Introduction: Mounting and Finishing Embroidery for Display (On the Hoop) Without Becoming a Carpenter

This instructable will cover an effective and smart way to finish and display your embroidery work to a standard that is saleable and also non-destructive. This means that you can remove your artwork any time at a later date if you have a different use for it. Plus everything needed can be found around the home in most cases and no woodwork is necessary to complete.


Finished embroidery or other textile artwork on opaque fabric (tulle will not work)
Embroidery hoop you wish to keep it on
Grey Board (Salvage from the back of a pad of paper, very eco) or other thick smooth card. Grey board works best because it absorbs glue well.
Craft or Stanley knife
Cutting board
Double sided tape (possible without but ideal)
PVA Glue and brush
Extra fabric for the rear side
Wadding or some other padded lining fabric. If not available cotton wool balls

Step 1: Make a Start

Undo your hoop and use the inner hoop to draw a circle onto your grey board. Use the INSIDE of the hoop not the outside. I often draw two in case I mess one up.

Step 2: Tighten and Seal

Return your artwork to the hoop as neatly and tightly as you can. Pull at the fabric wherever any looseness shows.

The fabric can be left square if you have any future plans for your piece but I find it easier if my fabric is circular with 2-3 cm extra left over.

If you have it, cut pieces of double sided tape and inlay around the inside hoop. Peel off the paper evenly secure the fabric around the inside of your hoop.

Step 3: Cut Your Board

Use a knife and cutting mat to cut out your circle. Don’t rush and don’t try to use scissors. I find scoring around in lots of angled cuts yields the best and easiest results. Don’t push hard you will mess it up.

Step 4: Don’t Sweat About Rough Edge

Use some sandpaper to ensure your circle is as round as possible.

Step 5: The Rear Face

Select your rear covering, I’m just using some plain linen in case I decide to write a message on the back if I give it as a gift.

Apply a thin layer of PVA to your grey board circle and press onto the fabric. Cut around the circle leaving 2-3cm of additional fabric and snip all around coming close to your board but not all the way. No cuts should show on the back of sides when the fabric is folded over.

Fold over a tab at a time and pinch to ensure the fabric hugs the disc tightly.

Step 6: Add Padding

This is a really important step, it will give your work a really textile, plush feel as well as accentuating and 3D stitching and absorbing the texture of the rear of your fabric. I’ve got some really great thermal curtain lining which is amazing but upholstery wadding will work well too. Simply stick to your disc with lots of PVA and then cut around with scissors. Hold these at a 45 degree angle to thin close to the edges.

If you haven’t got anything like these, grab some cotton wool balls, shred them with your fingers and glue onto your disc in a dome getting thinner towards the edges. Try to not to go all the way to edge with this though.

Don’t use polyester stuffing, it’s too lumpy and thinner fabrics will show bumps on the surface. Also give some thought to the colour of your padding, thinner fabrics will really pop with a white material padding behind it.

Step 7: Finish

It will be a tight fit and this is a really good this, it will tighten your fabric even more and toughen the structure. If the glue is still wet the disc will be a little more soft and manoeuvrable, pinch it in with a butter knife if it’s a very tight fit.

This doesn’t apply to this piece as the fabric is thick and it’s a single object, but with thinner fabrics and multiple objects you May see trails of thread unseen through your fabric. Push your disc back out, neaten the back of your work and replace.

Step 8: Voila!

Bask in the glory of a job well done!