What you will need:
-4 stretcher bars
-two contrasting fabrics (yardage depends on the size of the stretcher bars)
-spool of thread
-button for eye (optional)
-industrial staple gun & staples
first, build your frame. you can get these stretcher bars from any michaels, hobby lobby, or any craft store. walmart does not carry them. choose your dimensions. we chose 12X16. the bars have grooves, so they just fit together perfectly.
next, pick your object. obviously, my sister chose a dachshund, but you can choose anything, and it will work the same. once you pick out your object, print a copy of it large enough to create a good composition. if you can't find a large image online, you could always print it, and then go to a place that makes copies, and have it enlarged.
when you get the right sized image, cut it out. you need to have ample material in order to cover your stretchers [like a canvas] and a contrasting or plain material to cut your object out of. we used about 1/2 a yard for the 'canvas' and about 1/4 a yard for the dog. pin your image to the material, and cut it out.
next, begin 'building your canvas'. lay your material down, [we doubled the material, so it wouldn't be as fragile when working with the staples] and put the frame on top. choose which side is top and which is bottom. start at the bottom, and fold the material OVER the frame, and put your first staple in the center. then STRETCH the material tightly over the frame and put your second staple in the center of the top bar. go to the side. do not stretch the left side, just fold it over and staple in the center. STRETCH the right side and staple in the center. continue this process for the rest of the canvas. ONLY stretch the canvas before you staple on the top & the right side.
Once you get about an inch and a half from the corners, stop stapling. you want nice crisp, clean edges. it is a fold similar to a 'sheet' fold. Once you get the fold, staple each side. (Here's a quick video...don't mind Jackson playing in the background!)
Ta-Da! Done stapling. now, pin the image you cut out of fabric onto the canvas, where ever you want it.
From here, thread your needle, and begin the journey of hand sewing. Your stitches do NOT have to be perfect. In fact, the imperfection of hand stitching adds character to these applique pieces.
Once your image is sewn on, you are practically done. If you want to, you can add embellishments, such as buttons for eyes.