Hoop Finishing Tutorial

Posted on

Today I am going to show you how I finish my cross stitched projects in an embroidery hoop.

First, gather your materials. You will need paint and a paintbrush, or a paint marker such as a Posca pen. When using paint I like to use the small bottles of acrylic craft paint and a wooden handled sponge applicator instead of an actual paintbrush. Cover your work surface.

You will also need felt that matches the color of your fabric, ribbons and other embellishments, scissors, and a hot glue gun.

Carefully paint the outer hoop only, using thin coats of paint. It is better to let the project dry and then add a second or even third coat, rather than trying to paint on one thick coat. Try not to get paint on the inside of the hoop, but be sure to paint the outside edges. You will probably need to do one side, let it dry, then do the other.

If you want to wrap a decorative ribbon around the hoop, follow the next step. If you will be painting your hoop only, you can skip this part.

Add a drop of hot glue to the top of one side of the hoop and attach your ribbon at an angle. When it is dry, cut off the edge to be flush with the hoop. Slowly wrap the ribbon around the hoop, leaving a gap so the contrasting paint color can show. Add a drop of glue on the underside of the hoop only, about every other wrap. Use only as much glue as needed to ensure a secure hold. Too much glue will be messy and bumpy.

When you get to the other end of the hoop, add a drop of glue to the end and trim off the end just like you did when you started.

Place your finished cross stitch project in the two hoops and tighten it, being sure the design is centered and the fabric is taut.

If you find it difficult to get the hoop exactly centered, as I did on this Silent Night design with a circular stitched border, lay just the top hoop on the fabric and use pins to mark the four sides. Count an equal number of stitches from the sides of the stitching and keep moving the pins, one Aida block at a time, until you have an equal number of empty stitches on all four sides, as shown below.

Cut the excess fabric away from the hoop. You want to leave just enough fabric to be able to wrap around the hoop and glue down to the inner sides of it.

Carefully fold the cross stitch fabric over the inner hoop and hold it in place with hot glue. Continue this process around the entire hoop. You want to be sure that the fabric you are folding over isn’t so big that it lays on the back of the stitched piece, to avoid a bulky finish.

Sometimes you won’t have much excess fabric at all, such as with this free cover kit that came with an issue of The World of Cross Stitching magazine. When this happens, it may be easier to trim all excess fabric off after the project is in the hoop.

Next, cut a circle of felt the same color as your cross stitch fabric and glue it around the edges of the back of the hoop. You can also add a second, slightly smaller smaller piece of felt directly to the back of the stitching, and this will help the design not be see-through if you are hanging it in a window where sunlight will shine through it. I would caution against adding glue to this piece, however. I try not to let glue ever touch my stitching, as it can yellow over time.

Once your felt is added to the back, you can add a cute label, if you wish. This label was cut from a piece of ribbon that was added with just a touch of hot glue.

Add a ribbon for a hanger and then you can add other embellishments like a bow, other ribbons, small greenery, pinecones, buttons, etc.

You can also finish off a plastic or painted wooden hoop with ric rac, as shown below. I started at the top and added a drop of hot glue, then pressed the ric rac in place. I curved the trim around the hoop and put a drop of glue every other top curve in the ric rac.

Pom Pom trim also makes a cute addition to your hoop finishing. I added it to a natural wooden frame that I did not paint, below. I used hot glue to add the trim on the outside edge of the outer hoop, making sure the pom poms were facing toward the stitched front.

What fun finishing designs can you come up with?


More Finishing

Posted on

I decided to go through my box of stitched pieces and pick out some to FINALLY finish off. These two were stitched a year or two ago but I never did anything with them. I love the hoop finishing because it is quick and easy and allows me to hang projects in areas where I wouldn’t be able to hang a large framed piece. For instance, I have several hanging by suction cups on the window above my desk. I can change these out with the seasons or just whenever I want. To create these two, I simply painted a wooden hoop with acrylic paint and then strung a ribbon through the tightener at the top.

This little hummingbird was featured in an issue of CrossStitcher (I think). He was super fast to stitch up and I just love the colors. He is tiny – the frame is only 4 inches!

This is my happy place – Epcot! In particular, Spaceship Earth. The pattern is from Awesome Pattern Studio. This used a 12 inch hoop.


Trying out Ali Express

Posted on

I have heard a lot about the website AliExpress but had never checked it out before. I decided to try ordering some trims to use to finish off my cross stitch projects as ornaments, mini pillows, etc. When I visited the site for the first time I was overwhelmed. You can get just about anything on there! Because I wasn’t 100% certain that it was legit, I decided to keep my purchase to around $20. This way if the items never came and I didn’t get my money back, or if the supplies themselves were very sub-par, I wouldn’t be out much.

My main interests were ribbons and pom pom trim, but I found some lace and ric rac that was cute so I decided to add those too. One thing I didn’t get that I sort of wish I had looked for, was different colored baker’s twine. It is really expensive to buy at hobby shops or in the cake decorating section.

For the pom pom trim, I went with multi packs that contained many colors. One pack was all the same size, just in different colors. The other was a grab bag of sizes and colors.

The lace was just a couple of things that stood out to me, mostly in white but also a star trim in black.

The ribbons were a mixture of colors but all the same pattern in a pack – I ordered polka dots, gingham, and chevron. I also ordered a “mystery pack”. I knew how many ribbons I would get, how wide they were, and how long, but I had no idea what would be in the package. That one turned out okay. A few were ginghams and polka dots similar to what I had already purchased, and one had the word Handmade all over it. Apparently you cut the ribbon into little pieces and use one piece to attach as a label to something you have made. One had the word NICE written all over it so it came out looking like ICENICENICENICENICENICENICEN. I doubt I will use that one, as it is just odd. Another one says Forever Love all over it and is kind of gimicky. But at least the words are separated. I probably will not buy a mystery bag in the future.

It only took 27 days to receive everything from China. I did order each item from the same shop. I am not sure what would have happened if I had ordered from multiple shops. I am guessing I would have received more than one package in the mail and they probably would not have come at the same time.

The total cost for everything shown in the photos was $21!

I can’t wait to finish off some of my projects using these trims. My favorites are the polka dot ribbons and pom pom trims. I wish I had ordered some ribbons in solid colors, along with the baker’s twine. But I am very happy with my purchase and will likely order again.