Three Surprising Uses for Embroidery Hoops

Three Surprising Uses for Embroidery Hoops main article image
Posted on May 11, 2022 by Julie Richards

Embroidery hoops have been filled with amazing cross-stitch patterns for years. But nowadays, people are coming up with some very surprising uses for their embroidery hoops. I have tons of them from second-hand shops and garage sales. Many of them were gifted to me because everyone knows I will find some way to use them and save them from the trash.

I always separate the two hoops from each other and either stain or paint them to match the colors I plan to use in the project. It isn’t surprising then that I find so many uses for my embroidery hoops and am able to use them everywhere in my home and garden. If you like these projects I am about to show you, then you should search the internet to see how other people are using their embroidery hoops.

Propagation Hoop

The most simple way to use embroidery hoops is to make a propagation hoop. I use the inner ring to make these gorgeous and practical indoor or outdoor decorations. You will need either a small glass jar or a bottle. You can even use a clear plastic Christmas ornament.  You can use thin wire, fishing line, or even strong twine to hang the bottle.

Wrap the wire around the top of the bottle. Center the bottle in the middle of the embroidery hoop and suspend it by wrapping the wire around the top of the embroidery hoop. Take a cutting from the plant you want to propagate and stick it in the jar. Fill the jar with water and hang the embroidery hoop in a sunny window.

Once the cutting produces roots, remove it from the jar and pot it up. Rinse the jar and clean it with some rubbing alcohol. Repeat the process and in no time, you will have propagated many plants. The great thing about using your embroidery hoop this way is that you can grow so many plants for free. Not only is this a surprising new use for embroidery hoops but it is also cost-effective because you can multiply your plants without spending any money!

Topiary Ball

I was never a big fan of topiary towers or balls. It just wasn’t something I found appealing in my home décor. Then I was looking for new ways to use my embroidery hoops and stumbled upon a picture of a grapevine wreath that sparked an idea. I could use one of the embroidery hoops in a way that resembled a topiary but fit more into my surroundings. By simply turning the inside hoop perpendicular to the outer hoop, it created a globe.

Surprisingly, you can use more than one embroidery hoop to make this stunning decorative piece. You just need to have an assortment of different size hoops and insert them at different angles to add more spines to the globe.

I have made these beautiful embroidery hoop topiaries with and without lights. I use battery-operated twinkle lights to add a soft glow to my finished piece. Simply wrap the twinkle lights around the hoops, and position the battery box so that it is hidden by the embellishments but still allows access to easily turn it on or off. You can paint the hoops or stain them. You may be surprised that I also use fabric to cover the embroidery hoops which adds more patterns or textures to the piece. I just cut the fabric into strips and wrap the strap around the embroidery hoop, attaching it with fabric glue.

You can display the embroidery hoop topiary on the top of a candlestick or other riser. You may prefer to hang it from a window frame. Or simply set it on the desk and use it as the focal point of your vignette.

Mixed Media Wall Art

Another Surprising Use for embroidery hoops is using them as the canvas for your mixed media art projects. If you can do it on paper or canvas, you can do it on an embroidery hoop. I start with a card- or chipboard base that is the same diameter as the outside of the hoop.

I create much of the art on the board with modelling paste, various textures, and inks. Once I am done with the background, I add a focal point. This can be a piece of heirloom jewelry, a printed image, or a small knickknack or figurine. I attach these pieces directly to the board so it becomes a part of the entire art piece. It also makes the piece three-dimensional. I set the entire board apart to work on the embroidery hoop.

I am sure it is no surprise that I use textured chalk paint on the embroidery hoop so it matches the art piece. To make the textured paint, I use equal parts of chalk paint and baking soda. I apply the textured paint to the embroidery hoop with a regular brush. In this instance, I stipple the paint onto the embroidery hoop so it adds even more texture. Once the paint dries, I attach the art piece to the back of the embroidery hoop with a strong fixative like Gorilla Glue.

I display the mixed media embroidery hoop on a small easel or attach a ribbon or jute hanger to the back with the strong adhesive so I can hang it on the wall. You can gift this art to your friends and family. They will be surprised that you used an embroidery hoop to make this gift. You can find inspiration like this piece on Pinterest.

All of these projects can be made with a variety of embroidery hoop sizes. You can even attach additional embroidery hoops to them to make them longer, bigger, or more full. I hope that these surprising uses for your embroidery hoops inspire you to create something beautiful for your home or as a gift. You can even personalize them by choosing someone’s favorite color or family photo. Feel free to post a picture of what you made in the comments. I would love to see what you created.

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