{decorating with style} A Colorful Embroidery Hoop Window Display

A few months ago, I was walking down the quaint street of shops and restaurants in the middle of my neighborhood when a colorful display in the window of a consignment clothing store caught my eye. I snapped a picture for Instagram, and then as I walked home I started thinking about how fun it would be to create a similar display in my own house. So I did...

Fabric Filled Embroidery Hoop Window Display

I love modern design, and lots of color! Our main floor is decorated in a cool color palette of gray and teal {two of my favorite colors} and I like to add pops of warmer colors for the various seasons - orange and yellow accents in the fall, and red at Christmas time. In the spring and summer I add bright, fun pink pillows and flowers in the living room, but the pink never made it's around the corner in to the kitchen, leaving the kitchen feeling a bit drab in the warmer months. 

Creating a playful embroidery hoop window display in the kitchen was the perfect way to add some much needed pops of bright color in the kitchen to carry us through spring and summer. And it was easy to do!

Materials Needed for Embroidery Hoop Art:

Fabric Filled Embroidery Hoop Supplies
  • Embroidery Hoops in a variety of sizes
    • For my display I used six 8″ hoops, three 6″ hoops, and three 5″ hoops; I purchased my hoops at Hobby Lobby for between $1 and $1.49 each
  • Fabric in a variety of colors/patterns 
    • You need fabric 1 inch wider than the size of your hoop, so for an 8″ hoop you need at least 9 inch wide fabric; I purchased a quarter of a yard of each fabric
    • If you don't have scraps around the house, purchasing a stack of “fat quarters” is a great way to get a nice variety
  • Cotton Batting or Muslin 
    • As with the fabric, you need 1 inch wider than the size of your hoop. 
    • I used Warm and Natural Cotton Batting because I had scraps from another project; but Muslin is a less expensive option if purchasing the supplies from scratch
  • Baker’s Twine or Ribbon
  • Scissors
  • Clear 3M Command Decorating Clips

There are a couple of factors you need to consider when choosing fabric for this project. Most cotton fabric has a “right” side and a “wrong” side. 

If the fabric you choose has a right and a wrong side, then you will want to put two pieces of the fabric back to back inside the embroidery hoop so that when the hoop hangs in the window you will see the right side of the fabric from inside the room and from outside.

Additionally, if your fabric has a very light background color, when you place two pieces back to back and hold it in front of a window, you will see the pattern of one piece showing through the other.

If this is the case, you'll want to add a a layer of batting or muslin between my layers of fabric {I used batting because I already had some on hand, but muslin is less expensive if you are purchasing it just for this project}.

Finally, some of my fabric was pretty wrinkled, but I really hate to iron, so instead grabbed out my bottle of Downy wrinkle releaser. If you're not familiar with this stuff - it's life changing and I never travel without a small bottle of it. {That's not a sponsored endorsement - just a product I heart and can't live without.}


STEP 1: Loosen the screw at the top of the embroidery hoop to separate the inner and outer rings. Lay the inner and outer rings on top of your fabric. Use the hoops as a guide for cutting two squares of fabric, each at least one inch bigger than the hoops

STEP 2: Cut a square of cotton batting or muslin approximately the same size as your fabric. Place your two fabric squares back to back, with the layer or batting or muslin in between.

STEP 3: Place the inner ring of the embroidery hoop underneath the fabric, and place the outer ring on top. Press the outer ring down until the inner ring is snug inside the outer ring.

STEP 4: Turn the hoop over, and you will most likely find that the fabric on the back side is a bit buckled.

Press down on the inner ring, then tug at the corners to pull the fabric taut. If your fabric has stripes or lines, be sure to pull evenly on all four corners to prevent the lines from being stretched too far in any one direction {which would make the lines look wavy}.

STEP 5: Tighten the screw at the top of the hoop to hold the fabric securely in place.

Repeat these steps until all your embroidery hoops are filled with fabric.

Fabric Filled Embroidery Hoops before trimming

STEP 6: Now it’s time to trim off all of the excess fabric using a sharp pair of scissors {using dull scissors will make this much more difficult, and will chew up the edges of your fabric}. Cut the fabric off as close to the hoop as possible. I found it easiest to use a small, fine point pair of scissors. My favorites are the Cutter Bee Precision-Cut Scissors – they are inexpensive and I use them for everything.

Here are all of my fabric filled embroidery hoops after trimming off the excess fabric…

Fabric Filled Embroidery Hoops

All of that color and all of that pattern! It makes me smile just looking at it!

STEP 7: The final step is to hang the embroidery hoops in your window using clear 3M Command decorating clips. These clear, mini hooks are my favorite because they are barely visible and they remove cleanly and damage-free. I spaced twelve of them evenly across the top edge of my long, thin kitchen window.

I then used some cute, pink and white baker’s twine to hang the embroidery hoops from the Command hooks.

I hung the hoops at varying heights, alternating the 8″ hoops with the smaller 5″ and 6″ hoops.

Fabric Filled Embroidery Hoops in Window

Fabric Filled Embroidery Hoops in Window

The final product is a bright and modern window display that adds vibrant pops of cheerful spring colors to our kitchen!

Fabric Filled Embroidery Hoops

Fabric Filled Embroidery Hoops

The simple addition of these embroidery hoop framed fabrics has added so much color and life to our kitchen, bringing the warm feeling of summer in from the outdoors.

Embroidery Hoop Fabric Window Display

Because our home is south facing, the fabric in these hoops will get a lot of direct sunlight throughout the day. As a result, I know that the fabric will fade over time and will need to be replaced.

Embroidery Hoop Window Display

I like to display different things in this kitchen window for each season, so I plan to take these hoops down when fall rolls around. Because this project was very quick and inexpensive, I don’t mind if I have to replace the fabric next spring. By purchasing a quarter yard of each of the fabrics, I have enough left over to re-hoop the same fabrics next year, but I also like the idea of being able to easily update this display year after year by choosing fun new fabrics that represent the latest decor trends.

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  1. I love these Angela!! They are so much fun and that's great you change them out with the seasons.

    1. Thanks Kathy!! Definitely an inexpensive way to add seasonal color that's super easy to swap out!

  2. I love the color this adds to your kitchen!! They look so pretty with the sun streaming in!

    1. Thanks, Jenny! It definitely makes the kitchen feel more cheerful!

  3. Your hoops look so pretty and love that you have something different and colorful for decorations in your window. Fantastic idea and implementation.
    I am loving this so much will be in digging for embroidery hoops tomorrow, have lots of fabrics. Always buy hoops when I see them at thrift stores or yard sales at good prices. Sheesh some thrift stores charge a bundle for anything now, our Goodwill is bad about pricing. Think I will use this fantastic idea to hang between my kitchen/living room and from shutter shelf. Think I can hang them from ceiling. So glad you shared this idea. Your home is so nice, love the modern, think that's what you have going in dining room? Love it. My tastes seem to be changing again. Seem to be influenced by different ideas and styles lately. Happy week

  4. Great write up Angela!! They are so much fun and that's great you change them out with the seasons.

  5. These are marvellous, and I imagine they must create such incredible colours and patterns when the light shines through the window!