Finishing the Back of an Embroidery Hoop Tidies Things Up!
Have you ever looked at the back of your embroidery work and thought about what a mess it is? I certainly have, but no matter how hard I try I’ve never been able to make it anywhere near as lovely as the front. It’s not like we will be looking at the back as it hangs on the wall, but for some reason it’s something that kind of nags at me. Is that ocd?
All of those knots and bits of thread on the back might have a lot of character for sure, but I wouldn’t call it charming. So luckily, there’s a way to ‘tuck them away’! Finishing the back of your embroidery hoop isn’t really a necessary step, but if you’re like me and it bugs you that they’re there (it’s sort of like looking at a pile of dirty dishes in the sink) then follow along with me for a quick and easy tutorial on how to give it a little ‘makeover’!
Along with your finished embroidery piece, you’ll need the following materials:
- another embroidery hoop of the same size as your finished piece
- thin sharpie marker
- piece of felt that is of the same size or a little bigger than your hoop
- thread that is a similar color to your felt
You’ll also need to know how to create the basic blanket stitch. If you don’t know how to create one, just head over to my blanket stitch tutorial. It’ll be quick. I promise!
Step One: Stitch Your Fabric Together
The back of an embroidery hoop can reveal a mess of threads you may want to hide but before we do that you’ll first need to pull your fabric together by adding a running stitch along the edge of your fabric.
Stitch it all the way around and pull it carefully as you go so the fabric bunches up towards the center.
It doesn’t have to be perfect. It just has to be tight enough to keep your embroidery work on the front looking nice and pretty.
Step Two: Prepare the Felt Backing
Next, grab the back of an embroidery hoop that is the same size as your finished piece & separate them.
Trace the inner hoop onto your felt with a Sharpie marker. I found that using dots instead of drawing a continuous line to trace is a lot easier.
Now cut your piece of felt along the dotted lines and lay it on the back of your hoop.
Step Three: Stitch Your Backing On
Next, lay your felt on the back of your embroidery work and get ready to add the blanket stitch.
You could technically hot glue the backing on but it’s a shortcut that I don’t prefer. Adding the blanket stitch is a lovely attention to detail that adds quality to your work.
I like to start my blanket stitch by creating a lazy daisy stitch. First, bring your needle up from behind the fabric like you see here:
Then set your felt in place and push your needle through the back of your felt at A.
Next, return through A and push your needle halfway through to B, and wrap your thread over it. Then pull your needle through.
Next, push your needle halfway through C and D, and wrap your thread behind it. Pull your needle through.
Each time you do this, make sure your needle is going through both your felt and fabric.
Let’s do one more together.
Push your needle halfway through your felt and fabric at E and F, wrap your thread behind it, then pull your thread through. Continue in this fashion until you’ve made it all the way around your hoop.
Step Four: Finishing the Last Stitch
To finish off your last stitch, weave your thread around the last stitch along the edge a few times. Then push your needle through about an inch away from the edge like this:
Pull your thread just a little and snip it. It’ll disappear into the back so you won’t see it. That’s it!
You just learned how to finish the back of an embroidery hoop with a piece of felt to make it super cute & tidy!
Mine almost reminds me of a lemon meringue pie without the meringue! I guess you could say it’s almost good enough to eat 😊
I personally love this finishing and I do this for all of my work. When I first learned how to embroider it wasn’t something I did even though, as I said earlier, that it bothered me a bit to see what the back looked like. I guess I was way to focused on learning my basic stitches at the time. Now, I don’t skip this part.
However, it’s totally okay not to finish the back of an embroidery hoop since no one is going to look at it. For me though, I feel like I haven’t finished my work if I don’t, and I feel so much happier when I do. So it’s really up to you whether you’d like to incorporate the back finish or not.
I hope you found this tutorial useful and if you’re a newbie at embroidery, I encourage you to go through my posts for getting started in embroidery as well as my stitch library which will help you get started.