How to Stretch Your Embroidery Art on a Frame

Embroidery art can look great framed in an embroidery hoop but if you want to go for a more sophisticated look you can frame your work in a rectangular or square format.  Making a trip to your local framers is an option or you can do it yourself at home using a wooden frame.  

You will need:

  • Completed embroidery art on a large enough piece of fabric to comfortably wrap around the frame.  I suggest having 2 - 3 inches extra on each edge but it will of course depend on the depth of wood frame.  Mine are 3/4 of an inch thick.
  • A wooden frame (I am using an 8 by 10 inch frame in the video)
  • Glue (I use Aleene's Original Tacky Glue)
  • Clamps (I use 8 x ACCO Large Binder Clips, enough for 2 clamps per side)
  • Scissors for trimming excess fabric
  • Optional staple gun with staples for extra security


How it's done:

  1. Iron around your work to remove creases created by your embroidery hoop.  I recommend removing your work from the hoop after every stitch session to avoid stubborn wrinkles. 
  2. Place your work face down and center the wooden frame over your art.
  3. Begin clamping your work to the frame starting at one edge and then moving to the opposite edge.  Once all edges are clamped you may need to pull and reclamp to get your work stretched to the desired tension.
  4. Once you are satisfied with the placement and tightness of your work, remove the clamps from one side.  Apply a line of glue along the wooden frame, pull your fabric TIGHT, and replace the clamps.
  5. Repeat for the remaining three sides of the frame.
  6. This glue takes some time to dry which makes it forgiving.  Once you've completed all four sides take a step back and look at your work.  Make any changes ASAP or forever hold your peace!
     Waiting for the glue to dry...
  7. Once the glue is dry you can remove the clamps and use your scissors to trim excess fabric.
  8. I pretend I am wrapping a present when I glue down the edges.  Just tuck and fold them the best you can so that they look good from the front and side.  Who cares about the back?
     Close up of the edges
  9. For more security you can use a staple gun to secure your fabric to the frame.


Another option:  If you would like to hide your stitches on the back of your work, you can first mount a backing fabric to your frame.  I like to use the same fabric I stitched my work on.  Just follow the instructions above with your blank fabric first (but skip the staples till the very end), and then repeat with your embroidered fabric. 

 Back side with stitches exposed.  Follow the steps using an extra piece of fabric first if you'd like to hide your back work.


Want to try to stretch this pattern yourself?  Grab the pdf here:

"Flowers in her Hair" Embroidery Pattern




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