One of the most frustrating things about renting for me is not being able to paint or wallpaper the walls. I long to have patterned wallpaper and colourful feature walls in our house and I am always trying to come up with new ideas to make the walls more interesting.
After winning the lovely Emma Nicol’s instagram giveaway recently for a custom couple’s portrait, I wanted to find somewhere special to hang the amazing portrait Emma created for us and I had the idea of installing an embroidery hoop art wall above our bed to fill up the big blank space.
This is another project I have had pinned on my home decor board on Pinterest for a long time after seeing a similar hoop art wall and I am so pleased with how my version looks. It has given our bedroom a lot more colour and really adds to the mismatched homespun look. It makes me smile every time I walk up the stairs and catch sight of it through the bedroom door!
To create the wall, I bought a big batch of embroidery hoops (you can find lots of bulk listings on ebay) and painted them a mix of pretty pastel colours.
I then raided my fabric stash and started filling up the hoops with material, cutting out a piece slightly larger than the size of the hoop and then carefully framing it. For some of the thinner fabrics I also added a plain piece of white cotton behind the fabric to make it less see through. I used a running stitch to gather in the excess material at the back and tied a small piece of twine through the fastening at the top of the hoop to hang it by. Next I drove myself slightly mad trying to plan a layout with a good distribution of size, pattern and colour, before giving up and just piecing it together as I went along! I used stick on hooks by 3M to hang the hoops on the wall as they can be removed with no damage to the paint (a renter’s dream!).
One of the upsides of this project is that I was able to use up some of my fabric stash and I’m pleased that snippets of a few of the lovely prints and patterns I have been hoarding are finally getting to see the light of day. I also used quite a few sentimental fabrics like material from Michael’s wedding shirt and from the bunting which decorated our reception venue, which adds a thoughtful touch. Of course I still took this as an opportunity to buy yet more fabric to add a few new patterns into the mix, and I scoured Etsy to track down some small quilting pieces of Liberty fabric I have been coveting but couldn’t quite afford to purchase by the metre, like the Alice in Wonderland Gallymoggers print and the fun Forget-me-nots print.
At the moment, there is a mix of some hoops which I have embroidered and others which are just plain fabric. As there are over 30 hoops altogether the idea is that over time I will stitch up the hoops so it will become more of a gallery, but there are some fabrics I might just leave plain to showcase the prints.
Here are some of the hoops I have stitched up so far:
- This is inspired by one of my favourite photos from our wedding of our shoes. I traced the outline of the picture to create a simple line drawing then used this to cut out pieces of fabric to appliqué onto the base fabric in the hoop. This is my favourite hoop so far!
- I actually made this embroidery of our initials carved into a tree last year to go in a woodland themed room we had in our old house, but with a fresh coat of paint on the hoop to add a pastel twist it fits in perfectly with the new hoop art wall.
- The “Be Nice” hoop is a gorgeous DIY kit I bought from the lovely Ruth of The Make Arcade to take away on holiday with me. It still needs a little more work (some satin stitching on the polka dots) but I couldn’t wait to put it up as I love the design, it is super pretty and gives a daily reminder to be kind to the world and to myself!
- This is a quick and simple hoop I stitched up using a Sublime Stitching pattern to commemorate Michael’s success in our recent mini golf tournament on holiday. We take mini golf very seriously in our family!
- Michael is a huge fan of Peanuts so I stitched up this cutesy Snoopy cross stitch one rainy afternoon for him. I am trying to incorporate a few hoops to reflect Michael’s hobbies and interests above his side of the bed.
- The rose cross stitch was a free kit with Mollie Makes a couple of years ago, and I have happy memories of working on this while we stayed in a vintage caravan in Lincolnshire for a relaxing holiday in the summer of 2013.
I am hoping to share a blog round up every few weeks of the hoops I have been working on. Next up on my list are a record player and something Lego inspired for Michael, and a hot air balloon.