How to Display Embroidery on a Stretched Canvas

How to Display Embroidery on Stretched Canvas

The Spruce Crafts / Mollie Johanson

Show off your embroidery as the beautiful art that it is by wrapping it around a stretched canvas instead of placing it in a frame or displaying it in an embroidery hoop. Although the result isn't archive-quality, it gives your embroidery a professional look. It's also a great way to finish a piece of embroidery as a gift.


When using this finishing technique, it's best to plan ahead before you start your embroidery. This method requires plenty of extra fabric around the embroidery so you can wrap and stretch the fabric. 

What You'll Need

Equipment / Tools

  • Scissors
  • Needle
  • Pen or pencil
  • Hammer (if adding a sawtooth picture hanger)
  • Wooden skewer (optional)


  • Finished embroidery
  • Blank stretched canvas
  • Strong thread
  • Wool-blend felt
  • Fabric glue
  • Sawtooth picture hanger (optional)


  1. Cut the Embroidered Fabric to Fit

    Place the stretched canvas on the backside of the carefully pressed embroidered fabric. Trim the fabric evenly on all four sides so the excess fabric can wrap all the way around to the back. For standard canvases, a 2-inch border of fabric is usually sufficient. Thicker canvases require a much larger border of fabric.

    Cut the Fabric With a Large Border
    Mollie Johanson
  2. Start Lacing the Back of the Canvas

    Cut 2 to 3 yards of strong thread. This is much longer than you should normally work with, but it's helpful for this use. Thread the needle and double the thread, tying a large knot at the end.

    Starting in the middle of the sides of the canvas, bring the thread through the fabric. Secure the starting point with an extra stitch. Begin lacing the back by stitching through the wrapped fabric on the two opposite sides, working from the middle out toward the edge. Pull the fabric taut with each stitch. Each stitch should go through the fabric at least 1/4-inch from the edge, but 1/2-inch is better. 

    Lace Two Sides to Hold it Tightly
    Mollie Johanson
  3. Secure the Thread Ends With an Extra Stitch

    When you reach the end of your thread, hold the lacing tight. Take a small extra stitch to help hold the lacing. Next, tie a large knot close to the fabric and trim the end. Start a new thread, just like in the previous step.

    Secure Thread Ends With an Extra Stitch
    Mollie Johanson
  4. Finish Lacing the Back of the Canvas

    When you reach the ends of the long sides, stitch across from top to bottom to pull the two short sides taut. Keep the lacing within the framed open area on the back of the canvas. There should be loose fabric at the corners.

    Lace the Back Going the Opposite Direction
    Mollie Johanson
  5. Tuck One Side of a Corner

    Tuck the corner fabric on one of the sides under the folded flap at the top. Push the fabric as close to the top edge as you can, using a wooden skewer or similar tool if needed.

    Tuck One Side of the Canvas Corner
    Mollie Johanson
  6. Fold the Corner Under

    Fold the top flap of fabric under at about a 30 degree angle. Pull the corner fabric tight so there are a few folds on the corner of the canvas as possible. Fold this piece down again, so it lays flat and so the fold is not right on the edge of the canvas.

    Fold the Embroidered Fabric Under
    Mollie Johanson
  7. Stitch the Folded Corner

    With the corner pulled tight and the fabric folded as neatly as you can, stitch the fold down onto the previously tucked corner. You don't need many stitches to hold this, but you should stitch along almost the entire fold. Thread the needle with a doubled thread and knot the end. Keep it handy for when the corner folding is done. Secure the end with a large knot close to the fabric.

    Stitch the Folded Corner to Secure the Fabric
    Mollie Johanson
  8. Finish Folding and Stitching the Corners

    Repeat the folding and stitching process at each of the four corners. If you have excess fabric, like the small triangles poking out in the photo above, you can trim them off to remove a bit of bulk.

    Finish all Four Canvas Corners
    Mollie Johanson
  9. Trace the Canvas on Felt

    You can leave the back of the canvas open and attach a sawtooth picture hanger to the wooden frame or add a covering to conceal the lacing. To make the covering, place the canvas on a piece of wool-blend felt, positioning the canvas about 1/4 inch over the corner of the felt. Trace around the remaining two sides. Cut the rectangle of felt.

    Trace the Canvas on Felt
    Mollie Johanson
  10. Glue the Felt on the Canvas Back

    Use fabric glue to attach the felt to the back of the canvas. For an easy hanger, cut a thin rectangle of felt and glue the ends at the top of the backed canvas as a hanger. You can also use a traditional picture hanger, hammering, or screwing through the material and into the wooden frame.

    Glue the Felt and Make a Hanger
    The Spruce / Mollie Johanson
  11. Show off Your Embroidered Canvas

    Display your finished embroidery on canvas by placing it on a shelf and lean it up against a wall or add it to a gallery wall! The finished work looks professional and is a nice change from framing in an embroidery hoop or even within a standard frame.

    Display Your Finished Stretched Canvas Embroidery
    Mollie Johanson