Five Quick In the Hoop Embroidery Gifts You Can Finish in an Hour

It's happened to all of us. The holidays (or birthdays or showers) are right around the corner, and that list of handmade gifts we intended to make looks next to impossible. You don't have to give up on creating a handmade gift just because you are short on time. Here are five projects you can easily finish in an hour or less. Click on the images to purchase the designs.


Embroidered bookmarks make a great gift for a teacher, or as a personalized touch to add to a new book.

Bookmarks are very simple to make. Embroider your bookmark using OESD HeavyWeight TearAway on felt or another fabric of your choice. Once the embroidery is done, just cut it out, leaving 1/4” to 1/8” fabric around the outside of your design. The back of the bookmark can be hidden with a felt backing glued over the embroidery. You can also add the backing right in your embroidery hoop. Stitch your bookmark - all but the outline color - onto your fabric. Remove the hoop from the machine, but do not remove the project from the hoop. Then, lightly spray a piece of backing fabric with temporary spray adhesive. Place the backing fabric onto the back of the hoop over the embroidery, and place the hoop back onto the machine. Match the bobbin for the final color and stitch through both the top and back layers. When your bookmark has finished stitching, remove it from the hoop. Trim close to the outline, while not cutting into the stitching. You can also leave part of your fabric around the edge and use pinking shears as a decorative finish. If you use a fabric like denim or linen, you can even fringe the edges of the fabric.


Freestanding lace ornaments can become a beautiful gift and tradition.

Ornaments that combine appliqué and lace will stitch up quicker than those with just lace, and give you an opportunity to play with fabric choices. First, hoop two layers of OESD Aquamesh water soluble stabilizer. Then, stitch a placement line for your appliqué onto the Aquamesh. Place a piece of appliqué fabric over this placement line. The next color change will stitch a cut line onto the appliqué fabric. Trim the appliqué fabric close to this line. Then, stitch the remaining color changes, which will stitch any details onto the appliqué, then stitch any lace sections of the design while also encasing the edges of the appliqué. Finally, remove your project from the hoop, cut away most of the water-soluble stabilizer, and then rinse away the rest in warm running water. Be sure to leave enough time after you finish the project for it to dry before you give it away!


An insulated cup koozie is a great way to make a new coffee mug more personal.

Depending on your design choice, you can use Velcro or a button and elastic loop to close the koozie. Koozie designs will come with their own instructions on how to embroider and assemble them, but they are made in the same way as a bookmark. However, instead of a tear-away stabilizer, Aquamesh water-soluble stabilizer is used.  You can use a regular cotton batting for a thinner koozie, or use an insulated batting to create a sleeve that will keep your hand from getting burned with a hot cup or chilled from a cold one. Be sure to match the bobbin thread on the last color change so the outside of the koozie will have a neat finish. Detailed instructions for each koozie are included in the sewing information which can be downloaded with the design.


A miniature stuffed animal or toy makes a fun package decoration, ornament, or a lovie for a baby or toddler.

Use a soft fleece or minkee fabric to create the cuddliest toys. These projects are done using a stitch and turn method. The project is assembled in the hoop, including the seam that sews the front and the back of the project together.

First, hoop a piece of polymesh stabilizer. This soft stabilizer will turn easily and won't add a crinkly feeling to your stuffed project. Next, you will lay your front piece of fabric right side up onto the stabilizer. Use an adhesive spray like 505 temporary spray adhesive to hold the fabric in place. The stuffed animal’s details will be stitched onto this first piece of fabric. If you are using a fleece or napped fabric, you will want to use a piece of OESD StitcH2O water soluble topping over the top of your fabric when stitching the details. This will keep the details from sinking into the fluffy texture of the fabric.

After the design details are embroidered, place another piece of fabric right sides together with the first piece of fabric in the hoop. Then stitch the seam line through both layers. Remove the project from the hoop, and then cut it out, leaving a narrow seam allowance. Turn the project through the opening in the seam or a slit in the back fabric; stuff with your favorite polyester filling, and hand-stitch closed.

Watch our quick video on how to create an in the hoop bear.


Freestanding lace jewelry is a lovely and trendy gift.

A piece of lace jewelry is the easiest project on this list, and yet it makes an elegant gift. Simply embroider your design onto two layers of OESD Aquamesh water soluble stabilizer, matching the thread in the top and the bobbin. Rinse away the stabilizer when done. After the project is dry, add jewelry findings like a clasp or earring hooks.

Whether you need a last-minute gift or a gift exchange, or just want to share something handmade, you can stitch up these projects in a snap!

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