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I have embroidery software, and I have fun creating my own designs.
But who are we kidding? I’m a busy mom, and there’s only so much free time in the day.
If I’m not looking forward to digitizing a project that will take several hours, it is so worth it to download a freebie or purchase a pre-made design.
Thus, let’s get into some of my favorite places to download free in-the-hoop embroidery designs for your machine and my favorite sites that sell affordable designs.
What is an in-the-hoop embroidery design?
In-the-hoop, or ITH, embroidery designs are 3-D projects completed within the hoop of an embroidery machine.
You can make a fabric coaster (like the awesome one above from Kreative Kiwi) without even getting out your sewing machine!
Your embroidery machine stitches together fabric pieces and then adds embroidery. Or, if you’re making a bag, the machine stitches the zipper, the pieces, etc., together to create the finished project.
After you overcome the initial learning curve, making in-the-hoop designs is quick, easy, and an excellent scrap fabric buster.
And, these designs make perfect embroidery gifts for baby showers, friends, kids’ teachers, and even neighbors around the holidays.
Some designs are super simple, whereas more advanced projects have 50+ steps.
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 Designs – My Favorite Sites
I’ll start with the sites that offer free in-the-hoop embroidery patterns first so you can get your feet wet and then 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 purchase 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 gift card on the back. (And, the pineapple above is also from Kreative Kiwi!)
One of my favorite things about Kreative Kiwi Embroidery is all the free in-the-hoop embroidery designs.
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 free in-the-hoop wallets, coasters, bookmarks, bags, stuffed animals, mug rugs, and so much more, like the above LOVE sign that I also made from there!
My favorite freebie is the breast cancer awareness ribbon coaster. What a sweet gift for a friend or family member fighting breast cancer.
I also recently finished making the above bunny slippers using the design I purchased from Kreative Kiwi. Their paid designs are affordable, awesome, and also stitch out well!
Each .zip file includes a PDF with step-by-step pictures and instructions.
To download the free in-the-hoop designs or make a purchase, you will have to give personal information. The designs then be emailed to you afterward or are accessible in your account.
Kreative Kiwi is also a great place to find free embroidery quilting designs and other types. They run frequent sales, and I STOCK UP!
SWAK Embroidery has over a thousand in-the-hoop designs, I’d estimate. There are 145 pages of them!
They offer many in-the-hoop designs for free, but most 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 them.
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.
Creative Appliques has one free in-the-hoop earbuds and cord wrap (linked above) and a large selection of ITH designs you can purchase.
There are some really cute Christmas in-the-hoop designs, luggage tags, key fobs, and even earrings! I’ve been embroidering earrings lately, and it’s been fun!
Above is the direct link to Creative Fabrica’s embroidery freebies page, which is constantly changing. You’ll have to browse through to see if there are any current free in-the-hoop patterns.
However, if you head over to their embroidery designs page and search for “hoop,” you’ll find hundreds of paid ITH patterns.
What’s fun about Creative Fabrica is that if you subscribe to their All Access Subscription, you get access to all of their embroidery designs, fonts, SVG files, and graphics for no extra cost. Plus, they come with a commercial license. This is a GREAT deal if you are also a Cricut fanatic like me!
There are currently six free in-the-hoop designs at Embroidery Garden: a pen holder, mug rug, cord charger wrap, monster softie, needle case, and donut pincushion.
There are hundreds or thousands of paid designs, though. As a girl mom, I love browsing through 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.
6. 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 designs, you will find several ITH options including tags, ornaments, coasters, and mug rugs.
Despite the name Applique in their website name, most of their free designs right now are free in-the-hoop embroidery designs!
Many of them are holiday-themed, but they are all very cute! I’ve not stitched any of these designs to try out quality, but I’d love to know if any of you have and what your experiences were.
There are only 5 free ITH designs right now, but they are still cute.
The freebies right now include Christmas tags, an embroidered scissors case, and a small puppy purse. The puppy purse has 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!
Also, I love purchasing designs here, such as the in-the-hoop letter holder I bought and stitched above for the holidays!
The above link is to this ITH site’s freebies page, which you must scroll through.
Here, you can find a free in-the-hoop gift card holder, pin cushion, coin purse, and zip case.
Kimberbell, a popular sewing pattern and embroidery design company, also has a small selection of free in-the-hoop projects on its website.
What’s so awesome about Kimberbell ITH patterns is if you don’t have a large enough embroidery hoop for the projects, there are also included sewing patterns for each free design!
Not Free (But Still Cute) ITH Embroidery Designs
While these websites below don’t have a huge collection of free machine embroidery designs in the hoop, several offer the occasional freebie if you check back monthly on their page or subscribe to their newsletter.
Luckily, in-the-hoop embroidery designs are inexpensive (around $10 or less), so they won’t break the bank.
Etsy is a great place to find anything crafty.
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.
If you watch for sales, you can get some GREAT in-the-hoop embroidery patterns from Planet Applique.
Their designs cater more to kids and babies and have many fun in-the-hoop dolls, stuffed animals, and even baby shoes!
For example, above is their In The Hoop Maggie Doll that I purchased and recently embroidered. It was a surprisingly quick make!
I also recently made this cute embroidered pencil bag above from Planet Applique and added my daughter’s teacher’s name to the front.
The behemoth of all embroidery websites, Embroidery Library offers a crazy-large selection of designs.
Their designs are more unique and creative than some websites and include projects like bracelets, canning jar tags, Easter egg holders, kid’s games, play food, and even Japanese fans.
Whenever 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, their sister site, Urban Threads, has some very creative and affordable ITH designs.
Want to stitch a leather purse in the hoop? They have a design for that!
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.
I was excited to browse when I realized they also had embroidery and many ITH designs.
If you want 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.
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 a unique idea to embroider them.
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.
You can also snag some great deals on ITH embroidery designs if you watch for good sales.
I also like how this site lists designs by hoop size so you can filter based on your machine.
Fun designs include busy books, Halloween treat bags, and wall decor with motivational sayings.
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 often run 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 ones, but they 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 sets are more expensive than those found on other websites.
Best Places to Find In-the-Hoop Designs – Conclusion
I’m always looking for places to find affordable, good-quality embroidery designs, so I hope this list of where to buy or download free in-the-hoop embroidery designs is as well received as the one on finding free embroidery designs online!
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.