Hi guys! I am a big fan of a cool calendar! One of the calendars I saw last year that I loved was a tea towel calendar made with a fat quarter of fabric. Spoonflower actually does 2 for 1 fat quarters every year at the holidays which I think is because their fat quarter calendars are so popular this time of year. I made my own design and I bought another one from another artist for my craft room. Today I am going to show you how to make a custom frame to stretch fabric over to make a canvas.
Here’s What You Need:
*Mitre Saw or Mitre Box and Wood hand saw
*Nail gun and nails or small trim nails and a tac hammer
*Staple gun and staples in 1/4 or 1/2″
*Hot Glue gun and Glue
*Ribbon or Trim
The first thing you need to do is make your frame. Measure the printed area of your fat quarter. Mine was 17.5×26.5. So I wanted the outside of my frame to be this measurement. Cut your pieces to length and mitre the ends at a 45 degree so they meet nicely together.
Once your pieces are cut, glue one corner together, then clamp down to a bench or table and shoot or hammer a few nails into the sides. Do the same thing with the other three corners. Now you should have a frame.
Now you want to add your fabric to your frame. The way my fat quarters came from the printer, they were cut with only about a half inch on two sides. So I started with my longest sides on the short seam allowance side. Staple the long side in the middle of the fabric and frame making sure everything is going to line up properly. Staple down the side to the end, then up the side to the other end. Then staple the opposite long side keeping the fabric nice and tight and stretched. Now you should have your sides stapled down and the top and bottom loose. Staple either the top or bottom whichever side has the short seam allowance first. When you get to the corners fold them over and staple. Then staple and fold and staple the corners to the other end, either top or bottom. Now you have a stretched canvas. If you are making your own frame and stretching fabric you will cut to size, then you would cut your fabric about two inches larger on each side and stretch the fabric around to the backside of the frame to staple. Now, my frame needed to have something put around the sides of the frame since my fabric wasn’t big enough to stretch around to the back. So, I hot glued some ribbon that was the right size to my sides of my framed fat quarter to finish it off nicely.
So I used this canvas stretcher technique to stretch my fat quarter calendars onto, but you could easily just hem them up and hang them from a wooden pants hanger or make a casing at the top to stick a dowel through and hang from the dowel. You can use this technique also to make any size frame to fit a space and stretch your favorite fabric over it to make an instant piece of art. Apparently my mom and her friends used to do this in the seventies with Marimekko fabric. Pretty cool! So, I hope you give this technique a try sometime yourself! If you would like to purchase my 2016 calendar you can find it at Spoonflower Here. I’ll be back soon with more diy fun. Until then…