Embroidery Blog

Picture Perfect: How to Frame Hand Embroidery

There are times when I finish a piece of embroidery and sew it into a larger project or leave it in the hoop and hang it on the wall. There are other times, when I embroider something, and then don’t do anything with it at all! Which is the case with the piece included in this tutorial — I stitched it for Halloween last year, then let it float around… Awful, I know.

Avoid this mishap by learning an easy way to frame your embroidery, and never let another piece go unfinished!

Framed embroidery

I like to enjoy the hand embroidery I devote time to: A nice frame is a great way to highlight all that time and handwork that goes into a finished stitched piece. I know some of you feel the same way! Today’s how-to post will provide you with all the steps you need to learn how to frame your favorite embroidery projects!

You will need:

  • Foam core board
  • Pins (sewing or quilting pins)
  • Iron and ironing board
  • Cutting or self-healing mat (a piece of cardboard works, too)
  • Tape
  • Frame of choice
  • X-acto knife or box cutter
  • Embroidered piece of fabric

measure embroidery

Step 1:

Measure your embroidered piece of fabric and ensure that it is large enough to fit in your frame of choice. Take the measurement of your frame, just inside the lip. Your embroidered piece should extend beyond this length 2″ or more.

measuring frame

This inside portion of my frame is 10 x 13″, and my embroidered piece is 13 x 15″.

cutting foam core

Step 2:

Using the measurement of the frame that you took in step 1, mark the length and width on the foam core. If the frame has a piece of glass, use the glass as a guide, but be careful not to cut yourself. Using a cutting mat and a box cutter / X-acto knife, carefully cut the foam core to your measurements.

pressing embroidery

Step 3:

Press your embroidered piece prior to placing on the foam core. I do not recommend ironing directly on stitches as it can warp the embroidery. Iron the front and backside of the fabric, only going around the stitches. If you feel you must iron the embroidery, use a pressing cloth or piece of fabric over the stitches so the heat from the iron is not touching them directly.

mounting embroidery

Step 4:

Center your embroidery on the foam core. Take a pin and push it through the fabric and foam core along the center of the top edge. Repeat for all sides making sure to hold the fabric taut. Continue adding pins to each edge, gently pulling the fabric to create a smooth even surface.

pinning embroidery
pinning embroidery

Step 5:

Turn the embroidered piece over and fold the top and bottom edges of fabric over the back of the foam core. Using tape, secure each side to the foam core. Repeat for the side edges of fabric.

mounting embroidery
*Embroiderer’s note: If you are looking to mount embroidery without a frame, you can use the first 5 steps of this tutorial to place an embroidered piece on foam core.

mounted embroidery

Step 6:

Place the embroidered piece into the frame. It should fit snuggly. Attach the frame backing.

*Embroiderer’s note: I removed the glass from the frame completely. It is your choice whether you prefer to frame your embroidery with glass or not.

framing embroidery
framing embroidery

Step 7: (Optional)

This is an optional step. I did not stitch my signature to the embroidered piece I framed, so I created a label on the computer and added it to the back of my frame.

labeling embroidery

Step 8:

Display your framed embroidery to enjoy on a daily basis!

framed embroidery

Hope you enjoy this tutorial and use it to frame some of your stitched pieces!

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How do you like to display your embroidery?


Diane Ferguson

I wonder what it would have looked like with a black foam core behind it rather than white. Maybe the beginning thread knots would not have been so obvious.


How thick is the foam and what sort of foam is it (ie what would I look for on Google to buy?). Did it fit into a regular frame – I can imagine some frames are designed for a photo or print so would only be able to accommodate a few mm of thickness?


This worked like a charm for me. I bought a 4 pack of 11 x 14 foam board on Amazon.com. I was able to cut it to size with an exacto knife. I used a 10 by 10 frame. I framed a machine embroidered design which was stitched out on black denim. Even though the foam board plus denim was definately bulky, it fit into the frame very easily. Thanks for the great tutorial.


how do you keep it clean, dust and dirt in the air will eventually ruin the print


The needlework can be removed from the frame and washed, pressed, and re-framed.


I have a large wilted piece of fabric with an embroidered design that I would like frame. How do you suggest I just for the bulkiness of the quilt?


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