Asked by the producers of Tucson Morning Blend to recreate some Pinterest projects, I jumped right in. I had been collecting embroidery hoops for *something* for quite some time, so off to the internet for inspiration!
First up I found this cute mobile made as a photo display piece. The original poster used wire to connect the hoops together and hot glued the mini clothes pins to the hoop.
My variation uses black and white baker’s twine to assemble it all, and large old fashioned clothes pins just slide onto the hoop. To make this work, I used only the inner hoop from each pair, so that the pin would fit over the wood. This is a great solution if you don’t want to “ruin” your hoop for future use with hot glue. I was also a bit concerned that the hot glue would not be secure enough for repeated use.
Though I used vintage pictures, I think this would be a perfect baby mobile over a changing table with photos of long distance relatives to share with your little one. Or hang one over the breakfast table with notes reminding the kids to grab their backpacks.
Don’t get too obsessive over making each hoop level. It was really difficult to do without a second pair of hands, and your string will likely stretch unevenly over time anyway. In real life, you view it from many angles and it moves constantly so the imperfections are less evident.
My second inspiration was this adorable chalkboard sign made with chalkboard fabric.
I just happened to have some…bought when my kids were smaller and still unused, since there was no Pinterest to inspire us. This project uses the hoops as designed for embroidery, to hold fabric taut. One takes the two hoops apart, lays fabric over the inner hoop and then pressed the outer hoop down.
However, this fabric is really quite thick vinyl. (Maybe it is different now?) I made it work with a little determination and a rubber mallet. Hot tip: be sure you leave plenty of spare fabric outside the hoop while smooshing it in. You can pull on the loose edges to smooth any bubbles and tucks that may occur. And be sure to smooth the area near the thumb screw as you go. My first iteration (the one with the coffee cup) has a tuck there that I hoped would magically disappear. It didn’t. Once you get it looking smooth, trim the fabric close to the hoop. Give it a few final whacks until the hoops align.
My contribution to the collected wisdom of embroidery hoop signs? Use clothespins to make them free standing! Super cute on a buffet line identifying the types of cheese or instructions on how to top the dessert. Prep the surface of the chalkboard by coloring all over it with chalk and wiping it off before using. This leaves little bits of chalk on the surface so subsequent marks wipe away. You can also use chalk ink like I did for a brighter white line. This ink wipes off with water.
Finally I found these very elegant and easy spheres.
Though we made plain ones on tv, there are many variations on Pinterest. You can check out my Pinterest Hoops board to see the other options.
In my sample below, you can see the geometry of how these go together. They flex pretty easily, so you don’t need to get rough with them. Loosen up the thumb screw if you need a little more room.
You need two pairs of the same size rings. Separate them. Combine any two individual rings to make an X. Now add a third ring to be an I down the center of the X. Finally, add the 4th ring around the equator. They stay pretty well as is but you can add some wood glue at the junctures (clamp with a clothespin!) and then push a thumbtack in where the wood rings cross. They push in quite easily! If you want to paint or stain the rings, it is better to do before assembling.
Have you used embroidery hoops to make decorative items? Share your pictures in the comments!
See you on Pinterest!