I’ve had the joy of teaching sewing in our community for the past few years to children of all ages. When people discover that I teach sewing to children, the first question they always ask is “what is a good beginner project?” This little hoop project is always my number one go-to project for anyone who has never used a needle and thread and wants to learn to sew. Even better, including buttons in the project ensures that they will also walk away with a great life skill for those days when a button pops off their shirt at the most inopportune time – and you know we’ve all been there!
First up, let’s talk supplies. You will need the following to complete the two hoops:
- Buttons Galore “Sunflowers” 3D Buttons
- Buttons Galore “Apple Pickin'” 3D Buttons
- Buttons Galore Green Haberdashery Buttons
- scraps of blue craft felt
- felt flowers of various shapes and colors
- scrap of felt (for your initial and the tree trunk)
- DMC cotton pearl embroidery thread – size 5 in green & white
- 2 – 6″ wooden embroidery hoops
- circle template measuring roughly 8 inches diameter
- initial patterns – hooplettersA-I hooplettersJ-Q hooplettersR-Z
- chenille needle size 22
- craft glue (optional)
- needle threader (optional, but helpful)
Now that you’ve gathered up all your materials, let’s get started and learn to sew! First, you need to find something to make a roughly 8-inch circle. Find a bowl or something round to trace around and cut your blue felt into two circles.
Next up, let’s set them in your embroidery hoops. This is often the most daunting thing for new stitchers, but all you need to do is make an embroidery hoop “sandwich”! Unscrew the bolt just a little and separate the hoops into two parts. Take the part without the bolt and lay it on your workspace. Then lay your blue felt circle on top of the bolt-less hoop and sandwich them all together by setting the hoop with the bolt outside the bottom hoop and the felt. Tighten up the screw and pull on the edges of the felt just a little to make everything tight.
Now, print out the pattern page with your initial on it and cut out the correct initial for you. Use the paper pattern to cut out your initial with whatever color felt you would like. Then gather up your Sunflower buttons, the felt flowers, and your initial. Lay them all out on top of the hoop in whatever design you like best.
Now it’s time to stitch down your initial. Take your white thread and needle. Thread your needle and make sure to put a knot on the end! We are going to stitch down our initial with a running stitch.
First up, bring your needle up from the bottom and pull gently until your knot stops the thread. Don’t pull too hard or you will pull your knot all the way through! Then bring your needle back down about a pinky finger width from where you started and pull the thread all the way through. Then bring your needle back up and then down as you stitch along the middle of your initial letter. Always remember to “follow your thread” and stitch with a rhythm of up and down.
Lastly, grab your Sunflower buttons and lay them on top of your felt flowers. These are shank style buttons and can be a little more tricky for little hands to sew. Start out by bringing your needle up from the bottom and pull it all the way through till the knot stops you. Then take your button shank and thread it onto the needle and thread. Let it fall all the way down and then put your needle back through the top of the felt, pulling the button tight to the felt as you pull the thread from underneath. Continue to sew the button on a few more times and then move down to the next flower.
To finish off my hoops, I like to take a hot glue gun and glue the rim of extra felt around to the inside of the back. But sometimes I like to leave it open like a little ruffle fringe! Your choice!
Put a pretty ribbon through the top and you are done!
To make the tree, gather up a scrap of brown felt and cut out a little tree trunk. You have the option of sewing down your tree trunk with a running stitch or you can use some craft glue to glue it down.
After gluing down the trunk, grab your green thread, a needle and the Apple Pickin buttons from the pack and stitch those down in random spots above your tree trunk. These are the same shank style as the sunflowers. Next, pour out your bag of Green Haberdashery buttons and choosing those that fit best, stitch down green buttons around your apples to fill in the tree.
After you sew all the button “leaves” down, take your apple basket and apples and stitch those down near the bottom of the tree. Add a little ribbon for hanging, finish the back by gluing the felt edge to the back or leave it like a ruffle.
And there you go, two little Fall inspired hoops – these are perfect projects for beginning stitchers!