Decorate a chair back for a garden party

An embroidery hoop stretched with summery fabric is the starting point for a bespoke place card.

Looking for a novel chair idea for a country garden party? Maybe you’re thinking about a unique craft project for a hen party? We are loving this inspirational way to personalise chairs using embroidery hoops and ribbon. It does the job of a place card and is a brilliant way to use up lovely furnishing fabric samples. Simply stretch fabric and ribbon across the hoop, layering an extra scrap of fabric to create a pocket for flowers, if you like, and fix in place with the hoop rim.

You will need:

  • An embroidery hoop, from around £1.70 for 10cm diameter, and narrow ribbon, from a selection, at Hobbycraft.
  • Luggage labels – try buff strung luggage style tags, from £2.50 for a pack of 50 at Sticky Tiger.
  • Decorative ribbon for placing on top of the fabric pocket – try Saddle Stitch ribbon, from around £1 for 1.5m, at Crafty Ribbons which offers a great assortment.
  • Skinny grosgrain ribbons in assorted colours to secure your decoration, from around £1.19 for 5m at Beads Direct.

Step one
Cut a square of fabric slightly larger than your hoop – we chose linen but use whatever material works best with your scheme. Cut another piece of fabric into a rectangular strip for the pocket (roughly a third of the height of the fabric square if you want to follow our design).

Step two
Cut ribbon to go across the top of the pocket, remembering to leave extra at both ends so it stays inside the hoop when tightened.

Step three
Place the fabric square, fabric rectangle for the pocket and ribbon on top of the inner section of the hoop and fix in place with the hoop rim, making sure the ribbon hides the top of the pocket and none of the fabric is going to pop out. Trim any excess material from the back.

Step four
Finish your creation with a hand-written name tag and pop fresh flowers in the pocket, then tie the hoop to the chair with ribbon, as shown.

Other fabric ideas
Try stretching vintage embroidered linen doilies in the hoops for a fresh romantic look, or add texture stretching a sheer, such as voile, across the top of another fabric. Both ideas are simple and quick. For an authentic embroidery look, trawl vintage clothing stalls or junkshops for scraps of real needlework that could go into the frame.

Find more craft ideas and makes at Country Homes & Interiors

Visit the Ideal Home garden shop

Love your garden? Take advantage of our special offers on plants at the Ideal Home garden shop. Our curated collection of beautiful flowers and shrubs is guaranteed to add colour and charm to your outdoor space.

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