applique template materials
applique Hexagon quilting Becky  

Different Kinds of Applique Templates

With the hit of Hexagons going, I thought that going over a few different kinds of applique templates would be fun!  I am not too fancy of a sewer {actually I am really kind of lazy}, but I do find it interesting what others use for their applique projects.

The templates I am talking about is not the shape- but the object that you make the templates with.  Patterns come with the templates already sketched out for you and printable- but what do you do with them once they are printed?  What kind of material do you use to keep them lasting long enough to finish the project?  We will go over a few different ones that I know of- if you have a favorite that is not on the list, please share.

As this is a list of materials you can use for your applique templates- it’s not a tutorial on how to use them.  I will be filling in those holes coming up….until then, you get the list of materials that you might want to give a try when sewing applique.

applique template materials

What is Applique you ask?  It’s an independant shape that is either sewn by hand or machine to the background fabric.  The shape can be from where ever- coloring pages, templates from a pattern, alphabet, animal….the sky’s the limit on what you can do!

After you find your inspiration and pattern for your applique- you usually sketch it out on graph paper or print it if it is from a pattern.  You will find that the paper isn’t quite thick enough to use if you are using it multiple times or needle turning.  So, let’s go over a few different options that you might have lying around your home to use.

thin cardboard- You don’t want to use the super thick box cardboard, but maybe the cardboard that comes in the mail when you order a book, or the paper milk jug.  Should be easy enough to cut with scissors and re-usable. *wash it before you use it

plastic–  Milk jugs again work great.  It is a bit tricky to find a flat spot big enough for your templates, but once you do and have yours made, it will last a long time.  Not transparent, you will have to lay the template on top of it and then cut it out.

X-ray sheets- this is a new one to me, but works great!  If you ask your doctor or dentist they might be able to give you a few sheets.  It is already flat, not like the milk jug and because it’s somewhat transparent you can trace the template easily  {don’t mind the broken bones in the background}.  Thin enough to be cut with scissors, but much stronger than cardstock paper.

cardstock- stiffer than a regular sheet of paper, cardstock is a great one to use. It can be ironed {keep the steam away} and the fabric can wrap around it farely easy because it is a little thicker.  It doesn’t bend as quick as a thin sheet of paper.

non melt mylar- similar to the x-ray sheets, mylar is a plastic.  The non melt lets you use it with an iron.  Perfect for shaping your applique pieces with heat.

clothes dryer sheets–  There is such a thing as using clothes dryer sheets for applique!  Drawing the template right onto the dryer sheet, sew directly to the fabric using that line as a guide, snipping the back and turning it right sides out- then applique it down.  That’s a quick run down of how it works.

freezer paper-  great way to keep those template in place- without the pins.  It keeps in place when you are cutting and forming the shape.  In addition to the freezer paper, you can use liquid spray starch to get them to keep thier shape.

iron on fusible web– this is probably the quickest way to applique.  Trace the pattern, iron it to the wrong side, cut out and voila! A finished and ready to go applique piece.  The edges are protected from fraying because they have the fusible on the back.  You will need to machine or hand stitch a button hole around the edge to cute it up.

interfacing-  this can be fusible or not.  Same idea as the clothes dryer sheet method.  If you use the fusible it is fused on the last step when putting it on the background.  The fusible will keep it in place while you embroider around it.  No need for pins.

cricut- or digital machine that cuts everything for you.  No need for a template here! It does all the work for you. I don’t personally own one, but that would be fun to have.

10 thoughts on “Different Kinds of Applique Templates

  1. Gayla

    This is a great list! I especially love the X-ray sheets and clothes dryer sheets ideas. Those are new to me!!
    Have you tried all of these methods? Which is your favorite?

  2. Becky

    I haven’t tried them all, but do prefer the cardstock or plastic templates. The cardstock I find holds its shape, and it is easy to remove.

  3. Jann Olson

    I love to applique. My first quilt was a needle turn applique. I now do the freezer paper method. One thing that I learned is to iron 3 layers of freezer paper together. It makes all the difference in the world! Such a stronger template that doesn’t tend to roll under. Thanks for sharing with Share Your Cup.

  4. Dina Newton-Edwards

    I use the plastic transparencies that were used with overhead projectors. They work very well, with the added bonus of being completely see through.

  5. patchwork moldes

    gostaria de saber como faço pra ter as atualizações deste site, alguém pode me ajudar?

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