Okay, I admit it. I’m a sucker for embroidery.
I love the different stitches and techniques, the way you can draw with thread… I love the way you can create a textural landscape through the use of a few little stitches. That’s not to say that I am very good at it, mind you! I tend to stick with my knitting.
I fell in love with the most gorgeous aztec inspired cushion in Anthropologie the other day, and felt inspired to do my own homage to the pattern through the medium of cross stitch! Now, I knew my cross-stitching skills weren’t up to the challenge of a cushion (Don’t be crazy!) so I decided to create a small tribal embroidery hoop piece. Welcome to my first tutorial!
In this tutorial, I will show you how to make this embroidery hoop wall art from start to finish; cross-stitching the pattern and framing it neatly in the hoop.
You will need:
- 11 count aida cross stitch fabric in white (Approx. 50cm square)
- 7 inch Embroidery Hoop
- Embroidery needle
- 6 skeins of embroidery thread in brown, pink, beige, yellow, teal and green (I actually used a couple of plies of a cotton yarn I have left over!)
- Thick Card
- Complimenting Fabric
- Optional: Tape
- Optional: Label
Ooooh, fancy! I have created a pdf chart for the cross stitch pattern that you can download here: DIY Embroidery Hoop Wall Art
Step 1: Cross Stitch the Pattern
- Use the pdf chart to work out the placement of your pattern.
- Unscrew your embroidery hoop, so that you can put your cross stitch fabric in it, leaving roughly an equal amount of excess fabric around the edges of the frame. Tighten it up again.
- Cut about approx. 12 inch long of brown thread. If you are using embroidery thread, the thread will be made up of 6 plies (strands) I suggest using 3 plies to stitch with, so you will need to separate your thread in half. Because I was using yarn, which is thicker, I used 2 plies.
- Thread your needle up with the colour you are using. Never knot the end of your thread. When you make your first stitch, just leave a 1 inch tail at the back, and hold it out of the way with your other hand.
- Working from the centre of your piece of cross stitch fabric, start stitching the centre of the pattern, i.e. the little brown diamond. You will then work your way out from this point.
- People do their cross stitch differently, but the method I like to use is by building up the shape with little diagonal stitches as so: //////// and then, once I’ve got the shape, go back on them like this: \\\\\\\\ and they will end up looking like this: xxxxxxxx ! You can see from the above photos how I have done that.
- Once you have done one shape, you can move the fabric in the hoop around, so that you can reach the next part of the pattern easier.
- The key to getting cross stitch right is COUNTING. It can be quite overwhelming, looking at a chart, but if you just keep on counting and double checking, you’ll be fine.
Look! You’re done! Your fabric will probably need a bit of an iron after all that embroidery hoop action. Just flip it over and lightly iron it on the back, and it’ll look nice and flat again.
Now you’re ready for the next step…
Step 2: Preparing the Backing Plate
- Using the smaller of the hoops from the embroidery frame, draw around the inside of it onto the thick card. Cut out the disc of card.
- Using the disc as a template, place it on top of the complimentary fabric you have picked out and cut around it, leaving an extra border of about 2 inches.
- Fold the border around the edges of the disc and glue down. You want to make as many folds as you can so that you leave a nice smooth edge around the disc. Tape would work well for this as well. It doesn’t need to look neat on this side, as long as the front looks good.
- Flip the disc over, and you shall have your lovely fabric covered backing plate. I glued a ThreadBEAR label onto mine, as it’s nice to see who made it. You could also stitch your name and date into it as well, if you wanted to personalise yours.
Step 3: Preparing the Embroidery Hoop for Framing
- Place your embroidered fabric back into the frame, making sure that it is in exactly the right place. Remember that you are hanging your frame from the tightening screw, so this needs to be at the top and central. See the first picture above to get an idea on placement.
- Make sure you tighten the screw tightly, so that the fabric is taught and secure. You will never be removing this fabric from the frame again.
- Flipping the hoop over to the back side, cut around the edge of the frame leaving a 2 or 3 inch border. It doesn’t need to be exact, but you need enough that you can fold over.
- Glue around the inside edge of the frame, and fold over the border into little pleats so that you get a nice edge.
- Wait for it to dry.
Step 4: Applying the Backing Plate to the Embroidery Frame
- Glue around the edge of the inside of the hoop back, on top of all the little pleats. Don’t put LOADS on, as it could seep through, but enough to be fairly sturdy.
- Press the backing plate into place, making sure that the label lines up, if you have decided to use one. Easy as that!
And now you’re done!! How exciting! Give yourself a pat on the back. You have now made your very own embroidery hoop wall piece!
Please share this with your friends and followers. Tweet it, pin it, like it. Why not share your comments below or link back to your own versions of this hoop? I’m excited to see your results!