How to finish mini hoops – miniature embroidery month
Assembling a piece of embroidery in a mini hoop is much more simple than you might think. You can use the method shown here for all mini hoops that consist of an outer ring and an inner plate. Later this week, I will show you what to do if you have something with a closed back like a bezel for medallions, brooches or even pins. For now, let’s talk about the famous mini hoops.
What kind of mini hoops is this for?
I’m using a hoop by Dandelyne. Sonia, who is the maker of these mini hoops based in Australia, was kind enough to send me some to test and see how they are. No worries if you don’t have this exact same hoop. The process is the same for all mini hoops with this construction. Click for a list of shops which carry mini embroidery hoops (watch out for cuteness overload… I have warned you!)
So let’s get started!
Step 0 / Optional padding layer
Add a layer of padding between embroidery and plate. Padding embroidery makes a beautiful rounded appearance. Also, knots or other thicker parts of the back are less likely to create a wobbly surface on the front. For a padding, cut a layer of felt slightly smaller than the wooden plate. Don’t make it too small, just so it doesn’t get snug in the hoop later with the fabric. If you attach it to the wooden plate with a little bit of glue, it’s easier to work with in the next step.
And yes, it doesn’t have to be a perfectly round circle like the one I cut down here. *irony off
Step 1 / Place the embroidery
I like to take the inner plate of the hoop and place it on the back of the embroidery. Make sure to look back and forth if it’s placed where you want it to be. Especially when your motif is supposed to fill out the entire circle it should be in the exact right place.
Cut the surrounding fabric down to 1cm/0.4inches. If you have a thicker hoop plate, you can add a little bit extra allowance, but 1cm is usually all you need.
Step 2 / Put it into the hoop
IMPORTANT! If you want to make a necklace put in the chain ring first, then insert the embroidery. I’m talking out of my own experience how frustrating it is to get the piece finished and realize the chain ring needs to be placed between those 2 wooden handles where the screw is… and it’s much harder to put it in after the assembling.
So. Where were we? Ah, putting it into the hoop.
Loosen the screw as much as you can. Typically there is not a lot of wiggle room between the plate and the outer hoop when the fabric is in.You have to options here:
1. Push your plate with embroidery on the hoop ring laying on the table.
2. Lay the embroidery with the plate under it on the table and press the hoop ring over it from above.
I like to use the second method to get the design in the right place, then turn it around and push the plate down a bit like in option one. You will see which you like better, I’m sure!
You can push the plate right to the bottom so it’s level with the hoop ring or leave a little bit of space. I have seen both and each version has its beauty. Do what you like best. If you are indecisive here is my mini hoop Pinterest board to take a peek of how others have handled it.
Adjust the tension of your fabric so there are no creases and the design is exactly as you want it to be and then tighten the screw. Don’t forget to tighten the screw!
Step 3 / Finish mini hoops with glue
Now, get your craft glue! Cover the inside of the excess fabric with glue, and press it lightly on the wooden plate. Then apply the glue lightly on the sides of the hoop and on the wooden plate. Watch out to not overdo the glue on the sides or the glue will squeeze out massively when you press on the cover plate.
Get out the cover plate and set it onto the glued-in hoop. Depending on what hoop you are using there might be a little carved in part that you have to face to the top where the screw is. Put something heavy on it or use a clamp to press the two pieces together. If there is excess glue coming out at the sides wipe it off carefully beforehand.
Put something heavy on it or use a clamp to press the two pieces together for a while. Look at your glue’s fineprint to see how long exactly. If there is excess glue coming out at the sides wipe it off carefully beforehand.
Tadaaa, your mini hoop is finished!