The Nursery: DIY Fabric Hoop Art Tutorial

Are you tired of decorating your walls with factory art or framed posters from big box stores and looking for something a little different? Perhaps you want to DIY some art but you’re not exactly a talented painter. Here’s an easy way to add a personal and customized touch to your space with fabric hoop art.

Fabric Hoop Art chair wall viewTo achieve this effect, you stretch fabric pieces in wooden embroidery hoops to create a look to suit your style. First, you can choose any fabrics that complement your décor — whether it’s for a modern space, a traditional one or a more unique space, such as a kids’ room. Second, you can leave the hoops in their natural wood tone, or you can paint them a coordinating color.

The best part is that this project is totally customizable to your budget, too. The hoops cost less than $3 each and can be found on Etsy or at your local craft store.

Fabric Hoop Art finished hoops wallI recently put together a small collection for my baby’s nursery using a set of animal print fabrics that I absolutely love.

Supplies Needed:

  • Several complementary fabrics matching your décor scheme
  • Wooden embroidery hoops (assorted sizes)
  • Glue gun
  • Felt fabric or craft sheets

When choosing hoop sizes, keep in mind the scale of your space and the scale of your fabrics. For example, a very large scale pattern will look best in a large hoop, while a smaller pattern will shine in a smaller hoop.

How to Assemble:

Trace the hoops onto some felt fabric and cut out felt circles for each hoop. These will serve as the backings for your completed hoops.

Fabric Hoop Art choosing layoutLay out the fabrics, and place the hoops over them to figure out pattern placement.

Fabric Hoop Art embroidery frameTake the hoop apart by loosening the top screw, and place the inner ring under the part of the fabric you want to frame. Place the outer hoop over the fabric, and press down so the fabric is stretched between the inner and outer hoops.

Pull around the edges of the hoop until the fabric is tight in the hoop frame, then tighten the hoop using the top screw.

Fabric Hoop Art trimmed fabric in framesCut out the fabric around the edges of the hoop, leaving about 1/2“ excess fabric around the edges.

Fabric Hoop Art glue hoop felt backingUsing your glue gun, attach the round felt circle to the back of the hoop, tucking the excess fabric inside the felt circle before gluing. The felt backing will protect the wall while keeping the back of the frame nice and tidy.

There are several ways to hang the fabric hoop art. You can use push pins, small nails, removable adhesive hooks or adhesive Velcro. Because the frames are nice and light, it doesn’t take much power to hang them up.

Fabric Hoop Art hanging hoops wallWhen I was planning the placement of the hoops on my wall, I taped them to the wall with painter’s tape. This way, I was able to adjust the layout several times before committing. Once I had settled on the exact layout, I then put the small nails in the wall and hung the hoops on them.

Fabric Hoop Art finished hoop detailThis project took less than an hour from start to finish, didn’t require fancy DIY skills and can easily be hung without damaging your apartment walls — a triple win in my book!

I originally wrote this post for the Apartment Living Blog at ForRent.com!

Janery Update: Overcoming the “perfection procrastination”

It may come as no surprise to my regular readers that my handmade pet bed & pillow business, Janery, took a backseat in my life last year. Sales were lower than even my first year, and I didn’t reach my goals of launching Charlie Cushions or my new e-commerce website.   Family came first, and I don’t regret that.

I actually started to launch my Charlie Cushion dog beds in the fall, but in the process I found I’d made some mistakes with them that could only be fixed by ripping out all the seams and starting over. It was an important lesson in measure twice, cut once!

Janery Charlie Cushion Seam Ripper

There’s been more bumps in the road to launching these waterproof dog beds, but the whole story is a topic for a separate post.

Janery Charlie Cushion Progress Notes

The launch of the new Janery website has also been challenging. I’m struggling with a quest for perfection in the website; a quest which I have now realized has kept me from making enough progress. I told myself I wouldn’t launch it until I had a perfect product line, had launched the Charlie Cushions, and had all new branding and perfect product photos, and the list goes on.

The reason? About two years ago I got the idea in my head that I couldn’t advertise or promote my handmade business until it looked more professional. However, in my first two years, I advertised and promoted my business and had the sales to show it. My photos and back then? Completely amateur and embarrassing.

Oh, the irony.

My blogging friend and neighbor, Sarah, has a great podcast about exactly this type of challenge. The Sarah R. Bagley podcast is focused on “a recovering perfectionist’s guide to a B+ life” – and boy, is that just the kind of advice I need to get Janery to the next step.

While I will always strive to create A+ products at Janery, right now I need to be a little more accepting of a B+ backend to the business if I want to take steps towards growing it.

Janery New Website Draft Screenshot

With this in mind, I’ve been busily uploading my best product photos to the new website, and working with my graphic designer to get all the elements in place for a late April launch date. Once the site is live and the Charlie Cushions are really launched, I’ll go about upgrading the site to A+, one step at a time.

Sapling Status: 2 Months Old

Happy 2 months to Maple! Once again the time has flown by, and I have a feeling it’s going to be that way every month.

Maple’s Updates:

Maple 2 Mos Smile

This is the month where she discovered her smile. And oh, what fun it is to see her whole face crack open into a smile at the most random of times. She’s also been finding her giggle, though I haven’t been able to catch it in a video yet.

Maple consistently gained weight this month, which was a relief. It took about 2 weeks after her frenectomy for her nursing latch to correct itself, after which she became a perfect little eater. She’s finally on the cusp of growing out of newborn clothes and into 0-3mos.

At the same time, her acid reflux got so bad that she is now on Zantac. This was prescribed after sessions of projectile vomiting and a few times waking up screaming because she was vomiting out her nose and mouth. That was the worst. Her face had the saddest expression, like “why is this happening to me” and she was just screaming as I held her, trying to comfort her. I learned that seeing your child suffer, no matter how briefly, is an intense feeling.

Now that the ice on sidewalks has melted, we’re going for walks and she loves to look around from the stroller as we roll. It’s so much fun to see her curious face watching the world pass by.

Maple 2 Mos Stroller

She’s been having fun with baths. We fill the adult tub or the baby tub and hold her head so she can float and wiggle, which she LOVES to do.

My life as her mom:

This month I made peace with “not getting much done” when I’m home alone with her during the days, and it’s been awesome. I am happy to spend hours cuddling with her without going nuts.

Maple Shower Winning

I have officially achieved my pre-baby goal of showering every day no matter what.

The mornings are her most active time, so we spend a lot of that doing tummy time, making silly noises and laughing, and staring at ceiling fans.

I’m learning to fit smaller tasks into the shorter naps, and to tackle the more involved work during her longer naps or the evening. Ryan helps a ton when he gets home from work, and after dinner I usually work down in the Janery studio or office until midnight. Then I wake Maple up to feed her before I go to sleep.

This balance happened by accident, but it’s really working well. I’m enjoying the time in my studio more than ever because it’s so different from my time spent being a mom.
There were a few rough days, like the day where she woke up to eat at 3 am and fussed all morning and afternoon, until finally passing out around 1:30. That was a long day, because I couldn’t even put her down to make lunch. At noon I was eating peanut butter out of the jar with one hand while holding Maple with the other.

Maple Jane 2 Mos

We’ve taken her out to numerous restaurants and other places without a hitch, she sleeps consistently most nights, and she doesn’t really cry unless she needs food.I think that overall Maple would be considered a good baby, and I feel like we got extra lucky.