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!