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How to create a hard-wearing knee patch for kids pants

The knees are always the first bit to go on kid's pants and it's a similar situation with the elbows on shirts. This project provides a fun and easy way to add knee or elbow patches to your kid's clothes. They'll provide protection for both your kid's knees and the clothes. This project is a great one for the kids too, they can help think of colours and designs to put on the patches.

Kit

  • A pair of trouser or a shirt that you're happy to customise
  • 1 minipack of sugru per large patch
  • Something round (a roll of tape or a mug work really well)
  • Elastic bands
  • Something to add texture to your patch! (we used a plastic dinosaur!)

Step 1

Area of fabric being marked out with rubber band

First, you need to make sure your fabric is clean, so that a good bond is achieved from the sugru to the fabric. Then, grab your round object and place it inside the leg of the pants where you want the patch to be. Get an elastic band and wrap it around the object, on top of the fabric.

Step 2

Area of fabric stretched with rubber band and round object

If you're unsure of where exactly to put the patch, just get the owner of the pants to put them on and put a tiny dab of sugru where the middle would be as a marker. Check to see if the fabric is on straight, and is fairly tight, but no so much that the fabric warps.

Step 3

Sugru applied to fabric

Although sugru can be easily removed from most nonporous materials it is not removable from fabrics. This is good in some ways, because it means that it will survive wash after wash in a washing machine. The first thing to do is to fill out the border of the patch with sugru. After this, the round template object can be removed from under the clothes.

Step 4

More Sugru applied to circular area on fabric

The technique with this is to almost knead the sugru into the fabric to get a good bond. You can do this by getting a small pea sized bit in between your fingers and slowly pushing it in, smearing it across the fabric.

Step 5

Glass of soapy water next to Sugru patch

Now that you have a good clean circle, you can fill in the centre. To start, work your way inwards with the back of your fingernail, to blend the edge further and ensure your patch doesn't end up lumpy. Fill in the centre with the same kneading technique, push down and then smudge out with your nail. When you're done, use a dry and then soapy finger to smooth it all down and even out the sugru.

Step 6

Sugru patch being textured with toy dinosaur

If you want to get creative and make it look pretty as well as be practical, it is easy to add a texture. Sugru doesn't cure for half an hour, meaning you have plenty of time to create a texture if you want. We used the sugru office dinosaur, Greg, to leave marks using his tough outer skin. I've given him a soapy water bath first to make sure he doesn't get stuck to the sugru.

Step 7

Patch of textured Sugru on pants

Now just leave your patch to cure overnight, preferably hung up somewhere so it dries nice and flat. By morning you'll have your very own protective knee-pads.