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Today, let’s get into some of my favorite places to download in-the-hoop embroidery designs for your machine.
I have embroidery software, and I have fun occasionally creating my own designs. But who are we kidding? I’m a busy mom of two girls, and time is money. If I’m not looking forward to digitizing a project that will take several hours, it is worth it to download a freebie or purchase a pre-made design.
After my post on where to find free embroidery designs online was well-received, I decided to put together this list of where to buy or download free in-the-hoop embroidery designs to help you find your next embroidery project.
What is an in-the-hoop embroidery design?
In-the-hoop, or ITH, embroidery designs are 3-D projects made completely (usually) within the hoop of an embroidery machine. You can make a fabric coaster, for instance, without getting out your sewing machine! Your embroidery machine actually stitches together fabric pieces and then adds the embroidery! Or, if you’re making a bag, the machine stitches the zipper, the pieces, etc. together to create the finished project. So awesome!
After you overcome the initial learning curve, making in-the-hoop designs is quick, easy, and an excellent scrap fabric buster. Some designs will be super simple whereas more advanced projects will have more steps. Theses designs can make perfect gifts for baby showers, friends, kids’ teachers, and even neighbors around the holidays.
To note, your selection of in-the-hoop designs is limited by the maximum embroidery area of your machine. So don’t expect to embroider and stitch a huge purse if your maximum hoop size is only 4″x4.”
Free In The Hoop Embroidery Design Websites
We all love free stuff, right? Let’s start with the sites that offer free in-the-hoop embroidery patterns first so you can get your feet wet, and then we’ll move on from there. If you make any of these designs, consider posting your finished picture to the designer’s social media or website to show your gratitude and then consider purchasing from them in the future!
As a note, clicking on the titles should take you to the websites if you don’t see a link in the text below.
The above ITH project is a freebie from this website! How cute is it? It has a pocket for a Starbucks card on the back!
One of my favorite things about Kreative Kiwi Embroidery is all the free in-the-hoop embroidery designs available! That way you can try your machine with these designs and see if this type of embroidery is something you’ll enjoy doing.
For newbies to in-the-hoop embroidery, they have a hints and tips page and step-by-step videos. Many of the designs are coasters, bookmarks, bags, stuffed animals, mug rugs, and so much more! My favorite is the breast cancer awareness ribbon coaster. What a sweet gift for a friend or family member fighting breast cancer.
Each .zip file includes a PDF with step-by-step pictures and instructions. VERY helpful for someone new to this type of embroidery!
To download the free in-the-hoop designs or make a purchase, you will have to give personal information. The designs will then be emailed to you afterward or are accessible in your account.
When you first click, if you’re targeting the free ITH designs, make sure to sort price low to high. There are around 20-30 free in-the-hoop designs here. There are hundreds or thousands of paid designs, though. As a girl-mom, I love browsing through the cutesy projects such as monogrammed hair clips and a ballet shoe purse!
If you’re looking for free general embroidery designs, they have a nice selection of those as well.
SWAK Embroidery has over a thousand in-the-hoop designs I’d estimate. There are 145 pages of them! They offer a few of the in-the-hoop designs for free, but the majority are paid. They run from $1-$10 depending on the complexity of the design. Here’s the page with their free designs. You can find several ITH freebies here if you browse through.
Designs include bookmarks, notebook covers, ornaments, keyrings, zippered bags, coffee sleeves, and SO much more!
Because of their large selection, if you can dream it, you can pretty much find it here! Designs are also updated regularly, so you’ll see new designs frequently.
4. Oma’s Place
Oma’s Place sorts their paid ITH designs based on hoop size, which is VERY helpful if you own a machine with a smaller hoop and don’t want to get your heart set on a design that just won’t fit! If you sift through her free embroidery designs, you will find several ITH options including tags, ornaments, coasters, and mug rugs.
This is the direct link to Creative Fabrica’s embroidery freebies page, which is constantly changing. At the time I’m writing, there are 9 in-the-hoop freebies available. You’ll have to browse through to find them. If you head over to their embroidery designs page and search for “hoop,” you’ll find their hundreds of paid ITH patterns. What’s fun about Creative Fabrica is if you subscribe to their All Access Subscription (usually $29/mo), you get access to every one of their embroidery designs, fonts, SVG files, and graphics for no extra cost. This is a GREAT deal if you are also a Cricut fanatic like me! Especially since each of their designs comes with a commercial license.
