Wednesday, August 7, 2013

Long time, no blog!

I know I have been horrible about updating the blog, but life happens.  I spent my summer trying to hang out with my friends and family as much as I could, crafting new things that I had been wanting to try out, cleaning out my craft room and other various parts of my house, and eating really good food.

And now it's almost over.

That's right, my real job calls and it's time for me to spend my days teaching Math to what I like to call "The future of America!"  I love my job, but I love being off, too.  I'll miss the time I will have to myself, but I honestly miss the routine of a school day, school week, school month.  I need routine.  Without it, I drink far too much coffee, eat far too much food, and work out less often than I know I should.  So routine is good, and I am welcoming it come Monday.  I have new ideas for craft club, and I am very excited to try out some new curriculum with the iPad this year.  Not to mention, I miss connecting with students.  I don't have kids of my own, so I really look forward to being with the teenagers and watching them grow.

Enough about work.  I thought that maybe since I have been gone for so long, that I could come up with something that people might really like.  I posted a few pictures of my hoop art on Instagram (something I decided to dive into over the summer and am so happy I did!) and I was asked to explain how I made them.  Honestly, I have learned through trial and error... picked up bits of information from all over the internet, tried those techniques, tweaked them, got into my own groove.  So I thought...  I will make a tutorial for my blog!  So let's get started!

A Whole Lotta HOOPLA Tutorial!

Let's talk supplies...

First, I work with your standard ol' wooden embroidery hoop.  I think the one I have here is 4 inches, but you can use any size you want.  You can find them at almost any craft store, and they're inexpensive.  I have seen some really awesome painted hoops online, some fabric-wrapped ones... but I am an impatient girl.  I have wrapped some hoops in ribbon in a very similar method as the fabric tutorial I linked above, but I honestly don't mind the look of the natural hoop.

Second, grab a piece of fabric and some felt.  I use white or ivory colored felt for my hoops since it doesn't show through the fabric.  Padding the piece with felt is something I do that I notice other hoopers don't seem to do it.  Later, you will notice it gives you a nice little cushion, and just makes the project seem a little bit more finished, at least in my opinion.  Have enough fabric to cover your hoop, with about 2 inches more around it.  Have about two times that amount of felt. 

Whatever you want to decorate your hoop with, grab those supplies, too.  It could be felt, embroidery thread, beads, more fabric... the sky's the limit.  I just used felt and embroidery floss.

Lastly, you will need a glue gun and hot glue, and you're ready to get started!

1.)  Lay your hoop on your felt and cut around it.  Leave about 2 inches around the outside of your hoop.
2.)  Put your felt on your fabric and cut your fabric to the same size.  I guess you can do step 1 and 2 at the
       same time.  I think next time I will do that.
3.)  Make sure your have your right side of your fabric down and your felt on top of it.  Place the inner hoop
      on top...
4.)  ...then flip it over and place your outer hoop on top.  Pull the fabric/felt as you tighten the screw at the
      top.  You want everything to be nice and taut!

5.)   Cut yourself a piece of felt that is larger than the inside of the hoop.  Put that aside for now.
6.)   Decorate your hoop!
7.)   Voila!  Just keep going until you like what you have and feel like you're ready to finish your project.

8.)    Done!
9.)    Now flip over your hoop.  Be very careful and cut away the felt from the back of the hoop.  Don't cut the fabric!
10.)  Your hoop will now look like this.
11.)  Now cut your fabric, leaving an inch or so all the way around your hoop.

12.)  Your hoop should look like this.  Go ahead and plug in your glue gun.
13.)  Remember the extra circle you cut?  You want to make it just slightly larger than the inside of the hoop. 
         I used pinking scissors, but you don't have to.  Put it aside for now.

14.)  Using your glue gun, pull down and glue the fabric to the inside of the wooden hoop.  I try to stay on
         the wooden part when I glue.  Do a little at a time and use enough to keep the fabric in place. 
15.)  This is what you will have when you're done gluing the fabric to the inside wooden part of the hoop.
16.)  Now get that little circle of felt.  Place it in the middle and glue it to the inside rim of the hoop.  This will
        cover all the little bits and the back of the hoop and give it more of a clean look.

And ta-da!  Here is my little hoop I made! 

Hopefully that all made sense.  Of course, you are more than welcome to ask me any questions you may have.  I'm here to help.  If you want other tutorials, please feel free to ask, too!  I'm always receptive to new ideas.

Before I go, there is one more bit of news that I am giddy about.  Someone actually did a blog post on me!  I am beyond flattered and excited.  I wanted to share it with you...

Ann and I connected via my sister-in-law on facebook, and I have to tell you...  I am in love with the items she makes in her etsy shop!  There are two items in particular, but you have to check out her entire shop.  She's amazingly talented! 
Seriously?  How cute are these?  I just need a deer or a Jack Russell...

My Sister-in-law has two of these little terrariums and I have been in love with them since I saw them.
How can you not smile when you see this?!

Speaking of smiling, I am pretty happy for finally sitting down and getting a blog post done.  I hope you have enjoyed it, and I do plan to stay on top of it now that school is almost back in session.  (See?  I need routine so badly!)  Remember that you can also catch me on my facebook, my Instagram, or over at Scrappy Blanket doing a little crochet-a-long! 


  1. Thanks for the shout out!
    Your tutorial is great and super helpful! I am excited to see more of these in the future!

    1. Thank you so much! I love your shop and I was glad to talk about it in my post. I would love to hang out and craft one day, too? Maybe we can get Suzi to connect us and join us in crafting! I love the new table she made - did you see it?