5 Easy Steps To Framing Your Cross-Stitch Art (Or Other Embroidery Projects)

finished cross-stitch
Photo from Unsplash

Cross stitch is a fun and easy form of embroidery (and, in case you haven’t been to our site before, we like it when things are easy). We’ve noticed a lot of our customers end up using our frames to display their latest needlepoint project — whether it’s something they made by hand or purchased from a talented artist.

Like puzzles, though, cross stitches are different than your basic photograph or print and require a little extra work when it comes to framing them. And while our frames can certainly work for them, there are some other considerations or steps you would need to take for the best possible display.

1. Wash Your Cross-Stitch

framed wreath cross-stitch
Project by customer Sandra T.

You will want to ensure that your cross-stitch fabric is clean and presentable before you frame it to be hung on your wall.

Luckily, everything you need is probably laying around your home! A bowl filled with some lukewarm water and some mild soap is all that you really need. In terms of what type of soap to use, most sources recommend something like a gentle dish detergent (just a small pinch), while others suggest using baby bubble bath formula. Either way, don’t use anything too strong, or too much of it! A little goes a long way.

Next, you will need to place the cross stitch in the water for about 15 minutes —moving it around as it soaks. Once you do that, rinse it with water a few times until the water runs clear.

From there, you’ll want to place it down on a clean, white towel — making sure to get out all the wrinkles and folds. Place another white towel on top of it, and roll until all the excess water is out. Make sure not to fold the towel and cross-stitch; roll it instead, as you won’t want any creases showing in the final, framed product!

2. Measure your cross-stitch

cross-stitch of elephants
Project by customer Kim W.

This is a staple of all our framing tutorials — measure, measure, measure! There’s a more in-depth tutorial for doing so on our site, but it’s still important to discuss here, as there are a few things to consider when measuring your cross-stitch.

Because you usually stretch a cross-stitch over a more solid surface, it might be a good idea to do that before measuring — the numbers you measure after your cross-stitch will represent your “Art Size”

Keep in mind that our thickness limitations are 1/8″ for our wood frames and 1/4″ for our metal. The average poster board thickness isn’t even 1/16″ thick. These would work as a mount for your cross-stitch masterpiece.

Keep in mind, too, that we mentioned on our puzzle post that most puzzles, while thicker than your average print, still works for our frames. So not everything thicker than paper is automatically excluded from our frames. Needless to say, you got room to wiggle here!

3. Time To Mount It

Starry Night themed cross-stitch
Project by customer David V.

Before you put your cross-stitch in a frame that would protect it forever, why not give it some solid ground to sit on, first? That’s what mounting is for!

The biggest issue you’ll run into when mounting your cross-stitch is getting it wrinkle-free. There are a few ways you can go about doing this. The first is to use a spray bottle when you lay it over your poster or foam board. From there, you could flatten it out and remove all the wrinkles. There is, however, something different you can use that might a little less wet, with the same result.

There are sticky foamboards made just for needlepoint works, and you can use them to adhere to your piece, so it won’t move around. There are tons of options on Amazon as well as Hobby Lobby. Just be sure it’s suitable for cross-stitch and is acid-free.

From there, you would lay your cross stitch over your backing of choice — folding the excessive ends around the edges of the board. Make sure the piece is as tight as possible when you do this, to prevent any further creasing or wrinkling from appearing over time.

Once you stretch it across, and it’s as tight as you can make it, place pins into the side of the board to hold it in place. These are only temporary, though, as you’ll need some sort of adhesive to hold the excess folds in place permanently. Some cross-stitch enthusiasts suggest scotch tape. This could work, but keep in mind the one thing we always harp on — the acidity of it! If you choose tape, try and opt for something that is acid-free.

Other sources recommend using a staple gun, either should get the job done. It’s largely up to your personal preference.

Once your cross-stitch is mounted successfully, measure it to get your “Art Size” and order your frame!

4. What to do if you have frayed edges

fall themed framed cross-stitch
Project by customer Kathleen M.

Let’s face it: The worn, rustic look is in. And that means that showing the age on certain items is, well, trendy. You might have a cross-stitch with frayed edges, and you want to show off every last bit of it — even the jagged ends.

This would require fewer steps and less speculation about measuring. All you would have to do is measure the area around the very edges of the piece that you want showing and make that your “Art Size.”

Pro Tip: if you’re not a fan of white backing you can order a whole matboard from our Matboards page in tons of different colors. Just make sure the “Outside Width and Height” is equal to the “Art Size” for your frame!

5. Frame It

framed cross stitch with matboard
Project by customer Regina A.

This is the grand finale. But when you’re here, it shouldn’t be any different than framing your basic print, as you’ve already done the hard part in mounting the piece!

If you ordered a frame from us, just keep in mind the difference between wood and metal. Metal has a little more wiggle room for your thicker art pieces.

Of course, it’s your project; do with it as you see fit! If you really like the aesthetic of our wood frames, just make sure that the total thickness of your piece (board with the needlework itself) is 1/8″ or less.

Get the Needlepoint?

needle and thread
Photo from Unsplash

Cross-stitches can certainly be a great thing to frame. Like anything off the beaten path of basic prints, though, there can be a few extra steps required. Just remember the following, and you should be good to go.

  • Make sure your cross stitch is clean before you frame it.
  • Use needles and adhesive to make sure it’s in place when you frame it.
  • Once it’s framed, hang it and enjoy the great result.

If you have any needlepoints currently in our frames, reach out to us on our social media pages and show us! We always love to see the creations people have made with our frames.

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