Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Mounting Needlework Using Rustproof Straight Pins

Okay you have worked for hours on your counted cross stitch, punchneedle, embroidery, stitchery or the needlework of your choice and of course you want to mount and frame it correctly. You have checked your wallet, took a peek in your husband's wallet, recheck the addition and subtraction of your check book, looked in the kids piggy banks and there is little to nothing there. So this means that you cannot afford to have a framer professionally frame your work of art. Since you have gone through this much work and feel your counted cross stitch, punchneedle, embroidery, stitchery or needlework deserves to be framed as closely to acid free as possible, let me tell you how and where to get the supplies you will need to mount and frame your project the right way.

I know for some of you the only way to mount a piece of counted cross stitch, punchneedle, embroidery, stitchery or the needlework of your choice is by lacing. At one point I would have whole heartly agreed but with the new materials being introduced to the market today, it is no longer a must.

You can start by going to your local fabric store and purchase Dritz Rustproof Silk Pins. Do not be tempted to use any other straight pins that are not marked Rustproof. Over time, these pins will rust and ruin your fabric. Next you can either go to your local Frame Shoppe, Michael's Arts & Crafts, or Hobby Lobby's Framing Departments and ask for 3/16" thick Acid Free Foam Core Board. You need to have the exact size of the finished counted cross stitch, punchneedle, embroidery, stitchery or needlework of your choice before you can make this purchase. To get the exact size you will need, take the size of the stitch image and then add how much fabric you would like showing all around the stitch image, I like to give myself at least1 extra inch on all sides. (Stitch Image= The amount of Xs Left/Right and Up/Down) By having an inch on all four sides, only 3/4" of the fabric will be showing all the way around the stitch image, because 1/4" of that inch will be under the lip of the frame. To these measurements, give yourself at least 3 inches of fabric on all sides to wrap around to the back side of the 3/16" thick Acid Free Foam Core Board. In framing the sizing is very important, because this will be the measurements of the mounting board and the inside measurements of the frame you will be using to frame your project. An example would be, your exact stitching image is 5 X 5" and you want 1" exposure on all four sides, this would give you a 7 X 7" measurement for your mounting board and the inside measurements for your frame. You will want to purchase at least a 13 X 13 piece of Aida, Lugana, Evenweave, Linen or the fabric of your choice to stitch your pattern. When you are ready to mount your needlework, you will have 3" of extra fabric to wrap around each of the four sides. So for this example, you will want to purchase a 7 X 7" piece of 3/16" thick Acid Free Foam Core Board, as well as, a frame with the same inside measurements. Since you cannot afford to have your needlework conservation framed, try to have the enviroment inside the frame as acid free as possible. Try your best to get acid free materials whenever you possibly can.

To start, make sure that you have your finished piece of counted cross stitch, punchneedle, embroidery, stitchery or the needlework of your choice clean. If you are sure the threads you have used will not bleed, you can wash your project piece in cold water and Woolite. Make sure you rinse your needlework very well, let dry and press out the wrinkles. You will want to trim off all the lose threads on the back of your needlework before you mount and frame your project. If you are using a light fabric, these loose threads could possibly be seen through the front of your finished needlework.

Center your needlework back side down on the 3/16" thick Acid Free Foam Core Board. Stand the mounting board on its edge, wrap the fabric to the backside of the mounting board and place a Rustproof pin in the center of the edge of the foam core board, see picture.

Going from the center out to each edge, placed a pin every 1/4".
Now go to the opposite side and pull the fabric taut but not so tightly that you bend the board. Make sure your stitch image is centered. Place a pin in the center of the opposite side and again add a pin every 1/4" until you reach each edge of the board. Your fingers will probably get a little sore doing this, so you may want to get the pin started and then find what ever you can to push the pins all the way flush with the fabric. As you can see, I am using aida in the picture and it can handle the pin without going through the fabric. With some of the thinner fabrics, the head of the pin could go all the way through the fabric. On thinner fabrics do not push the pins too deeply into the foam core. While I was placing all those pins into my project, I was eating Ice Breakers Tropical candy and since it is a round plastic container I pushed the pins in with the edge of the container and rolled the pins in place. I was surprised how nicely it worked. Just an idea to help your fingers. Continue with the other two sides until you have your needlework mounted.

Turn the mounted needlework over to the backside and if there is excessive material you can take the pins and pin the fabric to mounting board back. Just slide them in at an angle, making sure you do not go all the way through to the front of your needlework. Your back will not look like mine because I was using a piece of mounting board I had cut for another project I did not get around to finishing. I seem to do that quite a bit.

Now that you are finished mounting your counted cross stitch, punchneedle, embroidery, stitchery or the needlework of your choice, you are ready to frame your needlework. You can find framing instructions on my blog. You can pat yourself on the back for taking the time to preserve your heirloom for future generations. Happy Stitching!

