A lot of fabric upcycling is focused on sewing, rather obviously. However! I don’t feel that giving your clothes a second life (or third, or fourth) should be limited to those of us with a sewing machine, or that can hand sew – and I find hand sewing really boring, so let’s avoid that. So throughout this year challenge I’ll be bringing you some No Sew fabric upcycling projects. And here’s the first!
Embroidery Hoop Wall Art is a great way to immortalise that favourite shirt that’s worn out but that you’re struggling to let go of, or those pajamas in the wonderful tartan that you just know you’ll never find anywhere else, or whatever beautiful bits of old fabric you have hanging around that will look rather splendid on your wall.
Grab yourself the following…
- Embroidery hoops in different sizes – I’ve chosen a 12″, 8″ and 5″. You can often pick these up from charity shops, grandmas houses (with permission), or on Etsy. I wasn’t lucky enough to find any in charity shops this time so chose some from Crabtree Lane. There is plenty of choice out there so shop around, think about different size combinations, and even consider painting/staining them!
- Various fabrics – Whether you want to mix, match, whatever, just make sure you have enough of each fabric to cover it’s assigned hoop with a little left to spare.
- An iron – Sorry folks, I hate ironing as much as the next person, but sometimes it has to be done. If you want a fantastic result, take a few minutes to iron your chosen fabrics.
- A hammer and some nails – and a responsible adult.
Here’s how you put it all together…
As I mentioned above, you’re going to iron your fabrics. Get that out of the way nice and early and pretend it never happened. Put the iron away at the back of a cupboard and ignore it until next time you want to make some wall art.
Take one hoop, and one bit of fabric. Loosen the screw at the top of the embroidery hoop and the inner section will come loose. Pop this bit down on a flat surface and lay your fabric over it, covering it completely.
Place the outer hoop on top of the fabric and slip it over the hidden inner hoop. You can play around here to make sure you’re getting the right bit of the design and that it’s the right way up etc (tip: you’ll be hanging the hoops from the screw, so this will be the top). Once you’ve got it right, tighten the screw. You can pull the fabric taut at this point to make sure there are no wrinkles around the edges, and if your ironing was sub-standard this will help pull out any remaining creases. We’re aiming for drum-skin type stretching here, nice and tight.
Flip the whole thing over and trim around the edges, very close to the wooden hoop.
***Repeat steps 1 to 4 for each hoop/piece of fabric***
Decide whereabouts on the wall you want the finished hoops. Ask the nearest 3-armed person to hold them up against the wall and jumble them about for you so you can see what you think. Alternatively you can do what I did and ask your partner/friend/unsuspecting neighbour to help you out. Once you’ve decided where you want them, bash some nails in and hang the hoops from them. Easy Peasy.
And here is my complete No Sew Embroidery Hoop Wall Art, featuring Manfred McMannequin in a tartan cape. And below that, there are some ideas of what you can do with your own wall art!
So what are you going to do? Any old clothes in mind? One of the great things about upcycling is being able to use the best features of whatever you decide to use – shirt pockets, buttons, interesting designs. And, although this wall art looks really effective without any sewing, if you’re not entirely averse to sewing you could even put a few buttons on a plain-ish background? Whatever you do, enjoy it!