Many people who do needlepoint don’t ‘finish’ them themselves. Instead they do the stitching, and then send the stitched canvas to a finisher to be turned into an ornament or a pillow. It’s not cheap – even a small ornament will set you back $30 for finishing, and the turnaround is incredibly long. The finishers used by my local needlepoint shop take months to return an ornament. So if you want it ready by Christmas, you need to finish your stitching by early fall. Eugh.
I was taught how to finish needlework in college, by a professor who forbid us from taking shortcuts like using glue, and absolutely considered the back-side of your stitching when grading. I looked at the little ornaments coming back from the finisher and thought, “how hard can this possibly be?”
As suspected it’s not that hard. A little tedious, but it’s absolutely something you can do yourself. I found a number of ornament tutorials online, although none of them was exactly what I wanted, so I made up my own by combining techniques I liked from each one. Here’s the result:
I think they both came out pretty well. I’ll need a little more practice to get the cording / seam perfectly even, but I think DIY finishing is well within reach for most people who do needlework.