Fabric-Mat Finishing - A Tutorial

As requested, here is my "Fabric-Mat Finishing Tutorial." :) My friend, Brenda, asked me how much this project cost. I told her about $15, using a 20% off total price coupon to Michael's. Of course, this price will deviate depending on the fabric and finishings you choose.

I hope you guys enjoy this, and please don't hesitate to ask me any questions if things are unclear. :)

1. Stitched piece.
2. Fabric for backing.
3. Decorations. In this case, ribbon and metallic gold
ball pins.
4. Acid free foam core board. This is cut to the dimension
of the finish size for the stitched piece.
5. Cardboard (or foam core board). This is cut to the
dimensions of the finished size of the backing fabric.
6. Dressmaker pins.
7. Glue. I found this Scotch Craft Stick in the Scrapbooking
aisle and it's awesome!

I used pins to stretch all my needlework on foam core board.
If you use the lacing technique, that will work too. :)

Center the stitched piece on the foam core board, and
put a pin in the center of one end.

Make any necessary adjustments to the other 3 sides.

Once everything is centered to your liking, tug the
center of each section tight, and secure them with pins.

Next, keep tugging and pinning the fabric down.
These pins will STAY in the finished project.

Once all the pins are in, turn the piece around and
glue the fabric down, starting with two opposing sides.

Tug at them gentle when you're gluing so that the
fabric stays taut and the front stays nice and flat.

Cut the corners of the two remaining sides.

Leave  a little extension so that you can make a small
'pocket' crease when these are glued down.

Glue up the remaining two sides. Use the same gentle
tugging motion to keep everything taut.

Stitched piece DONE!! :D

There are two ways to do this.

First, if you are hanging up your piece,
it would be nice to have a 'finished' back, as on Fern.
For this step:

Center the cardboard onto the backing board fabric
and glue down the sides.

As with the stitched piece, do two opposing sides first.

Fold up the other two sides ...

... and make 'envelope' folds.

Then, glue a piece of ribbon over the seam for a finished look.
On Fern, I extended the ribbon a little to the back
for a rounded finished corner look.

Second, if you are gluing your piece on to something else,
as in this case, then the back doesn't have to look finished. ;)

Glue down the opposite ends first, and then make
'envelope' folds and glue down the other ends.

Backing finished! :D

Now, THIS is the fun part, and you can really go to town with it! :D
For Fern, I did a simple, pretty green ribbon, and glued it down.
For this project, wandering the aisles of Michael's yielded these metallic gold ball pins from Japan, that I thought could be cool for this project.

First, lay and gently glue down the end tip
of the starting end of the ribbon.

Because I'm using the gold ball pins, this is how I'm
anchoring my start.

I've decided to have three gold pins on each side
and a pin on each of all four corner.

Remove the seamstress pins in the spots where the
gold ball pin will anchor the ribbon.

Pin the corner and centers first. At this time, lightly
gloss over either the ribbon or the edge of the fabric
with the glue stick to secure.

Once the corner and center pins are in, it's time
to fill in the rest. :D


If you are hanging this up, the ribbon can be done a few different ways.
Here are a couple of ideas:

Before attaching the pieces together, glue the ribbon
to the back of the STITCHED piece....

... or glue the ribbon to the edges of the backing piece.
Leave about an inch of a tail, and cut the ends
on a bias for a more finished look.

Glue the stitched piece and backing together and...
Chatelaine's Mini Mandala 1 - Finishing

Side view of metallic gold ball pins.

I think I will add a TUTORIAL tab at the top of the page for this, the scroll, and other tutorials (if I come up with more stuff) links. :)


The Maiden said…
I always love when stitchers share how they finish projects, it is so helpful!
Xeihua (Sara) said…
Love the way you finished your project and thank you so much for sharing the tutorial :) I'll definitely use it in the future :)
Shannon said…
Beautiful! Thanks for sharing your tutorial! I will have to give it a try one of these days. :)
mdgtjulie said…
That's awesome, Joysze. I love how it looks. Grats on the great finish, and again on Fern. I love them both. And the fabrics you picked are absolutely perfect!!!
Shebafudge said…
Wow! You make it sound so easy. I will definitely be having a go at this finish. A tab at the top would be a good idea. It will make it easier to find in future.

Thank you for doing this!
Lissanne said…
I LOVE this!! I think I can do it!! Yep, add a tutorial tab and think of more things you can teach us, lol!!
Heidi said…
GORGEOUS, GORGEOUS, GORGEOUS!!! :D Love it! Thanks for the beautiful tutorial! And pictures always help even more!!
Rachel said…
Wow! That looks terrific! Now I need to find some foam core board...and enough nerve to try it out, lol!
You make it look so easy! I struggled with the corners of a notebook yesterday but I think my fabric was too thick.
More tutorials please!
Jenny said…
Joyce - what an awesome tutorial! It is completely clear and I love, love, love the result! Where are you going to hang this baby?
And yes, you really need a tutorial tab! :-)
Claudette497 said…
What a beautiful finish! Thanks for making a tutorial, I'll be using it!
Lesleyanne said…
Thank you for a great tutorial. Will definitely have a go at some time. Your finish is gorgeous. Thanks for the help with putting links in - I think I have done it.
Yvon (jioya) said…
Thank you for the tutorial,i will use this for sure, i have a piece that i have to finish and i like to do it like this.

Hugs Yvon.
Bec said…
Wow, what a great tutorial! Thank you for sharing this :)

Gorgeous finishing technique
Yuki said…
Very good finishing idea and wonderful tutorial!!!
Terri said…
What a wonderful tutorial and finishing idea! And you make it look so easy!!! Thanks for posting this!!

Anne said…
Woohoo Joyce!! Another fantastic finish with that gorgeous fabby!! Love the tutorial and maybe I'll try it out one day! Maybe I should do this for my geisha girl because I still can't find a frame for her that fits!!
Julie said…
Your photo step by step made it look so easy.Lovely design and finish.
That is gorgeous! Thanks for sharing!
Joyce you are so very cool to have taken the time out to share this with us. Really appreciate it. It looks amazing finished and I think it's something that even I (clumsy butter fingers) may be able to do.
Thanx again! xo
wendy111 said…
Great tutorial Joyce. I love the fabric you used, it suit the colours in the stitching so well.
Vani said…
Wow what a fabulous finish!!! And a fabulous tutorial! Great job Joyse!!!!
♥ Nia said…
Great tutorial!! Thank you for sharing :)
Mangogirl said…
Wow that's such an easy way to finish a project!
Jenilee said…
Just stumbled on this tutorial, and it looks like it would be the perfect way to finish some of my cross stitches that don't really need a super nice frame (or the money that takes!). Thank you!
Jenilee said…
I did end up using this tutorial to finish a piece for my daughter. I put pictures up on my blog http://justforfunjen.blogspot.com/2014/05/week-1-snow-white-and-bunch-of-other.html Thanks so much for the fabulous tutorial!
Sharon said…
This is a wonderful step-by-step tutorial! Thanks so much for taking the time to post this. It's very helpful!

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