Introduction: DIY Floating Frame for Canvas

About: Just a girl on a mission to learn how to make stuff.

Learn how to create a simple floating frame for a canvas print!


-prime 1"x2" boards: enough to frame the canvas on all sides (I used (2) 8 ft pine boards)
-1"x3" board, long enough to go the width of the frame once
-miter saw
-wood glue and glue brush
-90 degree position squares
-combination square
-spring clamps
-nail gun
-wood filler
-orbital sander
-stain of your choice
-playing cards

Step 1: Cut Your Miters on the First Two Sides

First, cut a 45 degree angle at the end of one of the 1x2 board with your miter saw.

Line the board you just cut on one edge of the canvas, use your combination square and mark the distance you want between the canvas and the frame to create the gap for the floating frame look.

The combination square makes it much easier to get an equal gap all the way around the canvas.

When the first side is lined up, take your combination square to the other side of the 1x2 and mark where your next miter cut will be.

Once the first board is cut, make another board the exact same size. These stop blocks for the miter saw make this process so quick and easy.

Repeat the same process for the remaining two sides. Once you have completed all four sides, you should be able to frame the picture with a slight gap between it and the canvas.

Step 2: Glue to Frame Pieces Together

These 90 degree position squares and spring clamps ensured a perfectly square frame, which is so important when it needs to be such a precise frame. Anything off-sqaure will be even more obvious when it's around a perfectly squared-up canvas.

While it is still clamped, add a couple nails with a nail gun.

Then fill the holes with wood filler and allow that to dry.

Step 3: Add the Stretcher on the Back

Now, for that stretcher on the back. This stretcher will connect the frame to the canvas. Measure the width for it to sit inside the frame, then trim it with the miter saw.

For me, when the stretcher sat on top of the canvas, it sat about 1/4" proud of the depth of the frame. So I planed it down to the perfect thickness. You could potentially skip this step, depending on the thickness of your canvas and whether it is too thick or not.

To attach the stretcher, add some glue and nail it in from the back. Paint the ends of the stretcher just in case you can see it while it is hanging.

Step 4: Sand and Stain

I used 220 grit to sand the whole thing, then stain it with your stain of choice.

Step 5: Attach Canvas to Frame

Now here is where the playing cards come in! Use the same amount of cards in every stack to evenly space the canvas inside the frame. For me, it was 12 cards in each stack.

With the cards still in, nail the frame to the stretcher.

Remove the cards, flip it over, and that's it! I love how it turned out. The floating canvas frame makes it look much more custom and finished.