How can I hang a tapestry?

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Forum topic by Stevinmarin posted 08-20-2010 08:56 PM 6056 views 0 times favorited 10 replies Add to Favorites Watch
View Stevinmarin's profile


838 posts in 3074 days

08-20-2010 08:56 PM

Topic tags/keywords: question

Last week we discovered a wonderful piece of family history I had no idea existed. This is a needlepoint cover my grandmother made for my dad’s crib before he was born. So it is about 75 years old. I thought it would be really cool to make a frame for it and hang it in the guest bedroom.

Any suggestions on how I can make this happen? I’d like for it to stretch taut, but obviously I don’t want to damage the fabric. It’s about 4’ x 3’. Maybe pressed into a frame and held in with a sheet of plexiglass?

-- Entertainment for mere mortal woodworkers.

10 replies so far

View Cozmo35's profile


2200 posts in 3035 days

#1 posted 08-20-2010 09:21 PM

Steve, Make SURE you have a acid free backing and hang it somewhere out of direct sunlight. I have dabbled in genealogy for more than 20 years and have seen priceless irreplaceable pieces ruined from lack of proper storage and display. ACID FREE & NO DIRECT SUNLIGHT!

Also, might I suggest a scrollsaw decorated frame…..

-- If you don't work, you don't eat!.....Garland, TX

View Mark Whitsitt's profile

Mark Whitsitt

86 posts in 2978 days

#2 posted 08-20-2010 09:23 PM

Hey, Steve! A quick google found this link from

this seems to me to be a really good way of at least mounting the tapestry for display. the silk and felt platform should do a nice job of flattening the tapestry without really stretching it or putting it in contact with the wood stretching frame. The silk won’t sag or stretch out of shape over time, and the felt pad will gently support the display piece.

Mounting it this way would also allow you to keep that crocheted border on the needlepoint showing, but you’re going to have to branch out and learn how to sew, however!!! (I can’t wait for the video of that!!)

This approach also calls for UV coating the glass/plexiglas… an excellent idea!

Mounting the piece this way will also allow you to build whatever kind of shadow box display piece you’d like!

Good luck!


-- -- "there are many good reasons to use old hand tools, but moral superiority is NOT one of them..."

View jeff_wenz's profile


151 posts in 3549 days

#3 posted 08-20-2010 09:45 PM

In the picture framing industry, we would do one of the mounting options below:

a. Sew it to a backing board by hand stitching it in a few places (acid free matboard that is mounted to 1/4” ply)
b. Wrap it around 3/16” acid free foam board. In this method, the board is slightly smaller than the piece. You wrap all 4 edges around the board and pin it every inch or so. So your pins go through the fabric into the 3/16 thickness.

Once you have it mounted, you will want to create a spaces so any glass or plexglass is not touching the tapestry. With the size you referenced, you would want to go with plexi for weight reasons.

Picture frame shops sell (or can order) UV glass and plexi that block most of the harmful UV from lights and the sun. It gets pricey, though.

-- Jeff, North Carolina

View Erik van Baarle's profile

Erik van Baarle

85 posts in 2869 days

#4 posted 08-20-2010 09:50 PM

Hi there Steve
I would cut 2 pieces of plexiglass a bit bigger ( 2 inches or so ) then the tapestry ( to show the whole thing ). Make a frame like you would normaly make for a painting and slide the 2 plexiglas plates with the tapestry inbetween inside the rabbit. Now use wooden sticks in the back to keep the plexi in place.
Its up to you ofcourse to choose. :-)
Good luck
Greetings from Belgium

-- Erik, Merksem Belgium

View littlecope's profile


3071 posts in 3501 days

#5 posted 08-20-2010 09:57 PM

Not sure if this will help, Steve, but I had a rolled-up Map that I wanted to hang straight…Map Hanger- Top
All it is, is a couple thin strips of 2X Stock, screwed from front to back, and from back to front… with the clamping side holes pre-drilled outsized… so they clamp, and can be taken apart later.
There’s another one on the bottom…Map Hanger- Bottom

-- Mike in Concord, NH---Unpleasant tasks are simply worthy challenges to improve skills.

View docholladay's profile


1287 posts in 3058 days

#6 posted 08-20-2010 10:18 PM

Last year, I won a trip to the SuperBowl from my employer and I just had to build a shine, er, memorial to the experience. I built a shadow box type display. Something like that might work for you as well. I haven’t ever posted pictures, but possibly I should. I was just a poplar frame with rabbets for a backing board and the plexi cover. I covered the backer board with nylon batting and then covered it with fabric. Then I pinned a T-shirt and a few other souvenirs that I purchased to the backing fabric. The hardest part was keeping the dust off of everything until I could get it assembled.

-- Hey, woodworking ain't brain surgery. Just do something and keep trying till you get it. Doc

View Stevinmarin's profile


838 posts in 3074 days

#7 posted 08-20-2010 10:30 PM

@Mike in Manchester: Wow, I hadn’t even thought about something as simple as this. That’s a great idea. Thanks.

-- Entertainment for mere mortal woodworkers.

View scottb's profile


3648 posts in 4326 days

#8 posted 08-20-2010 11:58 PM

Yeah. Acid free anything that’ll touch it, and DON”T let it touch the glass!

-- I am always doing what I cannot do yet, in order to learn how to do it. - Van Gogh -- --

View rustfever's profile


752 posts in 3309 days

#9 posted 08-21-2010 12:27 AM

You have have lots of suggestions, some maybe good, some maybe not so good. I don’t know which is which. I personally would not risk something so personal, private, and important.
You need to talk to a person dealing in the preservation of textiles. A professional quilter may be a point to start. But only one who does restoration type work. Check out the internet.

-- Rustfever, Central California

View Bob Kollman's profile

Bob Kollman

1798 posts in 3190 days

#10 posted 08-21-2010 07:29 AM


I’d go with more expensive and secure techniques, it’s something your son might want one day,

Also, some items like that may have more monatary value then you might think. I might even go as far

to see if I could do something about restoring the original fabric color. I have a freind that restores

old paper and you’d be surprised what some of these artist can do.

-- Bob Kenosha Wi.

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