Introduction: How to Make a Canvas Wrapped Floating Picture Frame Cheap and Easy

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I wanted to surprise the wife with some new stuff to hang on the wall. I had my work print these graphics on canvas so I could make a floating style frame for them. The frames for these signs are cheap, easy and lightweight. They are made with 1/2 construction grade plywood strips laminated to get a 1" thick frame.

Step 1: Find Something Suitable That You Would Like to Hang on the Wall.

I had these made at work. They are about 38"x24". These were printed on some fancy large format printer. You could go to kinkos or maybe your local library to print these yourself. Or you could go to a sign company or a commercial printer and tell them what you want and they should be able to help you out.
Once you have your graphic(s) and 1/2" plywood, move on to the next step.

Step 2: The Boring Stuff...

The printed area of my graphic is 39-1/2"x24". My frame is going to be 1" thick and I want my print to wrap around the frame completely to the back so I have to do some basic math to figure out the frame size. This is basically subtracting the thickness of the frame Xs 2 from the printed area. So in my case it's 39-1/2" - 2" = 37-1/2" and 24"-2"=22"
So outside dimension of the frame will be; 37-1/2" X 22"
I want my frame rails and stiles to be 1-1/2" wide
These frames are made with 2 strips of plywood per rail and stile so I'm making two frames glued together to make one thick frame. This makes for much stronger and stable frame. The sticks are all joined at the corners using lap joints. So we need to make two sets of rails and stiles one set following the outside dimension and one 3" less than the outside dimension.
After ripping my plywood to 1-1/2" wide I can chop the sticks I need. Rails are horizontal and stiles are vertical.
If you're having a hard time following don't fret, it will all come together in the next step. In all fairness, it's my fault. I can't find a way to write this step out any better without drawing it out for you.
I need

I'm making two frames, so I need this list times 2.

Step 3: Make Your Cuts and Assemble the Rails and Stiles

I'm a one man show here so I couldn't take many pics. I ripped enough strips of 1-1/2" plywood to feed my cut list in the prior step. Then I crosscut these strips on the chopsaw. Again, follow the cut list.

If you're making one frame you will have 8 pieces. Each rail and still will be sistered with, stapled and glued (wood glue) to another that is 3" less (1-1/2" off each end). Use a piece of off cut to center the smaller one on the larger one, then spread glue on both pieces and stack them. Check to make sure you have 1-1/2" on each end overhanging the smaller one. Look at the pics and you will understand.
Once they are glued, stacked and centered, use a staple gun to fasten them together and move on to the next rail or stile. You should have a total of four pieces at this point. Make sure they are flat and let the glue dry for about 20 minutes. Next, lay out the rails and stiles overlapping the corners. Spread some glue and staple the corners together to complete the frame.

Step 4: Mark Centers on the Graphic and Frame Edges

Lay the graphic out on a table or large, flat work surface. Use a ruler to put a tick mark at the center of all 4 of the edges of the graphic then turn the graphic over. Place the wood frame on top and mark the center of all 4 edges.

Step 5: Staple or Attach the Canvas Graphic to the Back of the Frame.

Starting with one side at a time, fold the canvas over the back and align your tick marks to center the graphic. Once you get it close, place a staple at the center tick mark with the canvass folded over, Just like upholstery... Once you have each edge centered and secure with a staple, you need to know the top and bottom orientation. You want to fold the corners over the tops and bottoms so do the perpendicular sides first. Starting at the center work your way out to the end shooting a staple about every inch or so. Do the opposite edge next but pull the canvass taught as you go.
Once you have the side edges stapled work on the top and bottom but stop a few inches from the edge to allow room for the fold.
See the pics. Fold and staple the corners and your finished.

Thanks for looking

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