Canvas pictures are all the rage right now and I recently received a beautiful print that was taken at my wedding (see above pics).  Although you can buy canvas pictures with the frame already intact, you can also buy just the print and build the frame yourself.  It’s actually pretty easy to put together!

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Tools & Supplies:

  • One tablecloth or sheet for covering the table (to prevent picture from scratching while laying face down)
  • Chop Saw (Miter Saw)
  • Some 1×2 or 2×2 pieces of wood (I used 1×2’s and spent $1 per foot)  You will need enough to go around the perimeter of your print
  1. Staple and nail gun (my gun is both a staple and nail gun in one)
  2. Carpenter square to keep angles of frame exact
  3. Finishing staples (I used 18 gauge 1/4in long staples)
  4. Finishing nails  (I used 18 gauge 1in long nails)
  5. Pencil
  6. Tape Measure

When you purchase a print without the frame, it will arrive looking something like this (all rolled up).

Unroll the print and use a few heavy objects to keep it from rolling back up on its own.

I prefer the overlapped look of canvas pictures, where the edge of the picture overlaps the sides of the frame

To do this I needed the measurement of the thickness of my frame.  The true measurement of a 1×2 is actually 3/4 inches thick  x  1  1/2 inches wide

So I used the 3/4in thick measurement to determine how much overlap I needed

I measured 3/4 inches in from the outer edges of my print.  The wood frame will fit along the inside of the dotted lines.

The arrows represent the lengths that the top/bottom and side boards of the frame need to be.  They need to fit along the inside of the 3/4″ margin.

I cut my four frame pieces to size, then cut a 45 degree angle on all ends as shown

I assembled all 4 pieces together and then used the carpenter’s square to line them up correctly

Then I nailed the corners together.  I used 6 nails for each corner (3 on each side) to make sure the frame would be sturdy

Time to staple the canvas to the frame.

By the way, if you have a two-in-one staple/nail gun, make sure to change out the nails with the staples BEFORE stapling, to avoid nailing the frame to the table (like I did…LOL)

Flip the picture face down and center the frame

I found that doing the sides of the frame before doing the top and bottom worked best.

(It helped to pull the sides over to check if the picture was centered correctly)

Once it was centered, I stapled the canvas to the frame, starting in the middle and working out.

Then I did the other side the same way by starting in the middle, but this time stretching the canvas gently (but firmly) with my fingers.  I secured with staples and worked out like before

I wanted the folds to be on the top and bottom, which is why I did the sides first

To finish the top and bottom, simply fold the canvas neatly like you would a Christmas present

Fold over frame

Then gently but firmly stretch and staple the canvas, starting in the middle and working out just like I did with the sides of the frame

Trim off the excess canvas and add a hanger.

It’s ready to hang!  Beautiful!

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