Easy DIY original Star Trek insignia patch


While making my Prince costume, I realized the yellow color of the outfit was the same yellow as Captain Sulu’s uniform on the original Star Trek. George Takei, who played the Sulu character, and is just an awesome human being, was headlining the Comic Con event that I was making the Prince costume for, so of course I had to make some sort of nod to Star Trek, even if I was the only one that would know about it.

In the future, I might make a removable black collar for the Prince tunic, or maybe even a full blown Star Trek costume. Now that I know how to cover eyebrows, I am pretty much only a wig and shirt away from a Spock cosplay. Wouldn’t it be fun talking to everyone using 100% logic and holding your hand up in a V-shape for photos?

But for now, I just made the patch that goes with Sulu’s uniform as a salute to Takei. The original Star Trek uniforms had different ribbon designs along the cuffs of the sleeves of the uniform tops. I decided against adding that to my top since my costume was primarily Prince themed. If you look at the outfit Prince wore to the 2015 AMAs, his top actually had large graphics printed on each lower arm sleeve and on the front and back. I also decided to leave these out because the design of the graphics is not my style and keeping the top plain makes it more versatile (like for a Star Trek costume).

I found out there are a lot of different Star Trek insignias, not only because of the old, newer, and newest Star Trek series, but also because different characters had different patches and insignia within the original series. Somewhere online there is a massive chart listing all the different logos, but all I can find now is this image of the four different original logos.

Captain Sulu was part of the Command branch so the patch needed to have the star shaped symbol in the center. I found an image of the general patch shape and drew it freehand on to a scrap piece of faux leather leftover from making the gold vest for my Prince costume. One side of the fabric is coated in what I assume is vinyl, and the other side is a cotton canvas type woven fabric. I drew the logo on the woven cotton side because I didn’t want the faux alligator texture to show and because paint does not seem to adhere well to the faux leather surface.

I used the L.A. Colors nail polish in the silver color “Live” leftover from my Bowie costume to paint the fabric silver, and then outlined the edge of the patch and drew the star shape in the center freehand with a thin black Sharpie. I drew this stuff freehand because I don’t have a printer. If you have a printer, feel free to print it out and trace it instead.

It sat around for weeks after that until I was able to get some black embroidery thread. Apparently black Sharpie marker is really not true black. It actually looked like a dark purple on the fabric. To get a more finished look, I hand sewed over the center star shape and around the edges with the embroidery thread. I traced out my patch and cut out a second layer of fabric to make my patch two layers of fabric thick. The fabric is medium to heavy weight depending on your definitions of those words, but one layer alone was a little too flimsy to me for a badge.

If you follow this procedure, I recommend sewing the embroidery thread to make the star shape first, then sewing the two layers of fabric together around the edges with the embroidery thread afterwards so that the thread in the back of the star does not show through to the back of your badge. I don’t know why I didn’t do this, but now the back of my badge has a bunch of haphazard black thread because I sewed through both layers.

To wear it, you can use a safety pin. I’d like to find some sort of magnet thing, though, because the yellow fabric my tunic is made out of shows holes in the fabric permanently.

I made the patch this way to try to reuse things around the house, but I’m sure there are so many other ways to go about it. I found this YouTube tutorial helpful, which demonstrates a similar method using slightly different materials. Also, how awesome are these Star Trek cookies?! Swoon.

My only regret is not getting George Takei to sign it.


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