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How to back (or finish) an embroidery hoop with running stitch

There are so many options for backing (or finishing) an embroidery hoop. If you're brand new to stitching, you may feel overwhelmed by your choices - it's hard not to feel like you're on the search for the "best" or "most correct" way to do it when you're new! That said, there are no "right" or "wrong" ways to finish embroidery projects, only personal preferences that you'll develop overtime with practice and experience.


I've shown how I back embroidery hoops using recycled cardboard in a previous post, and today I'll share another easy and beginner-friendly way to finish your projects: running stitch!


Back of a green embroidery hoop that has been finished using a running stitch.
This method is super simple and beginner-friendly!

I've provided instructions for how to back your embroidery hoop using running stitch in written, photo, and video format (feel free to jump ahead to the video tutorial, or watch it directly on my YouTube channel, should that be easier for you to follow!). You may also find my post on running stitch to be useful, especially if you're new to this stitch!


Step 1: Trim your fabric and prepare a length of floss.


Start by trimming your fabric around your hoop so that you're left with about an inch or so to fold toward the back. I generally follow the circular shape of the hoop itself when trimming, but don't worry too much about getting your fabric to the perfect shape.


You'll also want to grab a length of floss. I usually grab about 12-16" of floss here, and it can be any color you like (as it'll be hidden in the back once you've finished the process).


Hope demonstrates the process of backing (or finishing) an embroidery hoop using running stitch.

Step 2: Create a single straight stitch, leaving yourself a tail.


Next, create a single straight stitch by bringing your needle down through your fabric, back up any distance you like, and pulling your floss until you're left with a short tail.


Hope demonstrates the process of backing (or finishing) an embroidery hoop using running stitch.
Hope demonstrates the process of backing (or finishing) an embroidery hoop using running stitch.

Unlike a typical straight stitch, which would leave us with a single stitch on top of our fabric, this leaves us with a straight stitch at the bottom of our fabric. I find that this makes the pulling portion of this technique a bit easier to do later on in the process.


Hope demonstrates the process of backing (or finishing) an embroidery hoop using running stitch.

Step 3: Create a running stitch around the perimeter of your hoop, pulling your floss after every few stitches.


If you prefer, you can create each stitch individually, pulling your floss after each stitch (as you would were you doing a running stitch on top of your fabric). In the photo below, you can see that I'm using the sewing method, meaning that I'm creating several stitches before pulling my floss through my fabric.


Hope demonstrates the process of backing (or finishing) an embroidery hoop using running stitch.

Be careful not to pull so hard that you pull out the tail from the last step; you'll want to be especially cognizant of this for your first few running stitches.


Hope demonstrates the process of backing (or finishing) an embroidery hoop using running stitch.

In the photo below, you can see what my project looks like once I've made it to about the halfway point.