11 Clever Ways to Use an Embroidery Hoop
is essential for the delicate needlework of its namesake. Hoops come in a variety of sizes and materials, so you have a wide selection in which to choose from. But these sturdy wooden rings can do more than hold your fabric taut. Their versatile shape also lend them to a host of other projects that you may have never considered before.
Here, we've curated our best ideas (plus talked to crafters to get their creative take) for repurposing an embroidery hoop in need of reuse. Consider its defining qualities and functionality: an embroidery hoop securely holds fabric, is lightweight and circular in shape, and is sturdy in material. When you stop to think about it, there's a whole number of ways you can use this tool to your advantage. Circular shapes are perfect for wreaths, hanging mobiles, tambourines, and more. Embroidery hoops can prove to be exceptionally practical like the open laundry hamper. Or, they can be reworked as part of your seasonal celebrations: an accessory to your Halloween costume or a Christmas pyramid atop your holiday dessert. Prevent pests from getting onto your food at the family picnic or use it to remove stains from clothes and linens more easily.
Other materials also come into play when you craft with embroidery hoops: Use buttons, ribbons, cork board, and black vinyl (in a flexible chalkboard, for example). What would you like to add to your current décor? How could you use an embroidery hoop to make it? Open your imagination to the possibilities and see for yourself how you can use embroidery hoops in your next project.
Graphic Mobile Party Decoration
This graphic mobile is perfect for a baby shower or as a gift for the parents-to-be. Choose a large embroidery hoop (18 to 20 inches) and use colored wax twine to hang adorable figures and shapes made from card stock. For a fun variation, hang some of these 3-D hot air balloons, paper butterflies, or colorful ribbons from the structure.
Caning Hoop Wall-Art
Catch the light with these wall-art hangings made from embroidery hoops and caning. Large hoops in the 14 to 18 inches range work best for this particular project. You soak the sheet of caning for 20 minutes, flattening it out using rocks or weights, before securing it within the hoops and allowing it to dry. The fibers need to dry completely. Trim off the excess fabric, and your wall-art is ready for display.
For aspiring fairies and woodland sprites, an ethereal net can be used to capture winged creatures (or collect Halloween candy). Cut a piece of tulle 31 by 18 inches; fold it in half, and stitch it into 18-inch-long tube. Cinch and stitch one end closed. Stitch the open end around hoop. Drill a hole in wood piece, 1/2 inch from end; unscrew hoop, insert wood piece, and use hoop's screw to secure.
Create this charming wreath using a small embroidery hoop, hot glue, ribbon, and a few snippings from your backyard evergreens. When more than one are displayed together, they become a seasonal work of art that you can hang in your windows or give as a gift. (And in the springtime, use the same idea with paper clover wreaths.)
To make these adorable pincushions, you'll need three 3-inch or 4-inch wooden embroidery hoops, cotton velveteen or other fabric, polyfil stuffing, a hot glue gun, and your embroidery tools to add an embroidered design to the top of the pincushion. "In this project, embroidery hoops stay in the sewing room, but are repurposed to make a useful pincushion," Susan Fitzgerald of Stitched Modern tells us. "You can use any type of fabric for the top of the pincushion, from a favorite piece of quilting cotton to denim from an old pair of jeans, so it's a great way to use up bits of material from your stash." She also says to use the smallest embroidery hoops you can and that you can either leave them plain or paint them to match your fabric.
Susan Fitzgerald of Stitched Modern also created this hanging plant shelf using a single embroidery hoop. A 9-inch hoop pairs best with a small plant and the cork board serves as a stabilizing shelf. "Embroidery hoops are great for this project because of their geometry but also because they come in a wide range of sizes," she explains. "So you can make hanging shelves that are small, large, and everything in between." Wood embroidery hoops come in different tones and while you can always stain or paint them to the color you choose, blonde wood hoops are best for painting. Want to really make a statement with your décor? "Make the hanging planters your own by embellishing with tassels, pom-poms, or strings of beads," Fitzgerald says.
Turn away picnic-table pests with inexpensive sewing supplies: embroidery hoops and muslin. Buy hoops that are slightly larger than the rims of your pitchers and serving bowls. With pinking shears, cut cloth squares two to three inches wider than each hoop. Position a piece of fabric in each hoop to create handy covers.
Stains on tablecloths or sheets can be hard to treat when you keep losing them among expanses of fabric. Frame the stain with an embroidery hoop to keep the area taut while you rinse the spot or apply stain-removing enzymes. This also minimizes the chance that the stain will spread to other areas during treatment.
Make some music this spring with toy tambourines made from embroidery hoops and fabric. Laurel Stavros, the creator of A Bubbly Life, shares her tips for making the tambourines. "The tambourine can be made in any fabric designs which makes it great to use for any kind of event," she says, "A lace design would be beautiful for a wedding, a fun kitschy fabric for a kid toy, et cetera." This craft is also great for the kids. Choose sizes of embroidery hoops that fit their little hands and help them with cutting the fabric and gluing on the jingle bells. "It is an out-of-box use for an embroidery hoop that is so simple to make," Stavros says. "Kids love it because what kid doesn't like to make noise, right?"