Sunday, April 24, 2016

Cross Stitch and Makeshift Frame

Here is a post to make many crafters either giggle or gasp in wonder at "What was she thinking?!"
Okay, it isn't THAT bad, really. On the plus side, I am reusing items that many people would have thrown away, so it is an earth friendly repurposing project in a way !

Back story:
The cross stitch piece that I found at a yard sale has been floating around in my craft dungeon for years, YEARS! In fact, it came with me when we moved from our first house. I never framed it then because I didn't have a nice laundry area. It wasn't even a room, just a washer and dryer in and old unfinished, cinder block wall basement. There were no finished walls or anything to hang it on. I knew this when I bought it, but it was cute and I thought maybe someone would want to use it if I finished it. No such luck. So, it was packed away and brought to the new even older, dungeon-ier basement in our 100+ year old house 17 years ago. Every now and again I'd come across it and think I should donate it, I'll never use it here because the laundry area in this old house is even worse than the last (it seriously is..... ick !).

When I had to pack up my craft dungeon due to the major flooding last December, I came across it once again. This time I set it aside knowing I was going to get rid of it, but I really wanted to frame it first. I didn't have a large square frame to fit it (they are pretty expensive to buy and have shipped here since there are none to be found where I live). I had the (not so?) bright idea to finally put to use the plastic box that held a scrapbook kit I bought several years ago. It was the perfect size. Trusty chipboard and heavy duty double stick tape was used to mount it. NOTE: it is best to use acid free mounting boards and adhesive to mount cross stitch pieces, but I was making due with what I had knowing it wasn't anything special to me.

The following are tips on how I did it
by myself with make shift items.  
By no means are these an exact way of 
how to do it or the way a professional framer would. 

The empty plastic packaging from a craft kit I bought
years ago. Perfectly sized to repurpose into a frame !
Because it had depth, I made it into a "shadowbox" frame.
I inserted an old wash cloth and clothes pins.
The top had two holes so I ran paper twist ribbon through them. It really isn't a great way to hang it
since they are now on the front. My plan was to use it as a way to hang it, but the residue from the stickers on the actual front of the box would not clean off no matter what I used on them. It's almost like the adhesive reacted with the plastic and etched it, leaving cloudy splotches. So, I had to reverse the box making the back into the front. 

Use heavy duty double stick tape on the back of the 
matboard / chipboard you are going to mount the piece to.
 Acid free supplies are preferred.
There are also premade mounting boards
for the purpose of mounting fabric pieces of art.

Wrap the edges of the piece around to the back.
Line it up as best you can before starting.
Start in the center of each side and don't push it 
down onto the adhesive too firmly at first. 
You want it to be held in place on each side 
to make sure you have it centered as best you can
before really sticking it down in place. 
Once you are happy with the placement, 
attach the length of one side, then move to another.
Try to follow a line in the cross stitch fabric,
or some other point of reference on your piece,
to try to keep it even as you pull the edges around.
This is more noticable on certain pieces than others,
the fact that my hearts are not perfectly spaced along 
the wrapped edges throws it off visually a bit. 
It actually doesn't look too bad on the back ;)

Finished wrapping the edges around to the back.
If you look closely, you will notice that it is not
perfectly centered / straight. I should have tightened 
it up (or loosened) in spots as I was wrapping to 
try to make it better, but over all it isn't too bad. 

 I slid it into the box and adhered the back of it
to the inside back of the box to hold it in place.

Thanks for looking :)

I'm entering my project into the Anything Goes challenges at
Through The Craft Room Door 
Crafting By Designs. 


  1. Lovely project! Thanks for playing at TTCRD with us this week! I hope I will see you again soon!

    Alessandra - DT

  2. I think you did a great job! I think it was pretty creative!


THANK YOU for taking the time to leave your comments. I hope I've inspired you to get a bit crafty today ;)