Learn How To Finish Needlepoint

Folks with good sewing skills might be interested in learning to finish their own needlepoint ornaments, pillows, stockings and stand ups.  I've organized all the help I have found as best I can so you can do quick searches for the topic you need information on.  Good luck!  Remember to be patient and know that practice makes it better and better.  Your first project won't be fab but the second and third will improve and by the 4th-5th, you'll be doing great.


If you want to listen to a fascinating interview with Sandy Higgins, one of the most experienced needlepoint finishers and author of the DIY book on finishing, Sandy's Finishing Touches, go here.

Nancy Lukoskie of FancyWork Finishing is now offering one-on-one classes on how to finish via Zoom.

Nancy also has teaching videos for sale on her website that explain how to clean, restore and finish needlepoint, particularly eccleastical needlework.

If you are interested in using professional finishers, go here-

There is a finishing group on Facebook called Needlepoint Self-Finishers.  It's pretty new but they are adding finishing videos to help folks.  You have to ask to join and answer questions to prove you actually are interested in needlepoint.  It's run by StarkeArtDesigns, which is doing a lot of finishing videos (see below) and there is a practice kit of finishing materials available on StarkeArt's Etsy page, 2nd link below.


Luckily there are some very good books to help you.  Sandy Higgin's book Sandy's Finishing Touches is a classic.

Marcia Brown's book Distinctive Presentations is highly praised.  I haven't seen it but she is a professional finisher and for a while sold an extensive (and expensive) series of videotapes on finishing.

Marcia also teaches finishing in a series of courses taught on Cape Cod.

I've heard that Pat Mazu's book Finishing 101 is also excellent although it only covers basic finishing techniques.

It is worth scouring used bookstores for Katharine Ireys' book, Finishing and Mounting Your Needlepoint Pieces.  I borrowed this book from the library eons ago and seem to remember it had things like finishing rugs and needlepoint golf club covers in it.

I also read Hope Hanley's Needlepoint Rugs in the 1980s and found her explanation of how to finish rugs very good.  This is a great book for rug lovers to hunt down.

Summer Louise Truswell's finishing book (available in several formats) has good general instructions for finishing.

Kelly Starke of StarkeArt is doing a whole series of videos on finishing on her YouTube channel.  Browse them below.


Lisa at Loops in Israel has a Talit bag tutorial that works for a clutch bag, too.

Nashville Needlepointer has a video on finishing needlepoint panels for those clear acrylic purses.

Beanbag Frogs
If you don't want to fill your frog with rice because you worry about bugs, you can use aquarium gravel.  

Terry Dryden sells a PDF version of her oval box making instructions.  I haven't seen this so I don't know how complete it is when it comes to constructing the box.

Rachel Kinnison has videos about covering boxes with needlework in her Flosstube Finer Finishing Tips series.

Kelly Starke of Starke Art has done a video on the Limoges boxes.  The square one is long because it was her first attempt.  She includes what she did wrong and how she did it correctly.

This is the round Limoges style box finishing video.

Brick Covers
Starke Art just posted a speeded up video of finishing a padded brick cover on YouTube.  Lots of great ideas here on how to do this from wearing bandaids to protect the fingers to using fishing line and curved needles to assemble.

Candy Canes
StarkeArt shows how to finish a candy cane in this 2 hour+ video.

Clothing Patches
Stitched AF on Instagram has a four part video tutorial on how to turn a small needlepoint piece into a patch for clothing.  This is the first.  Use the side arrows to see the others.

If you want to make your own easels, these are easy and cute to display flat backed pieces.

Want to frame something yourself? You'll need to lace the stitching to a board of some sort.  Opus Anglicanum has a clear tutorial here.

If you have a small design you want to pop in a frame, NeedlePaint has a brief tutorial that's very helpful.

Gingerbread House
NeedlePaint shows how to finish their gingerbread house kit.


Sue Dulles is a finisher who has posted two nice articles on Finishing Square or Rectangular Ornaments...

… and Finishing Shaped Ornaments with Stuffing on her blog.

Abigail Cecile is a NP designer who trained with the Royal School of Needlework.  She has posted a great article on finishing ornaments on her website, with both a video and step-by-step photo instructions.

Anna Marie Winter has several nice tutorials on her website.  Here's how to use foam core in finishing an ornament.  She also has a nice explanation of how to float mount pieces, plus advice on steam blocking (second link below).


Kristen's online tutorial for finishing an ornament is helpful.

Very Basic Ornament Finishing, from Needlepoint For Fun

Pamela makes added a beaded trim to an ornament look easy.

Unwind Studio's tutorial on finishing ornaments is quite complete but glue is used.  (Actually most professional finishers use glue on the inside sections.)

StarkeArt has a thorough video on making a boxed ornament.

StarkeArt also has a new video on making up round oranments.


Needlepoint For Fun has a good tutorial for finishing a pincushion that also works for a simple pillow.

Starke Art has a video that explains how to insert needlepoint into a fabric window for a pillow.  The finished pillow is posted in the second link below.

Fatima and Ola has a good knife-edged pillow video on YouTube.

Small pillow finishing

Stand Ups  or Boxes with Feet

Stockings and Open Topped Ornaments

Summer Louise Truswell's free tutorial for stocking finishing is fabulous! 

Kristen's online tutorial for finishing a Christmas stocking is helpful.

The Twister Stitcher's video on how to make a Christmas stocking is great.  Vonna Pfieffer is a well known finisher in the counted thread world but her technique is superb and applicable to needlepoint stockings as well as ones on linen.

This is a good video on open topped lined ornaments and mini sock finishing.

Starke Art has a two part video on small stocking finishing.

Susanne has posted a visual tutorial on finished a stocking on Facebook.  It's great for those who need photos instead of text.
Stuffed Standups with Weighted Bases

Wall Hangings
Abigail Cecile has also done a tutorial (with video) about how to finish a wall hanging with a fabric backing.


Though not strictly for needlepoint, Carol Andrews' Making Needlework Accessories might be of interest. All these books are currently listed on NewNeedlepoint.com currently.  I know the shop owner but have no financial interest in her sales.

Beveling Foamcore for Finishing (Right and Left Handed)

Using a Cricut in Finishing
This video was recommended in the NP Self Finishing Facebook Group for those who want to use their Cricut to make shapes for finishing.  I have to admit I don't understand how these gadgets work but this is probably a good way to make a pattern for mat board inside a shape.


I buy most of my finishing supplies at the big box craft stores or at Joann's Fabrics but there are other sources if you want something a bit more unusual or if you don't have local sources.

For fabrics, try Britex Fabrics in San Francisco.

I've also used my local Joann's Fabrics which has a website and has constant coupons and sales.

Orna Willis sells pieces of Ultrasuede. What she has varies.  Contact her if you need something specific.

For custom or specialty fabrics, try Spoonflower.  There are quite a few online companies that sell this sort of thing but Spoonflower has been around a long time.  It's a good place to look for Japanese, Art Nouveau or just an elephant pattern.

Twisted Cording
This video explains how to make cording using Kreinik's Custom Corder, in both one color and two colors and also including a metallic twist.

Here is the Kreinik Custom Corder if your favorite shop doesn't have them.

Many folks prefer the Lacis corder.

Starke Art also has a video on making twisted cord for finishing by hand.

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