I’m excited to share this piece with you. My first piece is special to me. It showcased a release of an accumulation of years of perfectionism, indecision and stressed design. Releasing the very things that were holding me back has been exhilarating and inspirational.
So why was I able to do this? For one thing, I'm learning and growing as a person (old people really are wiser, lol). And second, I believe it was because of the ease of punch needle.
I allowed myself to create and trust my heart. I was able to release my perfectionism tendencies, work from the heart and enjoy creating. For years, I focused on the small details and stressed over each part, spending hours on something I didn’t necessarily love in the end.
Punch needle allows you to make mistakes in a safe space. From the start, it was easy for me to lean into the process and forget about being perfect. I could just work. I didn’t have to worry about figuring out machines or count squares or clean up a mess of paint. All the stresses of a craft that pained me in the past didn’t exist. I could pick it up and stop easily. No big mess to pick up, no big work area to find a place to hide so little fingers wouldn’t mess up my work.
This easiness of the craft inspired and allowed me to enjoy the process of creativity in a way I hadn’t yet seen.
I hope by sharing my story, it might inspire you. Inspire you to let go of the need to be exact when creating art and let the inner artist live again.
And for those blessed with the ability to create art in such a way, I hope to provide another insight into another’s design process.
Monks Cloth – ½ - 1 yard depending on your canvas frame size (I used 1/2 yard to fit my 12"x16" artist canvas)
Artist Canvas – any size (My canvas is 12”x16”)
Yarn – Weight of 4 Medium or 5 Chunky preferred
Staple Gun (or Flat Head Tacks)
Flat Head Screwdriver
Pliers or Wire Cutter Tool
Permanent marker (optional)
Making the frame
1. Take your artist canvas and remove the canvas material. Use a flat head screwdriver to pry the staples up and out.
I found if you put the corner of your screwdriver in first and jimmy it back and forth to work the staple up, then you can get the whole head of the screwdriver under the staple and it will come out easily.
For stubborn staples, a pliers or wire cutter tool works well to finish removing the staple. (My daughter placed her newest piece of art in my video area, please excuse the eyeball.)
After all the staples are removed, take off the canvas material.
2. Cut the Monks cloth at least 3 inches wider than your frame on each side. This is to account for the fraying of the material and to ensure you have enough fabric to be able to pull it tightly.
3. Now it's time to staple the Monks cloth onto the wooden frame. You will first staple in the middle of each side. The overall flow for this process will be top, bottom, right, left.
To start, pull the Monks cloth over the frame in the middle of the top side. Staple. The fabric will be loose so you are simply inserting a staple to start. No pulling is needed.
Now move to the middle of the bottom side. Pull the fabric up and over the frame, pulling the Monks cloth as tight as you can. Insert staple.
Right and left sides are next. To center the fabric, you will use both hands to pull the fabric tight. Then let go of one side but hold the right side in place and staple.
For the left side, pull fabric as tight as you can, insert staple.
From here, you’ll go halfway in the middle of each staple, pull fabric tight, insert staple and move to the exact opposite side.
Continue until you’ve stapled the entire frame.
For corners, simply fold the fabric two or three times so that the fabric lays somewhat flat.
I stressed on corners for years but at the end of the day, it doesn't really matter. As long as the frame lays nicely when hung, it doesn't matter what it looks like.
If you do not have a staple gun or don’t like the stapling process, you can use flat head tacks. The tacks lay flat allowing the frame to hang nicely and they are much easier to insert than staples.
The tacks are easier to remove than staples so they may come out over time, however, I think this would be hard to do. Unless you pry at them, they stay in the wood nicely.
4. Once the fabric is stapled (woot woot!), trim the fabric close to the wooden frame.