How to finish your embroidery hoop: adhesive method

There are several different ways to finish and back embroidery hoops, each with their own merits. How you choose to finish your hoops often comes down to personal preference, and its worth trying out a few to discover what your favourite method is. This post takes you step by step through how to glue the edge of your fabric down round your hoop, and if you desire, you can also take it a step further by adding a felt backing to really neaten everything up.

You might also notice the hoop I am using in the photos has been bound with polka dot bias binding – another lovely touch for finishing off your work. Check out my tutorial here if you’d also like to have a go at this.

To finish your hoop using adhesive you will need:

  • Craft glue, small brush and pot
  • Scissors (pinking shears if you have them)
  • Tape measure and pencil or tailor’s chalk
  • Damp cloth and towel – optional, but I find it helps to have these to hand for sticky fingers
  • Felt and embroidery floss – optional, you only need these if you plan to cover the back too

If you plan to cover the back of your embroidery hoop once you’ve tidied the edges, your first job will be to draw round the smallest hoop onto some felt and cut out.

Then, again only if you want to, you can embroider a date or message on the felt. This is a nice touch for future reference, especially if your hoop will be a gift.

Now onto the hoop itself. Begin by trimming your fabric down to approximately 1cm. The aim is to leave enough fabric to tuck over the edge of your hoop, without any excess reaching the back of your embroidery. Using pinking shears at this stage can also be a nice touch, just to give an extra neat finish.

Trim as evenly as you can all the way around your hoop.

Use your craft glue to paint small sections of your hoop at a time, covering the back and edge of the hoop, and fold sections of fabric over to stick them in place. This is where having a damp cloth to hand is helpful, as its likely you will get sticky fingers – give them a wipe whenever you do to avoid getting glue on your beautiful embroidery.

Keep working your way around in small sections until all the fabric is folded over. Leave plenty of time for your glue to dry.

Now, some people like to leave it there; your hoop is all finished off neatly, and for some, seeing the stitching at the back of the hoop can be as interesting as seeing the front.

However, you can take it one step further by covering the back with felt. Its important at this point to do a test with some scrap fabric – glue a piece of felt to a scrap piece of the fabric you used for your embroidery, just to make sure the glue won’t seep through and leave an ugly mark (it would be horrible at this final stage to ruin your embroidered piece!) Leave to dry, and only continue if you are satisfied that gluing felt to the back won’t spoil the front.

Use small dabs of glue close to the edge of the hoop, and stick your felt in place. Leave to dry.

And there you have it, your hoop art now looks as beautiful from the front as it does from the back! This whole project was inspired by my Creative Sewing Challenge prompt for July, which was ‘Flamingo’ (check out the step by step tutorial here if you’d like to create one of your own).

And if you’d like to join the Creative Sewing Challenge too, please do! Sign up below for free, and you will begin to receive our monthly prompts too – its just a fun way to help inspire our sewing and try new sewing techniques:

And here’s a handy pin for later!