Finishing the Backs of your embroidery hoops

I typically don't pay a lot of attention to the backs of my embroideries, I kind of like seeing the mess behind the pretty front, it shows a bit of its character and history!

But, sometimes you do want to cover up the back, to create a nice wall hanging or for a special gift.

Framing your embroidery right in the hoop is a great way to display your work, so I'm going to show you a few different ways to finish up the backs nice and neat.

Gluing Method

When your embroidery is finished, your design is centered on the hoop, and fabric is pulled tight and smooth, tighten the screw and then trim the fabric around the edge to about 1 inch (2.5 cm).

Next, run a line of white craft glue or hot glue around the inside of the inner hoop and fold the edge of the fabric over it. (It's best to do this 2-3 inches at a time.)

Gathering Method

The glue method is quick and easy, but if you prefer a more traditional, stitched technique, try the Gathering Method.

Center and secure the fabric on the hoop and tighten the screw. Trim the fabric around the edge to about 1.5 inches (3.8 cm.) Make a continuous running stitch around the edge of the fabric, pulling tightly toward the center of the back of the hoop. Tie a knot to secure the fabric in place.

Add a Backing

If you don't want to leave the back of your embroidery exposed, you can cover it. Trace the inside of the inner hoop circle onto a piece of felt, fabric or cardboard, cut it out and fit it into the back of the hoop. Secure it with a bit of craft glue.

Another way to cover the back is to cut a second piece of fabric the same size as your embroidered fabric, place the plain piece behind the embroidered piece and secure them together in the hoop. When you are ready to fold the fabric edges over the back, trim off the interior fabric right at the edge of the hoop and fold the outer embroidered fabric over it.

**These two methods need to be completed before you use the Gluing or Gathering methods to finish the hoop.

If you are using the Gathering method, you can add a piece of felt to cover the entire back of the hoop.

Trace the outside of an inner hoop onto a piece of felt and cut it out. Place the felt over the back of the hoop after you've gathered and knotted the edges of the embroidered fabric.  Using the Whip Stitch, stitch the edge of the felt to the gathered fabric.

All done! When your backing method is finished, you can remove the outer hoop and decorate it if you wish, try painting or ribbon wrapping it for an extra special touch.

**If your embroidery doesn't fit in a hoop frame, check out these alternate methods for framing your work!

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