Tips for Embroidering ITH Ornaments

These tips will make in-the-hoop ornaments even more spectacular!

Making anything in the hoop is a plus for me as I am not fond of a lot of finish work. These tips will help when you are creating ITH ornaments or any freestanding applique project.


Often, tear-away stabilizers are recommended. I have had great results using a water-soluble fabric-type stabilizer, heat-away stabilizer, and water-soluble toppers in the hoop.

Tear-away stabilizers can leave hairy edges while water-soluble can be trimmed close to the project and wiped away with a wet cloth or cotton swab. Heat-away and water-soluble toppers tear cleanly away from edge stitching.

Holding Pieces in Place

ITH projects often have several pieces that get assembled in the hoop, so keeping them in place is important. Temporary spray adhesives work well. Also consider using painters tape or transpore tape.

School stick glue (the purple kind) is great for holding fabrics in place as well as magnetic pins like SewTites.


Choose fabrics like felt, vinyl, and cork for edges that need no finish work. If the back has a smooth finish, ornaments work as a gift tag.


Adding extras can make projects come to life. Consider using ribbons, buttons, beads, hot-fix crystals, even Angelina fibers.

Stitching can be accented when using specialty or metallic threads. Miniatures, like the lollipop, add nostalgic charm.

Just have fun and see what you create!