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How Do I Choose the Best Christmas Applique?

By Lauren Romano
Updated May 17, 2024
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The project to be completed is the biggest factor when choosing a Christmas applique. It's also a factor when deciding between using single appliques and kits. Some are iron on while others require sewing only. When choosing the applique, keep the recipient in mind and base the decision based on their preference. The colors of the background fabric and the applique should complement each other. Price may also be a factor when deciding which one to purchase.

There are several projects for which you could use a Christmas applique. Creating a Christmas stocking, re-designing a plain shirt, and decorating a tote bag are just some of the craft ideas. The size of the area to work with will determine the size and amount of appliques to use.

Christmas appliques are sold individually, in multiples, and in kits; the type of project will determine which one is best to choose. A popular kit is one that includes all the pieces to create a textured design on a stocking. There are also matching appliques sold in multiples that can be spread out over a shirt or on a variety of other items. An individual Christmas applique is typically large and creates a focal point on an item.

A Christmas applique can be iron-on or sew only, so choose which is best depending on preference as well as the project. Christmas stocking kits typically include felt appliques that are applied only by sewing because they create a textured design by overlapping on each other. Individual appliques, as well as those that come in other types of kits or those that are sold in multiples, usually have adhesive backing that is activated by the heat from an iron. Although they stick on well, the ends of the applique can curl up after washing, so it's highly recommended to also sew down the edges.

Choose the design of the Christmas applique based on who is going to be receiving the gift. For example, if someone is especially fond of Rudolph, a single Rudolph applique or one that consists of him leading Santa's sleigh can be ideal for the project. Those who are especially religious may appreciate a gift that comes adorned with a cross applique.

Consider the color and style of the fabric that the applique is going to be attached to. Opt for one that is a solid color over one that is patterned, as the latter can easily clash with the applique's design. Both the applique and the fabric should consist of colors that complement each other.

Since kits come with appliques, embellishments, the background item and a variety of other pieces, they are typically more expensive than purchasing single or multiple appliques. Those who already have an item to use as a background and want to hand-pick each piece may find it better to purchase the appliques individually. The kits may be a better option for those who want the convenience of buying all the matching pieces at once.

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