Custom fabric Appliqué

I’ve recently started working with homemade appliqués. Making an appliqué gives your project that little personal touch without adding an entire day’s of work.  I’m amazed time and again by how easy they are to make and use.

You can create so many fun things with these. Be it decorating onesies, fixing holes or stains on your favorite T-shirt or  personalizing a pillow cover, you can make personalized gifts in a jiffy 🙂

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Here’s a basic tutorial for creating this appliqués using an iron-on appliqué binder.

Supplies you’ll need:

  • Piece of fabric that’ll fit the drawing you want to transfer
  • Iron-on adhesive cut to the same size as the fabric
  • A pair of good fabric scissors

Cut out a small piece of fabric and adhesive sheet of approximately the same size. I used a small piece that I had left over from another project. Hence, the irregular shape.


Here’s a pic of the iron-on adhesive brand that I use. You can find them online or at your local craft stores. Again, this is something to keep in your craft kit if you’re a sewing/quilting enthusiast. The iron-on sheet has two sides – a textured side and smooth paper side.


Now place the adhesive sheet ( texture side down) on the wrong side of fabric to be bonded. Pre-heat the Iron. Press, hold and remove from heat.  Repeat this for a couple until the sheet bonds strongly to fabric.


After it has cooled down, use a stencil ( or free hand drawing, if confident) to draw the image you want on the paper side of the fabric. If you’re drawing letters remember to draw them laterally inverted.

You can even opt to write on the fabric side with an invisible marker or chalk. That way, it makes it even simpler cos you don’t even have to invert your letters.


Now, Cut out the drawing. Now, peel the paper liner off the letters and place them adhesive side down on the right side of the fabric you want to appliqué on.


Position the design on your main fabric. Once you’re satisfied with the positioning, use a pre-heated iron to press and hold for a few seconds. Repeat a couple of times to make sure the letters have bonded well with the fabric.


The adhesive label claims that these are “no-sew”, which means you do not need to stitch on it to strengthen the bond. I once tried that on a baby onesie and found that they loosen after a wash.To make sure they’re bonded strongly, I prefer to stitch around them. Depending on your fabric’s tendency to fray and your project requirements you do either do a straight stitch or a satin stitch along the border of the design. Good thing about using an interfacing is that it gives good weight to lighter fabrics, keeps them crisp and from moving while running stitches around them.


Comments and suggestions are most welcome!

Until next time, Happy Making!!!


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