Cross Stitch Framing Alternatives

Anyone here running out of wall space for framed needlework? I don’t have any actual evidence to back this up, besides my own history, but I would guess the number one way to finish a needlework piece is to frame it. Sometimes it’s the best possible choice—I’m not poo-pooing framing, for goodness sakes!—but sometimes I think we do it out of mere habit, or—dare I say it?—laziness or fear.

There are some down sides to framing:

  • Wall space is limited
  • Custom framing is expensive
  • What we stitch may not match a room’s style or color
  • We have to invite people over to show off our work, and that might mean (gasp!) cleaning

African Night cross stitch by Funk & Weber Designs

African Night displayed on a denim jacket instead of a wall.

There are alternatives. Tons of alternatives. Let’s see how many we can come up with.

Home: Afghan, quilt, towel, tablecloth, potholder, placemat, doily, bread cloth, napkin, napkin ring, mug, sippy cup, clock, magnet, mouse pad, switchplate, coaster, box, ruler, bell pull, pillow, stand-up figure, tray, wreath, nightlight, pin cushion, tin cover, picture frames or mats, rulers

Personal: Bookmark, tote bag, purse, keychain, hat, baby bib, baby booties, needle keeper, needleroll, scissor fob, scissor case, cell phone/eyeglass case, checkbook cover, clothing, brooch, bracelet, necklace/pendant, luggage tag, tags to personalize anything

Holiday: Ornament, card, tag, stocking, wreath

Ready-Made Blanks or DIY

Fireworks barrette

Barrettes are some of my favorite things to make and one of my favorite ways to wear embroidery.

Ready-made blanks (stitchable items) are available for many of the items listed here. For instance, you can buy acrylic coasters, key chains, rulers, mugs, and pens or wooden trays, trivets, and boxes. All of these are designed to hold and display a piece of embroidery. Best of all, they’re quick and easy to assemble.

Pre-finished fabric items like bookmarks, place mats, baby bibs, towels, and afghans come with stitchable areas. All you have to do is the decorative embroidery; no piecing or hemming required to finish the item.

Or, as always, you can Do It Yourself. Yippee! That’s always my favorite way. Combine skills you have in other crafts with hand or machine stitching to craft a zillion different objects to adorn your life and express your style and ideas.

Do you have a way to finish needlework that is not listed? A unique idea you want to share? Then spill. We’d love to hear it!

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