Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Hoop Art

For several years now Hoop Art has been all over the internet. I think I first saw the idea years ago on the delightful blog Posy Gets Cozy. I googled it when writing this post and the picture appeared. I love how she makes fabric into art with a simple embroidery hoop!

Since I first saw that picture it seems like the popularity of hoop art has exploded. Creative women everywhere are making something unique with fabric and a hoop. Maps, sweaters, quilts, old t-shirts, burlap, vintage linens, embroidery, lace - it is made all the more lovely when framed in a hoop and hung for display.

I see hoops for sale all of the time at thrift stores and yard sales. They are so reasonable. I recently priced a new hoop at Michaels and almost fainted when I saw the price. Something like $12.99. When you are used to seeing them for sale at GW for around a quarter, full retail will knock you over every time.

A while back I found this super cute handmade baby bib at an estate sale.

The minute I saw it I thought it would be adorable framed in a hoop. I pictured a sweet Italian grandmother making this for her chubby-cheeked Italian grand baby. All I know is that my favorite comfort food of all time is Spaghetti {a.k.a. spaghette} I am Italian myself and I loved my Italian grandma. This bib begged to be framed and hung in my kitchen. So after holding on to it for a good 2 years with the intention of doing something with it, I finally did.

Here is how I did it in case you get struck with embroidery-hoop-fever and want to try your hand at it. It is a great way to use those sweet embroidered table scarves and such that you can find for pennies on the dollar at church sales and thrift shops that are too cute to leave behind but once you get them home you can't figure out what to do with them.

You will need 1 embroidery hoop, scissors and some hot glue. I opted to spray paint my hoop to match the embroidery but you don't need to do that step if you don't want to.

Split the hoop apart and lay the larger of the two hoops on the top of your fabric and the smaller of the two pieces under the fabric. Line up your fabric in the hoop as you would like to it be when finished.

 Next push the two hoops together and pull the fabric taut. It should be as tight as a drum. When you get it nice and smooth and taut tighten the brass screw at the top that holds the two hoops together.

Make sure it is where you want it to be before moving on to the next step.

Flip the hoop over to the "back side". If the fabric is where you want it to be trim the excess off leaving about an inch of fabric peeking out from between the two hoops.

Run a line of hot glue on the inside surface of the wood and then fold the excess fabric over the wood so that it sticks to the glue.

Now the back is neat and tidy and the cut fabric will not show when the hoop is hung. The glue keeps the fabric secure.

If you want to go one step farther, buy a piece of felt at the fabric store and cut it to the same diameter as the smallest hoop. When your hoop art is framed glue your piece of felt to the back of your work so that the back side of the embroidery {or fabric} is covered and doesn't show. I didn't get around to doing this step.

Here is the finished hoop hanging in my kitchen.

On a side note - I probably used a hoop that was a tad too large for the bib. As a result some of the red seam binding is showing. I used a size 14 because I found one for cheap at a sale and didn't want to purchase a new 12" hoop for full price. I have intentions of gluing some rick rack or something around the face of the hoop to cover that seam binding that is peeking through. {My OCD kicks in whenever I look at it and realize it isn't perfect.} I am however glad that I did at least get it framed and hung!

I hope you will try some hoop art for yourself and recycle some beautiful old embroidery or pretty fabric from your stash.


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  1. I have had a plan to do this with some old pieces of fabric and salvaged tablecloth pieces. Thanks for the reminder!


  2. I love that and I'm also now craving spaghetti. Seriously.



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