Embroidery hoops are no longer just a handy tool to aid your stitching, and I’ve been exploring the amazing versatility of this essential craft accessory. Kirsty Neale has created over 100 unique embroidery hoop designs for her latest book, Hoop-la!, and here are my favourite project ideas…
CLOCK – This is such a simple idea, but it’s really effective and so easy to make! All you need is a clock movement and some fabric to turn your humble embroidery hoop into a functional timepiece. I love the classic look of this design with crisp beige fabrics and wooden numbers, but it could easily be adapted to suit your own style.
There are so many different fabrics and techniques you could use to create the background, and the numbers could be stitched or even painted on to the clock instead. This is a really innovative and practical use for an embroidery hoop and it would look so stylish in any room!
TABLE NUMBERS – These adorable number hoops would add the perfect handmade touch to any summer wedding. They can be used as table centrepieces at the reception venue and are sure to be a talking point for guests! You could match the colours to the theme of your wedding and vary the font used for the numbers as well.
Simply adding appliqued numbers or letters to the centre of an embroidery hoop is a really clever idea. A special birthday could be marked with a number hoop or you could create a name by arranging letter hoops in a row. Plate stands can be used to display embroidery hoops on a table or shelf, rather than hanging them on the wall.
PIZZA – Not all embroidery hoop projects have to be practical, and I love this fun pizza design! This would make such a quirky gift for a food-lover and there’s an alternative fruit slice design for healthier friends too. Felt shapes have been cut to create the toppings with stitched details for added authenticity!
The hoop would look great hung on a kitchen wall, or it could even be used as a child’s toy. You could create a whole range of ingredients for your fabric pizza to replicate your favourite toppings, or why not turn your hoop into a plate and make a crafty version of your favourite meal.
MINI SCRAPBOOK – This cute scrapbook has been made by attaching two mini hoops together. There are cardboard ‘pages’ inside that can be filled with photos or special memories. And it’s the perfect size to carry in your handbag, so you’re ready to show them off at a moment’s notice!
The chipboard letters on the front can be used to personalise your scrapbook, and you can use any colour of ribbon for the decorative tie. This scrapbook has been made using 10cm (4in) embroidery hoops, but you could create a larger version with bigger hoops as a gift for a birthday or anniversary.
FRIENDLY FACES – These embroidery hoops are bursting with character! Kirsty has created adorable faces simply with some flesh-coloured fabric and scraps of felt. The eyes, nose and mouth are stitched with embroidery thread and I love the extra finishing touches of the boy’s glasses and the girl’s hair bow.
The possibilities are endless with this design! Customise your face by using different hair or skin colours and experimenting with stitched facial features. Make every member of your family or your group of friends. Or try adding freckles, facial hair and accessories to really make your character unique. I can’t wait to have a go at creating one of these!
Instructions and templates for all of these projects are included in Kirsty Neale’s new book Hoop-la! The book has no less than 100 unique and innovative ideas for using your embroidery hoops, as well as some creative ways to decorate the hoop itself. And if you can’t wait to get started, you can download a copy of the Hoop-la! ebook today!
We love to see what you’ve been making! Don’t forget to share photos of your embroidery hoop projects on our Facebook page!
What will you create today?