Framing Tip 10: Attaching Needlework to Mat


Hello again, today I wanted to share with you how I attach my needlework to the  mat. This is fairly simple. From time to time you might also pick up photo that has been mounted to piece of foam board and might wonder how you could attach that to mat as well The same principle will apply.

Either a mat came with your kit, or you decided you wanted a mat and purchased a ready made one or maybe you ordered a custom mat. Either way your need to figure out how you can attach this so it doesn’t slip after it is hung on the wall.

First  purchase a Foam Core Board.There are various sizes of thicknesses: 1/8 inch and 3/16 inch, there are other sizes available.  Shop around for the best prices. Some of the places I have purchase  from are Dick Blick, and Hobby Lobby and sometimes Wal-mart.

Take into consideration if your needle work was wrapped around 1/8 inch board, then you’ll  need 1/4 inch foam core. You’ll need to eye this and consider if the amount is sticking out past the mat. I cut 1.5 inch – 1.75 inch strips of foam board. This will be placed under your needlework and glued to the mat so this is like a resting shelf for your needlework. I glue strips to the side as well so it won’t move side ways when I place it into the frame.

Another way to tackle this is to cut mat shape out of the foam core board and place your needlework within the square or rectangle. Then measure and cut a mat. Cut down the foam board and hinge the mat to the foarm board. Then place this in your frame.

Produced by Mary O. @ Prairie Pine Peddler




Framing Tip 9: Finding the Perfect Frame


Beware of Cheap Frames and Back Yard Sale Frames.

After I am attracted to the front of a frame, I always turn it over to see how much of rabbet the frame has?  What is a rabbet? It’s the depth of the frame. I have an illustration below.

Can I place piece of glass, a mat or two, artwork or needlework and backing in before closing up the entire project?

or is it only large enough to hold single piece of glass?

. Image result for picture frame rabbet

A Shadow box type frame is great way to go. There are several different types of  shadow boxes. First type that seems to be very popular looks more like a display case: it has a piece glass permanent in front the rabbet is 3-12 inches deep and then their is small lip to attach your art work and or mat with backing to close it up with.  Much like the illustration Image result for shadow box frame corners

The second type of shadow box which can be found at custom frame shop is made in layers. The glass sits up front – this particular one has molding added to make central piece stand out: I have few illustrations to give you examples. These were obtained from various place on the internet. I did not take pictures of these illustrations.


violin in shadow box



Image result for shadow box frame corners

shadow boxes corners  normally custom ordered at Frame Shop.

Produced by Mary O. @ Prairie Pine Peddler


Framing Tip 8: Blocking Needlework


Blocking Needlework is Rewarding…

Especially if you’re the one that did it. But it is nice if you can show your friends how to block needlework too,  Plus it can save you money.

Preparation:The very first thing one needs to do, is if it isn’t clean to send it to the dry cleaners particularly if you don’t’ know what kind of stain is our your work. But if you decide to hand wash it carefully so  your embroidery threads doesn’t bleed and ruin your needlework. The next thing is to iron it and get all the wrinkles and creases out.

Supplies needed: I like to use T pins and foam core board , to block my needle work.  The reason – is the pins can be inserted into the foam while you are trying to straightening out the lines to match up with the rest of the art work. There is acid free foam core out there now and that will prevent your needle work from yellowing over time. Although I have used the regular kind and have had not trouble with my artwork yellowing.

Frame Requirements: If you are going to place this in frame without glass. Then  you’ll need to measure your frame inside where the needlework and cut back about 1/16 inch all the way around to make sure there is enough room for the material to be wrapped around  the board and placed in the frame securely . You can try this before you actually get ready to assemble this part. You might need to take little more off as some needle works material is thicker that others.

