Thursday, March 10, 2011

DIY Embroidery Hoop Art

This is the last project I completed for Baby Z's nursery mural, to go along with the Button Art and the Wall Letters. Hopefully what I've been picturing in my head will piece together nicely on the wall above her crib. My goal was to find a cheap way to create a fun and colorful mural to add some color to the baby blue walls - I think I've been pretty successful (fingers crossed until we put all the pieces together). 

I've seen the embroidery hoop and fabric project on several sites like this one and this one, and decided to give it a go. Since the button art and wall letters would add different patterns and colors, I chose to just use the brown tree fabric we used on the rocking chair. To bring in the Ugly Doll theme we have throughout the nursery, I also added some Ugly Doll silhouettes. 

To make this project you'll need:

- Embroidery hoop
- Spray paint 
- Fabric 
- Scissors
- Iron 
- Stencil or a print out (depending on how you will draw the silhouette)
- Paint marker, pen, or pencil 
- Paint (I use the Americana brand)
- Paintbrush
- Mod Podge

Start by spray painting the embroidery hoop in the color of your choice. Let it dry overnight. 

Cut a piece of fabric to fit into the embroidery hoop. 

Iron the piece of fabric. 

Since I didn't know where to find an Ugly Doll stencil, I used a print out of a character that I cut out. You can use a stencil, a print out, or freehand the silhouette - totally up to you. 

Place the cut out on the fabric so that you can trace it. I used a white paint marker to trace the cut out since I was working with dark fabric. You can use a pen or pencil if you are working with light fabric, just make sure that you can cover it up with the paint. If you are afraid of your stencil or cut out moving around on you, use some double sided tape to keep it in place.

You can barely see it in this photo, but this is what my outline ended up looking like: 

Using your paintbrush and paint, start filling in the outline. Make sure you place something under your fabric (like wax paper or newspaper) in case the paint leaks through the fabric. 

You'll need to paint several layers on the fabric, depending on what pattern you need to cover up and what paint you use. I had some tricky red apples that just wouldn't be covered up. Here is what it looked like after one coat:

And two coats:

And three coats:

I'm not sure how many coats I put on mine - I stopped counting after 5. Just make sure you let each coat dry before applying a new one. Once the paint is dry, I'd recommend putting a heavy book on top of the painted silhouette overnight, so the fabric does not get bumpy. 

Place the fabric in the embroidery hoop and stretch it to fit. Make sure the fabric is nice and taut. 

Cut the excess fabric off so it doesn't show past the embroidery hoop.

Put a coat of Mod Podge over the entire fabric.

Once it is dry, add a second layer of Mod Podge on the fabric. Let that dry and add a layer of Mod Podge on the hoop as well. I also flipped the hoop over and applied a layer of Mod Podge on the back of the fabric, so the fabric would be nice and sturdy. 

Once it dries, you're all done! Repeat the steps as many times as you want, for as many hoops as you want. 

I'll post an update soon once we decide on the mural layout and put them up on the wall in the nursery. Stay tuned!