Leather jackets are great because they can easily keep you warm and dry regardless of the season. However, they tend to be very expensive, leaving you with a very low customization budget. You can afford the basic leather jacket, but you can't afford to have all of the patches and other embellishments you want professionally applied. In order to make your jacket your own, you are going to want to add patches yourself. Here's how you can do it on a budget.
The easiest way to get your patches onto your leather jacket is to simply sew them on. If you know how to sew, all you need to do is go to a leather store or craft store and purchase needles that are tough enough to go through the leather and string that will be able to hold up to the stress that the leather puts on it as you wear the jacket. You can use double-sided duct tape in order to hold the patch in place while you sew one or two sides of the patch. Then, simply remove the duct tape before sewing the other sides.
If you don't know how to sew or don't have the time, go online to motorcycle forums or talk to craftspeople in your area that would be willing to sew your patches on for a small fee.
Your next option is to glue on your patches. This is for people who are not sure if they want the patches on permanently or for people who cannot sew. Before you choose this option, examine your patch's back. If the back of the patch is rough and completely untreated, then you can definitely glue the patch to the jacket by using leather glue or fabric glue. This is because the glue adheres really well to the roughness of the back and will be able to keep your patch on your jacket.
If the back of your patch is smooth and shiny, this means that it has been treated and the glue will not be able to adhere as well. You would likely be better off simply folding up a piece of duct tape so that the sticky side was all around and simply sticking the patch to your jacket that way. The duct tape interacts more effectively with a shiny, treated patch. You can always glue down the edges of the patch if you are worried about people seeing the tape.
For more information, talk to a company that specializes in motorcycle apparel, such as American Biker Apparel.