Embroidery Hoop Picture Frame!




Introduction: Embroidery Hoop Picture Frame!

About: I work at instructables by day, and turn into a stitch witch by night. follow me on instagram @jessyratfink to see what i'm working on! ^_^

I recently got all these great pictures of my family and I wanted to do something nice with them. Simply framing them wasn't going to do it!

This is a really easy and attractive way to mount pictures. I love the look of embroidery hoops, and you can customize the "frame" embroidery any way you like. Plus, using embroidery to frame the picture is a really nice way to remember my grandmother. She was a sewing superstar!

I'm going to be giving this to my mom pretty late since I won't make it home until the end of the month, and the surprise will probably be blown since she has an ibles account. Oh well. Hope you like it, mom! :D

Step 1: What You'll Need!

  • Copies of photographs. I scanned in the originals and printed out duplicates on glossy photo paper. I recommend 4x6 or 5x7 for this project so that you can easily fit them into an embroidery hoop!
  • Fabric glue - I use Fabri-tac because it's my favorite and dries very quickly!
  • 7-10 inch embroidery hoops. You can do wood or plastic. I chose wood because I don't know that my mother will enjoy day-glo colors on her wall. ;)
  • Embroidery floss
  • Embroidery needles
  • Small, sharp scissors
  • Air soluble marking pen and/or transfer sheets and/or iron on transfers
  • Fabric to embroider on - because this is a very lightweight project, cotton quilting fabric will be fine. I chose white.
  • Iron & ironing board
  • scrap jar, as pictured below. I use an old mason jar. You'll be making a mess otherwise. :)

Step 2: Step One - Ready the Pictures and Iron the Fabric!

My pictures were oddly cropped during scanning and required some cutting to make them look nice. I did this with an exacto knife and a clear quilting ruler. :)

You can also cut the pictures into various shapes - ovals and circles would look quite nice, I think!

Iron the fabric and get it as smooth as possible. This will help you pull it nice and taut in the embroidery hoop!

Step 3: Attach the Picture to the Fabric!

You'll want to do this while the fabric is lying flat and out of the embroidery hoop. :)

Make a cross on the back of the picture - stay away from the egdes - it's nearly impossible to sew through fabric glue!

Turn it back over and press it firmly on the fabric, making sure it is nice and flat. Leave it for a minute or so to completely bond.

Now you can place the picture in the hoop. Get the fabric as taut as possible without warping the fibers and make sure the picture is nicely center and the screw is at the top of the picture.

Trim most of the excess fabric, leaving only one or two inches around the edges.

Step 4: Sewing the Picture to the Fabric.

You can do this a few different ways:
  • blanketstitch (maybe, read below)
  • running stitch
  • variations on running stitch

For blanketstitch, the most important part is the corners. I'm not going to lie about this part: blanketstitch absolutely sucks for the project. It is hard. Harder than hard. Sounds like it would be cute, but really isn't at all. :P

If you'd like to try blanketstitch, you should refer to this awesome blanketstitch tutorial on the future girl blog. And maybe invest in some leather thimbles. My fingers are killing me!

For running stitch, check out pictures 3-8:
  • you need to pierce around the edges for each stitch. It's hard to see where to push through the paper otherwise and it'll tear.
  • mark the edges and center on each side, and then the centers between the edge and middle. Continue to pierce that way until you have enough holes.

Running stitch variations:
  • make the lines wavy
  • only stitch across the corners of the picture
  • use two colors of floss and alternate them

Step 5: Make the "frame"!

This is where you can really get creative. I chose to do groupings of curved lines because I like the way they look.

You can use patterns or freehand the designs on using an air soluble pen. I chose air soluble for this project because we won't be able to wet this embroidery to rid ourselves of water soluble markings. :)

Basic patterns can be found at nearly every sewing store - but you can also find them for free online! You don't even need transfer paper to use them. Just print them out and pin them to your fabric and hold it up to a window and trace. Voila!

Here are some online resources:

You could even add text to it! I was thinking of adding "la famille", "le grand-pere", etc. and might do it with later ones. :)

Step 6: Trim and Finish!

Once you're done, make sure the fabric and screw are as tight as you can get them.

Then, take a pair of sharp scissors and cut from the outside edge of the fabric to the hoop. Now cut all the way around, taking off as much excess as you can.

Then apply glue all the way around and smooth it with your finger. I used fabric glue for this as well. This way the fabric is cemented in place and your hoops won't move around.

Use the screw to hang them on the wall - just hang it over a nail!

Now you have a really special gift to give... or you can keep it for yourself. I have to make more, definitely!

Participated in the
Mother's Day Contest

Be the First to Share


    • Pocket-Sized Speed Challenge

      Pocket-Sized Speed Challenge
    • Colors of the Rainbow Contest

      Colors of the Rainbow Contest
    • Maps Challenge

      Maps Challenge

    12 Discussions


    8 years ago on Introduction

    I love this embroidery hoop wall art!! It looks amazing. I hope you don't mind I've featured it in my embroidery hoop wall art round-up hub which you can see here:


    Thank you for sharing your beautiful work here!


    9 years ago on Introduction

    Great question, Goodhart, but I think that is one of the best reasons a copy of the original is used. If the copy becomes faded while in the frame, it can be replaced with a new one and the old stitch pattern can be followed around the edges. I had been wondering what to do with a lot of my own family pictures and this is a real winner! Thanks jessyratfink!


    11 years ago on Introduction

    Very nice. Is there any way to keep the pictures from fading (because of exposure to the air & sunlight directly)?


    Reply 11 years ago on Introduction

    Hey Jessy, just for kicks n grins I searched my area for it.....I only found one place that carried it here: Hancock FabricsI'd never even ever heard of the place, but it is just down the road a piece *shrug*.

    Online, I found much better prices then the $7.29 list BUT postage and handling may chew up that savings.

    I found fthese using the FIND


    Reply 11 years ago on Introduction

    Oh! I have one of those right next to where I work. I'll have to stop by after work Monday and see if they have it! :D

    Doctor What
    Doctor What

    11 years ago on Introduction

    Those are amazing! I never thought to use embroidery loops like that before!


    Reply 11 years ago on Introduction

    I'd seen people put pretty fabrics in them and display them, but I couldn't find anything like this. I thought about doing it with iron-on transfers, but those always turn out pretty crappy. :P