Finishing the Back of Hooped Embroidery

  • 01 of 05

    Framing Embroidery in a Hoop

    Framing in a Hoop
    Framing in a Hoop. Mollie Johanson

    Embroidery hoops are a must-have tool for stitching, but they're also perfect for framing your finished embroidery. Not only does the hoop framing method work well and look good hanging on a wall, it's also easy and inexpensive.


    There are a variety of techniques for framing in a hoop and this tutorial shows just one of the options, but it works well for covering the back of your work and making a way to hang and/or label your embroidery. This is especially good for when you are making a hoop for...MORE a gift, as it looks more finished and professional.


    Throughout this tutorial, you'll read about framing embroidery, but this technique certainly isn't limited to embroidery. Of course it will work with most needlework, but it's also an option for framing quilt squares or plain fabric that has a print you want to feature.


    To give your frame even more of a finish, try painting the hoop or adding other embellishments. And for a classic look, use a vintage embroidery hoop, as you see in the photo above.


    Continue to 2 of 5 below.
  • 02 of 05

    Supplies and Getting Started

    Trace the Inner Hoop on Felt
    Trace the Inner Hoop on Felt. Mollie Johanson

    Supplies


    Embroidery hoop
    Felt (wool or wool blend is best)
    Pencil
    Scissors
    Embroidery (or other fabric to be framed)
    Needle and thread
    Fabric glue (optional)


    Get Started


    Separate the pieces of the embroidery hoop and use the inner hoop as a template. Trace around the hoop onto the felt, then cut out the felt circle. Set this aside until a later step.


    Continue to 3 of 5 below.
  • 03 of 05

    Hooping and Trimming the Embroidery

    Trim the Excess Fabric
    Trim the Excess Fabric. Mollie Johanson

    Place your embroidery securely in the hoop. When you press the outer hoop in place, make sure that the hoops are flush and that the inner hoop doesn't poke up in the front. In fact, it's better if the outer hoop isn't even pushed all the way down. This will leave the edge of the inner hoop exposed on the back.


    If you are using a vintage hoop that no longer will hold the fabric taut, try wrapping the inner hoop for better tension.


    Trim around the excess fabric leaving at least 1/2in of fabric....MORE Leaving 1in of fabric is better, so it's helpful to plan ahead for this when choosing your hoop size or cutting your embroidery fabric in the beginning.


    Want to make embroidered felt flowers like those above? Learn how with an easily customizable tutorial.


    Continue to 4 of 5 below.
  • 04 of 05

    Gathering the Embroidery Fabric

    Gather the Excess Fabric
    Gather the Excess Fabric. Mollie Johanson

    Thread a needle with enough thread to go all the way around the circle. Sewing thread, embroidery floss or perle cotton will all work for this. Tie a large knot in one end.


    Sew around the edge of the excess fabric with large running stitches. The stitches should be about 1/4in from the fabric edge.


    When you reach the beginning of the stitches, pull the thread to gather the edges in toward the center. Take a back stitch or two to secure the gathering, then tie a large knot close to the fabric.


    Continue to 5 of 5 below.
  • 05 of 05

    Stitching the Back Covering in Place

    Stitch the Felt to the Back
    Stitch the Felt to the Back. Mollie Johanson

    Grab the circle of felt that you set aside.


    If you want to label the back of your work, this is the time to do it. Embroider your name, the date or even a message directly on the felt. Or, write or stitch onto twill tape and stitch that onto the felt.


    To make a hanger on the felt, cut a small strip of felt and attach it near the top of the circle with a dab of fabric glue at each end. Alternately, you can stitch the felt strip in place with a few stitches at each end.


    Place the felt circle over the...MORE back of the embroidery and stitch around the edges. Come up through the gathered fabric, near the hoop, then go down through the felt at an angle so you can catch the gathered fabric for the next stitch.


    Continue all the way around the hoop and then secure the end with a hidden knot. 


    If you would rather not have a hanging loop on the back of the hoop, another pretty way to hang an embroidery hoop is to tie a loop of ribbon, lace or fabric through the tightening screw.


    Now your embroidery is ready for displaying, gifting or even selling!