Project Cost: $10-$15
Project Time: 1-3 hours
Ever since I married the son of Art to Heart’s Nancy Halvorsen, I have been in love with fuseable appliqué. Essentially, this product allows creative people like us to make fabric stickers we can put on anything. There are plenty of appliqué patterns for sale out there, but if you are willing to do some looking on your own, there are tons of ideas for free online. Fuseable appliqué is available at any fabric store–just ask an employee where to find it.
The first thing you need to do is choose a design. I look to clip art because it is often simple, free, and easy to find. For a first project, it’s a good idea to choose a design that has a strong silhouette. You should be able to tell what the object is just by looking at it’s outline. Here are some examples of clip art with strong silhouettes that I found for free online.
Step 3: Carefully cut out your design on the pencil line you traced earlier. As with the tracing, the more carefully you cut, the better the final product will look. For the best results, use a sharp pair of fabric scissors. Once you are done, peel away the paper backing from the fuseable web. You’ll be left with a fabric “sticker.”
Step 4: Place your fabric “sticker” onto the material you have chosen as a base (t-shirt, pillow, etc.) Repeat the ironing process just as before, moving smoothly and slowly over the appliqué with the iron for 30-60 seconds. If you are making an item that will not be laundered, you can end here, but if you are making something that will be worn, carried around, or washed, you’ll need to reinforce the appliqué design with stitching (see next step).
Step 5: If you are comfortable using a sewing machine, use a zig-zag stitch to attach your appliqué to the base fabric. If you prefer to sew by hand, use a blanket stitch and sew around all edges. Once you are finished, iron over the final product to smooth out any wrinkles.
- Choose fabric with a small to medium print. If your “sticker” is large, it allows for use of a larger print.
- Pre-wash all fabrics before using, especially if you are making a garment or type of linen that will be washed in the future.
- Experiment with embellishments! Add button eyes, embroidered whiskers, seed beads, or use contrasting thread to make your design pop.
- Try fusing multiple fabrics on top of each other to create a layered effect.