How to Frame Your Own Needlework
1. Washed and ironed needlework
3. Craft foam or quilt batting (optional)
4. Acid Free Foam Core
5. Cross stitch ruler (linen or aida)
6. Acid free artist's tape OR unwaxed dental floss for lacing
7. Double stick tape
8. Brass straight pins
9. Measuring tape
10. Utility knife or Pro-Trim Knife
11. Purple disappearing fabric marker OR sewing thread in contrasting color
12. Small brads or finishing nails
14. Small hammer
15. Needle-nose pliers
16. Paper for dust cover
17. Bumpers and hanger for back of frame (if needed)
Begin by centering the stitching on the foam core...just "eyeball" it for now, you will exactly center it later. Place a pin in the fabric and into the foam core at the top of the piece, and then stretch the fabric and place a second pin in the foam core at the bottom of the piece. Repeat for the two sides. Be sure you're stretching the fabric before you pin.
You will end up with four pins securing your piece to the foam core, one pin in the center of each side.
With the purple fabric marker, draw a small line by each pin in the fabric. Then, take out the four pins and lay your needlework flat on the table.
You will now determine how to exactly center your needlework. Use a cross stitch ruler (available for different counts of fabric, linen or Aida, at craft and needlework stores). Measure from the top edge of the design to the purple mark on the fabric. Then, measure from the bottom edge of the design to the purple mark at the bottom of the fabric. Both top and bottom need to have the same number of threads or squares. Figure out how many threads this should be, and make a new longer purple mark on the fabric at the correct measurement.
Repeat this same process to center the design right to left.
Now take your marker and find the thread that you marked with the longer purple line in the step above. Pressing firmly on the fabric, draw a purple line the length of the thread. Repeat on all four sides until you have a purple box around your design. (Make sure your marker is the kind that disappears in a few hours!) OR use the sewing thread to baste all the way around your design.
Take your scissors and trim away any excess fabric. You should leave only an inch and a half to two inches beyond the purple line -- any more than that will be too bulky.
Now you will pin your needlework to the foam core.
Start at the top left corner. Pull the purple line just over the edge of the foam core and place two pins (one on each side of the corner). Do the same in the lower right corner, then the top right corner, then the bottom left. Also place a pin in the center of each side, pulling the purple line over the edge as you do so.
Beginning at the shortest side, place a pin every 1/8 inch or so. As you are pinning, pull the fabric up and over so that the purple line is just over the edge of the foam core. Follow the threads in the fabric -- the purple line is just a guide. Continue pinning all the way around the piece. OR place a few pins on one side of the piece, then the other, so that you are pinning on opposite sides of your piece. This helps keep an even tension.
When you are finished pinning around the piece, check your work carefully to make sure you pinned it evenly. Sometimes placing the piece in the frame (or the mat if you're using one) can help you spot any uneven places.
Once you are happy with the stretching, take the small hammer and use it to gently tap the pins down, all the way around the piece.
Now you'll want to secure the excess fabric on the back of your piece. Use acid free artist's tape to tape down the excess fabric, starting with the long sides and then the short sides. OR use the dental floss to lace your excess fabric.
Now place your needlework in the frame. Use the small brads or finishing nails to hold the foam core in the frame. You can use needle nose pliers to push the nails into the frame.
Now you will want to add a dust cover to the back of the frame to protect your work. Use a pretty paper bag, some wrapping paper, or brown mailing wrap.
Put double stick tape all around the edges of your frame. Then, place the paper on the tape and push down to secure.
Use a utility knife to trim the paper just inside the edge of the frame. You can also use a Pro-Trim knife, which is a utility knife with a special edger that makes it easy to cut just in from the edge.
If needed, add a hanger to the center top of the frame. You can also add plastic bumpers to the bottom corners of the frame so that it hangs evenly and doesn't scratch the wall.
Congratulations! You just framed your own needlework!
TO BE CONTINUED... Buy now and enjoy the contents in full!