how to build frames and stretch your canvas
Basic tips on how to build frames and stretch your canvas
Tools and materials needed -
- Wood glue
- Canvas pliers
- Good stapler
- Small nails
On our website
FRAMED (or "stretched") = ready to hang. Canvas is stretched over a wooden frame
NOFRAMED = canvas only. The canvas will be rolled up and shipped to you. This is an economical way to get a canvas panel print. You'll just need to do the framing yourself.
If you purchased a noframed canvas only print, have no fear. Below we basically take you through the basic process and offer tips on building frames and stretching and stapling the canvas over the wooden frame.
IMPORTANT: Do not build your frames until you get the print in. This way you can build your frames to match the size of the image area.
- To build your frames you can purchase some basic wood from your local home store like Lowes or Home Depot.
- You want to take measurements of your panels in order to get the length of wood you will need
EXAMPLE: If your panels sizes are 12x16inx2, 12x24inx2, 12x32inx1)
12 + 16 = 28" (this is the length of 2 sides. So you need to multiply by 2
So now we have all 4 sides of the end panel. Each end panel is the same, so multiply by 2 = 112"
Now for the next to panels next to the center panels (2 panels)
12 + 24 = 36"
X 2 to cover all 4 sides = 72"
So now times 2 panels = 144"
Measure the image area of the panel
Center panel (1 panel)
12 + 32 = 44"
x 2 to cover all 4 sides 88"
Only one center panel
So now we have all sides included in the measurement
So the TOTAL of ALL sides is the sum of the three panel totals above
112 + 144 + 88 = 344" TOTAL
divide this by 12" and it will give you the total number of feet needed
TIP: The above are not exact measurements. You will need to take a measurement of each side and write them down
- Be sure when you cut the wood, you'll want the OUTSIDE edge of your frame to equal the measurement of your image area. You can either do a 45 degree cut or to make it easier, you can cut a straight edge. If cutting straight ends, BE SURE TO KEEP this in consideration when cutting your wood
- To build your frames, you'll want to have a square so you can make all the sides at a 90" angle. Don't guess at it.
You can put some glue on the corners. Let this dry. Then nail some small nails in each corner for more support
TIP: It's good to put a support brace across the center in order to help keep the frame square
- Once the frames are all set, they should look close to the below image
Stretching the canvas
- Be sure your table surface is perfectly clean. Lay your canvas panel flat. Image side down. Lay your frame on top of the canvas. Start in the center of each edge and staple it. Then work your way out changing from side to side.Be sure you stretch the canvas tight, but not too tight. you don't want to over tighten and bow the frames. A pair of canvas pliers come in handy here
- Once you get to the corners be sure and neatly fold the corners to staple them. Be sure to cut-off any necessary material.
- Once done you can check your canvas. It should be nice and tight
- Now do the rest of the panels if you got more than one
I've had customers install their canvas panels a couple of other different ways
- Cut off any excess material outside of the image. Then they glue it onto a strong posterboard type material
- Cut off any excess material outside of the image and frame it using a traditional style frame