It can be difficult sometimes to start a new craft project. You may not have all the materials, and especially if you are not 100% sure you will love it, it can be daunting to spend money on the “right” equipment.
I wanted to try bargello, and I was okay with buying the canvas and the yarn, but you can’t hoop up needlepoint canvas – it’s too stiff. It is almost stiff enough that you could do without a frame of any kind… almost. My local shop didn’t carry anything that could help me out, so I decided to improvise.
I went out to a nearby craft store, grabbed four 11 inch stretcher bars (about $1.50 a piece) and put them together. These are meant to be used with fabric in order to make canvases for painting. But if you use a staple gun to staple your canvas to it, it works great for needlepoint.
One remark, though, staple it on one side of the frame, and stitch on the other. That way, when you are working your threads underneath the in the back, you don’t have the frame in the way at any point. I worked on the same side as the staples the first time and ran into a few difficulties tucking in my ends near the edges; it was tough getting the needle to not run into the frame.
The staples do not damage the canvas, and only 8 staples (in each corner and in each middle) is enough to keep the tension.
It’s so much easier to try a technique when you don’t have to invest too much money first; I always find that it I order special supplies, I’m so scared of screwing up that I never do anything with them. Real Shisha mirrors, laser cut cross stitch pendants… Maybe I’ll gather them all in one place soon and actually DO something with them. 😉