The Best Way to Easily Attach Badges for Girl Scouts

Looking for The Best Way to Easily Attach Badges for Girl Scouts? Or looking for a Badge Magic Alternative?how to attach girl scout badges

Hello Campers and outdoor enthusiasts! Over the years both as a Girl Scout and a mom of Scouts, I have tried many, many methods of attaching merit badges to sashes, vests, tunics and Boy Scout uniforms. I’ve also witnessed a few methods that I never thought to try. People will go to some pretty serious lengths to avoid pulling out a needle and thread. Regardless of your preference, the very best way to attached badges and patches to fabric is to teach your Scout how to sew. If for some reason this is not an option, here are the best (and worst) ways to glue, iron, and sew on boy scout and girl scout badges,  in no particular order. Whether you’re webelos, daisy girl scouts, brownies or cub scouts there are Badge Magic Alternatives.

how to attach girl scout badges


I will start with a true Girl Scout confession of mine. When I was a Junior Girl Scout and I wanted to quickly add some badges to my sash, I resorted to the stapler. Here’s how that went…

Pros: Very fast, fairly permanent in a pinch.

Cons: Everyone can totally see that you tried to staple your badges to your sash. (Safety pins would fall into the same category.)

Hot Glue Gun:

I only know that people try this one by the sad empty glue spots where pretty lost badges once lived.

Pros: Rapidfix and looks great…

Cons: …for 5 minutes

Fabric Glue/Fabric Adhesives: People swear this is their favorite method. It works best if your badges have fabric backs. The “iron-on” backing/residue will not stay glued.

Pros: Fast and looks great…

Cons: but not for long.

how to attach girl scout badges

Follow Iron-On Patch Directions:

I’ve had one person tell me that they simply followed the ironing instructions that came with the badge to press patch  and it had worked perfectly. Witchcraft! I don’t believe it. And don’t leave me comments that it works. No, it does not.

Pros: Bragging rights that you are a master ironist. And also fast and durable, if you are a witch.

Cons: Stop bragging.

Badge Magic:

This is a sheet of adhesive that requires no sewing or ironing of patches. There is also a pack that come pre-cut to the standard shape badges. Simply remove the paper layer. Sounds amazing, right? The reviews praise this product and while I’ve heard it’s easy at the start, after several washes, the badges begin to peel up at the corners and eventually fall off. You can buy this at the girl scout store or  the Boy Scouts of America Store or on Amazon and follow Badge Magic operations. The employees at the shops will answer your questions.

Pros: Easy solution to get started. If you plan to never wash your vest/tunic/sash, you have a shot at hanging on to those hard-earned cub scout badges . Is it worth the risk?

Cons: A temporary fix only, for most.

how to attach girl scout badges

Hand Sewn:

This method is time consuming but it’s the best way to teach the kids to sew on their own badges and it can be a portable project. Match the background or try invisible thread.

Pros: It’s a classic, it works, forever.

Cons: Takes a long time and if your stitches are not close to the edge, the patch will appear to peel up, even though it’s secure. Is there a better way?

how to attach girl scout badges

Machine Sewn:

Yes, machine sewing badges is the best solution. I’ve tried zig-zagging the edge, changing thread color, and invisible thread, here’s what I’ve learned.

Zig-zag over border:

Pros: looks great, secure.

Cons: thread changing and mad sewing skills required.

Sewing inside border with matching thread:

Pros: Looks good, secure.

Cons: thread changing required.

how to attach girl scout badges

And without further adieu…

The best way to easily attach Girl Scout badges is to machine sew with invisible thread.

The key is to use invisible thread on the front and traditional thread in the bobbin. If you use invisible for both, it will jam up, bunch and break.

Pros: Quick, forgiving, secure. Looks great!

Cons: none!

If you are a den leader, troop leader, or scout, you might want to try this! These tips will also work for military sales, cosplay fashion performers and comic-cons costumes on a mission to attach their rank boasting fabric additions.




I sew on the patches with clear monofilament thread on my sewing machine so the stitching is virtuously invisible on the front. I use matching thread color on the back side in the bobbin. Very neat and fast to do.


Well, I’m a witch, because I have been able to iron on (most) of the patches. I’ve only had trouble with patches with uneven glue, or if the sticker was still on. I can barely sew, and I can’t use a sewing machine, so don’t hate on those who can iron when you think there are no cons to using a machine.


well I just got handed about 30 more patches that I need to attach. Pack your iron and get over here. lol. Sigh.


I hope I’m not jinxing it, but I use invisible thread on top and in my bobbin. Sewing is the only way to keep those things secure. And I try not to iron on the patches on the back in case I need to move them around to make room for more. Or to bounce an Early Bird patch for Cookie Sales patches or something else more important.

Amy Updike

After years of sewing cub and boy scout patches…I’ve come to the same conclusion!


For my bobbin, I like using blue thread to match the Daisy vest on the inside. Plus, if I’m sewing on a bunch of badges, I only need to change the spool color. I haven’t tried invisible thread yet, I should probably get some, since I’m going to sewing patches for years!


I use a straight hair iron. Mine is a chi. It is hot enough on both sides at the same time to seal the badge. I read this tip somewhere and it works great. I also through a couple stitches on each patch for extra security.


Ingenious! I always hand-stitched patches, using invisible thread, which looks great and is secure, but is time consuming. Can’t wait to try your idea, and maybe I’ll add just a few clear thread stitches for peace of mind. Thanks!

Christine Z

I would staple the Boyscout badges on, because they’re very stiff and have a plastic background that is not fun to pin. Then sew them in place with matching thread and remove the staples with a staple remover The invisible thread idea is clever!

