Introduction: Stretching a Canvas

Picture of Stretching a Canvas

Whether you're the occasional painter, or the professional photographer, you know how good artwork looks when it's framed up as a canvas! No more worrying about mattes and archival non-reflective glass; traditional framing is out! Canvas prints give art a contemporary feel on any wall!

So once you've picked out your print, follow this easy tutorial on how to stretch it onto a wooden frame.

Step 1: Supplies

Picture of Supplies

For this project you will need:

- desired print (mine was on a pre-gessoed canvas, but you could use virtually anything, like an awesome cotton print)
- staple gun (light duty staples work great)
- wooden frame (I measured and cut four 1x1" pieces to the fit the perimeter of my artwork)

Step 2: Centering

Picture of Centering

Turning the art over so its front side is faced down, I drew out the corners of artwork, so it would be perfectly centered onto the frame. Then, I lined up the four corners with the four corners of the frame. Now we're ready to rumble!

Step 3: Stapling First 2 Edges

Picture of Stapling First 2 Edges

Once centered, take any edge of the canvas material and hold it to the wood. Try to get it as close to the middle as possible. Staple.

Now, we'll work the opposite side by doing the same thing. Find the middle, pull canvas taut from its underside, and staple.

Step 4: Stapling Second 2 Edges

Picture of Stapling Second 2 Edges

Now, we'll work the other two edges. This follows the same procedure as before.

Start with either edge. Pull material taut from underside and place staple in the middle of the wood. Continue to staple last edge.

With a staple in each of the four edges, we can now put a staple about every 3 inches down and around the entire backside of the canvas. Make sure to pull tightly on the material so it won't pucker and the front will be smooth and free of any wrinkles.

Step 5: Folding Corners

Picture of Folding Corners

With all edges stapled, now we have to fold and complete our corners. This may take some time to perfect, so don't staple until your completely satisfied with your folded corner.

Pinch a corner with your thumb and forefinger and fold over to any side (I chose to have the bottom and top edges be the ones with the folded corner showing) With a little maneuvering, a 45' angle should appear. Next, fold this angle over and staple. Tuck down the other end of the corner into itself and staple.

Turn your work over to see how the corner looks from the front. This is what matters most in the end, so if the folded corners look funky in the back, but lie flat and aren't bunchy, you're golden.

Step 6: Finishing Off

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We want to minimize all the excess material in the back, which we only needed to help in the stretching process. Cutting off all the excess will help the canvas hang flush on a wall.

Using a scissor or exacto knife, cut off as much material as possible without disrupting the area immediately surrounding the staples.

Step 7: Enjoying!

Picture of Enjoying!

Put your fancy new canvas up on a wall and enjoy your new bit of art!

Comments

Cats_Eye (author)2015-01-24

BRILLIANT!!!

thehbird (author)2014-01-20

Awesome did u just get bored and figure this out

mothman92 (author)2014-01-03

If you take a cheap white paint and paint an X shape on the back of the canvas once you have it mounted it will tighten the canvas and make it look that much better :)

amalkhan (author)mothman922014-01-05

that is an AWESOME tip. Thanks!!

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