I did it! I did! I talked about it for WEEKS and I finally made some progress on some of the art we wanted framed. One of the blog readers, Hannah, and my friend Anne convinced me I could stretch the paintings myself. I wasn’t so sure but decided to give it a try.
Micah and I dropped by Dick Blick (no, I did not make that name up) and picked 12 canvas stretched bars for less than $20. We also headed to Lowe’s to pick up some wood glue for $1.50. On Saturday I gathered up my supplies and went to work on the Tinga Tinga paintings I brought back from Tanzania.
First I put together the frame. The stretchers fit together perfectly but I added a little glue to make sure nothing moved while I stapled.
I then flipped the painting over (image side down) and centered the frame. I pulled one end of the painting over the frame and stapled. This wasn’t the easiest thing because there wasn’t a lot of excess canvas to pull. **Note to self, next time I buy paint, buy the one with A LOT of canvas excess around the image.**
When I made a staple on one side, I mirror the staple on the opposite side (not image side) of the frame. I didn’t used the pulling pliers professionals use but I might next time. About 10 minutes and 10 staples later, my painting was stretched.
Not too bad. My next piece was harder because it had less excess canvas around the image than the first one but I managed.
I decided this Masai image was going to hang as is (unframed) in the craftroom. It’s rough around the edges (literally) but I like it hung even though you can see the staples.
After I finished the Tinga Tinga paintings, I started on putting together the stretchers for the elephant painting. I was worried about this painting because some of the thick paint was starting to crack around the edges.
I added a little more glue to this frame because it I knew I’d need to get a little more physical with this painting because of its size. I wish I had pictures of the process but I was not coordinated to stretch the painting, staple, keep Izzy away, keep the painting from cracking and take pictures. Thankfully, I was coordinated enough to do a pretty good job from someone who had never stretched a painting before that night.
And here it is. I know the corners don’t look stapled down but they are. I figure I can add staples when I’m ready to frame. We decided to go with American Frame for our frames. I was going to order the frame over the weekend but decided I wanted to order a few samples first (which is free). I’ve spent so much time on this, what’s another week? I am SO excited this was reasonably successful. I can wait to get the framing samples.
All together, stretching three paintings (8x8, 10x10 and 23x42) cost me less than $20 and took less than 45 minutes. What a great deal! Thanks to Hannah and Anne for convincing me give this a try.
Would you try stretching a painting?