A new method for tensile testing of thin films is presented. The strain is measured directly on the unsupported thin film from the displacement of laser spots diffracted from a thin grating applied to its surface by photolithography. The diffraction grating is two-dimensional, allowing strain measurement both along and transverse to the tensile direction. In principle, Young's modulus, Poisson's ratio, and the yield stress of a thin film can be determined. Cu, Ag, and Ni thin films with strong ⟨111⟩ texture were tested. The measured Young moduli agreed with those measured on bulk crystals, but the measured Poisson ratios were consistently low, most likely due to slight transverse folding of the film that developed during the test. The yield stresses of the evaporated Cu and Ag thin films agreed well with an extrapolation of the Hall-Petch relation found for bulk materials. Ni thin films are known to deviate from a bulk Ni Hall–Petch relation for submicron grain sizes, and sputtered Ni films show much higher yield stresses than electrodeposited or vapor-deposited films of similar grain size. Our sputtered Ni films had higher yield stresses than other sputtered films from the literature.