A cross stitch frame can refer to either a hoop to keep the fabric tight as you work or an actual frame to show off that wall hanging you made. Odds are that you can find both items at the same craft stores. There are also Internet sites that specialize in the framing materials for working and displaying cross stitch pieces.
Where to Buy Cross Stitch Frames and Materials
If you're looking to display your work, you can choose to have the cross stitch framed by a professional or frame it yourself. Many of the stores that do framing also carry framing supplies. Other stores specialize in hoops or frames to use while working on your piece.
Hobby Lobby is a national chain of craft stores that has all kinds of cross stitch supplies, including hoops of various sizes, and provides both framing and framing materials. You can also use their online store for shopping convenience.
Jo-Ann Fabrics and Crafts
Jo-Ann's carries cross stitch materials online, as well as in their many local stores. They also do custom framing for odd-sized cross stitch pieces.
123 Stitch has a variety of frames. They carry tiny frames so that you can make ornaments from your cross stitch, as well as much larger frames for wall displays.
Choosing Material for a Cross Stitch Display Frame
Almost any piece of counted cross stitch can be framed, no matter the size. The kind of frame you want to use will vary depending on the subject of the piece. For instance, you probably don't want to put an old-fashioned sampler in a modern metal frame or an incredibly complex and colorful design in a frame with a color that clashes. Framing cross stitch is a lot like framing any other kind of art. You want the frame to reflect the tone and scale of the piece, and you also want to choose something that's going to look good in the room where you're going to hang the piece.
Look at the colors in your finished cross stitch. Is there a color that dominates? You might choose a similar color for your frame. You can also pick out a color that is only used in a few places in the piece. The frame will make that color stand out more in the piece and will make it look more complex and artful. A standard neutral frame of brown, black, or gray is always appropriate. A simple frame won't take any attention away from the cross stitched piece but will still make it look great on the wall.
For a more dramatic effect, you can also frame your cross stitch with a mat in addition to a standard frame. Matting can be helpful when you have a piece that is not a standard size. You can use the mat as a border to allow the piece to fit into a standard-sized frame.
If you want to use a mat and a frame, the same considerations hold as when choosing a frame. Pick a mat of a color that is included in your cross stitch piece, or that is harmonious with the piece. For more drama, consider using two mats, one of an interesting color and one that is more neutral to go on top. The top piece of matting should be a half inch or so narrower than the bottom one, so some of the color will show.
The size of mat you use will depend on the size of the piece you are framing and the size of the frame itself. A good rule of thumb is to have matting that's no more than four inches in width, but it's really personal preference that will dictate how much matting you use. If it looks good to you and you will enjoy looking at it, then that's the right way to go.
The Big Frame-up
To use a cross stitch frame for displaying your work, gather your frame, matting materials, and the piece you want to frame.
If there is a lot of excess cross stitch cloth around your piece, you will want to trim the piece down so that there's just enough fabric to fill the frame. If you are using mats, you can use a little double stick tape to secure the piece to the mat so that it will stay straight in the frame. Place the piece in the frame, making sure that it looks straight. Slide the back of the frame into place, and then hang and enjoy.
Beautiful Home Decor
The simplest technique of all is to just hang the finished project right in its hoop. You can hot glue lace around the edge of the hoop for a more finished look if you like. Framed cross stitch projects look great on the wall, and they make wonderful gifts as well.