Matting: If you are going to mat your item, then you need to allow about 2 inches for the mat to rest on the needlework. What I mean is that if you block your needlework you need to take it out about 2 inches past where you want the mat to sit on your piece of art work. Make some ” L” shape mats or card board and place them around your art work so you can figure out how much space you want around the main subject. The rule of thumb is allow about 1/2 inch  – 2 inches from the main design. Just depends on the look you’re wanting. Then go past that mark about 2 inches and wrap it around the board. Didn’t leave enough material, well you could sew some on to the piece you already have or go to Plan B. 🙂

Blocking: There are two ways to do this.If you are uncomfortable with  gluing it down to a board permanently then I suggest that you will be lacing your needlework back and forth as this picture demonstrates. How ever, you can still center your picture on piece of foam board, pin it up by inserting the T-pins into the foam while trying to get it center on the board in preparation of lacing up the back. Then after the lacing is completed. Take the T-pins out. There are rust proof pins you can purchase and use and then just leave them in there. But I prefer the latter method.

Image result for building picture framing back side to insert needlework

The second way you can do it is place your piece on the acid free foam board start pinning by using the Tpins around the outside of the board.                                            After you have gotten it squared up then turn it over. To keep from having a lot of bulk on the corner, take the corner and bring it up first to glue down. Then bring up the sides and glue them down. I like to use Eileen Sobo  Tacky Glue.

Image result for preparing needlework for framing

Some framers will tell you that it will yellow your work, I have not had any trouble doing this. I have been doing this for over 20 years and my work still looks nice since the day I did it. I recently shared my expertise with some gals from the Geneseo Art League. They enjoyed knowing how to block their needlework. Counter cross is one the easiest one to do as the lines are there for you to follow.

However,  if you have a needlepoint to stretch into square or rectangle. That is different story.  Those type need to be rolled up in damp towel for few hours and then your need a heavier board to work on such as drawing board or piece of plywood. You’ll need nails to keep it straight until it dries. There is lot of yanking on these too. Must have a good grip to do this.

Actually it  is best not to work on your needlework when you are stressed as your stitches tend to be tighter. It is best to do it when you have relaxed a bit before starting.

I hope I have given you some pointers that will help you along with your project.

Produced by Mary O @ Prairie Pine Peddler


Framing Tip 7: Screw Eyes


Saw teeth are great for small pictures. What size pictures are we thinking? Well from my experience I would say anything  5 x 7 or smaller.

When you get up to an 8 x 10 size,  you need to switch to screw eyes. Now why is that? Well when you place a saw tooth on this size frame and it is hanging by the one piece of wood, you’ll putting  a strain on the all the corners. Eventually the corners will loosen and come apart. So to avoid this, use screw eyes.

Now there is particular way to put your screw eyes in your frame.                                                    First you need to look at the depth of your frame. Then when you go to the hardware store or hardware section you.ll need to find a screw eye shank that is not too long.

images, hand cranked drill, manual hand held drill

I use a hand cranked drill. I take a brad and cut the head off and place this in the drill as if it was a drill bit.

Now turn over your frame so your looking at the back of your picture frame. Take a ruler and measure from top to bottom the overall frame length. Let say your frame measures 21 inches. So you will want to come down 1/3 of the way or divide this number into thirds.

frame measuringSo we’ll measure down  7 inches. Depending on where the thickness part of the frame is that is where you are going to drill a hole. Oak Frames will give  you trouble – to tackle the hard wood frames – Before drilling put some soap on your drill bit (brad ) and on the screw eye. By the way Don’t  drill threw the front of the frame. So you’ll want drill in about 3/16 or 1/8 of an inch.  I have never measured, I just kind of eye or give it two turns or so.

Then after drilling you’ll screw in your screw eye. The last time I purchase screw eyes I bought 5/8″ (1.5cm) they were by National Hardware . Put a nail set through the eye and turn the screw eye into place The screw eye should angle in towards the center of the wood frame when complete.

Now we are ready for the wire. I ususally start with the wire and place it in the screw eye and then twist it to each other about 2 inches. Then pull the wire straight across the frame to the other side where the screw eye is sitting. Take your ruler and measure from top of the frame to where the wire is and divide that measurement in half. That half way point is where our wire is going to be.positioned. Then wrapped the wire through the opposite screw eye and twist and you’ve completed the task!

