So, you’ve made it! You’ve chosen your design, colours and materials. You’ve meticulously stitched together your final piece. Congrats! But, there’s one aspect that you may not yet have covered and that’s how you’re going to display your amazing piece of embroidered art. As I often like to do with my how to articles, rather than give you a straight up answer, my aim here today is to give you some options and ideas to consider. I prefer this approach as I feel like it helps develop the creative process that’s part and parcel of any embroidery project. I’ll be offering some thoughts on display tools as well as layouts, so I hope you’ll find something that helps with your piece. Let’s get into it!
Items you can use to display your embroidery artLet’s start off with thinking about which tool you’d like to use. You might prefer to think of this as a frame, but you’ll see as you go through the list why I’ve chosen this more generic term.
An embroidery hoopI feel pretty confident when I say this is probably the most common way that people display their embroidery art – in a hoop. It may be in the very same working hoop used for holding your piece while you make it, or you may decide to change it to a display hoop. I’ve written more about the difference between these types of hoop here, so I won’t go into all the juicy details in this article, but whichever you decide to choose, a hoop is definitely always a great choice. They’re aesthetically simple, quick to customise and easy to hang. They also work well simply propped up against other decorative trinkets or books.
A display banner
This is a brill choice for anyone who either isn’t feeling the round framing of their hoop, or who perhaps wants to reuse their hoop for a future project. I think banners give a really sleek look to your piece, and I also particularly like how it shows off a little extra of your backing fabric compared to a hoop. Depending on your design, this extra fabric can add a lovely bit of breathing space around your stitches, making them stand out even more.
One thing you definitely want to be sure about, though, is that your display hoop is big enough to hold the whole design!
A picture frame
Now, here’s why I didn’t particularly want to refer to these display ‘tools’ as frames earlier, because I wanted to include proper picture frames as an option! Going for this approach gives you a whole new world of design possibilities and can really take your embroidery art to the next level. I love the idea of being able to match your frame to the vibe of your piece – it could be an intricate, vintage one for a more gothic inspired design or bright and bold if you’re gone down the more pop art route. It really is a super versatile way to display your art.
A decorative patch
If you’ve read a few of my other blog posts, you may well have seen me sneak in the idea of embroidering onto clothes a few times already! I just think it can be such a fun way to use your craft skills to customise old items and give them new life. But while you can always stitch directly onto your clothes, there’s also another option – patches! Once you’ve finished your embroidery, you’ll want to cover up the back of your piece using either a felt backing or another layer of the same fabric you’ve already been using. This will help the stitching stay super secure. Then, once you’ve done that, just cut around your design and either stitch it onto your item or use iron-on fusing web. This can be done with embroideries both big and small. It all depends on your creative vision!
Layout ideas for displaying your embroidery art
Now that we've covered what I’ve called the tools for displaying your embroidery art, I thought it might be fun to just give a few layout options. As with the final display framing, I find this can sometimes be useful to think about before you start your embroidery. In particular if you’re making something to decorate your own home. For example, you may have a specific space you want to fill - that will help you decide what the piece will be and how it's displayed. Of course, you can always just stitch whatever you fancy and let the piece dictate the final display. There’s nothing wrong with making something just because you love it and figuring the rest out afterwards. Once again, just offering some creative food for thought!
On its own
One option is to let your piece really take centre stage and display it as a solo work of art. I think banners or picture frames work particularly well for this approach, but hoops can look gorgeous, too.
In a triptych
I think embroidery can also work so well as a set. I’m using my Paisley Skies Embroidery Set as an example here, but this look would work with any pieces that have a similar theme running throughout. It’s a fun way to group your work and show it off together in a way that can really make a statement in your home.
Part of a gallery wall
If you’re into the maximalist vibe of the triptych, but either don’t want to go for full on embroidery or perhaps don’t actually have multiple pieces to show off, then a gallery wall might be your answer. This is an example where I think hoops work particularly well – the circular shape mixes things up amongst standard rectangle frames and adds some extra interest to your selection. I also really like the way the texture of an embroidery stands out when placed next to paintings and photos.
At the end of the day, how you display your embroidery art is really going to depend on the piece in question and your personal decoration style. But I hope this list can still help you with ideas! If you do take inspiration from any of these options, I’d love to hear about it in the comments. Or, if you’re on Instagram, feel free to tag me in your pics so I can see your beautiful artworks on display. It really does bring me so much joy to see all your finished pieces placed lovingly in your homes!