Thursday, January 6, 2011

Embroidery Hoop Wall Decor

The idea for this project came from my neighbor. She had found it on another blog and we both loved how quick and easy a project it was.

In one afternoon my boring entry wall went from this:

To this:

If you decide not to do the silhouettes it will be a much quicker project but I really liked how they turned out. They are really easy to do and don't require much in the way of materials.

Obviously you will need embroidery hoops

My neighbor bought mine at an estate sale for a ridiculously fabulous price but you can get them at your nearest craft store. Make sure you get a variety of shapes. Sometimes you can find oval ones which would look great mixed in w/ the circles.

If you are going to do the monogram or the silhouettes you will also need "No-sew Heat n' Bond"

It's usually with all the "notions" (that's fancy for small things that crafty people use). Look for the elastic, pins and needles and you should be able to find it.

Now this next part is REALLY IMPORTANT. See this???

Two things that you need to know:
1. There is also a kind of Heat n' Bond that you can sew through. THAT IS NOT THE KIND YOU WANT. It is not strong enough to keep your silhouette bonded to the fabric.
2. DON'T SEW THROUGH THE "NO-SEW" Heat n' Bond. It will cause your needle to get all sticky and make your project a disaster!

Trust me, you are going to thank me for those one shared that little nugget of knowledge with me and I found out the hard way...clueless as to why my needle kept sticking and breaking...anyways...I digress...

To do the silhouettes you will need subjects. I used my two cuties. We took profile shots of them against a white sheet and then printed them on the computer.

Next time I will use a dark background. It was a little hard to distinguish the background from my fair-haired beauties.

For the "M" I just printed out a "M" from Word. Pick a font you like but make sure is is somewhat thick so you can showcase the fabric. IMPORTANT : You may need to set your printer to it's "mirror image" setting if your letter is not the same in its mirror image. This will be important when we start cutting things out.

Next outline the pictures w/ a dark marker

You'll notice that Noa's hair was a little crazy (shocker I know) so I played around with what shape I wanted her silhouette to be.

Logan's lines were much cleaner and easier to distinguish.

The next part takes a little thinking. You are going to trace your picture onto the Heat n' Bond.

Cut a piece of Heat n' Bond that is a little bigger than your image. Place the Heat n' Bond (rough side down,drawing on the smooth side) over the outlined image and trace it. Keep in mind that when you cut out the image it is going to be the mirrored image of the traced design.

This means that your letters should be traced backwards, like this:

This is what it looked like when I was done tracing

For the next part you will need your iron. Following the instructions on the Heat n' Bond place the rough side of the Heat n' Bond on the WRONG SIDE OF THE FABRIC and iron as directed.

It should look like this when you are done

Now carefully cut out each shape. When you are finished one side should be the white paper side of the Heat n' Bond and the other should be the RIGHT SIDE OF THE FABRIC with all letters in the correct orientation.

Mine looked like this (notice that the silhouettes are now facing the other direction)

Next you will need the fabric you are going to put the images on. Peel off the paper and put your image adhesive side down on the fabric. Again follow the instructions on the Heat n' Bond and iron your image. Resist the urge to check to see if it is bonded until it has completely cooled and don't over-iron...doing either of this will actually work against you...have patience and faith in the Heat n' Bond.

Once cooled you can put your fabric in the embroidery hoop.

You are going to have lots of extra fabric. Trim it making sure you leave enough to wrap around the inside of the hoop.

Next you are going to use your glue gun (I used my mini one, I think it works better for this project) and gradually wrap and glue the remaining fabric to the back of the hoop.

When you are finished the back should look like this:

And the front like this:

Keep going until all your hoops are done.

The next part is a trick I learned from the Crafty Queen herself, Martha. I really think it's a helpful step and I don't recommend skipping it. You are going to trace all your hoops onto brown paper bags and cut them out. You use the cut-outs to help you decided where you want to place the hoops.

It really helps you avoid unnecessary holes and gives you a good idea of spacing.

Once you have everything where you want it go ahead and pound some nails in the wall and hang your new art work!

It's a great project for entry ways, crafty rooms (if you are so lucky to have one!), the baby's room...wherever you have a blank wall.

**Hope you like my very first every "Tutorial"...please let me know what you think. As I've said before this is all a work in progress and I welcome any questions or suggestions you have about the instructions or project. I'd love to post pictures of your finished projects so send those my way too. Happy crafting!


  1. I think this was a very cute idea. It would look cute in my "crafty room" if I ever got around to trying it!

  2. Love this idea! One of my resolutions is to actually hang some things on my walls this year. I even have the embroidery hoops. Now, to have a friend help choose the fabric :-)!

  3. What a great idea! I've never seen anything like this before and I love how your project turned out! Your step-by-step tutorial is very easy to follow. I just love your new blog! :)

  4. Love it!! I can never think of ideas for decorating and this one is great! Thanks for the instructions because I would not even attempt without them!

  5. I love your idea, and the directions! I may get around to doing a second craft project and follow your directions (once we get a house ofcourse)!

  6. OH! I LOVE this! I may have to find time to do my 3 girls' silhouettes.

  7. This is great! You might have inspired me to try this!