How to Finish a Cross Stitch Project

cross stitch in hoop of a little girl with dog
Pam Pedesen

You have worked so hard on your cross stitch project and now you are ready to frame it. If you are like most, this is the hardest part of the entire project. Your material bunches up and the frame never exactly fits. There are solutions so you don't have to dread the framing step. From a simple hoop to an intricate tin, framing your project doesn't have to cause you stress.

Use a Hoop Frame

One of the easiest and least expensive ways to frame your cross stitch work is to simply use a wooden hoop (also known as Hoopla). This type of framing is very popular. It is a great alternative to the traditional square and the hoops are inexpensive. You can create a theme with several hoops.

If you aren't concerned with how the back looks, you can leave it open. If you want to secure the piece and make the back more presentable, you can glue or stitch material to the back. Look for tutorials online, such as the ones at

Prevent Bunching With Self-Stick Mounting Board

One of the biggest problems in framing your cross stitch project is having the fabric bunch up when you put it into a frame. It can be difficult to get the fabric to lay down flat rather than being uneven or bunched. It just doesn't look good.

One of the best solutions for bunching fabric is self-stick mounting board. This is a type of mounting material made of foam core board with a sticky back. You place your cross stitch work on the sticky side so it lies flat and will not move. You can then frame your project without any bunching.

You can find self-stick mounting board in many sizes or you can cut it to fit the frame. Be aware that it is hard to cut and you might not cut the lines straight. It is best to cut it on a flat surface with a craft knife that is used specifically for cutting mounting board. Some stores will cut it for you, so ask about this service. Most craft stores have self-stick mounting board in the stitching section or you can order it online at Amazon.

Creative Frames for Small Projects

For smaller projects, you can use just about anything. It is fun to use found objects, and don't be afraid to try something new. Use an old watch face, a bottle cap, a tin can, or the lids from Mason jars.

Using a mint tin is a great way to showcase your project and store your cross stitch tools such as needleminders and scissors in the tin. This is a great gift for those who are just started out on their cross stitch path. Show them how to stitch and let them use the tin for their supplies. Pinterest has a lot of great ideas, too.

Get creative with your cross stitch, there aren't any rules and if they are, break them. If you are more traditional, stick with a mounting board and a fancy frame

Unframed Cross Stitch Work

Some people leave their pieces unframed and fray the ends of the fabric to give it a rustic look. This would be great for fall-inspired cross stitch patterns. No matter what style you choose, make sure you show off that beautiful cross stitch piece you created.