Appliques are cut-out designs that are available in many different styles in fabric or in wallpaper. Crafters can use them alone or create designs around them. They can be used on clothing, home furnishings and walls.
Store-bought appliques designed for use on clothing are usually made from polyester or rayon satin thread, and some have metallic thread and/or sequins or beads. There are a number of ways to use them on clothing for men, women, or children. One way is to personalize belongings, such as a backpack or a shirt, with an applique that reflects a personal interest, like an animal motif for an animal lover or a musical instrument applique for a musician.
Another way to use appliques creatively on clothing is to cover a permanent stain, which can save a garment that would otherwise have to be discarded or recycled. They can be especially cute on children's outfits, and there are many kid-appropriate designs available, including teddy bears, flowers, sports logos, and much more. The sewer can coordinate the applique to suit the style and color scheme of the outfit.
Either store-bought or hand or machine sewn appliques can also dress up household items such as throw pillows and towels. Motifs can be cut from patterned fabric, hemmed, and then sewn onto home furnishings. For example, individual fish can be cut out of fish patterned cloth and, once the edges are hemmed to prevent fraying, the fish can be sewn to a bathroom hand towel. Ribbon or braid trim may also be added.
Wallpaper appliques often look and work like giant stickers, and many of them are peel and stick. In most cases, they can be repositioned if the person who attached them doesn't like where he or she first placed them on the wall. They can be especially fun for a child's room and can be used to create a kind of mural on a wall. A decorator can paint the wall an accent color or two first, and then maybe paint on some added details around the appliques. Many different children's designs are available, and include animals, trucks, flowers, sports, and licensed characters.