Produced by Mary O. @ Prairie Pine Peddler

Framing Tip 6: Closing up the frame


The next step is to close up your frame and give it the professional look.

Gather your tools: yard stick, one sided razor blade, small damp sponge, brown packaging paper, Aileen’s Tacky Glue or Elmer’s Glue,

First, you can use either one of these  glues as both of these will dry clear. Take one of the glue bottles and run a line all the way around the frame on the edge away from the foam core edge. You can take your finger and smooth it out if you like.

Next, I usually use light weight Kraft or brown packaging paper, I purchased my at Walgreen’s the last time I needed some. Make sure that you cut it about 2-3 inches bigger that your frame when taking it off the roll.

Take your brown paper and lay it flat on the table. Take your damp sponge and go over the entire surface. Then place the brown paper over the back of the frame and press around the area where the glue is. The purpose of dampening the paper is when the paper dries it will shrink and be taut.

Then take and place a metal yard stick on the edge of the frame and draw a razor being careful not to cut your finger. (Which I have done many of time) Seems like the razor likes to jump the track – so BE CAREFUL!!!! I speak from experience. Cut away the excess paper that is on the edges.

Use your sponge to wipe away any glue that may have seeped on the side of the frame.

Now you will have professional looking back which no one will ever see as it will be on the wall hanging up.

This has been provided by May O @ Prairie Pine Peddler                                                                                                 Connect with nature, wear down to earth Jewelry!

Framing Tip 5: Contents


This is how to care for your contents in your soon to be a framed picture

If you have gotten a matted picture and you are going to slip it into a ready made frame. Handle your mat like it was a record. Don’t place any finger marks on the mat. Occaionally you may get a oil finger print on your mat. I you do instead of having to start over – place some salt over the area and let it sit over night to see if it will draw the oil out of the mat. This has worked for me. Image result for how to attach photo to a mat for framing

When we framed in the Frame Shop where  I worked at – we always would put acid free tape on the picture/photo and then place the mat over this and attach and then turn it over and press it into the mat to stay.

But recently as I was doing some research on the internet- I  found that if you attached your  picture/photo to the foam core/backing board that this was better concept. I tried this and it was lot easier and faster.  This a good thing (as Martha Stewart would say)

Produced by Mary O @ Prairie Pine Peddler                                                                        Connect with nature, wear down to earth Jewelry!

Framing Tip 4: Attaching brads


So you washed your glass on both sides. You have your item in the frame.

Cardboard use to be used all the time until they realized that it has acid and will discolor anything that is in the frame. What I use now for my backings is an  acid free foam board. It helps your piece to breathe better and take the weather changes in your home.

Brads come in different sizes. I usually use a 3/4″ for 5 x 7, 8 x 10, 11 x 14, 12 x 16 for anything larger – 16 x 20 – I use 1″ to 1’12” brad. Brads don’t have heads on them which is a good thing. One doesn’t  want them to pierce though your brown paper which is one of your last steps to take. when assembling your frame.

Now where do you place your brads?  If you have 11 x 14 size frame.

So on the 11 inch side put 2-3  brads in. Start in the middle, then put one on each side of that. . On the 14″ side I would put about 4 and just spaced them out. Do that to both sides of the frame. Oh, one other thing, have magnet near buy in case a brad gets between the backing and the frame. It comes out better than trying to use your finger nail.

To use the brad pusher: adjust the brad pusher to go over the frame width and then few inches for the brad. I usuaully figure out my wood frame width then hold my brad and wrap the brad pusher around every thing and pus my brad in – 3/8 ”  or 1/4 ” in. . The top of brad pusher will push brad into the frame about

Now that you have the brads in, one should turn the frame over and make sure it doesn’t have anything in there it should have. I have had to reopen my piece to get a speck out.

More coming

This has been provided by May O @ Prairie Pine Peddler