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!

Save Money, Cut Your Own Picture Mats!

Happy Monday Folks! Just a quick reminder that today is the last day to enter to win a free stamp from About Art Accents, you just need to leave a comment on last Tuesday’s post for a chance to win and I will pick a name tomorrow! Now on to today’s tutorial! Have you ever purchased a mat for a picture at a craft store and wish you could have had a more custom size or paid a framer an ungodly amount to cut one custom for you? If so watch my 5 minute video to see how easy it is to cut your own picture frame mats:

All you need is mat board, it comes in 20″x32″ or 32″x40 sheets, you can buy it at a art/craft sore or order in online and save a couple of bucks per sheet. A Logan 2000 push style cutter (about $20, buy a pack of blades while you are at it), a craft knife for strait cuts, a metal yard stick ($2 at the hardware store),a pencil and a scrap of cardboard to cut on.

The best thing about cutting your own mats is that you get just the size you want. Also you can cut smaller mats from the scraps! If you are selling your paintings or photographs or storing them for a long tome you can slip them into clear acid free bags like I did here, then they go right into my print rack for art/craft fair sales. cha-ching!

DCF 1.0

Thanks for stopping by and til next time happy crafting!

How to Make a Birch Bark Frame & Shoe Shopping!

I finally edited the birch bark frame video I promised on Wednesday.


I was hoping to edit that yesterday but I had to run to town for an appointment. I was excited to wear a new sweater dress I just bought but I was surprised when I looked I had no shoes to go with it. I don’t know why I was surprised, I enjoy shoe shopping about as much as going to the dentist. The only thing worse is purse shopping. I left the house in the dress, tights and sneakers…I kid you not, I would have worn flip-flops but it was too cold to be bare-legged! I remembered I had a Kohl’s gift card in my wallet so I off I went in search of shoes that looked good, were comfy and cost less than the $25 on my card, you can stop laughing now.  Good God, I had no idea how much shoes cost! I mean sneakers, sure, I replace them often because I walk everyday but fru-fru, novel, poorly-made shoes, they should not cost $50-$100, I could get a new set of watercolor pencils for that price LOL! Well, anyway I tried on about 20 pairs giving them my “shoe test” which involves skipping up and down the aisles (I don’t want a pair of shoes I can’t skip in) and hopping around in. Basically I looked like a person having a psychotic episode. That might explain why no salespeople ever wait on me. I settled on two pairs of black flats ($5 & $14) and a crazy pair of orange and purple platform wedges.  The flats were normally $50 each and the heels were marked at $80 (do women really pay this much for shoes?) but I spent $12 plus my $25 gift card. Well done, me.


I know the orange heels seem a bit silly but I have an abnormal amout of bright orange sundresses and really, can’t we all use a bit more whimsy in our lives? I just hope the shoes don’t land me in traction. OK I know you are not here to read about my shopping escapades, I just wanted you to know why the video was late. Here is my tutorial on making a birch bark frame:

Easy huh? remember to collect bark of the ground or take it from a fallen tree, do not remove bark from a  standing living tree. I hope you enjoyed the video (and my shoe rant) and til next time happy crafting!

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