Craft Projects · How To

Back to School Knee Patches


With four kids running around, funds are tight and repairing rips and holes in clothing is commonplace. Once our oldest child started attending school “Back To School” time became more than just a struggle to pull together supplies. It also means it’s time for my annual mass clothes patching. This is done to prevent the kids from looking like total ragamuffins in the public eye. At home they can be as ragamuffin as they want… if I can even get them out of their pajamas. Last year I posted the results of my attempt to patch a pile of holey-kneed Jeans without making them look lame and without buying expensive pre-made patches. I’m pretty proud of the resulting “monster patches” and thought it would be worth sharing again. If nothing else, hopefully I can put a smile on the face of another parent who might also be struggling to afford new “back to school” clothes. Instead, whip out the trusty sewing machine and refurbish existing clothes into something custom (and much cooler) than store-bought items.

Initially I had planned to sacrifice one pair of his jeans to make boring traditional rectangular patches for all the others… until I came upon this post online about making “Monster Patches”. I was immediately inspired! Instead of cutting up a useble pair of jeans, I dug through the boxes of outgrown clothes (that I tend to save for way too long) and found a couple pairs of baby pants to sacrifice for materials: A pair of gray jeans and some red corduroys.

The sacrificial infant pants, post mutilation.

I went through Charlie’s drawers and quickly realized that ALL of his jeans had holes in the knees, which presented a bit of a challenge: I could only come up with so many different monster patches! After making two pairs of “scary” monsters and a pair of “silly” monsters, I decided to mix it up a little for the last pair and chose a “bones” theme instead. One knee has a skull on it and the other is my best rendition of a “knee bone”.

I really couldn’t go wrong. Anything would be an improvement over this.


As a finishing touch, I dug through my bag of buttons to give the monsters and skull some interesting eyes. Charlie was absolutely thrilled with the final results and it’s been a fight to get him to wear any of his other pants since school started. He’s been wearing them for three months now with his usual playground-level abuse and they’re still holding up flawlessly. All in all, I consider this project a Mom Win!




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