Hi all, It’s Lauren here from Molly and Mama and I’m back with my second tutorial; a fun and easy hoop art project featuring felt leaves especially for fall. I’m in Australia so it was an interesting project to work on during our Spring break, but I will be ‘decor ready’ when Autumn rolls around in six months time! I must have known something when I saved some acorns and leaves from our stunning pin oak tree from last season.
But on with the project! Here you’ll learn how to cut out simple wool felt shapes from the provided template, arrange them on interfaced linen, secure them in place and then add embroidered details. Easy but so effective. Here’s how!
Gather your materials. You will need;
- 7″ timber embroidery hoop
- 10″ square of loose weave textured linen
- 9″ square of Heat’n’Bond fusible interfacing (I used Extra Firm due to the loose weave of my linen, but the other varieties may be more suitable depending on which backing fabric you choose)
- Scraps of wool felt in various fall colours, no larger than a 4″ square. I used three shades of green, two of brown, red, papaya, yellow, apricot and beige (100% wool felt is best, here’s why)
- 7″ circle of wool felt (optional for hoop backing)
- A small scrap of Heat’n’Bond No-Sew Ultrahold
- 6″ of Heat’n’Bond Soft Stretch Tape or Fabric Fuse Liquid Adhesive (optional)
- Embroidery needle and six-stranded floss in colours to match or complement the felt
- Sewing needle and heavyweight thread
- Pressing Paper
- 15″ of 1″ wide ribbon
- Heat or water erasable marker
- Freezer paper for transferring the leaf templates to the felt
- General supplies like fabric and paper scissors, marking pen
- Print out of the leaf shapes template and placement guide
Cut Out The Leaves
Cut out the required felt leaves from your printed template. I describe a range of methods you can use on my blog. For this project, I used freezer paper.
Trace each of the leaf shapes onto the paper side of the freezer paper. Cut out each paper shape leaving a small 1/4″ border around the outside edge. Arrange each leaf on the felt with the paper side up. Cover with pressing paper (to protect the felt) and press in place with a warm, dry iron. The heat will help the plastic underside of the freezer paper to adhere to your felt.
Cut out the template pieces on the drawn line and then simply peel the paper away. It comes away easily and leaves no residue.
TIP: Keep the freezer paper templates as these can be reused a number of times. So be sure to label and store them well after use.
Alternatively, you may wish to applique your leaf shapes using the Heat’n’Bond Ultra Hold fusible web. The shapes have already been reversed on the template for your convenience. Just follow the same method that I describe for the acorn shapes below.
Trace the acorn templates onto the paper side of the fusible web. You will need four acorn tops and four bottoms. I traced each one a little differently to give each acorn some variation. Roughly cut around each shape leaving a small border.
Create two acorn tops from one shade of brown felt and two from the other. Make two acorn bottoms from the apricot felt and two from the beige.
Place the templates onto the felt so that the paper side is facing you and the shiny webbing is facing the felt. Fuse the paper to the felt using an iron, and by following the included instructions. Be sure to cover the felt with pressing paper to protect it.
Prepare The Backing Fabric
Following the manufacturer’s instructions, secure the 9″ square of fusible interfacing to the wrong side of the 10″ square of linen. Cut out a 9″ circle to give your hoop design a 1″ seam allowance. Alternatively, centre the fabric in the hoop and trace the circle shape of the inner hoop on the wrong side of the interfaced fabric, using an erasable marker. Cut a seam allowance 1″ from this drawn line to create your 9″ circle.
Assemble the Leaves and Acorns
If you used freezer paper or a paper template to cut out your felt shapes, secure a 1″ strip of adhesive tape to the wrong side of each leaf. Remove the backing paper. Remember to cover the felt with pressing paper when using the iron. I used this method to position the leaves as I liked that the leaf edges were still loose. This gave the leaves more dimension on the fabric. If you prefer, you can skip this step and use very small amounts of Fabric Fuse liquid adhesive instead. If you used fusible web to create the leaf shapes, you will only need to peel away the backing paper.
Using the placement guide for positioning, place your leaf shapes on the linen fabric (being sure to overlap them as shown below). Be sure they fit inside the 7″ hoop circle. Secure them in place with an iron (following the instructions that correspond to the product you used).
Remove the backing paper from the acorn tops and bottoms, position them on the fabric and again use the pressing paper to protect them from the iron as you press them in place.
Use an erasable marker to draw on all stitchery guidelines, as shown in the placement guide.
Embroider The Details
Using three strands of embroidery floss, backstitch the leaf vein details and the acorn stalks. I have a simple backstitch tutorial you might like to check out if you need a refresher. This stitchery can be done with the fabric already secured in the hoop if you prefer (see below for instructions). Use three long stitches to sew lines on the acorn nuts. Choose complementary thread colours.
Remove all erasable marker lines when complete.
Assemble The Hoop
When the hand stitching is complete, position the fabric in the hoop. Place the inner circle of the embroidery hoop on a flat surface. Position your fabric over the inner hoop so the design is facing you and well centred. Put the outer hoop over the fabric. Press down on the inner hoop to pop it into place, ensuring that the design is centred in the frame and that the screw is centred at the top.
Tighten the screw, pulling the fabric taut as you go. Make sure the fabric is firmly held in the hoop.
Thread a needle with a very long doubled over the length of heavyweight sewing thread. Starting at the top of the hoop, stitch a loose running stitch (about ½” (12mm) from the fabric edge), all the way around the outside edge.
When the stitching meets at your starting point, pull the thread to gather the fabric in firmly behind the hoop. Secure the thread with a few stitches or tie the ends in a knot.
You could leave the hoop like this, but you may want to completely cover the back for a neater finish. Sew a circle of wool felt to the back (that measures slightly less than the actual size of the hoop). First, centre the felt over the back of the hoop. Then whip stitch or blanket stitch in place with evenly spaced stitches.
For an alternative ‘no-sew finish, run a line of hot glue along the inside edge of the inner hoop and press the trimmed excess fabric down to secure it in place. Then cover the back of the hoop with a circle of light card, secured in place with hot glue.
You may also like to add a bow and a hanging loop to the top of the screw. I have tied a simple bow over the screw to disguise it. Trim the bow ends for a neat finish.
Your hoop art is all finished and ready for fall decorating!
I hope you’ve found this project easy to follow and fun to create. I love to design projects for beginners that teach you a range of skills that can then be transferred to new and different projects too. You might enjoy some of my other tutorials too!
If you make the Fall Felt Hoop Art be sure to share it with me. I get such a buzz out of seeing my designs in the wild! Visit me on Facebook or share it on Instagram and tag @mollyandmama. Use the hashtags #thermoweb #heatnbond and #mollyandmama.
Happy stitching, Lauren x