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Mounting and Framing Primitive Stitchery

Let me start by saying, this style of mounting and framing should only be done with items of stitchery that you do not mind if these pieces of needlework loses its' looks over time. That being said, since primitive stitchery has had the cloth and or threads treated with a variety of staining agents,, tea, vanilla or Distress It, this mounting technique will not harm the primitive look over time.

Supplies Needed

Piece of finished Primitive Stitchery, punch needle, counted cross stitch or needlework of Choice.
Press-on Mounting Board (sticky mounting board matching the size of your pressed needlework).
Glazier Points.
Flat Head Screw Driver.
Double Stick Tape.
Sawtooth Hanger (2 Nails).
Cardboard Backer (sized to the inside measurements of the frame).
Dust Cover (paper grocery bag, wrapping paper or paper of your choosing).
Hammer (I forgot to put the hammer in the picture, sorry).
Scissors (I forgot the scissors in the picture as well).


Press the primitive stitchery, punch needle, counted cross stitch or the needlework of your choice, that you will be placing on the Press-On Mounting Sticky Board. You can purchase Press-On Mounting Board @ Joann's Fabrics, Hobby Lobby or purchase it online @ . For the money, the best value is the 16 X 20 size. Out of the 16 X 20 size, you can get four 8 X 10 pieces, eight 5 X 7 pieces and a variety of other sizes by cutting the mounting board yourself. Getting the Press-On Mounting Boards from Joann's Fabric online, the purchase of three boards plus shipping was economical. If you have a friend to split the cost of shipping, it would even be more cost friendly.

Remove the cover paper (it has red printing on it) and center your primitive stitchery on the sticky side of the mounting board. Press the center of the fabric to the board, adjusting the primitive stitchery until it is smooth and centered all the way around the four sides. When you are happy with the way the primitive stitchery looks on the sticky mounting board, use your hands to press the fabric firmly to the mounting board. If you should have extra fabric hanging off the sides of the sticky mounting board, you can use the scissors to trim off the excess fabric. Now your primitive stitchery, punch needle, or counted cross stitch is ready for framing.


Remove the back board from the frame and if using glass on your primitive stitchery only, clean the glass. Needlework that has not been treated to have the primitive look, I would not put behind glass unless you have a mat or some kind of spacer in front of the fabric. Place your mounted primitive stitchery, punch needle, counted cross stitch or the needlework of your choosing in the frame and replace the backer board.

An easy way to hold your primitive stitchery in place is by using glazier points. You can get these at your favorite hardware store. Set the glazier point (flat side down) with the point aiming at the inside edge of the frame. Use a flat head screw driver and with steady pressure, push the point into the side of the frame until the two metal guards are touching the wood. Do this on all four sides to secure your primitive stitchery. On small framed stitchery example 3 X 3 to 5 X 7 you will need to use only one on each side to hold your primitive stitchery. On larger needlework pieces you can judge how many glazier points you would like to place on each side of the frame.

To give your framed primitive stitchery a finished look, select the style of paper you wish to use for a dust cover. Take the frame and lay the frame back side down on the paper and trace the outline of the frame. Take your scissors and cut on the inside of the line until you have the dust cover cut out. Place double sided tape along all four sides of the frame. Try to use enough tape to cover the entire length of each side. Place the dust cover on the back of the frame and carefully press it down. Just a little tip, never paint the back side of your frame, with the heat and humidity in every one's home, in time the paint can adhere itself to your wall or wallpaper and leave a paint mark.

To finish your primitive stitchery piece of art, center a sawtooth hanger on the back of the frame, then measure the center of the frame and and place a mark. You will center the sawtooth hanger by locating the raised dot in the center of the hanger itself. Put the nails in the sawtooth hanger and you now have successfully mounted and framed your primitive stitchery.

Sunday, January 25, 2009

Determining the Size of Frame You Need

The majority of the time if you are looking for a frame size, the size of the frame will be determined by the size of the artwork you will be framing. Example, an 8 X 10 photo would be put into an 8 X 10 frame. This would be considered the inside measurements of the back of the frame opening, not the front opening. This information would be the same for custom order frames as well. You need to measure the length and width of the item being framed before purchasing a frame, so you do not have a frame that does not fit your artwork. This happens more often with custom frames.

If you have a small item or photo and want a larger frame presence on your wall, you can mat the item and place it in a larger frame or purchase a frame that has a wider moulding size. When matting a picture or artwork you, will want to use the overall size of the mat to determine the size of the frame you will need.

When framing needlework you will want to have your needlework piece mounted before you purchase a frame. The size before mounting is not the same as the stretched size. Some pieces of needlework needs to be stretched over stretcher bars or stretching strips. Some needlework needs to be laced while others are mounted to a sticky board. Any of these mounting techniques will depend on what kind of needlework you have and will determine what kind of frame you will need. Measure the size of the mounted needlework in order to determine the correct frame size.