Guest Blog: Appliqué Star with Embroidery Hoop Art Tutorial.

This week’s guest blogger, Teresa the creator behind Shirley Rainbow, is here to inspire you with her wonderful midweek make for you to get stuck into with your hands and mind.

Teresa sells her gorgeous hand embroidered decorations and jewellery for you and your home on Folksy, where you can buy beautiful handmade gifts and craft supplies from Britain’s best designers and makers. Read on to find out how to make your very own appliqué star with embroidery hoop art in this short tutorial by Teresa.

Teresa’s Appliqué Star with Embroidery Hoop Art Tutorial.

This is a simple little project that will use up small amounts of fabric, felt and maybe some special beads or sequins you might have saved in your stash of crafty bits. Inspired by some clear starry nights, my growing interest in Japanese Sashiko style stitching, and some therapeutic doodling, it only involves straight stitches to create the pattern. I hope you enjoy making it!

You will need:

● Scissors

● sewing needle

● pins

● pencil

● glue (a hot glue gun or strong liquid glue such as Bostik All Purpose)


● 5’’ (12.5cm) embroidery hoop

● felt in a colour of your choice

● background fabric in a contrasting colour or pattern

● embroidery floss in three contrasting colours

● small amount of beads and sequins

● a circular piece of card just smaller than 5’’ diameter

● sewing thread

● length of cord or ribbon approx 8” (20cm) long

● Star cut out template - download here

Step 1.

First gather your tools and materials. Now loosen the screw on the top of the embroidery hoop. Place the background fabric over the inner ring, place the outer ring on top and push down. Tighten the screw to secure the fabric. (See Fig 1 below)

Step 2.

Cut the star shapes using the downloadable template, out of the felt. Pin the stars into an arrangement you are happy with on the background fabric. (See Fig 2 below)

Step 3.

Cut a length of embroidery floss about 50cm long and divide the strands of floss by gently separating them. You will be using two strands at a time to do the embroidery.

Knot one end of the floss and thread the needle.

Step 4.

Following the design in the photos and template, embroider the design through the stars and background fabric. Start in the middle of the stars and work outwards. It can be quite fiddly to start in the point! Do one stitch at a time, trying to keep your stitches evenly spaced and the same length. Don’t worry if they aren’t perfect as this adds to the handmade charm. When you have enough stitches to hold the star in place take the pin out. (See Fig 3 below)

Step 5.

Using one strand of thread, sew on the sequins. Come up from the bottom and slip the sequin over the needle. Pull up the thread and make a tiny stitch to the side of the sequin, anchoring it in place. Repeat this so the sequin is stitched in place with two tiny stitches. The sequins used in this design are tiny, if you use larger sequins you might prefer to stitch it in place with 4 stitches. (See Fig 4 below)

Step 6.

To sew the beads in place use one strand of thread. Come up from the back of the hoop, pop a bead on the needle and stitch back into the fabric very close to where the needle came up. If your beads are very small you might need to use a beading needle with is very fine. (See Fig 5 below)

Step 7.

To fasten off any thread pass it under a few stitches on the reverse and snip off the excess.

Step 8.

When the embroidery is finished, you might want to check the fabric is still tightly stretched in the hoop. If it has started to loosen up a bit, repeat step 1 again. (See Fig 6 below)

Step 9.

Mark a dotted line on the background fabric using a pencil, about 2’’ (4.5cm) around the edge of the hoop and cut around this line. Thread your needle with a double length of sewing thread approx 80cm long and tie a double knot in the end. Sew around the edge of the fabric – about 1/2” (1.5cm) in from the edge – using a large running stitch. (See Fig 7 below)

Step 10.

Gently pull the stitching tight, which will pull the fabric in and hide the raw edge of the fabric at the back of the embroidery hoop. Stitch a few stitches in one place to to anchor the thread.This can be a bit tricky so take your time. Don’t worry if it looks a bit messy as you will be hiding this stitching with the card circle. Snip the excess thread off. (See Fig 8 and 9 below)

Step 11.

Get your card circle and add a line of glue around the edge. Press this firmly in place to cover the back of the hoop and hide the stitching and raw edge. Hold it until the glue dries. (See Fig 10 and 11 below)

Step 12.

Loop the length of ribbon through the screw and tie a knot, now your hoop is ready to display or hang on the wall! (See Fig 12 below)

Tutorial written by Teresa Bettelley aka Shirley Rainbow. See more of her gorgeous embroidery here and find more handmade inspiration on

Have you ever dreamed of opening a shop and selling your own makes? The Handmade Fair has teamed up with Folksy, the home of British craft, to get you started with your very own online shop for free! Just head over to and use the code ‘HandmadeFair20’. That magic code will get you 20 free listings – so you can start your very own online shop, list 20 of your gorgeous products, show the world your craft skills, be part of their amazing maker community and get loads of support and advice, all for free! Read more about selling on Folksy here.