Very Hungry Caterpillar Hoop Art

Hoop art is extremely popular, and I have been oogling people’s projects on Pinterest and Instagram for a while now.  My first crafting skill was counted cross stitch– I learned when I was about seven, much younger than the Big One is now.  I loved sewing, and the peace and relaxation that it brings me, but I haven’t done it in years.  However, with the dozens of gorgeous hoop art embroidery projects that I’ve seen on the web recently, I’ve been itching to get stitching again!  Several weeks ago, we were at an event where the children were given coloring pages from The Very Hungry Caterpillar.  I thought the pictures would be perfect for some hoop art for the Little Monkey.  Using the coloring page, I made a template for my Very Hungry Caterpillar Hoop Art.

My Mom Made That: Very Hungry Caterpillar Hoop Art

When I got home with the half-colored sheet, I found the Little Monkey’s copy of Eric Carle’s book for reference, and found a few spare 9″ hoops that I had waiting for the perfect hoop art project.  I made copies for the coloring sheet, and sized them to fit the 9″ hoops.  (I made several copies, and didn’t use my original, so that I could always made another one if needed!)

My Mom Made That: Very Hungry Caterpillar Hoop Art

I used  a piece of bleached burlap and muslin for the base of the design.  Since the burlap has such wide spacing, I felt the muslin would provide  more support for the embroidery and felt.  I matched up the picture from the actual book with the felt that I had, and I ended up choosing 3 shades of green felt.  I used wool felt, rather than craft felt that one can typically find at Michael’s and Hobby Lobby.  I actually got the advice about using wool felt from an expert felt craft– Nancy over at Do Small Things with Love.  The texture and feel of real wool felt is very different, and it is much more supple and soft than craft felt.  It is also more expensive.  You can find real wool felt for sale on Etsy or some fabric shops.

My Mom Made That: Very Hungry Caterpillar Hoop Art

To make the design, I first drew a line across the center of the burlap as a guide for laying out the pieces, and then I cut apart one copy of the coloring sheet.  I cut out each of the segments of the caterpillar and placed them on small pieces of the green felt.  I numbered the segments to keep track of the order.  Once all of the green segments were cut out, I pieced them with straight pins onto the burlap.

My Mom Made That: Very Hungry Caterpillar Hoop ArtThen I cut out the head in red.  I made sure that there was slight overlap over each of the segments, to insure that there would be no burlap showing.  I backstiched around the edge of each of the segments with embroidery floss (all 6 strands), in different shades of green.  This is one of those things where the stitches aren’t going to be perfect, but the felt is going to be pretty forgiving.

Once the body segments were sewn in place, I added the antennae, which I sewed to the burlap using blanket stitches. I stitched on the eyes and feet, and finally the nose. For the nose, you can’t see the felt, but it is under the stitching. Then I added in the little “hairs” that were shown on the top of the caterpillar using a straight stitch. The “Hairs” were done using only 2 strands of embroidery floss, rather than all six strands. I didn’t want the little hairs to overwhelm the design.

The very last step was to stitch the quote from the book page, “He was a big, fat caterpillar.” My cross stitch experience helped me free form the lettering as I went. I just made sure that I made the same letters identical in design. Once the stitching was complete, I trimmed the burlap and muslin away, and used fray check around the remained edges.   I’ve included a picture of the back, so that you can see the advantage of having the muslin with the burlap.  It does anchor the felt and stitching to the burlap.

My Mom Made That: Very Hungry Caterpillar Hoop Art

The Little Monkey loved his caterpillar, and kept coming over to “pet” it during the the process.  I can’t wait to make the other 2 in my series to go with this one!  I had such fun with this one!

My Mom Made That: Very Hungry Caterpillar Hoop Art

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  1. This is a cute project, thank you for sharing.

  2. So cute! I miss reading the Very Hungry Caterpillar

    • I missed it too. There are books that you read over and over again when your kiddos are little, and you are SO tired of them. Then they grow up, and you miss the sweet stories!

  3. Love it!

  4. I know that I might have inspired you–but I am incredibly inspired after seeing this, really! I have started thinking about all of the children’s books characters my kids are in love with and how I can turn them into embroidery hoop art. Thinking about starting with our FAV Curious George. Hummm…getting excited! This was just the jump started I needed. Feeling a little uninspired lately. If I do come up with anything I will make sure to link back to you. And plan on sharing this post all over Social Media. LOVE IT!

    • Aww, thanks Nancy! I’ve got a small batch of felt that I’m dying to use so more. I’m definitely hooked. Curious George would be adorable!

  5. oh–adorable!! Love the Very Hungry Caterpillar….my toddler would love this 🙂

    • Thanks so much! This is the first project that the Little Monkey has really liked. I think there is something very eye catching about Eric Carle’s artwork.

  6. Liberty says:

    Oh my goodness! So darling! Not my craft – I can’t sew for beans, but definitely adorable.

  7. This is absolutely adorable! Pinned!

  8. Love this project. It was one of my absolute favorite books growing up! Thanks for linking up with Creative Spark Link Party.

  9. I love that you were inspired by your child’s coloring page. You did a fantastic job on this! I wish I had the patience. Thanks for linking up to Creative Spark Link Party.
    Glenna @ My Paper Craze

  10. Hi Emily! Congratulations you were chosen as a feature this week on Creative Spark Link Party on Weekend Craft and you were pinned to our group feature board! Stop by and check it out and link up for next week!

  11. How crafty, cute, & clever!!! I love this! I’m pinning you caterpillar!

    Navy Wifey Peters @ The Submarine Sunday Link Party

  12. This is so cute! I really want to learn to do hoop art since it doesn’t seem too too difficult. I loved this book as a kid and read it to my sons often.

  13. So cute! Thanks for sharing at Work it Wednesday!

  14. This is so adorable! I love it.

  15. How Sweet is this!! This is one of my daughter’s favorite books!! Great addition to any kids room!


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