The Easy Way to Add and Use Crochet Appliqués

A crochet appliqué is a decorative element that is created using standard crochet techniques using the yarn and crochet hooks you already have!

I love to use crochet appliqués to enhance various projects I create, such as clothing, blankets and hats, but there are plenty of other uses! They are typically attached to other projects by sewing or gluing, giving them a personalized and creative touch.

Crochet appliqués come in a wide range of shapes, sizes, and designs, allowing for endless creativity and customization possibilities.

Crochet Flower Applique

Choosing the Best Appliqué Pattern

When looking for a crochet appliquéi pattern, your best bet is to find one that is simple, yet has just enough detail to make it obvious what it is. We have a number of great crochet applique patterns, but you can find them everywhere, including other websites, books and magazines.

Just like with larger crochet patterns, an applique pattern will have the usual steps. You will first need to gather the supplies (all of which you should already have), then follow the pattern (which likely includes basic stitches, color changes, and fastening loose ends).

After completing the applique, you’ll probably need to block it to ensure that its shape is precisely what you were expecting.

Some crochet applique patterns will finish off by adding extra embellishments to the project, such as buttons, beads, eyes, or pins.

Ice Cream Cone Applique

Where to Use Crochet Appliqués

crochet appliqué can be used in numerous creative ways. Here are some common uses for just about any crochet appliqué you create:

  1. Clothing Embellishments: You can sew or attach crochet appliqués onto clothing items such as t-shirts, dresses, hats, scarves, or sweaters. They can add a playful touch to your garments, making them unique and eye-catching. My personal favorite place to use them is on the front of a crochet beanie.
  2. Accessories: Crochet appliqués can be transformed into accessories such as brooches, pins, or hair clips. By attaching a pin or hair clip on the back of the applique, you can wear them as decorative accents on everything from jackets, bags, hats, or even in your hair.
  3. Home Decor: These adorable crochet appliqués can be used to spruce up your home decor. You can attach them to throw pillows, blankets, or curtains. Multiple appliques can create a simple yet creative border around many crocheted home decor projects.
  4. Scrapbooking and Card Making: If you enjoy scrapbooking or card making, crochet appliqués can be a lovely addition to your project. They can be glued or stitched onto scrapbook pages or greeting cards, adding a three-dimensional and handmade element to your creations.
  5. Baby Items: Crochet appliqués can be used to decorate baby items like blankets, onesies, bibs, or baby hats. They can make these items more visually appealing and charming, adding a touch of sweetness to any baby accessory.
  6. Gifts: Crochet appliqués can serve as thoughtful and handmade gifts. You can attach them to gift wrapping, create personalized keychains, or incorporate them into handmade photo frames. They make for delightful and unique presents for anyone who appreciates handmade crafts.

How to Attach a Crochet Appliqué

There are several ways to attach a crochet appliqué to a project. Choosing the best method depends on your preference, the type of project, and the desired use case. Here are the most common methods:

  1. Basting: Basting is a temporary method used to hold the crochet appliqué in place before permanent attachment. It involves using small, loose stitches or fabric pins to temporarily secure the appliqué to its final destination. Once the applique is temporarily secured, you can sew or use another attachment method to attach it permanently.
  2. Sewing: Sewing is the most traditional and secure method of attaching crochet appliqués. This method involves using a tapestry needle and matching thread to sew the edges of the appliqué onto the base fabric. You can either stitch around the outer edges or sew specific points within the design for added stability. This is my preferred method for attaching crochet appliques.
  3. Fabric Glue: If you prefer a quicker and easier attachment method, a durable fabric glue can be used. Apply a small amount of fabric glue to the back of the crochet appliqué and press it onto the desired area of the fabric. Make sure to use a fabric glue or adhesive that is suitable for washable items, and follow the manufacturer’s instructions.
  4. Crocheting Directly Onto/Into the Project: For certain projects, you can incorporate the appliqué directly into your crochet work. This method involves crocheting the appliqué as part of the project, such as working it into the design of a blanket, granny square, scarf, or clothing piece. By integrating the appliqué into the larger project, there is no need for separate attachment steps.
  5. Iron-on Adhesive: Some crochet appliqués can be attached with a heat-activated adhesive backing. In this method, you simply position the adhesive between the appliqué and the fabric, cover it with a cloth or pressing sheet, and apply heat with an iron. The heat activates the adhesive, bonding the appliqué directly to the fabric. This method is best suited for projects that don’t require frequent washing.

It’s important to consider the type of project, the desired permanence of the attachment, and the washing instructions when choosing the method to attach your crochet appliqué. Experimenting with different or combined (glued and sewn!) techniques can help you find the best option for your specific project.

Free Crochet Appliqué Patterns

Take a look below at some of my favorite free crochet applique patterns to make!