My top 4 ways to present a finished needlepoint tapestry

So, you’ve slaved over a piece of needlepoint for weeks, months even. On completion, don’t let it languish in a dark cupboard! Here are some of the ways you can ensure that it is admired by all who enter your home.

1. Professional framing

Getting this done professionally can be costly, but I want you to create a keepsake that lasts. So, after you’ve invested your time into creating it, your handiwork deserves to look its best.

Do ask the framers if they have experience with tapestry, as it requires very different handling from photography or works on paper. Many workshops will have sent staff on specific training to frame tapestry and other textiles and it’s one of these specialists that you want to find. (I pop a card into my kits for a very knowledgable framer if you are local to me.)

They will treat your work with care to ensure it looks the very best it can as well as creating a bespoke frame to your exact specifications. This is a real investment, but it gives you a beautiful, traditional finish. Your work deserves it!

2. Frame it yourselfAiman framedHarlowe in frame

For a cheaper option you can purchase a standard frame with or without a mount that is a good best fit, pop it in and away you go. You may find it necessary to add a few rows of stitches to the edge of the design, to make sure it fits perfectly – you should have more than enough wool remaining to make this possible.

Before you frame it, pin your tapestry to the ironing board so it is flat and taut. Now spray it with a fine mist of water and then leave it to dry. This is called blocking, and will even out the surface, making for a better appearance.

Use a high tack acid free tape to attach the tapestry to the backboard of the frame, ensuring it lines up perfectly with the aperture in the mount, if there is one. Taping will ensure it stays put and doesn’t slip down over time.

Rather than putting your frame on the wall, don’t forget a free standing frame can also look great on a table or shelf.

Don’t ask, don’t get

Here’s a handy tip. Many framers will sell you an offcut of mount board and cut it for you to fit both your tapestry and frame perfectly, at a very reasonable rate.

3. Make it into a panel

If you are prepared to put in a little groundwork yourself, you can achieve a cool, contemporary look by creating a panel from your masterpiece, which looks stunning in a box frame. This is possible using readily available materials and a little bit of skill. Check out for my photo tutorial for thorough instructions. Very thorough!

Ringmaster panel

4. Make a cushion cover

The beauty of a cushion is that you can scatter it pseudo-carelessly on the sofa when visitors call, so they can’t fail to notice how great it is. This is also the perfect solution if coming to the end of your tapestry kit has left you feeling all thumb-twiddly and at a loose end. Another project – yay!

You can find a wealth of online tutorials on how to create a mitred border, insert a hidden zip, add piping or even tassels, and why not? But you could also opt for a simple cushion cover with an envelope back. There are tutorials for that, too. I hope to add my own photo tutorial to the blog when I get the chance…

However you choose to display it, do show off your beautiful tapestry for all to admire. This will give you the chance to humbly explain how you MADE IT YOURSELF.

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