Stitched a bunch of ornaments, but you’ve been putting off the finishing? Here are step by step instructions to get your cross stitch ornaments ready to hang and have on display or give as holiday gifts…
Step 1: Wash and prepare your stitched piece. Select your backing fabric, trim, cord, ribbon, hanger, and or tassels to compliment your ornament.
Step 2: Measure your ornament and decide how much larger than your stitching you want the finished ornament to be than your stitching. I like to stay within 1/4 inch to 1/2 inch of the edge of the stitching. Mark out the size on two pieces of mat board, and cut them. I like to use my mat cutter, but an Xacto knife and a ruler will do as well.
Tip : Some framing shops will sell or give away scraps of mat board.
Step 3: Cut out two pieces of 1/4 inch foam slightly larger than the pieces of mat board.
Step 4: Cover your work surface with a cheap plastic tablecloth or garbage bags. Spray the back of your mat board with an aerosol glue.
Step 5: Place the mat board on the foam glued side down. Press firmly. Trim away excess foam.
Step 6: Center stitching over foam-covered mat board.
Step 7: Turn stitching and foam-covered mat board face down. Make sure your fabric doesn’t shift so that you keep the stitching centered.
Step 8: Trim excess fabric.
Step 9: Trim on all sides, I also like to cut away the corners – its less fabric to have bunched up on the back later on.
Step 10: Using a hot glue gun start adhering stitching to mat board. Apply glue in sections to back of mat board. Do not apply glue to all sides at once (hot glue dries quickly).
Tip : If you like a nice rounded, pillow-like front, put pressure on the edge of the mat board with one hand as you pull the fabric to the back with the other hand.
Step 11: Glue down all sides of stitching.
Tip: If you mess up or the ornament ends up not centered properly, use a hair dryer on the hot setting. This will allow you to pull off your stitching with little trouble. When this happens I remove all dried glue before I try again.
Step 12: You now have your stitching glued to one piece of mat board/foam.
Step 13: Cut a piece of your backing fabric.
Step 14: Make sure you cut your fabric larger than your foam-covered mat board. You want enough fabric that you can pull it over to the back.
Step 15: If needed, press your fabric.
Step 16: Glue backing fabric to foam-covered mat board with hot glue (same as you did with your stitched ornament).
Step 17: You now have two ornament “half” pieces ~~ one is your stitched ornament, the other your coordinating fabric back.
Step 18: Spread a thin coat of white glue (I use Aleene’s Tacky Glue) that will dry clear on the back of both pieces. Do not use too much glue, or it’ll ooze out of the sides. If you do not intend to make your hanger out of cord or ribbon later, or add a tassel, do it now on one of the glued halfs. Make sure to center your hanger and/or tassel.
Step 19: Sandwich the two pieces together (glued sides touching each other).
Step 20: Tightly wrap the sandwich with plastic wrap and place clothespins all around the edges (the more the better in my opinion). Leave the ornament like this for two hours.
Step 21: After two hours, remove clothespins and plastic wrap. Where the two halves of the ornament meet, run a thin bead of white glue. I like to do this in small sections.
Step 22: To hide where the two halves of the ornament meet, “hide” it with cord. Place the cord where you’ve just run the bead of white glue.
Step 23: A hanger can be made out of a loop of cord as you’re running it around the edges. I re-enforce my loop with a pin pushed through the cord and into the ornament’s foam.
Step 24: Before cutting the cord make sure you wrap the cord where you plan to cut it with clear tape. This will stop the cord from un-ravelling later on! Tip: Use only a clear tape, don’t use a magic tape or a frosted tape, it is very obvious even from a distance.
Step 25: Cut the cord where you wrapped it in tape.
Step 26: Glue down the last bit of cord, making sure it meets up with your starting point.
Congratulations on finishing your ornament 🙂