How To Make a Quilting Frame (DIY Method)

Are you wondering how to make a quilting frame? We'll it's easier than you might think. You only need a few materials, a little bit of elbow grease and the right materials.

A quick search online and you've likely come across some frames that are ready to go, but can cost an arm and a leg. Some frames are available for around $100, but the quality of those are generally abysmal. Anything decent is going to cost significantly more, and is out of the price range of most people.

With this guide, you can use a few inexpensive materials to create a sturdy, long lasting quilt frame at home. I made my own quilting frame at home using these same instruction, so feel free to comment if anything is unclear! 

Heres What You're Going To Need:

Before you can get started making the actual frame, you need to make sure you have everything you need first. Some of these things you may already have on hand! Some you may have to swing by the store to pick up. 

Materials:

  • 4 sections of flaw-free pine - 1' x 4' x 8'
  • 4 sections pine - cut into (8) 16" lengths
  • plywood or particle board - cut into (4) 8' x 31" pieces
  • Spare fabric strips to make a fabric base

Tools:

  • A Saw (hand or table/miter, a jigsaw will help too but isn't necessary)
  • 4 clamps
  • Tacks/stables

Now that you have everything you need, here's the quickest, most effective way to make a DIY quilt frame at home:

Steps For Making a Quilt Frame

  1. Start by cutting all of the boards to the specifications listed above
  2. For the 16" sections (this is your frame base), cut the top corners off at a 45-degree angle, 2 inches from the corner.
  3. If you have a jigsaw, you're going to use this to cut notches out of these boards so you can connect them to form an X-base for the feet of your base.
  4. Cut a top-notch out of 4 of the boards, and a bottom-notch out of the other 4 with the following specifications
  5. Measure 7 5/8" from the edge. Then cut your notch 3/4" wide and 1 3/4" deep. Slide the boards together to create an X shape that will act as a foot for your base. 
  6. Next, cut notches in the particle board or plywood for the legs
  7. Cut a notch in the boards bottom that is 1 1/4" wide and 3 1/2" deep (centered). At the top, cut a similar notch that is 1" deep and 3 1/2" wide. The boards will be inserted into the bases to make stable legs. 
  8. The top notch is for your quilting frames to sit in.
  9. Add clamps, fabric and tacks and you're all set.

Things To Keep In Mind

When you're selecting a board for the top of your frame, try to find the best available. You're looking for the straightest, smoothest pieces of wood with the least knots. This makes for a higher quality frame once you're done. 

If you're going to be using the frame often and/or making full size quilts, you may want to also tack on a heavy fabric to the topmost 4 boards so you can pin your blanket or quilt to that fabric. This is going to help keep the starter in place and make for an overall better experience using the quilting frame. If you're quilting by hand, this is an especially useful tip.

If you're more of a visual learner, check out this video (we don't own it). It's another excellent way to make your own quilting frame.

Frequently Asked Questions:

Can you make a quilt without a frame?

Absolutely! You don't need a frame in order to make a quilt. However, it does make the process much, much easier.

How do you use a quilting frame?

There are multiple ways to use a quilting frame, but in essence, you attach the materials to the frame itself and use it as a guide, and a material holder. It makes the quilting process quicker and easier.

What is the best material for building a quilting frame?

If you're trying to save money, the best material for building a frame will be an inexpensive PVC type material. Wood also works great (and it what I used), but it can get a little pricier, especially if you go for a premium wood.

Let us know what you think!

Are you able to create a DIY quilting frame with these instructions? Let us know how it went in the comments section below.

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