How to Finish Cross Stitch in a Hoop the Easy Way

Finishing a cross stitch project is an amazing accomplishment and now it’s time to display your stitching. An embroidery hoop is an affordable and modern way to frame your work. Today’s tutorial will show you step-by-step how to finish your project in a wooden hoop. This tutorial is the second part of my Cross Stitch for Beginners series. Check out the first part here! 

If you prefer a video tutorial, you can watch my YouTube video below:

Let’s Get Started!

Before we get started, we need to gather our supplies. This tutorial will show you how to finish your project in a hoop and how to attach a felt backing. While the felt backing is optional, it can give your piece a clean and complete look. I love this option especially if you are planning on gifting your finished cross stitch piece.

What supplies do I need to finish my hoop?

As an example, I am finishing my free Mod Flowers cross stitch pattern. The supplies that I’m using correlate with this pattern. If you are finishing a different pattern, you may need a different size hoop and a different color of floss. All of the other supplies are exactly the same. Here is a list of everything you will need:

Finished Cross Stitch Project

The first thing you’ll need is your finished cross stitch project. I’ll be finishing my free Mod Flowers cross stitch pattern that I designed specifically for this beginners tutorial. If you need a new project, you can download my pattern here.

Wooden Embroidery Hoop

Next, you can choose the embroidery hoop that you want to finish your cross stitch project in. There are several options for embroidery hoops available, but the most widely accessible option is a basic wooden hoop. These are very affordable and can be found at any craft store. If you’d like something a bit more special, you can look up imitation wood hoops. I have these and I absolutely love them. There is a bit of a learning curve to get the fabric into the hoop, but once it’s there it looks fantastic and gives it a more expensive vibe.

Make sure that your embroidery hoop is larger than your finished project. It is up to you how much of a fabric border you want to be visible. My project finishes at 5.7″ round and I am using an 8” embroidery hoop to give my project a nice large border. My project could easily finish in a 6” or 7” embroidery hoop as well.

Six Strand Embroidery Floss

You can use the leftover floss from your project. I recommend using a lighter color thread because it may show through to the front of your fabric. It’s definitely up to you, though! If you’re finishing the hoop with a felt backing, you may want to choose a different contrasting color to attach the felt to the hoop. The stitching on the back of the hoop will be visible, so I like to use a color that coordinates with my pattern and felt.

Tapestry Needle

You can use any size needle you have available. I’m using the same size 24 tapestry needle that I used to stitch my project.


Any sharp scissors will work for this project. You may also want to grab a pair of large craft scissors to cut the felt fabric if you choose to finish your project with felt.

Felt Fabric (optional)

I am using a piece of felt fabric that is larger than my finished project. You can use any color you’d like. I am using a neutral tan color.

Marker or Pen (optional)

You’ll need a marker or a pen to trace your hoop onto the felt fabric. You can use any type of marking utensil for this part. I like to use a dissolving ink pen. The pen I use is water and air soluble and will disappear from the felt. I like this disappearing ink pen by Dritz.

Here’s a checklist of all of the supplies you’ll need for today’s project.

How to Finish Cross Stitch in a Hoop

Step 1: Trace your inner hoop on a piece of felt fabric. (If you do not want to add felt backing to your project, you can skip steps 1,2, 7, 8 and 9.)

Step 2: Cut out your traced circle on the felt fabric.

HELPFUL TIP: If you’d like to embroidery your initials or a message on your felt fabric, do this prior to attaching it to your embroidery hoop.

Step 3: Put your finished cross stitch piece into the hoop. If you need a quick refresh on how to do this, check out my beginners cross stitch tutorial.

Step 4: Trim the excess fabric around the hoop. Leave one to two inches of fabric all around the hoop.

Step 5: Thread your needle with six strands of embroidery floss. It does not matter what color you use, but I recommend using a lighter option so it isn’t visible from the front of your piece.

Step 6: Use a running stitch all the way around your Aida cloth. If you are getting short on thread, pull the thread slightly so the Aida starts to bunch up. This will give you more slack on your thread to keep going.

Step 7: Pull both sides of the thread so that the Aida cinches up on the back of your project. Pull it tightly so that the fabric lays as flat as possible on the back of your work.

Step 8: Knot your thread.

If you are satisfied with this look, you can stop your finishing process here. Some people want to add a backing to their project to give it an even more finished look. Adding a backing is great if you’re gifting the piece or want to embroider your name onto the back of the project.

Step 9: Thread your needle with a length of embroidery thread. You can decide how many strands to use depending on what type of look you are going for. I’d recommend using at least two threads but you can use up to six. For this example, I am using three strands of thread.

Step 10: Use the blanket stitch to attach your felt circle to the back of your hoop. You will stitch into the Aida fabric underneath your felt circle. If you need a quick refresh on the blanket stitch, check out the video that accompanies this blog post.

Step 11: To end your thread, stitch down into your Aida fabric and stitch up through the felt fabric towards the middle of your project. Cut your embroidery thread closely to the felt fabric so the excess thread falls back into your hoop.

Now you have all of the steps to finish your cross stitch project in a hoop with a nice felt backing. Tag me on Instagram @haileystitches so I can see your beautifully finished projects!

Remember to Pin this tutorial to your Pinterest board so you can have it for your next cross stitch finish. If you want more tips and tutorials, join my newsletter!

I’d love to know, do you have any additional tips for finishing a project in a hoop?

xo, Hailey