Saturday, March 31, 2007

Making and using a stretcher frame

I created a frame using easy to find elements that required no special tools and would be easy to disassemble, reassemle and would be easy to adjust for different sizes of fabric.

What you need:
1: ready made stretcher strips found at Jo Ann Fabrics, Micheal's, etc. You can vary the size of your frame as long as the opposite two strips are the same size. These strips just fit together at the corners.

2: a box of cup hooks which can be found anywhere you buy neils and screws. These are nice because you can screw them in by hand very easily.

3: a large elastic band for hair. You will want the giant ones that are used as a headband, not a ponytail holder! Or, for a larger frame, you will have to find or make a longer elastic loop to make it around the inside of your frame.

4: safety pins to hold the fabric to the elastic.

How to stretch your fabric:
Cut your fabric about 2" smaller than the inside dimension of your frame. Put the pin through the middle of one side of your fabric piece and put the center side section of an elastic inside of the pin without pining through the elastic and then do the same for the opposite side. Next pin the top and bottom centers of your fabric. After all four sides are pinned from the center, do opposite corners and complete the pinning until all sections of elastic between the hooks are pinned to a corresponding section of the fabric.

This will hold your fabric tight and keep it off the table surface.

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