How To Applique With Fusible Web

Learn how to applique with fusible web. It's an easy beginner sewing project, and it will enable you to embellish and personalize just anything you sew. See how to make your own appliques, how to apply fusible web to fabric, and how to sew them using a regular sewing machine. Too easy to not try it out!

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Here you'll learn how to make your own applique and how to sew them using a regular sewing machine. Fabric scraps, paper-backed fusible web like Heat'N Bond and your sewing machine - that's all you need, and half an hour of your time. Let's take a look at this simple step-by-step how-to.


  • prewashed fabric scraps (applique fabric- here pink )
  • prewashed fabric base (background fabric for the applique - here stripes)
  • iron and ironing board
  • a piece of paper-backed fusible web
  • a pen or pencil
  • sewing thread, sewing machine
  • scissors

Fusible web - which brand to use?

Our readers are asking about which brand to use, so I'm listing a few of the most popular brands. These are recommended by professionals:

Heat'N Bond Ultrahold
Pellon Wonder Under
Steam A seam 2 (this one's a bit different, it has 3 layers, same effect)

Why prewash fabric? - To prevent shrinking after the applique has been sewn on. Shrinking could distort the shape of the applique and we don't want that to happen. Also, some quilters say it's due to the chemicals on the fabric; these need to be washed off so the fusible web would adhere better. Now let's move on to the tutorial:

How To Make Fabric Applique - Tutorial

1) Choose the applique shape. To make your first applique project easier, choose a simple shape. This time, I chose a simple heart shape.

2) Trace the design onto the PAPER SIDE of the fusible web (not the sticky side). If there are letters, or other directional shapes, they need to be mirrored!

3) Cut around the drawing, leaving a few milimeters around it.

4) Then apply the fusible side of the fusible web to the BACK of the applique fabric, using iron.

5) Cut the applique along the tracing line.

6) Remove the backing paper, so your heart applique now has a transparent layer of heat-activated glue.

4) Press the background fabric to eliminate any creases. With the background fabric face-up, place the applique on top of it, face-up too. Now the fusible side is between the fabric layers. Press.

 5) Stitch around the edges, using either a blanket stitch, a satin stitch, or zigzag. In this tutorial I showed the latter.

The only simpler way to go would be straight stitch, but in this case the applique fabric would wrinkle up and fray after washing. A great special effect if you are going for that one, and it can be a lot of fun. (And I love it too!) But let's save that one for another time :)

Why topstitch over a fused applique? Since the fusible web will come lose when washed, I always make sure to stitch around the edges. It can be as simple as a straight stitch tracing the design very close to the edge of the fused applique, or a zigzag. 

The stitch will be neater if you loosen the upper thread a little. The bobbin thread should not show on the top. Try on a scrap piece first, and get the hang of it. Then proceed on your applique project. 

Applique is a fun way to express yourself, and to personalize anything you sew. To bring the applique to a new level and allow for even more creativity, you can stack and fuse multiple pieces right on top of each other - and then stitch each of them in place. Lovely!

Here's another example of a simple applique made using a paper-backed fusible web: my Christmas gift bag. I made it in exactly the same way as this one. More on that pattern here. 


Want More Patterns+Tutorials?

Sign up to get email updates to stay in the loop. If you sign up HERE, you also get a freebie - AppleGreen Cottage subscribers get the 3 smallest sizes of my Perfect Earwarmer Headband Pattern (size baby to one year) as a free PDF.

Or, if you'd like to get them all at once, check out my PDF patterns on Craftsy. Many of them are free! They are all linked to my free tutorials on the blog, so it will be super easy for you to use them to sew something cute for yourself or your loved ones (link here).

Or ...go straight to one of my most popular PDF patterns - the Christmas gift bag pattern. (not just for Christmas gifts ;) 

Happy sewing!
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