Applique Basics

Combine different fabrics, textures, and styles together with embroidery to create dynamic designs for your projects! This tutorial will walk you through the steps for creating applique embroidery with a satin stitch border.

To craft your applique project, you will need:

  • Applique embroidery design with a satin stitch border (I used the Lacy Butterfly design)
  • Fabric or tight lace for your applique shape
  • 40 wt. rayon thread
  • Fabric for your project
  • Printed templates of the dieline files
  • Medium weight cutaway stabilizer
  • Temporary spray adhesive
  • Scissors
  • Air erase marking pen (optional)


When choosing your applique fabric, the weave is an important factor to consider. We've used anything from felt, to quilters cotton, to lace! If you would like to use lace, though, make sure you choose a sturdier material to ensure best results.

Let's start with those printed dieline templates...

The dieline files for your applique design come in the zipped file folder and will have "DL" in the filename. You can either print the dielines as paper templates with the assistance of embroidery software, or stitch the dieline directly onto your chosen applique fabric. (Here's how if you need more details.)

Lightly spray the back of your template with temporary spray adhesive and put it onto your fabric.



Carefully cut along the dieline to get your applique shape.

Next, spray your cutaway stabilizer with temporary spray adhesive and adhere it to the back of your project fabric, then hoop both your fabric and stabilizer taut together.



Load the embroidery design file onto your embroidery machine.

The first thing to stitch out is a dieline for your applique placement.

Next, your machine will stop so you can place the applique fabric piece. Lightly spray the fabric piece with temporary spray adhesive and carefully place it within the stitched dieline area.



A tackdown stitch will pin the applique fabric in place for the upcoming embroidered details.

Another color change stop will allow you to choose the remaining colors of the embroidery design.



What you're left with is a beautiful and dynamic embroidery piece! Applique designs can be used on anything from apparel to accessories, decor, and more.

Special fabrics can bring a special dimension to your applique embroidery. This mirror design uses gold lamé to create a shiny effect!



Want a printer-friendly PDF of this page? You got it, bud.
Suggested designs for this tutorial: 
Lacy Butterfly (Applique)_image
Lacy Butterfly (Applique) $3.99 - $4.99
4 Available Sizes:
Machine Embroidery: 8.82"w x 6.89"h | 7.48"w x 5.87"h | 6.22"w x 4.84"h | 3.90"w x 3.03"h | Hand Embroidery
Meh Conversation Heart (Applique)_image
Meh Conversation Heart (Applique) $1.99 - $2.99
2 Available Sizes:
Machine Embroidery: 3.90"w x 3.43"h | 2.05"w x 1.81"h | Hand Embroidery
Fox Nature Scene_image
Fox Nature Scene $3.99 - $4.99
2 Available Sizes:
Machine Embroidery: 4.76"w x 6.85"h | 2.68"w x 3.86"h | Hand Embroidery
Rock Star with Wings (Applique)_image
Rock Star with Wings (Applique) $3.99 - $4.99
2 Available Sizes:
Machine Embroidery: 6.50"w x 2.99"h | 3.86"w x 1.77"h | Hand Embroidery
Santa-fy It (Applique)_image
Santa-fy It (Applique) $1.99
3 Available Sizes:
Machine Embroidery: 3.82"w x 2.87"h | 3.07"w x 2.32"h | 2.56"w x 1.97"h | Hand Embroidery
Thunderbolt (Applique)_image
Thunderbolt (Applique) $1.99
2 Available Sizes:
Machine Embroidery: 4.29"w x 4.57"h | 2.76"w x 2.95"h | Hand Embroidery
Tentacle Pocket Topper (Applique)_image
Tentacle Pocket Topper (Applique) $3.99 - $4.99
3 Available Sizes:
Machine Embroidery: 6.61"w x 5.87"h | 5.51"w x 4.92"h | 3.86"w x 3.43"h | Hand Embroidery
Mirror Mirror (Applique)_image
Mirror Mirror (Applique) $3.99 - $5.99
4 Available Sizes:
Machine Embroidery: 6.89"w x 9.92"h | 5.43"w x 7.80"h | 4.76"w x 6.85"h | 2.91"w x 3.86"h | Hand Embroidery