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How to Sew an Applique on a Baby Bib

Updated on February 12, 2013
Glimmer Twin Fan profile image

Claudia has been writing about crafts online for many years. She is an avid crafter who has been creating for most of her life.

How to Sew an Applique on a Baby Bib
How to Sew an Applique on a Baby Bib | Source

Baby bibs are always a great gift idea for new or expectant mothers. As parents know, one can never have too many bibs because it always seems that as soon as we put a fresh one on the baby, it gets dirty.

There are many bibs out there in the stores that have cute pictures or phrases on them, but sometimes it is more fun to decorate one yourself. It also means more to the recipient.

Sewing an applique onto a bib is quick and easy and adds a nice personal touch. Follow these easy steps and you'll be adding applique to a bib in no time.

Supplies needed

  • Undecorated baby bibs - To save money, pick up a package at a local dollar or discount store. I picked up a set of five for $2.00.
  • Applique - There are so many designs available at either online or local stores.
  • Sewing Machine
  • Scissors
  • Thread

Other ideas for applique

  • If you have fabric on hand, cut out your own shapes. Turn the edges under and sew onto the bib using one of the methods shown.
  • Ribbon or ric rac adds a cute touch to a baby's bib. Just make sure that it is securely affixed and not just sewn on a with a few hand stitches. A bow would not be a good idea since it might get easily pulled off.

Things NOT to use as applique on baby bibs

For safety reasons, there are a few things that should never be used on a bib.

  • Iron-on applique - It may be easy, but the glue used has harsh chemicals and babies put bibs in their mouths. Additionally, as babies get older, they may pull off the decoration which could present a choking hazard.
  • Buttons or beads - Cute as they are, these present a real choking hazard and should never be used on a bib.
  • Felt - Felt makes great shapes and comes in beautiful colors, but it does not wash well and will fall apart quickly.

Also, never hand sew applique on to a bib. Because bibs are washed repeatedly, the stitches will not hold up well and your hard work will go to waste.

Step by step instructions

Use the following steps to decorate a baby bib with an applique.

Step 1 - Choose bibs and applique motifs

Click thumbnail to view full-size
Baby bibs with vinyl backing.Flower applique ready to be sewn on.
Baby bibs with vinyl backing.
Baby bibs with vinyl backing. | Source
Flower applique ready to be sewn on.
Flower applique ready to be sewn on. | Source

Choose undecorated bibs for this project. The bibs shown have a vinyl backing, but there are many that do not. You can use any type of bib for this project and the vinyl did not make it any more difficult to sew through.

The applique flowers are bright and cheery and add a nice pop of color to the plain bib.

Place the applique where you want them to be sewn. You may want to pin them so they don't fall out of place.

Step 2 - Sew the applique onto the bib

Click thumbnail to view full-size
Sewing the applique onto the bibWhen using a straight stitch, stay as close to the edge of the applique as possible.Try using decorative stitches when applying the applique.
Sewing the applique onto the bib
Sewing the applique onto the bib | Source
When using a straight stitch, stay as close to the edge of the applique as possible.
When using a straight stitch, stay as close to the edge of the applique as possible. | Source
Try using decorative stitches when applying the applique.
Try using decorative stitches when applying the applique. | Source

The yellow flower in the photos above was sewn on using a simple straight stitch. Stay as close to the edge of the applique as possible when sewing.

The purple flower was sewn on using a satin stitch. This stitch is a bit fancier. There are many different decorative stitches you could use when doing this project. Just make sure that the applique if firmly affixed and won't fall off after repeated washings.

Remember to always back stitch at the beginning and the end of sewing. This will secure the stitches. Once sewing is finished, clip off all hanging threads.

Note that for this demonstration I used contrasting thread so it would show up in the photos. You may, or may not want to do this. Personally, I think contrasting thread is nice when using decorative stitches, but thread that blends in is better when using a straight stitch.

The finished product

The finished baby bib ready for the gift basket!
The finished baby bib ready for the gift basket! | Source

Applique ideas for baby bibs

Everyone loves personalized gifts for their babies. I remember when I was expecting, everything had to have a duck theme and a friend gave me a whole basket of outfits and bibs decorated with ducks. It was beautiful and meant a lot to me because I know she put a lot of thought and effort into it.

Here are just a few ideas to get you started. Of course, anything can be used. If you don't know if the baby is a girl or a boy, use neutral colors and themes like green and yellow balloons.

Applique Motifs

Girls
Boys
Flowers
Cars/Trucks
Baby faces
Dinosaurs
Crowns
Trains
Animals
Animals
Monograms
Monograms
Sports
Sports
Princesses
Spaceships
Ribbons *
Firetrucks
Cupcakes
Wagons
Balloons
Balloons
Holidays
Holidays
Shapes
Shapes
* Note - Do not put 3 dimensional ribbons onto bibs, only applique in the shape of a ribbon.

Personalized baby bibs

Personalized baby gifts are always an appropriate gift, and making them is easy when you follow the steps shown above.

In just a few minutes, and with a few inexpensive supplies, you can turn a plain bib into something special.

© 2013 Claudia Mitchell

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    • Glimmer Twin Fan profile image
      Author

      Claudia Mitchell 5 years ago

      Thanks Eddy! I have to make a bunch of these for an upcoming baby shower for a friend.

    • Eiddwen profile image

      Eiddwen 5 years ago from Wales

      I shall hand this one on to my family.

      A geat hub and enjoy your day.

      Eddy.

    • Glimmer Twin Fan profile image
      Author

      Claudia Mitchell 5 years ago

      Hi tirelesstraveler. It seems like there are times when I get tons of baby shower invitations. This is a good, inexpensive gift to give. Thanks for commenting.

    • tirelesstraveler profile image

      Judy Specht 5 years ago from California

      Always looking for baby shower gifts. Thanks for the idea.

    • Glimmer Twin Fan profile image
      Author

      Claudia Mitchell 5 years ago

      Hi Bill - This would definitely be something for your grandson and it is a super easy project. I appreciate the comments.

    • Glimmer Twin Fan profile image
      Author

      Claudia Mitchell 5 years ago

      Thanks Bill! I always appreciate your support.

    • bdegiulio profile image

      Bill De Giulio 5 years ago from Massachusetts

      Hi Glimmer Twin. I'm probably not going to be doing any sewing either but my wife might be interested in this for our grandson? Great step by step instructions. Looks simple enough. Great photos also.

    • billybuc profile image

      Bill Holland 5 years ago from Olympia, WA

      I'm just here for support. There is very little chance that I will be sewing this app on a baby bib. :) Nice job, good instructions, and I hope you are doing well and that you are happy.

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