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How to Frame your Canvas using Stretcher Bars

Stretcher bars are used to stretch your Paint by Number canvas prior to painting, in order to smooth out wrinkles. Follow the steps below to put yours together.

Step 1: Iron out wrinkles. Use a damp cloth to wipe down the back on the canvas and iron out the wrinkles

Step 2: Make sure you have 2 long pieces and 2 shorter pieces.

Stretcher bars

Step 3: Start with one corner. Take one long piece and one short piece and line up the corners. There are slots on each piece that will allow you to fit each perfectly.

Step 4: If you get a bit of resistance, use a hammer to LIGHTLY tap it in.

Step 5: Flip the canvas over so that the numbers face up. You will then place the frame on top. Line it up with the border lines on the canvas.

Step 6: Lift up each corner and use a market to mark the corners on the opposite side. That way, you'll know where to line up your frame when you turn it back over.

Step 7: Once you turn the canvas back over (printed side down now), line up your frame to match the marks you made. Start with the long side and fold over the canvas and staple it down in the middle. I used a normal stapler, but if you have a staple gun, it may work better. Once you're done with that side, do the same on the other side and make sure to give it a good stretch. Then, staple the adjacent sides. 

Step 8: Once you've stapled each side, start working on one of the corners. For mine, I did the left side first. Give it a good stretch, and then staple it down. Then, move clockwise to the next corner. By the end of this step, you'll still have the right corner open. Fold in the corner like the photo below. Make sure to give it a good stretch as you're doing this. 

Step 9: Staple down the corners and go through the rest of the sides to add additional staples where needed. 

Step 10: Viola! You're done. It is recommended to add the frames on before painting as it will be difficult to stretch the canvas once the paint is on there.