How To Embroider Without A Hoop? 

Embroidery hoops are pretty familiar to people who enjoy hand embroidery. It serves as the foundation for all needlework projects, and without it, hand stitching would be complicated, if not impossible. You might be wondering why this is the case. That’s because the hoop’s frame encases the entire fabric, ensuring that it remains put and doesn’t shift or curl. There are, however, numerous instances in which you must embroider without a hoop. So, it’s understandable if you’re wondering how to embroider without a hoop. This post will answer this and many other related questions in depth. So, let’s get started. 

Do you have a particular question about how to embroider without a hoop? Then use the table of contents below to jump to the most relevant section. And you can always go back by clicking on the arrow in the right bottom corner of the page. Also, please note that some of the links in this article may be affiliate links. For more details, check the Disclosure section at the bottom of the page. 

What do you do with embroidery hoops?

Embroidery hoops come in handy when you’re doing some hand embroidery work. Using them is as simple as it can be. Just spread the fabric you’re embroidering on, on one hoop (the inner one) and secure it with the other (outer one).

Thus, you have assured that your fabric won’t move or wrinkle under the pressure as you embroider your way through the project. 

Furthermore, choosing to embroider using a hoop increases the likelihood of your stitches being neat and clear. As a result, you end up with a smoother and neater piece of fabric to embroider on at the end of the work.

Not to mention the fact that your hand won’t get tired by the task of stabilizing the fabric during embroidery, since that’s what and why you’re using an embroidery hoop for.

Nevertheless, you can use your embroidery hoop for other purposes other than embroidery. For example, you can come up with some of the following creative pieces of art with your embroidery hoops. 

  • Embroidery Hoop Pin Cushion 
  • Woven Hanging Wall Art
  • Farmhouse wreath
  • Rope string hoop
  • Embroidery Hoop Trivets and Coasters
  • Bunny Embroidery Hoop Wreath 
  • Embroidery hoop hanging planter
  • Embroidery Hoop Bandana Laundry Bag
  • Embroidery Hoop Lampshade
  • Embroidery Hoop Suncatcher
  • Embroidery hoop craft supply pockets
  • Embroidery Hoop Photo Frames
  • Embroidery Hoop Boho Dream Catchers 

Can you embroider without a hoop?

Well, anything is possible when one sets his mind to it. The same goes for doing embroidery without a hoop. Of course, by doing so, you can increase the chances of stabbing your fingers with the needle countless times along the embroidery process, thus getting tired quickly and putting it away. But again, it’s not IMPOSSIBLE to embroider without a hoop. 

In fact, not using an embroidery hoop comes as a relief, especially if you’re working on some project where you don’t have to draw neat and perfect stitches or work on some fragile fabric. 

Besides, if the fabric you’re working on is not in a regular shape, then not using an embroidery hoop becomes an ideal thing to do. 

How to embroider without a hoop?

Whenever you find yourself in a situation where you don’t have an embroidery hoop, don’t fret, as embroidering without a hoop isn’t a big deal. All you need to do is apply the proper method of embroidering without a hoop, and you’re good to go. 

First of all, you can go for the nearest available option: embroidering with your hands. Yes. You can do that without a speck of doubt. And why not, as in olden times (when embroidery hoop wasn’t a thing), people used to do embroidery with hands and create some great art pieces. 

If you don’t know how to embroider with your hands, here’s how you can do it. Hold the fabric with your fingers and thumb and stretch the fabric to your desired tension. Initially, this could be a bit challenging for you. You would also feel some soreness in your fingers since you’re not used to it. But once you get hold of the things, this would become one of the easiest ways to do embroidery. Again, consistency is the key in this matter, and you’d become a pro at it with time. 

Besides, you can also use a fabric stabilizer, for that matter, since it helps maintain the fabric tension and prevent it from getting curled or puckered every now and then. 

Another option for an embroidery hoop is a stretcher bar. The stretcher bars come together to produce a square shape, similar to a picture frame. You may use it as a hoop by stretching your fabric across it, securing it, and using it as a hoop.

What can I use instead of an embroidery hoop?

From needles to beads to embroidery hoops, a craft enthusiast has it all stacked up because you never know when you can need one. However, if, by any chance, you don’t have an embroidery hoop or are a beginner and you really need to finish your embroidery project, then stay put since there are some other items that you can use as an embroidery hoop substitute. 

Recycled materials can come to the rescue whenever you find yourself in a ‘hoop-less’ state (pun intended.) To start with, a throw-away plastic container can be of great use for a hoop alternative. Similarly, a paper towel roll, a craft clamp, and even a hair tie can also do the trick. 

Aside from these substitutes, you can also use a picture frame for the said purpose. Then, all you’ve to do is remove the backing and the glass, and Voila! Your creative embroidery hoop is all set for the work. 

Tips for machine embroidery without a hoop

If you’re aiming to do machine embroidery without using a hoop (which is quite a challenging task), keep the following tips in mind to ace it. 

Using a peel and stick stabilizer is one way to rock the task of machine embroidery without a hoop. These stabilizers come in paper films and stick to the fabric easily after the peel is taken off. 

Using a spray and stick stabilizer is another way to go. All you need to do is apply the spray onto the fabric to the required amount. The spray thickens the fabric, thus preventing it from curling and allowing you to embroider easily. 

How to frame embroidery without a hoop?

It’s typical to display your work by framing it on a hoop. However, if you want to be innovative, try framing it without a hoop, which is incredibly simple and looks great.

Select a frame that is appropriate for the size of your embroidered fabric. Next, remove the back of the frame and iron the embroidered fabric on a low setting. Now carefully place the embroidery on the backing board before attaching it.

Stick it with a thread using zigzag stitches or adhesive once it’s finished (depending on the fabric stuff). After that, place the backing board back into the frame with the crisp stitched surface facing the glass, tighten the clasps, and you’re done. 

How to hang embroidery without a hoop?

You can always be creative with the way you display your craftwork. Following are some of the ways to hang your embroidery without a hoop. 

  • Before hanging your embroidery fabric on the wall, get a wooden hanger and set it on it. It is the perfect solution for larger embroidery projects that are difficult to frame.
  • Embroider on your basic pillowcase and stuff it with new filling before putting it on your couch. 
  • Wrap your embroidery around a hanging ornament and display it to brighten up the atmosphere in your home.

Credits: photos by Canva

Disclosure: at we only write about the products that we’ve researched and considered worthy. But it’s important to mention that we are a participant of several affiliate programs, including Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a mean for us to earn fees by linking to and affiliated sites. As an Amazon Associate earns from qualifying purchases.