How to Use Freezer Paper for Appliqué? – (Guide)

Last Updated on August 1, 2023

Discover how to use freezer paper for Appliqué: Appliqué is a beautiful quilting technique that allows you to add intricate fabric designs to your projects. However, the traditional needle-turn appliqué process can be time-consuming and challenging, especially for beginners.

How to Use Freezer Paper for Appliqué
Image Source: The Fabric Patch, Canva

If you want an easier way to ensure that your fabric pieces are neatly turned under before stitching, using freezer paper for appliqué is a fantastic solution.

How to use freezer paper for Applique?

Here, we’ll guide you through the simple steps of using freezer paper to achieve flawless appliqué results.

What You’ll Need

  1. Regular freezer paper (Reynolds brand or quilt store quality)
  2. Fabric scraps
  3. Best Press or a similar starch alternative
  4. Iron and ironing board
  5. Scissors
  6. Quilting pattern or template

Step-by-Step Instructions

Image Source: The Fabric Patch
  • Trace and Cut Your Pattern: Start by tracing your appliqué pattern onto the paper side of the freezer paper. If you have multiple pieces to cut, you can stack several layers of freezer paper together and staple them to hold in place. Then, cut out the traced shapes, leaving about a quarter-inch of extra space around the edges.
  • Attach Freezer Paper to Fabric: Place the freezer paper shapes on the wrong side of your fabric. With the wax-coated side down, press the freezer paper onto the fabric with a hot iron. The heat will melt the wax, adhering the freezer paper to the fabric.
  • Cutting and Preparing Appliqué Pieces: Carefully cut around the fabric, leaving a quarter-inch seam allowance all around. Cut the fabric into a blunt tip for sharp points to avoid fraying. After cutting, remove the freezer paper template.
  • Fold and Press Edges: Lay the fabric piece on your ironing board with the right side facing down. Fold the edges over the freezer paper template, pressing them with an iron. This step will create crisp and neatly folded edges for your appliqué.
  • Best Press Treatment: Spray Best Press (or a similar starch alternative) on the folded edges. It helps to maintain the shape and hold the folded fabric in place without leaving any residue.
  • Position and Stitch: Once the appliqué piece is prepared, position it on your project fabric and secure it with glue or pins. Stitch the appliqué piece in place using your preferred appliqué method. For hand appliqué, use a straw needle and a thin, matching thread.
  • Remove Freezer Paper: After stitching the appliqué piece, gently remove the freezer paper by peeling it off from the back of the fabric. The wax will not leave any residue on the fabric.
  • Press and Finish: Once all your appliqué pieces are stitched in place, give the entire project a final press to set the stitches and remove any markings. Your appliqué masterpiece is now complete!

Do you remove freezer paper from appliqué?

Freezer Paper for Appliqué
Image Source: The Fabric Patch

Yes, you can remove freezer paper from appliqué. There are two common methods for removing paper from appliqué:

  • Before Sewing: Some quilters prefer to remove the freezer paper before stitching their appliqué pieces in place. After pressing the fabric edges over the freezer paper template and applying any necessary glue to hold the shape, the freezer paper is carefully peeled off from the back of the fabric. This method allows for easier stitching as there is no paper underneath the fabric.
  • After Sewing: Alternatively, some quilters choose to leave the paper in place while sewing their appliqué pieces onto the project fabric. Once the appliqué is stitched in place, the excess foundation fabric behind the appliqué is trimmed away, leaving a 1/4″ seam allowance. The freezer paper is then removed from the back of the fabric.


Using freezer paper for appliqué is an excellent technique for achieving precise and professional-looking results. The wax-coated paper allows you to create neatly folded edges, making the appliqué process easier and more enjoyable.

Whether you’re a quilting novice or a seasoned pro, freezer paper appliqué is a versatile method for various quilting projects. So, grab your paper and some fabric scraps and create stunning appliqué designs for your quilts!

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