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How to Sew on Cub Scout Patches the Easy Way

Learn the easiest way ever to hand sew on patches and badges for the Cub Scout uniforms. This sewing technique for attaching patches is super quick!

how to sew on cub scout patches

When your kids join Cub Scouts for the first time, there are lots of things that you as a new Cub Scout parent need to figure out. One of the most important is to get their unform ready for the first meeting

If your Scout Shop is like mine, the employees are super helpful when you go in to buy your child's uniform. They'll show you which badges and patches you need to get started.

When you get home with the uniform and a bag of Cub Scout patches, your first thought is, “where do these things go?” That's why my parents' guide to Cub Scout patch placement is the most visited article on my blog.

where to put cub scout patches

How to Attach Cub Scout Patches to the Uniform

The next question that comes up is “are the Cub Scout patches iron on?” Sorry to tell you that they aren't. 🙁

But you do have several options of how to attach Cub Scout patches onto the uniform. My new favorite option is listed last. 

Use Badge Magic

Many people use Badge Magic. In fact, that's what I used for my older son's first uniform. It worked pretty well for the first couple of years. But by the time my son was a Bear, the edges started peeling up. 

Have Someone Sew for You

There are some people who will sew patches on for you. Of course, this option assumes that you've planned ahead and it isn't the day before your meeting. Not that I would know anything about that.

A woman I met at Cub Scout day camp sews them on for $1 a patch. She's really doing it as a service for the Scouts because she donates the money she makes.

Another person I used charged $5 per patch. I was in a time crunch and couldn't take it anywhere else, so I paid that. I do think that's pretty expensive, and I didn't use her again.

Use a Sewing Machine

If you have a sewing machine, you can machine sew the Cub Scout badges. If I only knew how to use the sewing machine my mother-in-law gave me…

cub scout patch stitch

Hand Sew Patches

With all these options, I usually hand sew the patches. But that option isn't without its negatives too. 

Some of the problems I've had are:

  • Patches would be crooked.
  • The thread would tangle up.
  • Needles would almost break as I tried to push them through the thick edge of the patch. 

And that doesn't even count the number of times I've shed blood for Scout patches when I poked the needle into my finger! ?

cub scout patches on crooked
Look at that hot mess of patches from our early Cub Scout days!

There had to be a better and easier way to sew on those Cub Scout patches!

And I found it on Clarke Green's site, Scoutmaster CG! He writes and podcasts primarily about Boy Scouts, but he has resources that are applicable for Cub Scouts too. 

Easy Method to Hand Sew Patches

In Clarke's method, you don't push the needle all the way through the edge of the patch. Instead, the needle just goes through the threads on the back of the patch.

sew cub scout patch

Like Clarke tells us, with this method “you can hide the stitches behind the patch this way and will only need one thread color that matches the shirt rather than the patch.”

I had to read through Clarke's description a few times before I could visualize it in my head. But when it clicked, I realized that this has to be the easiest way to hand sew patches and badges on a Cub Scout uniform! 

I couldn't wait to try it out! It was as easy as I thought it would be. 
You can see the technique in action by watching this video. Simply click on the image to see it.

easy way to sew on cub scout patches video cover

Bonus tip: If your pack number is more than one digit, sew the patches together first then sew the one big patch on. So much easier than sewing 2 or 3 individual patches on.

Let me know what you think about this method!

Don't forget to read up on the Cub Scout uniform badge placement.

Yours in Scouting,

P.S. You can learn about temporary Cub Scout patches here


Friday 1st of March 2024


Laura Ferguson

Saturday 17th of February 2024

Another way to get the patches ready to be sewn either by machine or by hand is to staple the patches in place first. The staples are easily removed once sewing is complete.

This is how I have done my patches on all of my Scout shirts for the past 30 + years. Stapling is fast and leaves no residue on the shirts.

I strongly advise against using any kind of glue because it is a royal pain to have to try and remove it and taking the shirts to a dry cleaners is not always going to get the glue off. You may end up with a dark spot on the shirt.

Trust me I have tried removing the glue with Goo-be-gone and that is not a 100% fix either.

We always told our parents to please do not use any type of glue. If they did not want to sew patches on our Committee Chair or myself have offered to do it for them.

Another tip, if you do sew them on with a sewing machine, use the longest stitch possible. There is nothing worse than getting a shirt that has a patch from another unit or district that has been sewn on with the smallest stich possible!


Thursday 15th of February 2024

How do you do sew the ranks on the pocket without sewing the pocket shut?


Saturday 13th of January 2024


Paul Griffith

Thursday 7th of April 2022

Sew the numbers together before sewing on the shirt. When my Pack celebrated their 50th year, I ordered the 3 digits and 50 year bar on one patch. Price wasn't bad considering the cost of 3 digits and the 50 year bar.