How to Back an Embroidery Hoop

Welcome to my step-by-step guide covering how to back an embroidery hoop.

So, you have finished your embroidery, it looks amazing, all ready for giving as a gift or hanging on the wall. 

Finished embroidery of sloth on pink fabric

Hold on a minute, when you turn it over the back looks like this...

Reverse side of embroidery hoop

... urgh, not so great. Fear not, follow the simple steps below to hide the back of your stitches and make your hoop gifting ready.

How to back an embroidery hoop.

A quick note before we start to say there are many ways to back an embroidery hoop, this is the one I have found works best for me, it gives a nice neat finish and is quick to do.
It is a permanent backing as if you want to use your hoop again you will need to cut the embroidery off with scissors. That said, here we go.

Equipment needed to back embroidery hoop

You will need:

  • Your finished embroidery 
  • A hoop
  • Hot glue gun
  • A square of white felt at least 3cm (1") larger than your hoop
  • Coloured card for backing
  • Scissors and a pencil

draw around your embroidery hoop

1. Take your pencil and coloured card. Trace the outside of the largest ring of your embroidery hoop.

Cut the circle out using scissors

2. Cut the circle out using scissors and put it to one side until later.

Trim away excess embroidery thread to neaten up the back of the hoop

3. Now, start by trimming any excess thread from the back of the hoop. Cut loose ends as short as you can.

Lay white felt underneath your finished embroidery

 4. Place your white felt underneath your finished embroidery.

Embroidery and white felt in the hoop

5. Clamp the layers of felt and embroidery in the hoop, be careful to position the embroidery centrally as this placement is where your embroidery will be permanently fixed.

Glue the felt to the back of the embroidery hoop

6. Turn your hoop over and begin to work around the hoop glueing the felt to itself. What I mean by this is adding a drop of glue to the stretched felt inside the hoop (about 1cm from the edge of the hoop) and sticking the free edge of the felt to it. If you know you don't want to use the hoop again you could always glue it to the inside of the hoop instead.

Felt glued to hoop

7. Continue working your way around until all the felt is securely glued.

Trim excess felt away from the hoop

8. Now trim the excess felt away.

Now glue the embroidery fabric to the felt in the same way

9. Now glue the embroidery fabric to the felt in exactly the same way.

Edges of the embroidery fabric are trimmed away.

10. Trim the excess embroidery fabric away. Things are starting to look neater!

reverse side on embroidery hoop backed with coloured card

11. Now take your coloured card from earlier, add drops of hot glue to the layer of embroidery fabric that is covering the inner hoop. Before the glue dries, place the card on top and press down firmly.

Embroidery hoop with date and initials on the back

12. The backed hoop provides the perfect space to add your name, initials or personal message.

And that's it all done, hope you found the information useful!

completed sloth embroidery hoop