Free Applique Patterns and Instructions

free applique patterns

On this page you'll find free applique patterns and designs so you can make a range of gorgeous homemade baby gift ideas for new arrivals, and it's easy to adapt for older kids too!

Using applique to personalize a onesie for a new baby or a t-shirt for a toddler is a really quick homemade gift you can make in an hour or so if you've got the right supplies at home. They look super cute and are really useful gifts too!

On this page you'll find a whole range of free applique patterns to download and use, plus instructions for how to applique onto a onesie using more than one type of fabric.


Free Applique Patterns

In this section you can find letters and number templates, animal templates and more. Plus instructions for how to make your own templates if you're looking for something specific that we haven't listed here.

Applique letter templates

free applique patterns

Click on each of the links below to download a specific applique letter or number that you want, or you can download all of them in one file if that is easier too.

All the letters and numbers applique patterns below are deliberately mirror images (e.g. "b" looks like "d"), because the pattern will get reversed in the process of making the applique


Lowercase applique letters of the alphabet:

free applique patterns

a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o p q r s t u v w x y z

All lowercase applique letters a to z in one file


Uppercase applique letters of the alphabet:

free applique patterns

A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z

All UPPPERCASE applique letters A to Z in one file


Numbers and symbols:

free applique patterns

0 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 ! ? &

All applique numbers and symbols in one file


Shape and Animal Applique Patterns

free applique patterns

If you're looking for shapes and animal free applique patterns then click on the images below to print out the various templates. You'll find a range of sizes on each page, and you can always scale them by adjusting your printer settings if you want the templates to be smaller or larger.

How to make your own applique patterns

It is quite straight forward to make your own applique templates if you want fonts or shapes other than the ones I've chosen. Use a word-processing program to make a letter as big as you'd like in your favorite font. Now you'll need to flip it horizontally so that you see the reverse of the letter, which you can then print out and trace around.

Alternatively, print out your chosen letter as is, and then cut it out and flip it over. Now you can trace around this flip-side.

The same concept works for any other pattern, like a cupcake or animal for example. Just find a picture of something you like, cut it out, and flip it over to trace around. If there are several components you might first need to trace these onto separate pieces of paper (eg the cupcake base, cupcake icing, and then the cherry on top!).


How to Applique Baby Clothes

Now you've chosen your free applique pattern, it is easy to use it to decorate clothing. Here I'll show you how to applique a cute little elephant onto a onesie, but the concept is the same for any pattern.

Firstly you will need to gather your supplies:

  • Applique elephant pattern printed out
  • Two types of patterned fabric
  • Fabric scissors
  • Onesie
  • Paper-backed fusible webbing (like Heatnbond Lite in the USA, or Bondaweb in the UK)
  • Paper scissors
  • Pencil
  • Sewing machine (or embroidery floss and needle if you want to sew by hand)

free applique patterns


Trace around your elephant onto the paper side of the fusible webbing. Now trace around the elephant's ear onto another separate piece of the webbing (as the ear will be out of a different fabric).

free applique patterns


Cut around your elephant tracing, leaving a margin of 1/2" or so. Iron the fusible webbing onto the back of your fabric following the instructions for your particular fusible webbing.

free applique patterns


You'll be able to feel when the webbing is securely bonded to the back of the paper as it won't peel off at all.

free applique patterns


Repeat this process to adhere the elephant's ear onto the back of the second piece of fabric you've chosen.

free applique patterns


Now cut out both the elephant's body and ear, following the lines you drew earlier onto the fusible webbing.

free applique patterns


Peel off the paper backing layer.

free applique patterns


Now turn over your elephant and position it onto the onesie. Iron it in place following the instructions for your particular webbing. I used a medium heat and just ironed back and forth in a continuous motion until I was sure that the elephant fabric had adhered properly.

free applique patterns


Now remove the paper from the back of the elephant's ear.

free applique patterns


Position the elephant's ear in place and iron it down in place.

free applique patterns


free applique patterns

Now it is time to sew around the edges of your fabric elephant to secure it in place. I'm using a zig-zag stitch with my sewing machine, but it is also okay to hand applique with a technique like blanket stitch (like I used for the car on the right).

(Check out this fabulous blanket stitch tutorial if you're not sure how to do this stitch).


free applique patterns


Firstly sew the ear in place. You can go really slowly as it can be tricky to sew neatly around the curves (at least for a non-expert sewer like me!).

free applique patterns


And now sew around the rest of the elephant's body to secure in place.

And you've finished! How cute!

free applique patterns

How did your applique turn out? If you have any questions or comments about my free applique patterns, or just want to say hi, then please contact me with this handy form.


Applique Baby Gift Ideas

Here are pictures of some other onesies and sleepsuits I have appliqued using the stars and letter free applique patterns.

For the stars, I actually positioned them on the backside of the sleepsuits (i.e. over the bum), as I thought that would look really adorable when the babies are having tummy-time.

free applique patterns


You can see with this next one that I experimented with using a straight-stitch rather than the zig-zag style. I think either work fine as in both cases I'm sure you'll get a small amount of fraying over time, which I think adds to the charm of homemade.

free applique patterns


Here is an example of a cute applique car pattern that I sewed by hand rather than with the machine. I think it gives it a really nice texture.

free applique patterns


And here are some monogram onesies I made for two adorable little baby girls using lovely English-rose fabrics.

free applique patterns


Aren't these applique animal patterns so cute too!

free applique patterns - bird


free applique patterns - dog


free applique patterns - giraffe


free applique patterns - dinosaur


free applique patterns - reindeer


I really like this boat design - it works so well with any scraps of fabric.

free applique patterns - boat


And here is a picture of a well-worn apple applique onesie that my son wore over the summer. You can see how well the applique has survived multiple washes with just a bit of fraying around the edges of the fabric, which I think adds to its charm. (You'll notice I didn't add the stalk which is included in the free applique pattern, but I didn't have any brown fabric at the time and thought it looked okay without it).

free applique patterns - apple


This ice-cream is the most recent pattern I made, and I'm really pleased with how it turned out.

free applique patterns - ice-cream


You might also like...

I hope you found our free applique patterns helpful for your own project. Here are a few other homemade baby gift suggestions you might also enjoy:

Happy Gifting!



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