How to Frame Needlepoint

Here's a step-by-step guide for how to frame needlepoint:
  • Block your needlepoint canvas. Click here for instructions.
  • Visit your art store and purchase a frame that will fit your needlepoint. You need to decide if you are going to include a mat board around the needlepoint and allow for this in the size. Secondly, your needlepoint will need to be stretched around something in order to hold it taut within the frame. You have two options: (a) Purchase stretcher bars that are the right size for your needlepoint. The bars are constructed into a frame and the needlepoint is stretched over this frame. If you choose this option then the decorative frame you purchase will need to be deep enough to accommodate the stretcher frame inserted inside it without this sticking out the back. Or, (b) You can use a piece of Masonite or foam core board to stretch the needlepoint over. 
  • If you are using a stretcher frame, assemble it. Cover the front of the stretcher frame with heavy cardboard (this will stop the needlepoint from sagging into the frame. Stretch the needlepoint canvas over the stretcher frame. You want to avoid pulling the stitched area over the side of the frame as there won't be enough room to fit the stretcher inside the decorative frame. The lip of the frame will cover any bare canvas that is showing on the front of the stretcher frame. Staple the needlepoint in place, nice and tight over the stretcher frame.
  • If you plan to stretch the needlepoint over foam core or Masonite, the best way to hold it in place is to stretch it over the board and then glue the canvas down on the back with a hot glue gun. To do this you will need to snip across the corners of the canvas, taking care not to snip the stitches, so that the canvas folds back around the board without bunching up at the corners. Or, you can lace it across the back using a heavy thread and multiple cross-overs. It is tricky to stop the canvas moving around while you lace it, and so an extra pair of hands would be useful here.
  • When you have the needlepoint evenly stretched over the stretcher frame or the board, you can place it in the frame (with or without mat board as a border). Cover up the back with wide brown paper tape or brown paper glued over the back.
  • How well you frame needlepoint depends upon your getting the right-sized frame for the needlepoint you are displaying, and the time spent in getting the needlepoint canvas evenly and tautly stretched over the stretcher frame or foam board. If you take the time to get these steps right, you should have a very nice result.

Contact us with questions about how to frame needlepoint.

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