(*Hoopla is a Craftster term for a piece of embroidery that is finished and mounted in the embroidery hoop.)
This is my take on an easy way to nicely finish a hoop but there are other examples on the Net. :)
You will need:
- your finished bit of stitching
- the hoop to frame the stitching (embroidery can still be in it)
- coordinating piece of felt
- coordinating sewing thread, extra embroidery floss can be used
- acrylic paint to match the embroidery
- paint brush
- fabric marker, in the picture is the vanishing marker version which I prefer
Painting the hoop (completely optional, but definitely a cool effect!)
Some people like the natural look of the wood but you can switch that up if you wish! With a bit of patience and paint, you can make the perfect pairing between the hoop and your needlework.
Using the acrylic paint, put a good coat of paint on the outside hoop only. There is no need to paint the inside of this hoop because once the embroidery is mounted, it won't be seen. Also, you don't have to paint the interior hoop because it will be covered in the upcoming steps!
Allow the paint to dry. On this hoop, it took less than a half hour.
Don't be concerned about getting paint on the the metal clasp! Once the paint is completely dry, you can scrap any excess off with your fingernail. :)
Don't have extra hoops, one for stitching and another for painting/mounting? You can take your embroidery out of the hoop that you stitched in. Paint as directed. Once it is dry, you can put the embroidery back in.
Finishing the Hoop
Trim the excess fabric around the hoop to be finished. I prefer to leave about an inch of extra fabric all the way around for finishing.
Thread your needle with a length of thread that is longer than the circumference of your hoop. Tie a knot in the end leaving a goodly length of thread as the tail.
(I swear I didn't see that black thread/hair until I cropped this picture! Gah! lol!)
Run a basting stitch (aka a running stitch) around the hoop through the excess fabric.
When you have stitched all the way around, gently pull the two thread ends causing the excess fabric to gather into the center of your hoop. Tie an overhand knot to secure it.
Using the coordinating felt and the fabric marker, create your back cover. Lay the hoop face up on the felt and trace around the underside. (If you are using the vanishing marker, you don't have to worry about getting the ink on this hoop that you've worked so diligently on! :D)
With your scissors, cut out the felt circle, only cut it on the inside of the tracing. I tend to cut about 1/8" inside the circle making it just a wee bit smaller than the wooden hoop so that there's no overlap between felt and wood.
Thread up your needle again with a bit more thread than previously. Knot it. Bring the threaded needle from the underside of the gathered fabric to the outside of the hoop. I prefer to start this stitching at the bottom of the hoop, opposite of the metal clasp.
Using a whip stitch, begin stitching the felt to your gathered ground fabric.
If you find that your ground fabric is "bubbling out" between your whip stitches, you can use the tip of your needle to gently poke the "bubble" back underneath the felt.
If you find that your felt isn't quite big enough, you can gently stretch it while you stitch.
**I find that I do this step best when I have the hoop laying on the table in front of me which leaves both of my hands free to manipulate the hoop, needle and felt.**
After you have whip stitched all the way around, make a couple of tacking stitches. Knot your thread again but this time, don't knot it up against your felt/ground fabric. Leave approximately a half inch between the knot and the fabric/felt.
Place your needle between the felt and ground fabric and poke it out on the inside of the hoop away from the tacking stitches. Pull the thread and knot through the underside of the felt and cut the excess thread.
VOILA! You have a nicely finished HOOPLA! :D
To personalize it a bit more, you can stitch your name and date onto the felt with a quick back stitch or put write a note to the person who will receive your needlework.