You’ve spent hours and hours making your beautiful stitched picture but have you thought about how you’re going to frame it? 

When I first joined a textile group, one of our main aims was to exhibit- a scary thought as I’d never exhibited before. So I started experimenting with different ways to finish off my completed pieces.  Obviously, in a world where we had money trees in the garden, I would take each piece to the framers and select from the vast  choice on offer. “Proper” frames are the most professional looking by anyone’s standards. But sadly those trees don’t grow in my garden, so I have tried to find professional looking methods that are relatively cheap and easy to implement.

I am an impulsive stitcher, and am usually inspired by the fabrics around me or I have  a starting point as an idea. In the early days of my new found career, I would grab and go, without giving framing a second thought. Then I would try and hunt for a suitable commercial frame and the proportions would be all wrong. So, I would take it to my local framers (already stitched to mounting board) and pay to have it framed beautifully. My local framers are very reasonable but often others can be over priced so this option can be a very expensive one if you don’t think things through at the beginning.

My golden rules now are:

  • Make a square piece (easy to buy a square frame)
  • Make a standard sized piece and scale up the frame- so make an A5 piece for an A4 frame, a A4 piece for an A3 frame, and so on. Easy to buy and proportionally correct. Voila!

You could of course recycle , and buy an old frame which could be painted and given a new lease of life then make your work to fit the frame- NOT the other way around.



One option is to use an artists  box canvas. Easy to purchase and so much choice in shapes and sizes. Again, buy it first, then make your work fit it.

I may leave the canvas white…………



or sometimes I paint the canvas to tie in with my work like this…….



Other times I paper mache the box canvas before I mount my work, like this………..



Another idea is to turn the box canvas around and use the back of it- paper mache over the messy bits and put your work inside. (Great for making children’s work  look really special).



Either way, your finished textile piece can then be held in position with double sided tape then stitched onto the canvas- easy to do and works a treat- use big stitches on the back and tiny stitches on the front.


I also favour the frayed edge of the piece, so rather than take everything round to the back, stapling or lacing the fabric, I would prefer to see all the edges of my piece on the front of the work. I know, the fastidious quilters amongst you will now be holding your hands up in horror at the thought- a frayed uneven edge? on show? shocking but my choice every time.



On the odd occasion, I may well tidy up the edges a bit by stitching a contrasting fabric around the edges just to give it that pop of colour.



The other thing to consider is glass- do you?, don’t you? I personally prefer my work without glass. If you’re getting it framed professionally, the framer needs to add a spacer so that the glass does not come into contact with the material. Boxed frames are ideal for this. The moisture in the material can build up if it is touching glass and the mounting board should  be acid free. Sometimes the glass can be so shiny that when you look at the work, all you see is your refection. I have bought non reflective glass before which is slightly more costly but very effective and worth considering. If you’re intending to position your hanging in direct sunlight, it may well fade over time, but could be protected for a lot longer behind glass. I am reliably informed that UV glass cuts out 99% of UV rays so may be worth considering and that anti reflective glass works a treat. If you wanted to have both of these qualities, this top end glass is called Museum glass. Any decent framer will cut down these types of glass to fit your pre bought frame.  (Thanks to framer Melanie for her helpful tip).


I hope I’ve given you a little food for thought -These suggestions are only that- you will have to play and see which style of mounting you prefer for your pieces. If any of you fancy writing a blog on your chosen methods- do let me know and I’ll be happy to share on my Facebook page.


Thanks for reading as always,