Refashioning with Vintage Patches

Refashioning with Vintage Patches

I’ve had a love affair with vintage patches for as long as I can remember. It probably goes back to my days of Brownies or Girl Scouts and earning all those badges! But even in college, I’d spend my mad money on patches from the Army-Navy Surplus Store to decorate my beloved denim jacket.

decorating a denim jacket with military patches

But all these years (decades!) later, I’m still drawn to vintage patches when I see them at antiques stores.

shopping for vintage patches

Heck, I even made patches from scratch as a project in my book, “Crafting with Flannel”!

Patches with flannel fabric

I love pawing through old patches, looking for curious ones that I can use. Usually, I make vintage patch hats with them, but sometimes I use them on shirts, too.

Either way, I thought it’d make for a fun blog post if I showed you how I used vintage patches these days!

vintage patches at an antique store

This post contains affiliate links for your crafting convenience. As an Amazon Affiliate, I earn from qualifying purchases. All blue, bold, and underlined text is a clickable link, either to a product or to a related post.

Saving Old Work Shirts with Vintage Patches

Besides making vintage patch hats for myself, I’ve also been saving some of my husband’s old work shirts. By “saving”, I mean “getting more mileage out of them”.

You see, he has a LOT of these golf shirts from a firm he no longer works for. The name is embroidered on the shirts (blurred out for blogging purposes!), but he hasn’t been able to wear them for a while now.

what to do with old work shirts

The thing is, he LOVES these shirts and he never wanted to give them away. But I realized that I could, perhaps, make them wearable again if I covered up the old company logo with fun patches.

So, I hunted for some vintage patches (on Etsy and on eBay) that reflected things he enjoys AND were the right dimensions. And since he works in IT, I focused on anything computer or video-game related, like this Nintendo patch.

vintage nintendo patch

First, I laid the work shirt flat, focusing on the side with the embroidered logo that needed to be covered up. Then, I slipped a small hard cutting board under the logo, further protected with a piece of aluminum foil.

Then, with the shirt flat and smooth, I applied a thin coat of fabric glue to the back of the patch, using a small foam brush.

attaching a vintage patch with fabric glue

Next, I laid the patch over the logo, paying attention to the angle/tilt of the logo on the shirt. That way the patch followed the exact same angle/tilt, right over the embroidery. 

using a vintage patch to hide a logo

This way, when he wears it, it’ll sit right against his chest, as if it had always been what the shirt sported. And no one will ever suspect there’s a competitor’s logo embroidered underneath!

Vintage Patches to the Rescue!

From there, I laid some books over the patch and let the glue cure overnight.

setting a stack of heavy books over a patch

Lastly, I used a needle and thread to additionally stitch the patch to the shirt through the merrowed edge. Doing so ensures that the edges won’t “flip up” over time, which could happen with multiple washings.

stitching on a vintage patch

Some of you probably recognize that vintage teapot pin cushion, eh? I still use it for small sewing projects, even after all these years!

And that was it! I’ve done this to a couple of his old work shirts and he is SO EXCITED to wear them again. Plus, the vintage patches are fun conversation starters around the office or at networking events. Everyone wants to know where he got them!

recycling work shirts with vintage patches

Of course, I’m still making vintage patch hats for myself. I collect vintage patches through my antiquing (and online shopping) and love pairing them up with the perfect cap.

patch for boone's farm strawberry hill wine

See? How cute is that? I made this vintage patch hat many years ago and it is such a hit with the right audience!

nostalgic accessories like vintage patch hats

Only Baby Boomers and Gen X-ers recognize Boone’s Farm, honestly. Since I live in North Carolina, younger folks assume it’s a winery in Boone, NC!

Refashioning with Vintage Patches

I just LOVE creating unique accessories for myself with vintage patches. And since I wear hats all the time (due to thinning hair), vintage patch hats are a staple in my closet.

vintage patch with strawberry shortcake

Hunting down (or stumbling upon!) unusual or nostalgic patches is part of the fun. And on several occasions, I’ve purchased new baseball caps and covered up the logos with vintage patches! 

putting funny patches on hats

For instance, that blue cap above was a “Dad of the Year” cap I purchased on clearance after Father’s Day one year. It fit me well and the embroidered logo was easily covered up by an old Keebler patch.

Same goes for this maroon cap- it, too, had a logo I didn’t care for, so I covered it up with a vintage US Postal Service patch that I found!

vintage postal service patch on a baseball cap

I just have a lot of fun with these and love how friends and strangers respond to my vintage patch hats. Always an ice breaker and conversation starter wherever I go.

And, of course, I have plenty of patches in my collection to work with in the near future…

funny patches at an antique mall

Such a fun way to get more mileage out of work shirts and caps with logos you don’t care for anymore, right? Definitely a different kind of upcycling, but hopefully this gives you some ideas for things in your closet that you haven’t worn in a while.

And if you enjoyed these ideas for vintage patches, then you may also appreciate how I pieced together this reusable tote bag, as well. Both pieces started as thrift store finds!

recycled tote bag from a framed cross stitch

Craft on!


Want to be notified when I publish my next upcycling project tutorial?

Please subscribe here.

Join me on Social Media:

please follow sadie seasongoods on facebookplease follow sadie seasongoods on instagramfollow sadie seasongoods on pinterest






unique accessories and shirts with vintage patches

upcycling ideas for vintage patches

Website | + posts

Sarah Ramberg is the owner of Sadie Seasongoods, a website that celebrates all things secondhand. From upcycling ideas and thrifted decor to vintage-centric travel itineraries, Sadie Seasongoods is a one-stop shop for anyone who loves thrifting and approachable repurposing ideas. Sarah is also the author of “Crafting with Flannel” and has been featured in numerous media outlets and magazines.


  1. Jacqueline Ide says

    Love the vintage patch ideas. Boone’s Farm? Yummy!!!

  2. Boones Farm Strawberry Hill Wine takes me back…way back! Great way to use your patches!

  3. Margaret says

    Love these, but more than that, I love the photo of you and your kitty!

  4. Love love love this

  5. As usual -lovely post! These are so fun!!!

  6. I had to smile at the Boone’s Farm patch. It was a hit back in the early 70’s. Can’t believe I am going to my 50th UNH reunion next month!!! I remember a party where the hostess got tipsy, tripped on the braided rug, and fell full length; I don’t think she spilled her LARGE glass of wine at all. There was a lesson there! Several years ago I was given several winter jackets with a State Logo with the proviso that I would cover the state name. I laboriously hand stitched patches on the sleevesm\, and the jackets went to our church’s “Cold Kids” collection box for our multi-town high school kids! One of my bestest upcycles!

  7. Is the glue Ailenes? My tablet isn’t letting me see that very well. I hadn’t seen this product. You are opening up new crafting possibilities for me. Thank you!

  8. Sharon GD says

    Love love ❤️ the Boone’s Farm patch! I will have to look again to see where you got it. Great post!

  9. LOVE your creativity! Are you sewing the patches on the hats or using iron on backing?

Have a question or like what you see? Please let me know!

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.