You can save a lot of money on professional framing by learning how to lace and frame your own finished pieces. Here's our handy beginners' guide...
1. Cut a piece of mountboard to fit inside your frame – allow 2-3mm all the way around, so that it fits in easily. Mark the centre on the top and bottom edges of the board. Position the stitched piece on the board, adjusting it until it's central, then insert pins, as shown. Measure the gap around the design – it should be the same at the sides and at the top, but slightly bigger at the bottom. Insert pins along the top edge, then stretch the fabricThe material on which cross stitch is made, of the fabric is aida though evenweave and linen can also be used. Fabrics come in many colours and many counts. It can also be made of perforated paper or plastic. Only fabric especially made for cross stitching should be used for stitching, because the even spacing of the threads is very important – each type of fabric is made up of holes of an even stitch count. To stitch on other fabrics you can use waste canvas. down and repeat along the bottom edge.
2. Turn the board over and, using strong thread, start lacing the top and bottom edges together. Space the stitches 5-7mm apart, tying in any new length of thread with an over-hand knot, so you'll have one continuous thread. Once you reach the other side, go back to the start and pull each thread tightly, one at a time. Sew the end in securely. Fold in the side flaps, insert pins along the edges as before, and repeat the process.
3. If you're using glass, place this into your frame, followed by the mount or spacers you want to use. Place the piece of stitching in next, followed by another piece of mountboard. Insert a panel pin into the centre of each side of the frame, to secure all the layers. Turn the frame over to the right side.
4. Check that your stitching is perfectly positioned before you begin inserting the rest of the panel pins. Space the pins evenly every 5-8cm, making sure that you place one close to each corner. Use strips of wide, acid-free, gummed tape to cover the gaps, and finally, add the fitments of your choice to display your picture on the wall. Enjoy!