Crochet Applique: How to Add Appliques to Crochet Projects
Learn how to attach appliques and find some great crochet applique patterns!
It’s exciting when you finish your first crochet applique. With just a little bit of yarn, you were able to make something adorable for your crochet pattern. But now you may be wondering, “How on earth do I attach this to the project I’m working on?”
While crochet appliques can be cute all on their own, they are generally made to add pizzazz to a larger project. A kitty cat applique for the edge of a hat, or a letter of the alphabet for the corner of a baby afghan.
Crochet Applique: How to Add Appliques to Crochet Projects will help you learn an important skill that you can use on any project in the future. Along with a video crochet tutorial and step-by-step written tutorial to walk you through the attaching process, you can also learn about appliques and reasons why you should make them. Plus, the end of the article gives you some great afghan patterns featuring adorable appliques!
If you are a crochet beginner, new to appliques and wondering why they’re so great, stick around! Crochet appliques are perfect for mixing up your crocheting life, especially if you find that you’re always making the same crochet project over and over again. Literally any project could use the addition of a crochet applique, so once you learn this skill, there is no going back.
Enjoy the learning and Happy Applique-ing!
There are two main considerations when deciding how to add appliques to crochet projects.
1. Decide if you want the applique to lay completely flat or if you want some places to be 3D. You may want the ear of an elephant, the wings of a butterfly, or the petals of a flower to jump off of your project. If this is the case, stitch enough of the applique to make it secure to your project, and let the rest of it go free!
2. Choose yarn that can attach your applique invisibly.
"The key to incorporating appliques into crochet projects is being careful to hide the stitching holding them in place. Pick yarn or thread that blends in well with the applique or its background, and remember to weave in ends as gracefully as possible."
– Heidi from handsoccupied.com
If you have a project that needs to look finished on both sides, like an afghan pattern or a scarf pattern, it is best to choose yarn that matches the background, rather than the applique, since the ends need to be woven in invisibly. You will just need to be extra careful to sew through loops on the back of your applique so the yarn doesn’t show. If you are making something like a hat pattern where you won’t see the underside, it doesn’t matter quite as much.
Video Crochet Tutorial
After you decide those crucial things, the only thing left to do is start! This great video tutorial by Heidi from handsoccupied.com for AllFreeCrochet.com walks you through the attaching process so you can be done with your project as soon as possible! Below the video is a step-by-step written guide, in case you need to look back at a step.
How to Add Applique to Crochet Projects
1. Thread your tapestry needle.
2. Turn to the back of your project. Draw your needle through the project, back to front, leaving an end long enough to weave in later. You can tie a knot on the back to make your end more secure (and to keep you from accidentally pulling it through) but it will make the end more noticeable. If you do not tie a knot, be careful not to pull the yarn through the project as you stitch.
3. Flip back to the right side.
4. Pick up your applique and decide where you will start attaching it. It is good to choose the most stable place on your project, to make the most stable connection. For example, the body of an animal would be better than a leg to begin.
5. Insert your needle into the chosen stitch, only going through loops on the back of the work. This will ensure that your yarn isn’t seen on the front of the work.
6. Pull the yarn all the way through the applique, and flip the applique over so it is flush with the project. BE CAREFUL not to pull the yarn all the way through the project because then you’d have to start over.
7. Find another set of loops on the back of your applique, and draw the yarn through.
8. Put your needle back through the project, where you want your applique to lay, from the front side to the back side.
9. Bring the needle back through the project again, from back to front.
10. Find convenient loops on the back of your applique to stitch through.
11. Secure those loops to the project by putting the needle back through the project from front to back. Once you get more comfortable, you can also stay on the front of your work, pulling up convenient loops along the surface of your project, rather than switching between the back and front of your work (shown in video).
12. Repeat steps 9-11 all across the surface of your applique, securing every part as you see fit—legs on animals, wings on insects, points on stars, or petals on flowers.
13. Once your applique is completely attached, turn to the back of your project. Both your working yarn and your end should be visible.
14. Weave in these ends as usual. Watch the end of the above video for an easy way to weave in ends, or check out this video tutorial on How to Weave in Your Ends.
Did You Know?
In knitting or crocheting, appliques are small embellishments that are knit or crocheted separate from the rest of the project and attached as a final step. But did you know that other crafts also use applique?
Applique is a general crafting term used to refer to any piece added to a project after the base of the project is completed. Generally, appliques are made of the same material as the rest of the project (yarn, clay, fabric).
Clay appliques are pieces of clay added on after the main body of the project is completed, like a 3D flower added to a vase.
Sewing appliques are pieces that are added to the top of another fabric or project by sewing around the edges. Some really beautiful, intricate designs can be created with fabric appliques.
But, no matter what your craft, appliques can be a wonderful addition. Your project might call for just one applique to add pizzazz to a project's corner, or you might make a bunch for an applique scene (like in the Cutie Owl Crochet Baby Blanket below).
Why Should I Make Crochet Appliques?
You just learned how to attach applique, but maybe you are still hesitant to whip out your hook and yarn. Here are some reasons why they're worth it:
1. They look super cute. You can literally make a crochet applique of anything, which means any of your projects can be made adorable! They are "great for jazzing up a gift," too, according to womansweekly.com.
2. They are the perfect way customize a pattern. They can be added to your go-to hat or blanket pattern that you give as a gift to make it more personalized. If your nephew loves giraffes, you can attach a smiling giraffe to his birthday present. If your granddaughter dreams of snuggling a penguin, you can attach a cute penguin applique to her holiday afghan.
3. They are easy to make and to attach. Depending on the applique pattern you make, they are worked from one end to the other, or in the round, like a granny square pattern.
4. They are great for busting your yarn stash. Crochet appliques are perfect stashbusters because you only need a little bit of yarn to complete most patterns.
Projects Using Adorable Appliques
Now that you know how why appliques are so amazing and how to attach them to your projects, it’s time to get hooking! These amazing afghan patterns include crochet applique elements, which means you get to make fun, final additions to each of the afghans.
Do you have any tips for attaching crochet applique?
Let us know in the comments!
Read NextKnit-Look Chunky Afghan