How to finish a cross-stitch project?
May 2, 2019 7:25 PM   Subscribe

Creative people and crafters, please advise me: I'm making a cross-stitch for someone, and it's going to be about 5x7 inches when complete. I want to do something to "finish" it -- but I don't want to frame it. What other options do I have?
posted by BlahLaLa to Grab Bag (13 answers total) 11 users marked this as a favorite
On a little hoop? Make it in to a teeny pillow?
posted by beccaj at 7:29 PM on May 2, 2019

Spruse Crafts rounds up some ways to finish cross stitch pieces without framing. Overcasting is the only one I am personally familiar with.
posted by crush at 7:30 PM on May 2, 2019 [2 favorites]

Satin stitch around the edge? How is it going to be displayed? If they are going to frame it, you want to leave a margin for the matte board to fit on, so do a decorative stitch to frame at least 1/2 from the raw edge.
posted by ananci at 7:31 PM on May 2, 2019

Turn it into a cushion? It would be a pretty small cushion as is, so I would enlarge it by essentially framing it in fabric, as this blogger did with her cross stitch piece.
posted by orange swan at 7:31 PM on May 2, 2019

You can finish the edges with bias tape in a complimentary color. You can also sandwich a backing on while you're at it to cover up the wrong side of the work - but sometimes it's cool to be able to see that, honestly.

If you want it to be stiff you can cut some card to size so you have like half an inch of excess around of the fabric. Then carefully and tightly fold the fabric around the card and glue it down, concentrating on the corners. You can also sew the fabric around the card, by whipping around the edges all around and then lacing up at the corners with a few larger stitches across the back for even tension, if you're very against glue or you want to go super old school or you think they might want to be able to put the piece into a different format in the future.

Basically as long as you've stopped the edges from fraying and there's even tension on the fabric you can do whatever. A friend of mine makes little padded cross stitch brooches from shitpost quotes in silly shapes by cutting out cardboard shapes and mercilessly hotgluing the backs and stuffing a bit of polyfill inside. You could like, sew on an edging of pompoms if you wanted.
posted by Mizu at 7:41 PM on May 2, 2019 [3 favorites]

My mother used to attach it to a piece of cardboard or chipboard, with the edges folded over the back and secured with a few stitches. It kind of looks like the same deal as a painter's canvas stretched over its inner frame.
posted by The Underpants Monster at 8:19 PM on May 2, 2019 [1 favorite]

Maybe hang it from a wooden dowel or rod, like so or so. You could fray all of the edges of the fabric first.

Also see how I finish a cross stitch for hanging for a general idea of how you could prepare the edges for a more finished look than fraying.
posted by the webmistress at 8:44 PM on May 2, 2019 [2 favorites]

If you're making a tiny pillow, be sure to stuff it with balsam. Or you could do lavender.
posted by TWinbrook8 at 9:19 PM on May 2, 2019

Little bags. Line the back or turn it into a patch on a larger small zipper pouch and store small things on it. That way it's useful and beautiful.
posted by dorothyisunderwood at 9:23 PM on May 2, 2019

My grandmother did hooked-rug wall hanging things and put dowels along the tops on the back to keep them from flopping, then added two little yarn hanging loops on the top corners. You just bang nails through the loops. All you see is the art; the dowel is hidden and the hanging loops are barely visible. I suppose you could do something similar with Xstitch.
posted by Don Pepino at 9:24 AM on May 3, 2019

I've frayed the edges of the Aida cloth and adhered it to mountboard before.
posted by metasarah at 11:20 AM on May 3, 2019

Seconding crush's Spruce Crafts article. Also, there are iron-on adhesives like Wonder-Under and Stitch Witchery if you don't want to sew the edges or want to add ribbon or lace. Practice first on a scrape. Don't ruin your iron or ironing board.
posted by TrishaU at 11:40 AM on May 3, 2019

Thanks for the ideas. I'm leaning toward pillow, but that may shift...
posted by BlahLaLa at 12:26 PM on June 2, 2019

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