Embroidery Library

Head-to-Tote Embroidery


In-the-Hoop refrigerator magnets are reborn as pins and patches. Now you can add embroidery to un-hoopable bags, hats, jackets, shirts and anything you can think of!

By transforming a magnet design into a freestanding applique piece, you can change your look from day to day, and season to season.

Supplies Needed:

Two 8 inch by 8 inch pieces 
   of fabric (we used felt for the
   front and twill for the back)

**Medium weight cutaway

**Temporary spray adhesive
   (we use KK100)

Lapel pin, self adhesive
   Velcro (or sew-on Velcro),
   snaps and snap tool/pliers

**Hot glue and gun
   (for attaching pin)

**Marking pen or
   dressmakers pencil

When you download a refrigerator magnet design you'll find three files.

Two of the files are marked with "_DL" -- that stands for "dieline." One of these files is marked with "_DLFront," and the other is "_DLBack." The dielines are what we'll use to cut the fabric to the exact shape of the magnet. 

If you have embroidery software, open the dieline files and print them at full size.  Then, spray a piece of medium-weight cutaway stabilizer with temporary adhesive.

Smooth the fabric for your magnet on top of the stabilizer. 

For this project, we're using craft felt for the front ("_DLFront" file) and twill for the back ("_DLBack" file). Using a smooth fabric like twill (or quilters' cotton) works well with hot glue and Velcro which we will be adding later on.

Place the paper template on top, and cut out the shape.

Do this for the front dieline, and the back dieline too.

 If you don't have embroidery software, then you can embroider the dielines.

Spray a piece of cutaway stabilizer with adhesive and...

 ...smooth the fabric on top.

Hoop the fabric and stabilizer together, firmly.

Embroider the dieline.

 After the dieline has finished, cut out the shape.  Do this for the front and back dielines.

Now that the fabric pieces are cut and ready to go, it's time to make the magnet. Hoop a piece of tear-away stabilizer.

Load the full embroidery design into your machine -- that's the design that is named with only an "X" followed by 4 numbers. 

Embroider the design. The first thing to embroider is another dieline, and that traces the shape of the magnet on the stabilizer.

Spray the back side of the front fabric piece with a bit of adhesive.

Place that piece right inside the sewn dieline.

Continue embroidering the design. The next thing to sew is a zig-zag stitch, and this tacks the fabric down to the stabilizer to hold it in place during the rest of the embroidery.

Other elements of the design will embroider next.

On the color change sheet you'll see a note that says "back piece tack down."

When you get to this point, stop the machine.  Spray the back side of the back fabric piece with adhesive.

Remove the hoop from the machine (do not unhoop the stabilizer), turn it over, and place the back fabric piece right inside the shape.

Because the remaining steps will be seen from both the front and back of the applique, we're winding a bobbin with the same thread we're using in the top for the remaining steps.

Attach the hoop to the machine, and continue embroidering the design. The next thing to sew is a tack down stitch which binds the back fabric to the stabilizer.  And finally, a satin stitch border which gives the embroidery a professional, clean finish.

Remove the stabilizer from the hoop and gently tear the excess stabilizer away. 

Now that the design has been sewn, we will show you a few different ways to turn it into a pin.  First we will turn it into a lapel pin.  Lapel pins can be found in the beading section of most craft stores.  Add a line of hot glue to the back of the pin.

Lay the embroidery with the backside facing up and press the pin in place.  Hold the pin in place for a few seconds until the glue sets.

Pin the embroidery where ever you like!  We added one to this garden hat.

Next, we will attach the embroidery to a visor using self-adhesive Velcro.  Cut a strip of Velcro a bit smaller than the width of the applique.  Add the loop side to the visor and press in place. 

Then, add the hook side to the back of the design.

Add the embroidery to the visor by aligning the Velcro strips together - press in place.  You can also hot glue strips of sew-on Velcro if you wish.

Finally, we can add embroidery to our projects by using snaps.  Using a snap tool, place the button part of the snap in the center of the flower. 

Next, lay the applique where you want it and mark the center of the back of the snap.

Add the inner side of the snap using a snap tool.

Snap the embroidery in place and away you go!

Click here for a printable version of these project instructions.

You'll need to have Adobe Acrobat Reader installed on your computer. If you don't have it, you can download a free copy by clicking on the icon below.

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Products used in this Project:

Pretty Petals - Magnet (In-the-Hoop) $3.49 - $3.99

Available in 2 Sizes:

3.43" x 3.88" | 2.99" x 3.40"

Beautiful Bud - Magnet (In-the-Hoop) $3.49 - $3.99

Available in 2 Sizes:

3.54" x 3.87" | 3.12" x 3.40"

Bursting Bloom - Magnet (In-the-Hoop) $3.49 - $3.99

Available in 2 Sizes:

3.77" x 3.89" | 3.29" x 3.40"