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A Little Helping Hand Hoop

I had some fabric left over from making a bag so I had a think about a little project I could do for Mother's Day. I have wanted to do a hoop project for a while after including them in the advent boxes last year. I always do some kind of hand or footprint card for Mother's Day so I thought I would try a fabric version. It is also nice to sit and do a bit of hand embroidery in the evening.



1. First things first, you need your handprints. George was easy, I just drew around his hand. Alfie, not so much. Apparently drawing around a 11 month old baby's hand is not possible, so I got the paint out. When I had both templates and the paint had dried, I cut them out. I then traced them onto BondaWeb.

I used scrap paper, no need to make unnecessary waste.

2. Cut the BondaWeb out roughly, not too close to the lines. Place the shiny side onto the reverse of your fabric and iron into place, follow the instructions for the product you are using but generally starting on a low temperature with no steam is your best bet.

3. Now cut out the handprints and peel away the paper.

4. Cut out the fabric you want to use in your hoop a couple of inches bigger than the hoop. Place the hoop over the fabric and arrange your handprints until you are happy with them. You can use a dissolvable pen to help make sure you iron them into place correctly. When you are happy with the position, iron them into place.

This is where I have done two different options.

First option - take your hoop to the sofa and do some hand stitching while you watch TV. I have done a running stitch around the hands and added some stitches to the details in the background like French knots.

Second option - put your fabric into the hoop the wrong way. Use a free motion foot to stitch around the hands. I have gone around them 3 times which makes any wobbly bits more forgiving. For the letters, I have used a dissolvable pen to write it first. The trick with free motion is to stitch quite fast but move the material steadily and consistently.

Finishing - I have always finished the back of my hoops with a long running stitch around the edges and then pull the threads tight. Then I saw someone on Instagram using a glue gun. Game changer!

Trim the excess and use your glue gun to stick it to the hoop.
Traditional way on the right and glue gun method on the left.

Here are my finished hoops. Mine and my husband's Dad's birthdays are in March, around the same time as Mother's Day, so little projects like this are great parent gift ideas for March.

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