Stretcher bars are pieces of wood used to create a frame for canvas art. The wooden pieces are pre-cut to a specific size, and usually come in either a rectangular or square shape.
Stretcher bars are an ideal method for framing diamond paintings because these frames enhance the beauty of the diamond art, displaying the full effect of the diamonds’ sparkle and shimmer.
Attaching a diamond painting to stretcher bars is an easy DIY project.
Read More: How To Design And Order A Custom Diamond Painting
Completed by Katy @ Pretty Neat Creative
Supplies & Tools Needed
These are the supplies and tools needed to frame a diamond painting by stretcher bars:
- A completed diamond art picture
- Brush-on glaze sealant (optional)
- Brush (optional)
- Stretcher bar frame kit
- Marking pen
- Double-sided tape
- Small hammer
- Staple gun and staples (optional)
Completed by Anna M. (PNC Customer)
Framing a Diamond Painting by Stretcher Bars (Step-by-Step)
Follow these simple steps to frame a diamond painting using stretcher bars:
Measure the Diamond Painting
Measure the diamond painting to ensure that you buy the correct size of frame. Trimming a diamond painting to size is difficult, and can result in a ruined painting, so it’s recommended to prepare by measuring so you don’t have to do any trimming later.
Lay the Picture Face Down
Lay the painting face down on a clean, flat surface, and smooth the canvas out gently.
Position the Frame Bars
Place the wood strips, or bars of the frame in position along the edges of the canvas. The narrower side of the bar should face towards the center of the painting, and the wider side should run along the edge of the canvas. Line up the corners precisely, and use a marking pen to mark the position of each bar on the canvas.
Apply Double-Sided Tape
Apply a strip of thin, double-sided tape to each wooden bar, which will prevent the canvas from slipping.
Stick the Bars to the Canvas
Place the bars in the pre-marked positions on the canvas, pressing down firmly to allow the double-sided tape to adhere.
Roll the Bars In
Roll each bar inwards and press down firmly, making sure that the corners line up perfectly. Tuck the corners of the canvas into the space between the edges of the bars, pulling the canvas taut.
Secure the Canvas in Place
Insert the “U” nails (supplied with the stretcher bar framing kit) into the pre-drilled holes in the bars or wooden strips. Use a small hammer to knock the nails in firmly and secure the canvas in place.
Insert the Corner Wedges
Each stretcher bar framing kit comes with four wedges for the corners. Insert the wedges and tap them securely into place using a small hammer. The wedges stabilize the frame, preventing the bars from shifting and the canvas from slipping off the frame.
Read More: How To Fix Diamond Painting Mistakes
Completed by Thomas H. (PNC Customer)
Tips & Advice
Don’t Cover With Glass
While glass protects the diamond painting from dirt and dust, it also reduces the shimmer of the diamonds, minimizing the allure of diamond art. Glass also won’t sit smoothly on the painting because the diamond surface is bumpy.
Instead of covering the painting with glass, before framing the painting, seal the painting with a sealing glaze to prevent dust from settling between the tiny diamonds.
Working in a well-ventilated area, lay the painting on a flat surface, diamond-side up. Using a flat, smooth brush, apply a thin layer of sealing glaze to the painting in even strokes.
Leave the painting to stand until the glaze is completely dry. Sealing with glaze makes cleaning the painting easy.
Rolling Up a Diamond Painting
If rolling up a diamond painting is necessary for storage purposes, always roll the painting with the diamonds facing outwards.
It’s impossible to roll the painting tightly and neatly with the diamonds facing in. A loose roll causes creases in the canvas that are difficult to smooth out. Rolling inwards also causes the diamonds to rub, losing their shine and adhesive and possibly coming loose.
Use a Staple Gun for an Extra Strong Hold
The “U” nails that are supplied with the stretcher bar framing kit hold the canvas in place on the wooden bars. For extra strength, supplement the “U” nails with staples. Use a staple gun to add some staples along the length of the wooden bars. Staples further prevent the picture from slipping and help to keep the canvas taut.
Buy From a Reputable Supplier
To ensure that your stretcher bar frame kit is good quality, buy from a reputable art supplies store or online supplier. Many discount stores and online sites offer cheap kits.
While a low price is attractive, cheap kits are often missing pieces, or include mismatched bars that create a crooked frame. The wood is also often inferior quality and splits when nails are inserted.
Buy a Sealed Pack
Stretcher bar framing kits have numerous pieces. Always buy a sealed pack to ensure that none of the pieces are missing.
Read More: How To Work With A Multi-Placer
Is there a method whereby you bring the diamond dots around the edge of the stretcher bars so the picture wraps around the edge and if so how do I order the bars. I have a picture that is 30 by 40 cm and I want to wrap the beads around the edge instead of having the white show down the sides