Framed Ornament Tutorial

I have used card stock and fun foam (craft foam sheet) to make cross stitch fridge magnets but it recently occurred to me that I could use the same method to make cross stitch ornaments too.

Click here to view, download or print a pdf version of this tutorial.

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(From Stoney Creek "Snow Happens". Stitched on 22 count hardanger)

For this ornament I use two squares of red embossed card stock and one of 2 mm thick black fun foam. (I bought some red fun foam for this but the bold black back stitching called out for the black fun foam.)

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First I cut a 3 inch strip of the embossed card stock. (A quilt ruler and mat knife, or rotary cutter, really speeds up this project and make the pieces more uniform but with care one could get the same results using a pencil, straight edge and scissors .)

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Then I cut the strip into two squares.

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I wanted to cut a 2 inch square from the center of one of the red squares. I drew a line 2 1/2 inches from each edge ...

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...then used a mat knife to cut out the square.

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I checked the square against the stitched piece...

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...then trimmed the stitched piece to a 2 1/2 inch square. (Halfway between the two inch opening and the three inch frame.)

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Next I applied some glue stick to the back of the card stock frame ...

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...flipped it over and centered the opening over the stitched piece. (I like to use glue stick for this step because it allows me to reposition the stitched piece until I am satisfied that it is well centered.) When it was well centered I pressed the card stock firmly against the fabric.

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Because I didn't want the black fun foam to show through the white fabric I covered the back of the stitched piece with a piece of white acid free paper. (If I was using black fun foam under black fabric or white fun foam under white fabric I wouldn't need any paper.) I cut the paper just a little bigger than the fabric square, applied some glue stick to the edges of the paper ...

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...and pressed it in place over the fabric.

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Then I applied double sided tape to all four edges of the frame/ paper. (I like to use double sided tape for this step because it adheres right up to the edge and, unlike glue, I don't have to worry about it oozing out the sides.) I pressed the tape firmly to the surfaces and then removed the backing paper from the tape.

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Next I carefully placed the frame and fabric tape side down onto one corner of my fun foam, making sure that the two edges lined up perfectly. When I was satisfied I pressed the frame to the foam with gentle pressure on all four edges.

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Then I cut the foam so that it exactly conformed to the other two edges. I used scissors but someone braver than I am might use a mat knife. (To get a nice smooth straight edge with scissors open them all the way and make one long cut instead of repeatedly opening and closing them.)

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Next I added the hanger string. (For this ornament I used a piece of black Perle cotton but metallic thread or narrow ribbon would also be good choices.) For square ornaments I don't try to get the hanger perfectly centered. I usually place the hanger about 1/3 of the way across the top of the ornament so that it will hang at a jaunty angle. I fastened the hanger to the back of the fun foam with a bit of quick drying glue, but a bit of double sided tape would have worked well tool.

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I applied the double sided tape to the four edges of the second piece of card stock, pressed it firmly in place and removed the backing paper.

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Then I carefully laid the second square of embossed card stock on the fun foam. It is very important to take this step slowly because once the tape contacts the fun foam it is difficult to lift it without damaging the card stock. To make sure that the card stock fit properly on the fun foam I lined up one corner perfectly and then carefully lined up the opposite corner. When I was satisfied I pressed all edges of the card stock against the fun foam. (If I had any talent for design I would have stitched something like "There's no people like Snow People" and framed that for the back. Maybe I could just get it printed on some nice paper and frame that instead...)

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Corner view.

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Finally, to improve the contact between the tape and the other surfaces, I laid the ornament face down on a piece of felt over a flat surface and placed a heavy book on top of it. After a couple of hours it was ready to wrap or display.

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When I have all the materials and equipment assembled in advance, and I'm not taking photos, I can put one of these ornaments/ magnets together in about 20 minutes.

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Variations on the theme


1) I believe that a crafty person who is well equipped with things like circle cutters or a die cut machine could take this finish in some interesting directions.

2) A very similar finish could be crafted with two pieces of mat board.

3) The hanging thread could pierce the ornament and then be threaded through a button or sequin star or snowflake or other embellishment.

4) Or ...

Click here if you'd like to view, download or print a pdf version of this tutorial.

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Pinwheel 2010

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