How to Stretch a Cross Stitch for Framing {Tutorial!}

Hi friends! Being a freelance artist means that I take on a lot of interesting jobs. One of those jobs is picture framing. When my friend Lorraine asked me if I would mat this cross-stitch for her I asked if I could use it in a video demonstration on how to stretch one:


I have seen so many lumpy, wrinkled cross stitched in my life that were not stretched and it is not difficult using this totally reversible method. Reversible meaning that you can totally undo everything I have done in the future if you wish with no damage to the artwork. Watch the video to see how it is done:



  • Silk Pins (available in the notions section of the fabric store, about $4 a box of 200)
  • Foam board (also called foamcore)
  • Fabric strips if your cross stitch fabric is smaller than the foam board. You will also need a sewing machine if you need fabric;)
  • Tape
This is how the sides look with evenly spaced pins about 1/2" apart

This is how the sides look with evenly spaced pins about 1/2″ apart

I recommend matting the cross stitch and framing under glass to keep it clean. a mat looks nice with keeping the fabric from touching the glass. I put this one in a clear bag from Papermart to keep it clean and displayable for now. I have a tutorial on mat cutting here if you want to know how to do that.


I hope you found this useful and it saves you money not to mention being able to display and preserve the needlework that takes so long to create! Please share this tutorial with other cross stitchers you know (via Facebook, Pinterest, Twitter, reblogging etc) because that really helps me out, I do not know if I have many cross stitchers reading here since it is not a craft I do. Thanks for stopping by and til next time happy crafting!

15 Responses

  1. Hey Lindsay!
    One of the reasons I follow you is because you do so many different things, just like me! I scrapbook and sew, paint and cross stitch, and today I’m helping my daughter with her cross stitch project! Your video came at just the right time!
    Thank you for inspiring the rest of us!
    Have a Happy Easter!


  2. I have not done a cross stitch in years! So cute!


  3. Hello there! Thanks for this. Just thought I’d let you know… I’m a cross stitcher….living in Spain…… I enjoy your daily blog Many thanks Ann

    Sent from my iPad



  4. Hi Lindsay,
    Thanks for answering my request! One more question. Do you worry about the foam core being acid free? I know I can buy it from archival sources, but is the craft/office supply board safe to use?


    • I use an acid free foam board because it is what I have for framing, it is not that expensive, I get it wholesale and it is about $4 a 32″x40″ sheet. It is the paper covering that would have the acid. You could adhere a thick acid free paper to the front of the board as a buffer if you were unsure.


  5. Wow- that’s beautiful Lindsay!! Perfect color to enhance it! Can’t wait to pick it up!!


  6. This is a beautiful cross stitch! TFS!


  7. Hi Lindsay, You’re great! I enjoy watching you and the girls on AAC. Thanks for sharing all your frugal tips and demonstrations.

    I made a comment about my home made “Misti” in your Ask a Crafter S3:E27 and a viewer contacted me about it.  If you’re interested in how I made it, please read below and see the attached pictures.  1. I took an empty DVD case and attached a piece of thick fun foam (cut to fit) to the smooth backside of the case with  several strips of Scotch double sided tape.2. I reversed the fold of the case so the foam side would be the inside.3. Adhere the card to the foam with a piece of removable tape to keep it from moving around. 4. Layout stamp design on card front with the pieces stamp side down.5. Close the case so the layout would transfer to the smooth side of the case. 6. Ink up the stamps without disturbing the layout. 7. Close and press gently and evenly on the images being transferred to the card. Images are stamped perfectly on card.  I would luv to hear what you think about it.

    Sheila aka Boho Diva Happiness is a choice.Eklectic Treasures #yiv6744283820 a:hover {color:red;}#yiv6744283820 a {text-decoration:none;color:#0088cc;}#yiv6744283820 a.yiv6744283820primaryactionlink:link, #yiv6744283820 a.yiv6744283820primaryactionlink:visited {background-color:#2585B2;color:#fff;}#yiv6744283820 a.yiv6744283820primaryactionlink:hover, #yiv6744283820 a.yiv6744283820primaryactionlink:active {background-color:#11729E;color:#fff;}#yiv6744283820 | thefrugalcrafter posted: “Hi friends! Being a freelance artist means that I take on a lot of interesting jobs. One of those jobs is picture framing. When my friend Lorraine asked me if I would mat this cross-stitch for her I asked if I could use it in a video demonstration on how ” | |


  8. Thanks for the info, Lindsay. I’ve been a cross-stitcher and needlepointer for over 40 years and have spent hundreds and hundreds of dollars having my work custom framed. This is a good way of stretching pieces and one I’ll certainly keep in mind for the future, especially when you’re trying to work with a standard size frame. Next time I take it to the framer I’ll have stretched it first and hopefully save some money there. My cross-stitch, with mats, is almost always behind glass to keep it clean. Funny thing, though, my punched needle embroidery and needlepoint usually isn’t so you can really see the texture, with the needlepoint generally being made into pillows. Thanks again for all the information you give us. I’ve discovered so many new products and techniques from you. Goodness knows my supplies and list of wants just keeps growing!


  9. its my sisters birthday soon and iv made her one of them thx for the vido


  10. Happy Easter, Lindsay! I can’t believe I just watched this video tutorial… I’ve done cross stitch extensively, from 1998~2002/3 before card making became my addiction, and I’d been always wondering how to hang them (frame them). I have so many very nice piece made, and didn’t wanna damage them but didn’t have enough money to frame each one of them. A lot of them, I made them in Tapestry, using fabric as a frame, and made lots of cushion covers, again, using fabrics, to kinda “frame” the cross stitched pieces. Other large detailed ones have been stored away in plastic boxes for like 13 years now… NOW you taught me the great way to frame those!! woohoo!! I think I did use that store bought foam core with sticky face which you mentioned, maybe one or two but those were made into Christmas ornaments…they were small. I just didn’t wanna damage the large detailed “artwork” I spent days and weeks to finish. I def. will start doing this framing!! Thank you so much. I’m glad I waited like 13 years for a great solution!!


  11. In answer to your video regarding the length of craft videos, I believe they should be as long as they need to be.
    I watch videos to learn something, the fact that you are so entertaining and funny is an added bonus. Please do not edit your videos. I know on “Ask A Crafter” you need to watch the time, but for all the others, please do not sacrifice information just to conform to what others may be doing.
    Those who like you, do so partly because you are you. Maybe the other guys should be following your example. Two sayings that I was raised with are 1) If everyone jumped off a cliff, would you follow? 2) If it ain’t broke, why fix it?
    You keep being you!!! You and your videos are wonderful!!!!! Thanks for everything.


  12. Reblogged this on cindyzs and commented:
    good info if you cross stitch…can save you a ton of $$ and lets you display your beautiful artwork! thanks Lindsay, the frugal crafter!


  13. That is a great way to stretch fabric. I don’t cross stitch, but I can see myself using this technique for other things. Thanks so much.


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