How to Build an Embroidery Frame

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Make your own embroidery frame to help make your embroidery work easier.
Make your own embroidery frame to help make your embroidery work easier. (Image: Jupiterimages/Comstock/Getty Images)

Embroidery is a skill that requires a great deal of patience and attention to detail in order to become a master. If you are just learning how to embroider, or even if you have advanced skills, you can make your work easier by using an embroidery frame. Embroidery frames are hoops over which the fabric is draped and held taut in order to make stitching easier. If you do not have a frame on hand, don't worry; you can make one using a few items you have around the house.

Things You'll Need

  • Canning jar lid
  • Picture frame
  • Cardboard tube
  • PVC pipe
  • Plastic food storage container
  • Heavy-duty scissors or hand saw
  • Drill
  • Embroidery fabric
  • Rubber band or elastic

Determine what size embroidery frame you need. You can build an embroidery frame to just about any size that you can hold easily, but, in order to find the proper materials, you need to know what size you are looking for.

Look for round frames and objects similar in size to the desired size for your embroidery frame. If you need a small frame, try using the lid to a canning jar. For larger frames use picture frames, cardboard tubes, PVC pipes or even plastic food storage containers.

Cut your object to a workable width if it is not already the right size. Your frame should be a maximum of 1 or 2 inches wide to make it easy for you to hold and to get your hand under for stitching. If you have chosen to use a section of PVC pipe or a cardboard tube, use heavy-duty scissors or a handsaw to trim it.

Cut the bottom out of the plastic food storage container if you have chosen to use one for your embroidery frame. Shallow containers are the best to use, but you can trim away the excess on a deeper container if necessary. Poke or drill a hole through the bottom of the container then insert the tip of a hand saw or pair of heavy-duty scissors to cut away the base.

Drape your embroidery fabric over the embroidery frame. Regardless of how large your finished design will be, the piece of fabric you use should be big enough to hang over the sides of the embroidery frame by at least an inch.

Pull the fabric taut against the sides of your embroidery frame with your fingers. Secure it in place with a large rubber band or a loop of elastic. A rubber band is usually sufficient for smaller frames, like canning jar lids, but larger frames may require you to cut a piece of elastic to size and sew the edges together to form a loop.

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