Introduction: Make Your Own Art Canvases

Picture of Make Your Own Art Canvases

How about up cycling some old sheets or other linen like material into very useful and cost effective art canvases!  If you like to practice your painting a lot, but worry about the expense of store bought canvas, here's a fun and frugal alternative.

Step 1: Getting Started

To make the canvases gather up these materials:

Wood of your choice, I used pine I had on hand. To be cut for stretchers.
A Nail gun or finish nails or screws.
White glue.
Some cotton sheet or linen material.
Chipboard, available at art stores or online.

Step 2: Cut Wood to Size

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Pine is ripped to 1 inch width on table saw.

Step 3: Join Stretchers

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Simply butt wood together with fasteners of choice. Pieces are glued as well.

Step 4: Cut Chipboard

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From large piece of chipboard, cut pieces to 11 x 14 inches.

Step 5: Assemble Pieces and Glue

Picture of Assemble Pieces and Glue

Apply ample glue to stretchers to cover all wood. Then lay chipboard on this glue to assemble canvas.

Step 6: Cut Material to Size

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I used scissors but a fabric cutter would be more efficient.

Step 7: Stretch and Glue Material to Chipboard

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Glue is spread onto chipboard with a brush.  It helps to slightly dilute glue with water but don't overdo it.

Step 8: Make Canvas Boards As Well

Picture of Make Canvas Boards As Well

A simpler but effective canvas can be made by cutting chosen chipboard to size, covering with glue and attaching material to this surface. These are sold as canvas boards by art suppliers.

Step 9: Put Your Project to a Good Use!

Picture of Put Your Project to a Good Use!


lacod0 (author)2017-12-15

Thank you for this. I didnt realize it would be that simple.

Rachael11 (author)2015-09-12

is there any chance to make a canvas using less materials?

AwesomeCrys (author)2015-07-20

I agree that your artwork is brilliant! And thank you for this tutorial! I am very often on a tight budget, and have wondered about using different fabrics. Love it!

lborja valero (author)2014-02-11

i wanted to know your opinion about using polyster cut to size thencovered with fabric

vincent7520 (author)2013-12-04

Is it a photo you glued on the pastel drawing on the last three images ?…
I am somewhat lost (not about the tutorial though)

doo da do (author)2013-06-04

Well done, might give it a try.

Creativeman (author)doo da do2013-06-04

thanks, go for it!

bajablue (author)2013-06-04

This is an AmAzInG tutotrial, Cman! Faved!!!

Creativeman (author)bajablue2013-06-04

Why thank you, bajablue!

shazni (author)2013-06-03

did you do these paintings? they are amazing :-)

Creativeman (author)shazni2013-06-03

All of the painting is mine, thank you very much! It's a fun art project and I do enjoy painting and drawing when I find the time. So many things, so little time. The story behind the building (the garage, storage bldg.) is interesting to me. I grew up on the ranch that this building was on and I used to play in it, and parked my first car (a 49 Chevy) in it, etc. The last time I was there, it was as it appears in the photos above. So lots of nostalgia and memories. That's about 55 years ago. Thanks for asking.

Phil B (author)2013-06-03

A friend asked me about making a canvas stretcher for him similar to this. We talked about it, but never got it done, and I have moved since. Did you use a canvas stretcher like the one I linked, or did you use another approach? Thanks. 

shazni (author)Phil B2013-06-03

I make my own canvases too. I have never bought it :-). You do not need that tool...simply make a frame like in this instructable. stretch your fabric and stapler it ( that is if you are not using a board to glue the fabric on this instructable. doesn't have to be too tight. Once you apply gesso ( or wall filler with a little white glue mixed in) it would automatically stretch tight. let me know how it goes :-) good luck.

Creativeman (author)Phil B2013-06-03

That's an interesting tool, but no, I didn't use that. I find that just pulling the material across the surface tightens it sufficiently and no staples or other tools are necessary. The glue instantly holds the material yet allows for further stretching if needed. My goal was to be able to make these canvases quickly, simply and with as little "skill" as necessary. Thanks for your comment.

HollyMann (author)2013-06-03

Love this - thank you!!!

Creativeman (author)HollyMann2013-06-03

Thanks HollyMann, you are welcome. I checked out your Cardboard tablet cover...great!

tjk1939 (author)2013-06-03

Another great ible. Makes me wish I was an

Creativeman (author)tjk19392013-06-03

Thank you!

bedye123 (author)2013-06-03

This is so cool, so gonna try it and 'A lot' is actually two words. :D

Creativeman (author)bedye1232013-06-03

Thanks, and I stand corrected. I edited the word.

Tarun Upadhyaya (author)2013-06-03

I really needed to know this for my next project. Thank you so much for sharing your awesomeness :)

Thanks for your comment!

About This Instructable




Bio: Retired, doing art work now. Great. Have the time and the money to spend doing what I want to do.
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