Tuesday, October 2, 2012

Tips & Techniques - How to "Jazz Up" Your Hoop Frames

I showed you previously how to "frame" your piece using a wooden hoop.  Today I'm going to show you how you can give it new life besides looking like a plain ole light brown hoop.

There are two techniques I'm going to show you today, and they're both relatively simple.

The first one is to simply paint your hoop using a non-toxic acrylic craft paint.  I have 2 examples for you. One I painted a flat black and the other I painted a metallic gold.  Your paint choice is entirely your own personal preference.  I like to go with something that will compliment the stitched piece.

You really only need to paint the top portion of the hoop as the back is typically against the wall.  If you're making smaller ornaments or something that is going to dangle where the back can been seen, you might want to paint the bottom portion of the hoop as well.

The second technique is one that's new to me, but I think I'm hooked after only the first time of doing it.  It's ribbon wrapping your hoop.

The instructions I saw in a magazine said to put a small piece of double-sided tape on the inside of your hoop to hold the ribbon in place.  I found the double-sided tape I have didn't want to stick to the wood, so I used a small dot of tacky glue.  Once I started wrapping the ribbon around I put a small binder clip on the hoop/ribbon to hold it in place at the glue spot while it was drying.  You just keep wrapping and overlapping the ribbon until you get to the other end of the hoop.  Again, more tacky glue and a binder clip to hold in place.  I apologize for not taking step-by-step photos, but I didn't think about using it as a tips & techniques post until after I had the piece completely finished.  

The spool of ribbon I used was 5/8" wide and was 6ft. in length for a 5 inch hoop.  I had about 1 foot left over that I used to hang the piece from.  So with that it appears you'll need about 1 foot of ribbon for each inch in diameter of the hoop.  The ribbon really gives the piece more dimension and a texture it wouldn't have had in just a plain wood hoop.

I'll throw in a money saving tip for you also...don't be afraid to put your stitched piece in a bag and take it to your local craft store with you to match a paint color, ribbon choice, etc.  You'll be able to see the colors together and will save money by not having to guess.  Yes I know you can always take it back, but if you get it right the first time around there won't be any valuable wasted crafting/stitching time and/or wear & tear on your car (not to mention $4.00/gallon gas!!).  The "regular" employees at my local JoAnn Fabric & Crafts and Hobby Lobby are used to seeing me in there all the time with various stitching/craft projects trying to get just the right match on something.

I hope you've found this post helpful and I look forward to seeing pics that you want to share!  :)

Note added on 10/9/12 - Now that I've wrapped a couple of other hoops I've learned some additional tips.  A grosgrain ribbon is much easier to use than a velvet, as the velvet was almost too thick to be able to get the fabric in the hoop with it on.  Also, a thinner ribbon in width is also easier to work with, like using a 5/8" width vs. a 7/8" width.  Just a few observations that I hope will help others.


  1. Great idea for wrapping ribbon around the hoop! Thanks for sharing this tip.

  2. Such a cool idea, and great for framing smaller pieces. I appreciate the new knowledge :)