This post shares all about how to make a tapestry frame, including how we made our large DIY sloth wall art. This post also contains affiliate links. You can read more about that here. Thank you!
How to Make a Tapestry Frame
What else is there to say? Gentleman sloth is here.
This is only the second update I’ve shared about the multipurpose Mike’s office/guest bedroom/playroom combo space we’ve been working on.
The first was the DIY Murphy bed post, and I’ll probably have a toy box/trunk build post coming soon, too. Then I’ll share the whole space when I have time to shoot it. But for now, bits and pieces of projects we’re working on.
And today’s bit and piece is the large DIY sloth art: gentleman sloth. Once we cleared out this area and I’d finished painting, we decided we wanted to do a bigger art piece here—something smaller than the peacock on a bicycle upstairs, but using the same technique. So, a lot like the owl in Tootie’s room. (Owl tapestry can be found here.) The owl in Tootie’s room was a DIY, too. We bought a tapestry and stapled it around an existing old canvas we had.
Society 6 has some amazing tapestries to choose from, so we decided to just run with that. Mike picked the print. Originally he had wanted Slothstronaut, but Gentleman Sloth won him over in the end. It goes without saying that I didn’t take much convincing.
Source: L.T.GraphicArtist via Society6
HERE’S WHAT I USED
- Gentleman Sloth tapestry in “small” size
- 1×2 furring strips—note that furring strips are very cheap, I paid $1.23 per 8-foot board at Lowe’s. But since they are cheap, they aren’t perfectly straight. That was a risk I was willing to take to keep the cost for the frame as low as possible. I picked through and selected the ones that had the least amount of warping.
- Finish nailer
- Hand-held staple gun
- Spray bottle and water
And here’s How to Make a Tapestry Frame.
(Remember to wear a mask and eye protection while sanding and working with wood, and wear an appropriate mask while working with stains and finishes. Follow the directions and warnings from your particular brand. Do not use any tools without proper training, precautions, and supervision. Read my full disclaimer here.)
Step 1: Come up with a plan
We came up with a quick plan based on the “small” tapestry size, which is actually quite large at 51″ x 60.” But I needed to account for the width of the furring strips and the amount I’d need to fold over to staple in place. Here’s the cut list I settled on:
Step 2: Assemble the tapestry frame
We assembled the frame using a nail gun. This isn’t the most secure option (that would be screws), but the furring strips seemed like they’d handle nails better than screws, and it secured everything in place more than enough to attach the tapestry.
Step 3: Staple the tapestry over the frame
Next I laid out gave the tapestry a spray down with the water bottle on both sides. Just enough to dampen it. Then I laid it down face-down on the floor, set the frame down over it, and began stapling the tapestry in place.
I suggest stapling the top first, then the bottom, then the sides. This way you can ensure you’re pulling out any wrinkles or loose areas as you go. Dampening the cloth helps with this process.
(For a more detailed description of stapling fabric over a frame, see this post. Note that if I were using a lighter-colored tapestry for this project, I would have put a liner layer of fabric in so the furring strips didn’t show through. This was not a problem with the darker Gentleman Sloth tapestry though.)
And that’s that! He looks lovely, if a bit creepy and menacing. But the lovely/creepy/menacing combo suits us well. Ramona hasn’t looked at him and started crying yet, so I think we’re good. Taking suggestions for names. Oh, and between starting this post and finishing it, we built her toy box! Sharing a post on that soon, too.