How to Make and Cover Stretcher Frames

    Published: 06-16-2009
    Views: 33,382
    Interior decorator Sherry Tyra explains how to make your own artwork, including how to make and cover stretcher frames.

    Sherry Tyra: Hi! I am Sherry Tyra. Welcome to my monkeysee.

    com video on low-cost artwork. In this segment, we are going to talk about using stretcher frames and fabric to create some fun and funky contemporary art pieces. This is a piece that I created for a little girl's room, she loved flowers. This is just a wooden stretcher frame with fabric stretched over it and staple guns on and then these are felt appliqus that we have placed on here. This is a great little item and I am going to show you how to do this. I love felt because it is very forgiving; you do not have to seam it; you do not have to use the anti-fray solution on it. You just cut it and stick it on and go. One of the tips that I love for felt is that, if difficult to draw on felt and create your appliqu and see exactly what you have drawn, especially on the black felt. Sometimes you can use pencil on that, but it is a little, little iffy. So, I have found this great little item which is a paint pen; this is white and it is great because what you can do is draw on the felt and you can see exactly what you are drawing and then when you go to cut it out, easy as pie. Now, let us get started on this stretcher frame. I will show you how I put this together. You start out with some wood, this is one by two, sometimes called batten, I used the poplar, you can use pine, oak, whatever is easiest. I cut this into the size that I wanted; these are separate pieces, I think I did two-and-a-half by one-and-a-half, but you can make it any size you want. All I did was glue these pieces together, put a nail in each end, easy as pie; create a stretcher frame. Take your fabric and lay it out on the table. Try and get it as smooth as you can, put your stretcher frame on top and then all we are going to do is staple gun this all the way around the frame. I start at the middle on one end and I turn the fabric over, so that the salvage edge, the raw edge is hidden; take your staple gun, you just topper in, just as easy as pie, coming to closer to the corner; I do not go all the way to the corner because we have to finagle the corners a little bit, so that they are smooth. So, you come over almost to the corner, hit it again, same thing over here. Then you do one in between, halfway in between these and another one. You can go back and fill in a few extra, just for good measure and then what I do just to make sure that those staples are nice and secure, is you take your hammer -- do not hammer like a girl; you hold the hammer up here, you are losing all the torque. Hold it, alright I know girls no how a hammer too, I am just saying that, but seriously, do not hammer like a sissy; hold it and let the hammer do the work. Give it a pound, pound each one into place, so that they are in there securely; then you turn it around and you do the other side. Now, the one thing to keep in mind when you do this is you mark the grain of the fabric to stay even; you do not want it to look cockade on the stretcher frame and you can see usually the grain of the fabric; make sure that it is perpendicular or parallel to the size of the stretcher frame. Now, this one we are going to pull pre-tight not too tight, because if you pull it too tight, then where the staples are in the wood, you will have pulling on the other side. So, pull it so that it is taut, but not horrendously tight. Again, we start at the middle, work our way out, like that. So, it is nice and smooth, to this side almost to the corner, not quite all the way to the corner and then you fill in the middle and then we are going to finish the other two side and then I will show you how to apply the appliqu.