There are only 5 free ITH designs right now, but they are still cute! At this time, there are Christmas tags, an embroidered scissors case, and a small puppy purse. The puppy purse comes with very detailed instructions and is geared toward teaching beginners how to stitch ITH designs. This is a very simple, perfect beginner in-the-hoop project to start with!
Not Free (But Still Super Cute) ITH Embroidery Designs
While these websites don’t have a huge collection of free ITH designs, several of them will offer the occasional freebie if you check back monthly on their page or subscribe to their newsletter. Luckily, in-the-hoop embroidery designs are fairly inexpensive (around $5 or less), so they won’t break the bank.
The behemoth of all embroidery websites, Embroidery Library offers a crazy-large selection of designs. Their designs are more unique and creative than some of the websites with projects like bracelets, canning jar tags, Easter egg holders, kid’s games, play food, and even Japanese fans. Every time I browse this website for designs, I’m inspired to create something new! Their prices are very affordable, too, compared to many of the other websites.
Along with Embroidery Library, there is their sister site, Urban Threads, which also has some very creative and affordable ITH designs. Want to stitch a leather purse in the hoop? They have several designs for that!
Etsy is a great place to find anything crafty, honestly. One thing I love about Etsy is the availability of reviews for individual sellers. That way you can browse ratings and comments before using your precious time and resources to embroider a new design.
A Creative Medley specializes in in-the-hoop designs and has a large selection including the usual but also several very unique creations! Marble mazes for fidgety kids? How cool! Also, check out the “doodle its,” which are vinyl-topped designs that function as reusable coloring pages!
I have been subscribed to this website for so long for free commercial-use fonts and SVG files for my Cricut Maker. When I realized they had embroidery designs and many ITH designs also, I was SO excited to browse!
If you’re wanting the designs for free, you will have to sign up for their newsletter and wait for them to email out their occasional freebies.
GG Designs Embroidery has probably 1000+ ITH designs. The ITH page is split by category: bags, banners, bookmarks, felt designs, pencil toppers, treat bags, key fobs, mug rugs and coasters, softies, pet designs, and jewelry. A HUGE selection. GG Designs Embroidery is based in Australia, so the ITH designs are listed in AUD (Australian dollars.) I’m a huge fan of their ITH teardrop earrings. I usually make teardrop earrings with faux leather and my Cricut, but this is such a unique idea to embroider them!
If you watch for sales, you can get some GREAT in-the-hoop embroidery patterns from Planet Applique. Their designs tend to cater to kids and babies, so keep that in mind when browsing. They have so many fun dolls, stuffed animals, and even baby shoes!
Finding the perfect ITH design is easy with this website. They have hundreds of designs organized by holiday, occasion, and theme. I like their ITH letters and numbers, which are fun to stitch for gifts for young toddlers. They have some really cute FSL designs, too, and an active Facebook group that offers free designs, occasionally.
If you watch for good sales, you can also snag some great deals on ITH embroidery designs. I also like how this site lists designs by hoop size so you can filter based on your machine. Fun designs here include busy books, Halloween treat bags, and wall decor with motivational sayings.
While none of the ITH designs are free, you can download hundreds of free embroidered Bible verses and a few other designs in their freebies section!
If you’re looking for appliques, this is one of the best places to find free and paid appliques. However, they also have a nice selection of around 200 in-the-hoop designs. Prices are very low, and they’re often running sales.
Bunnycup has a humongous selection of applique embroidery designs and a ton of free embroidery designs. (I buy SO many baby-themed embroidery designs from them.) Their ITH offerings aren’t as impressive as their regular offerings, but they do come in sets. They have several ornaments, Christmas tags, door hangers, and more.
Titania Creations offers around 300 in-the-hoop designs. Options include key fobs, coasters, softies, and even a lavender sachet. Prices are listed in pounds for this European embroidery design site.
12. Smart Needle
Smart Needle has a large selection of designs grouped in sets. While their designs are creative, colorful, and fun, many of the sets are more expensive than designs found on other websites. Still worth checking out, though, for inspiration!
If you plan to use these designs to produce items to sell, make sure to check the fine print on each design you download! All sites allow using these designs for personal use, many allow stitching for small-scale resell, but very few allow for bulk production.
Best Places to Find In-the-Hoop Designs – Conclusion
I’m always on the lookout for new places to find affordable and good quality embroidery designs. Please let me know if there are any great sites I left out or if anything has changed since the last time I updated this post! Happy embroidering!