How to Frame Needlepoint

So after being told it was going to cost hundreds (that’s plural!!) to frame 2 cross stitch pieces, I decided to take matters into my own hands. It’s fairly easy, and doesn’t take that long to do. If you wish, you can wash your piece first. I use non-chlorinated bleach and warm water, and I wash it by hand. After rinsing, lay it flat to dry. Once it’s dry, you can iron on a low setting without steam. Iron all over the back, and go over the parts on the front that are free of stitches. If the front requires more ironing, you can lay a towel over the top.

Next, cut some foam board the same size as the back of your frame. I take the back off and trace it.


Take a ruler, and lay it diagonally from corner-to-corner. Do the other corners, making an ‘x’.


The centre of the x is the middle of the board. Find the middle of your piece of work, and stick a pin through the middle into the middle of your board. I like to use pins with the balls on the end for easy removal.


Stretch your work, and put a ball-topped pin on each side.


Now, you have two options. You’re going to stretch your work as you go, securing it with pins. If you want, you can just leave the pins in. If you want to do this method, use the type of straight pins with flat heads:


Your second option is to go all around your work with the ball-topped pins, and then use thread to tighten your work. For this method, you sew through a few spaces, pull tight, and repeat across the other side, moving back and forth across your work. Both methods work fine, it’s just a matter of preference.


You may have an idea for something that looks a little prettier (I’m also going to shop around for a more neutral-coloured tape), but the last step is to tape around the foam board, attaching it to the back of the frame. If your frame has a back, it may not fit well over the board and cloth, so you’ll put the back in place, and then take the back to the back of the frame.


Attach any necessary hanging hardware, and you’re done!


This piece is a housewarming gift for my parents-in-law. Next on my agenda is to frame the ones to go in the boys’ room. Hopefully before they move out.

*note – the cross stitch that I made is a Lizzie Kate pattern.

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