framing hand embroidery
'How To' Tutorials,  Finishing Techniques,  Framing,  Inspiration

Framing your Hand Embroidery


Using a Box Frame

You spend countless hours lovingly stitching your latest embroidery pattern and then nine times out of ten, you quickly frame it in the hoop you stitched it in – sound familiar?

There are plenty of alternatives for your completed design and framing is one of them – it’s quick, simple and really makes your embroidery have that wow factor!

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Let me show you how to use a simple box frame…

You can find box frames in most craft stores to give your hand embroidery a wonderful contemporary finish. Box frame US.

What is a Box Frame?

This is a simple picture frame that has a  deeper aperture to a normal frame which is perfect for embroideries and textiles in general.

framing hand embroidery

There is a ‘frame slip’ that sits between the glazing and the item. This gives a  space between the main outer frame and the embroidery if you decide to place it in between.

What size frame to choose…

This really depends on how much space you want around your embroidery. For this design I decided on a 1 inch gap around the entire edge so went for the nearest size frame that would achieve this.

framing hand embroidery

Here’s How to Frame with a Box Frame!

The Mounting board (or backing board) that comes with the frame is lovely and sturdy to use as the base to wrap your embroidery around. The trick is to wrap it over the board nice and tightly – and centered – so your embroidery looks its best.

Mounting Board
Embroidery Centred

In the above photos, you can see the step by step process of getting the fabric sitting nice and straight on the board.

Place the embroidery face up over the board and center it by using a ruler to measure the outer border space so that it is equal. Use some Quilt clips (or something similar) to hold the fabric in place.

Quilt clips are these wonderful little things that have a multitude of uses & are perfect for holding fabric when framing.

Quilt Clips In US

Secured around frame

Bring the fabric nice and smoothly over to the back and place more clips along each side to secure and keep tight.

Don’t forget neat corners…

These need to be mitered (which is just a posh way of saying they need to be turned over so there are no bulky bits making them look ugly!)

Flip over when everything is nicely pulled to the back and check you are happy with how it looks.

Next lace the back…

With a strong thread, lace across from top to bottom and then side to side and secure.

Stitch the corners down with a whip stitch – pull across as you stitch to keep them tight.

It doesn’t need to look neat as you can see!…

You have a few choices when it comes to the finished look…

Without picture mount
With picture mount

Frame slip in between…

No Frame Slip…

Its entirely down to your own preference weather you want to have a cardboard mount around the embroidery or you prefer a larger fabric border.

Also, remember that frame slip? Where you place it changes the finish as well. If you pop it in first – your embroidery will sit further back in the frame, if you don’t it will look more like a standard frame.

Also (!!!) do you want the glass to be in or not – I prefer not to have the glass over my embroidery as I like to be able to see the texture of the fabric and stitches giving it a more natural feel.

So many choices!! Play around and decide what you like before setting it all in place.

Lastly, before you put it all together – cut a piece of felt the same size as the frame slip. This will hide that ugly stitching on the back!

Now its time to put everything together and see how gorgeous your embroidery looks in its snazzy new frame…

Depending on the choices you made above – everything needs to be popped in the frame. Since I wanted my fabric to be closer to the main frame, my embroidery went in first. You will find it is a bit of a snug fit but gently ease it in and it will fit.

Next, I put in the Frame slip – this fills the gap and stops my picture falling backwards in the frame.

Then all you need to do to is pop the felt over the back to make it all look pretty.

I also placed the glass in as a last step purely so I could keep it safe in case I decided to use it in future.

 Push down the holding clips on the back of the frame to keep everything in place and you are done.

Step back and admire your beautiful and unique piece of hand embroidered textile art you can now hang on your wall.

You can apply the same method for any frame you choose when it comes to framing your embroidery.

Next time you have your lovely design all stitched up – consider a beautiful frame to really make it stand out.

Happy Crafting!


Would you like access to the Pattern Library?

I keep my free downloadable files, patterns, and printables in a pattern library which is open to anyone who loves to stitch and  inside you’ll find an array of goodies for you to enjoy and create.

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