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.

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.

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.

Books and Videos on Finishing
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 good book for rug lovers to hunt down.

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

Sandy Higgins book on finishing is a classic.

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

And here is another blocking video.

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.

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

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

Tube Shaped Nutcracker and Fireworks Standups

Attaching Sawtooth Hanger

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

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

Stand Ups with Feet

Stuffed Standups with Weighted Bases

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

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.

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.

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.

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.

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

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.

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

Finishing Supplies

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.

For fabrics, try Britex Fabrics in San Francisco.

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

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