Vintage May: Needlepoint Tapestry Wall Hanging DIY

DSC09374Hello readers! It’s been awhile since I visited these pages, but I’m excited to bring you a project for Vintage May (a series by Craftiness Is Not Optional and Skirt As Top). This is one of my favorite series in the sewing-blog world because I love to incorporate vintage things into my every day life. And today I get to add my own project to the mix!

As I’ve set up our home over the past 9 months, I’ve come to accept how much I yearn for and adore old things. Don’t get me wrong, I love new too (and modern–my whole house is Mid Century Modern) but I love throwbacks to old things and bygone eras. Things from the 50s and 60s just last better and longer than modern items. They also have character, and as you’ll see from my project today, I particularly enjoy repurposing old handmade items. I like to think of the women (or men) from years past who worked to create such art.


In the past, when I’ve thought of Vintage May, I’ve only considered using vintage fabric or patterns. But this time around I chose to repurpose a piece of needlework I thrifted from an estate sale months back. Most Friday or Saturday mornings I take a little bit of time to browse local estate sales (especially ones with the tagline “Mid Century Modern” and I’ve found some truly amazing pieces this way. Before we even moved into our home I found this piece of needlepoint and bought it for a few bucks. I knew it would become a wall hanging, and TADA, here it is. By the way, if you want a way to find good estate or yard sales in your area, go sign up for emails at You can put in your zip code and select the area you want to search. They will send you an email each week with a list of estate sales in your area, along with pictures you can browse ahead of time and decide if the trip is worth your time. I love doing this.)


So anyway, here is my new vintage Needlepoint Tapestry Wall Hanging! (Say that ten times fast.)

I think the concept is pretty self explanatory, but if you want to make one yourself and need some tips, here is what I did:


  1. Iron the fabric. Needlepoint tends to pull the fabric, so this was a little tricky. As you can tell from the photos, I never could get the fabric to lie completely straight. But let’s just call it vintage charm, m’kay?
  2. Trim the sides so they are straight and even. (I suggest actually putting time and effort into this, because it makes a big difference. I learned this after I was too lazy to do the extra step myself).
  3. Fold each side under once and press, then under again and press to create a hem. Pin and sew.
  4. At the top, fold it under 2-3 inches to create a casing for the dowel. Iron, pin and sew. I used a long straight stitch for these seams.
  5. Repeat for the bottom.



  1. Cut two dowels to the desired length. (Husbands with saws are great for this).
  2. Rub a dark stain on the wood if desired. Let it sit for a couple of minutes, and then wipe off with a cloth. Allow the dowel to dry for a couple of hours.
  3. Slip the dowels into the top and bottom casing.
  4. Use a piece of twine, string, rope, or leather (I used leather!) to hang the tapestry from a nail on the wall. TADA!


If you ever decide to make one of these, I’d love to see it! I’ll tag mine #vintagemaytheseries and you can tag me (@cailamade) on your Instagram photo if you want me to see what you’ve made. I love building community with other creatives!


Well, that’s a wrap for today. I hope you liked my Vintage May project! The best part is that it only took me about an hour from start to finish to get this ready for the wall. I do love a quick project. Well, thank you so much Jess and Kristin for including my in your series! You ladies are truly an inspiration to me always. Thank you for your friendship and encouragement to create boldly and embrace vintage goodness in my sewing.

Bless you all, and happy sewing!




  1. says

    What a great idea!! I love thrift shops…and will be on the look out for old needlework from now on!!

  2. says

    arg it’s so cute! smart idea; i feel like i see a lot of random embroidered panels at thrift shops and i don’t really know what to do with them. now i want to make one for Em’s room!

    thanks so much for joining us for vintage may! i loved seeing you blogging again too – yay to jess for reeling you in! haha. 😀