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stitch swap: preparing a hoop for hanging

prepared for hanging

One of the Stitch Swap questions that came up several times is what I meant when I said that pieces should be "prepared for hanging". There are lots of ways to do this, but basically, the idea is to get your embroidery into a state where you can hang the hoop up on a wall.

Depending on how lazy or industrious I'm feeling, my hoops might look like what you see here. But today I'm going to show you one of the fancier versions of framing that I've ever done. This is, after all, for my swap partner and I feel a strange amount of pressure to impress...given that I'm hosting!

Here's how I did mine. To start, I painted my embroidery hoop (it takes a couple coats of craft paint), and then added some sealer. Once it's all dry, I placed my finished embroidery in the hoop, and got to finishing the back.

getting the back ready

As you can see, I did my embroidery through the fabric and a layer of batting because I wanted a slightly quilty look. I trimmed the excess fabric, leaving about 1 inch of fabric and batting.


Using a large running stitch, I sewed around the edge, and gathered it in.

a large yoyo

From the same fabric as my embroidery, I made a fabric yoyo large enough to cover the opening in the back of the hoop. Had I thought this through, I might have stitched something on this first. Sigh...dear partner, forgive me!

yoyo stitched in place

I flipped the yoyo, and whip stitched it in place on the back. It's a little puffy, but it still lays nicely against a wall.

a loop of fabric for hanging

To hang the piece, I added a strip of fabric to the screw to act as a hanger. Now it's ready to mail! Want to see the whole thing? It's hiding here in my Flickr stream.

As I said, there are lots of ways to finish off the frame and back of your work. Here are a few that I've pinned for reference:

I hope these help to inspire your embroidery hoops, whether you're in this Stitch Swap or just stitching because it's so much fun to do!


  1. Where did you find a teal hoop?! So fun!

    1. I just painted it with craft acrylic, then sealed it.

    2. So clever! I never thought of painting my hoops!

  2. Thanks for this lovely tutorial! I'd been wondering how to do it for a while now :)

  3. Beautiful! I usually gather the edges with a running stitch like you do, but I never thought to add the yoyo piece of fabric to really finish it off. I agree that it would look lovely with something embroidered or stamped on the back!

    Thank you for the tutorial!

  4. love how the back is just as pretty!

  5. You read my mind with this post! I have been playing around with the best way to make the back of my embroidery art look. Thanks! :) xo Heather

  6. Thanks! Was worrying how I would finish my Stitch Swap off nicely, this is perfect, thank you!!

  7. Anonymous5:50 PM

    This is really useful! Thank you. Really excited for the big swap now =) x

  8. That is too cute! Love how it turned out via your Flickr stream!

    ♥ sécia

  9. Thanks for sharing.

    This is what I want recently!!

  10. that looks great, i never thought of painting the hoop :)
    thanks for adding the link to my tute - i'd wondered why i was getting so many visits to that page!!!

  11. That looks really nice, a lot cuter than using cardboard!

  12. hello! Just got introduced to you from Elycia's blog - and glad I did - you're a 'kindred spirit' it seems! Thanks for that clever hoop idea.. I tend to just hot glue my edge around the back of my art hoops.. but this is quite fancy and special for those more custom editions. Love it!
    Love your blog now too.. (be prepared, you're now being 'followed' muahhaha).
    Mel ;o)
    needle and nest design

  13. Wow, this could not be better timing -- I'm going to teach my first-ever embroidery class in May and they chose this type of presentation. I've never used an embroidery hoop as a frame and wasn't sure how to finish it. Perfect! Thank you!

  14. I wish I had seen this post before I had mailed my project out. It turned out real cute, I just wished I had finished it nicely like yours but now I know for next time.


  15. Anonymous6:12 AM

    I just finished my project, and yo-yo'ed the back of it... it makes a really nice finish! So glad you posted this... thank you,, thank you!!!

    Monica Fullerton

  16. Thank you so much for this tutorial! I have hung 4 embroidery hoops, but I did it badly and now really wish I had had your common sense. Now I know better!

    Just found your blog and am now following!


  17. Perfect! Exactly what I was looking for. Thank you Xo

  18. Thank you for this tutorial! I made two embroidery hangings for my daughter's birthday some time ago. I finished the back as you show, minus the nice cover for the 'hole' in the back. However, the hoops don't hang flat against the wall. I'm thinking my daughter need to use bigger hooks to hold the hoops out away from the wall a little more. Have you had this problem? Thank you!!

    1. That can happen with this method, though it largely depends on the materials and the size of the hole/gathering. Here's another method I've been using lately: https://www.thespruce.com/finishing-the-back-of-hooped-embroidery-4115406


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