thread section that is fine and smooth enough for your machine but durable enough for the patches. Don't use it for fishing line though!
- Use a longer stitch setting (I like to use 3) and go nice and slow..
- Enjoy your scout's beautiful vest!