Textures are important to your home decor, and wall hangings are appealing without a frame. Decorating the wall with fabric art requires the addition of a sleeve or rod pocket on the back of the wall hanging. The sleeve or pocket helps display the fiber art and prevents damage to the artwork. The sleeve or rod pocket attaches best after you’ve completed the quilting or final artwork, but the task requires some sewing by hand.

Part 1: What You Will Need

  • Straight pins

  • Yardstick

  • Fabric

  • Scissors

  • Iron and ironing board

  • Needle and matching thread

Part 2: How to Hang


Mark the fabric art with a pin to identify the top orientation for hanging. Measure the width of the wall hanging about 1 1/2 inches from the top.


Add 1 inch to the width measurement for the sleeve. Determine the length of the sleeve by the overall size of the wall hanging. If your wall hanging is less than 18 inches long, make the sleeve 6 inches long. For a larger wall hanging, make the sleeve 9 inches long. The finished sleeve will be less than half of the cut size.


Measure and cut the sleeve fabric to size for your fabric art. The cut size of a sleeve for a 12-inch square is 13 inches wide and 6 inches long. A sleeve for a 24-inch square requires a fabric strip 25 inches wide and 9 inches long.


Lay the cut sleeve on the ironing board wrong side up. Fold and press 1/4 inch on each short side of the sleeve. Fold and press these folds again at 1/2 inch, covering the raw edges of the fabric. Fold the fabric with wrong sides together lengthwise and press the length of the sleeve. Fold 1/4 inch toward you along the closed fold line and press. Pin the ends to hold the fold in place or baste if you prefer. This makes room for a dowel or hanging rod and keeps your wall hanging from having a bulge where the rod is located.


Sew by hand or machine along the cut edge of the fabric about 1/2 inch from the edge. Open the fold, but keep the small fold that you’ve pinned or basted in place. Press the long center seam open. Center the seam on the sleeve and press the length of the sleeve. You’ll have a flat piece with a raw center seam on one side and a pleat on the other side.


Flip the sleeve over to the pleated side. This is the front. Attach the sleeve with straight pins about 1 inch from the top of the back of the wall hanging and centered an equal distance from each side. The sleeve will be shorter than the fabric art.


Stitch both top and bottom edges of the sleeve by hand, using a running stitch, blind stitch or whip stitch. Remove the straight pins or basting threads and insert a dowel or commercial hanging device.



A running stitch is hand sewing down and up with the needle, punching through the sleeve and the back of the fabric art. The blind stitch runs in the fold, catching a few threads of the wall hanging every 1/4 inch and returning to the folded edge. The whip stitch catches the sleeve edge at the fold and the back fabric of the wall hanging. The completed stitch shows diagonal threads along the stitching line.

Hang your fabric art on a wall away from direct sunlight to avoid fading. Neither your stitches nor the sleeve should show on the front of the fabric art.


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