Christine Z

For Boyscouts, you also have to change a patch out, on a patch pocket with a flap that buttons. I would remove 1/2 of the pocket, sew it on, and then sew the pocket back on. Other parents sewed through the pocket making it non-functional.


Brownies patches- If you put a little muscle into it the patches work fine by ironing them on. Im a dad, followed the directions, didnt do witchcraft and they stick on super strong. Cant even pull them off with tweezers.

Lucy VanSchoyck

I think it may have to do with the material of the vest…..My older daughter’s brownie vest kept the ironed on patches yet my younger daughter’s brownie vest has them all falling off. They are 5 years apart so maybe the material changed since then? I’m finding the same thing happening with the junior vest though…i ironed all the patches and about 75% are falling off after three days….

Kathy C

I use invisible thread as well. I use a contrasting color on the back so unpicking is easier if I ever have to move a patch.

I’ve been able to iron on the patches and get them to stick but I found a few tricks (and cons):
WASH the vest before you iron anything on to it.
Follow the directions on the patch packet exactly, including preheating the material. If anything, hold that iron in place longer than it says.
Do NOT move the iron back and forth – that may cause the patch to shift position, smearing the “glue” to areas where it will show and leaving less glue behind your patch.
If you can see the shiny glue oozing out around the edges of the patch, it should be OK.
NEVER wash a vest with ironed-on patches. This is a “con” for the iron-on method. Crafts and activities can be messy, kids and clothes get dirty.
The official Girl Scout badges shrink a bit when ironed-on. This is a huge “con” for me. Many of the badges are designed to nest together, having one (or more) that are the wrong size looks terrible. Plus they don’t shrink evenly and they pucker a bit as well.


Thank you!!! Too many hours spent hand stitching and it never looked quite right. Tried the invisible thread/regular cotton bobbin machine method this evening. Sewed 8 patches on in less time than one hand sewed and they’re perfect.

Your BlogSucks

“People will go to some pretty serious lengths to avoid pulling out a needle and thread.” Ah! Yes I love coming to click on article that is worded as a way to help me save time as a busy mother ONLY to be immediately shamed within the first paragraph by the fact that no I do not enjoy sewing nor am I skilled at it. And between taking care of my children and myself even if I had time to learn to sew I still would choose not to. Because I choose to do things that make me happy not spend hours behind a sewing machine for the sake of martyrdom to make my kids’ vest look nice. ANd spoiler alert: Your kids’ happiness Isn’t dependent upon whether or not you sew or glue her damn badges on. What a distasteful way of starting your article literally shaming and alienating 100% of the people clicking on “easy ways to attach badges” by implying right off the bat your reader is lazy. Cool blog, a5$hole. ENJoy your high horse while I find a new tutorial on the internet that actually helps without a self righteous author telling me I am LESS THAN.


It is not necessary to sew them on. Thanks for chastising me for not working hard enough as I get ready to attach my daughter’s patches. It works just fine to iron them on.


It does not suck. She is not on a high horse. She went to a lot of trouble to give pros and cons. Give her credit.

Madge’s Mom

@YourBlogSucks – Wow, you’ve got serious chip on your shoulder… and reading comprehension issues. The author is 100% correct that people will go to serious lengths to avoid a needle and thread. I’m one of those people and obviously you are too. That’s why we came here looking for a solution, right? Why don’t you own up to it like the rest of us? I don’t feel any self loathing about not wanting to see and I didn’t feel any judgement from her. Why did you? I got a lot of helpful info from this article. After all, she reviewed every method I’d been considering. And most importantly gave us the skinny on how permanent each of these were. This article saved me tons of time. If you’d just get over yourself you’d have gleaned something positive out of it yourself. Yeah, I hope you’re not this harsh and overly sensitive to your own children. Motherhood’s a tough gig. Time to put on your big girl panties.

Dad who sews

Thanks for this info! I own a sewing machine, but can only do basic things. Wasn’t even aware of the existence of invisible thread and that a zig zig stitch is the best option. Sewed on a new patch and then felt obligated to touch up a few of the others using this new-to-me method. Looks awesome! Thanks for sharing.


Thanks so much for comparing all these methods! Your timing is perfect as I have a bunch of badges to attach that I’ve been procrastinating. I was not aware there was such a thing as invisible thread. Sounds cool! I will be trying it out.

Colleen Bunn

Is it necessary to use a leather needle, or a larger needle when sewing these patches on? I’m not a girl scout mom, but a friend just asked me to sew 30 patches on her daughter’s sash and I want to do it right the first time.


It’s sufficient t0 serenely supplant my old empl0yments pay, particularly c0nsidering I just w0rk around “10-13” h0urs every week fr0m h0me. I was stunned h0w simple it was after I attempted it duplicate underneath webᵛ….…._____j­o­i­n­g­o­o­d­f­u­t­u­r­e­1.b­l­o­g­s­p­o­t.c­o­m


It’s sufficient t0 serenely supplant my old empl0yments pay, particularly c0nsidering I just w0rk around “10-13” h0urs every week fr0m h0me.
I was stunned h0w simple it was after I attempted it duplicate underneath webᵛ.…._____j­o­i­n­g­o­o­d­f­u­t­u­r­e­1.b­l­o­g­s­p­o­t.c­o­m

poppy playtime

I simply wanted to send you a quick note to let you know that I’m very new to blogging and that I genuinely enjoy your page. It is very likely that I will add this post to my bookmarks on your blog. Your articles and testimonials are unquestionably of the highest quality. Thank you for letting me know about your website.

suika game

Machine sewing with invisible thread is the most convenient technique to attach Girl Scout badges. The secret is to use invisible thread on the front and regular thread in the bobbin.


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *