How to Frame a Cross Stitch in a Photo Frame

posted Wednesday, July 1st 2015 at 8:52 AM by

How to Frame a Cross Stitch in a Photo Frame

I did a write up a little bit ago about how to frame a cross stitch in the hoop, and I wanted to do another follow up tutorial on framing a cross stitch in a photo frame. Here it is!

Materials Needed

Here is a list of what you'll need. You can get just about everything at a hobby store, or Amazon.com.

Materials Needed
Finished cross stitch
Photo frame
Scissors, thread, needle
Cardboad (cereal box thickness)

Step #1, Ironing the Finished Cross Stitch

Ironing a finished cross stitch

The first step is to clean the finished cross stitch. Wash any dirty areas with safe dish soap and let dry. Then iron out any wrinkles. Be sure not to use too much heat or apply heat directly to the stitches.

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Step #2, Cut the Mounting Board

Cutting Backing for a Finished Cross Stitch

The backing I'm using is from a Wheat Thins box. You'll want cardboard that isn't too thick, otherwise it won't fit the frame, but should also not bend easily. Cereal boxes work really well.

Start by tracing the outline on the box. If you're using a frame with matting, tracing on the inside of the matting. Tracing on the inside will let you frame the cross stitch in a non-matted frame should you decide to switch later.

Trace matting for framing a cross stitch

If you're dead set on using the matting now and forever or if you're using just using the full width of the frame, trace the frame's glass on the cardboard.

With the cardboard traced, cut out the backing along the lines.

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Step #3, Position the Backing and Trim to Size

Positioning Fabric When Framing a Cross Stitch

Next, take the cardboard backing and position it behind the cross stitch, moving it around until you've got it where you want it. Remember to take care so the image is centered how you'd like it, only the areas that are on top of the cardboard will be showing through the frame.

This step can be a bit tricky when getting the cross stitch centered. I like to take a single strand of floss and quickly stitch the border of the cardboard. This emulates the photo frame, and helps give me a clear idea of how it will look when finished. It's also useful later when we start cutting and stitching the backing on. It's only a temporary guide, and we'll remove it later.

The cross stitch is transparent enough to be able to see the cardboard behind it. With the image centered, take note of the corners of the cardboard backing. With a single strand of floss, stitch the border of the cardboard frame.

Stitching the border

Continue stitching until the border is complete. Then, leaving 1" of fabric on the outside of the border, trim away the excess fabric. We'll use that 1" of fabric in the next step when we attach the cardboard backing.

Ready to attach backing!

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Step #4, Sew the Cross Stitch to the Backing

Sew the Cross Stitch to the Backing

Position the cardboard on the back side of the cross stitch, using the stitched border as a guide. Remember to put the cardboard side down, otherwise you'll be able to see the packaging colors.

Next, begin sewing the opposite side flaps to each other. You'll want a nice long piece of two strand floss for this. The length of your floss should be just a bit longer than 10 times the distance between the flaps. (e.g. if you're stitching the horizontal flaps, your floss should be 10 times the vertical height.) That will allow you to make 10 stitches with a little room left to tie off at the end.

Continue stitching the length and tie off at the end. Repeat the process for the remaining two flaps, taking care to make sure the corners don't bunch by keeping them at a 90 degree angle.

The single strand of floss we used as a border and a guide was only temporary. If you used the single strand stitched border guide from Step 3, it should be removed now.

Last of all, place the cross stitch in the photo frame. Then reassemble to frame. You're all done!

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Final Thoughts

Overall, I'm really pleased with the way this turned out. I hope this tutorial has been useful for you, happy stitching!

Framing a Cross Stitch in a Photo Frame

If you like, you can download the PDF version of how to frame a cross stitch in a photo frame here.

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