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Map Textile Stretched Canvas

Photography: Dana Gallagher

Source: Martha Stewart Living, July 2010


Use a portion of a tablecloth or a dish towel for this project. Both are sturdy enough to stretch across a frame.


  • Tablecloth or dish towel

  • Wooden stretching frame (at least 3 inches smaller than fabric)

  • Staple gun


  1. Spread fabric facedown on a clean, flat surface. Position frame in center, allowing at least 1 1/2 inches of excess fabric on each side for gripping and stretching.

  2. Stretch fabric: The key to stretching fabric is to work in small sections from the middle of each side of the frame, and in opposite directions. Starting in the middle of any side of the frame, staple fabric to back of stretcher. (Put in about 3 staples, about 2 inches apart.) Move to opposite side, pull fabric taut, and staple in the middle as well. Repeat with the other 2 sides.

  3. Starting on any side, working a couple of inches from your original staples, staple fabric to frame. Pull as tight as you can (an extra pair of hands or a pair of canvas pliers is useful). Repeat on an adjacent side. Continue until all edges are stapled. If you're stretching a very large piece of fabric, don't staple all the way to the corner at once; you'll get better tension by stapling and stretching in sections.

  4. When you reach corners, fold edges of fabric neatly and staple. If fabric needs a little tightening, tap in the frame keys. But don't rely on these; if fabric is very loose, remove staples and start over.

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