Step 5: Stretching the canvas
Now you'll want to get out your cross stitch canvas, the embroidery hoop, black embroidery thread and the embroidery needles.
Start by unlocking the embroidery hoop, unwinding the little bolt at the top of the hoop to loosen the frame. I use a wooden frame, but plastic is just fine too. Now remove the springy hoop from the solid hoop. Sit the solid hoop down on a flat surface like a table and place the cross stitch canvas over it so that has an even drape all the way around.* Now take the springy hoop and press it over the canvas like a wood and canvas sandwich. Press it down so that the two hoops are aligned and then tighten the bolt on the top of the springy frame.
* Don't worry about the hoop being round and the canvas being square. The hoop is just to give the fabric enough tension so that the sewing holds its shape.