3 Ways to Frame a Canvas
Can you frame canvas art? Absolutely, and in the following tutorial, I will share 3 ways to build a frame for canvas art in any size! A DIY wood frame makes the canvas art look more “finished”, and I’m really partial to using stained wood for the frame. I will also share a couple of easy ways to cut the corners of the frame as well as a couple of ways to attach the frame to the canvas.
Morsel, my main model and part of the Parkour Champs was very helpful in straightening some of the art for me, so thanks to her!
- Canvas art of any size
- 1″ square wood dowels OR
- 1″ wide strips of 1x lumber
- Wood stain and sealer
- Miter box and saw (<– affiliate link!)
- Glue gun OR
- Brad nailer with 1-1/2″ brads
When I make a frame for canvas art, I like to use mitered corners (corners cut at a 45° angle). A miter box makes cutting miters so incredibly easy but if miter cuts are too intimidating, straight cuts can also be made with the miter box. Pro tip: miter cuts sound a lot more intense than they really are!
I like to cut each piece for the wood frame then attach it to the canvas before cutting the next piece, and I do this for two reasons: one reason is that the canvas may not be entirely symmetrical, and the other reason is so that I can make sure my joints are tight without gaps.
Staining and Sealing the Wood
Start by lightly sanding the dowels or wood strips with 120 grit sandpaper, then follow with 220 grit. Apply a coat of stain, then apply the sealer.
Making a Frame with Mitered Joints
Start by measuring one side of the canvas. Make a miter cut in one end of the wood piece for the frame then measure from the inside of the miter and make a mark at the opposite end that matches the measurement of the canvas.
Next, cut an opposite miter at this mark (this mark is the inside of the frame).
Now, secure the piece of the frame to the canvas making sure the piece is centered on the canvas miter to miter, and the back face of the frame piece is flush with the back of the canvas. This will give a nice, raised edge to the frame! Secure the piece in place using a pneumatic brad nailer with 1-1/2″ brad nails or my favorite secret weapon – a glue gun (<– affiliate link – this one is my favorite!).
Repeat this process for the remaining sides of the canvas: measure, cut, secure. It’s truly that easy!
Making a Frame with Straight or Butt Joints
This method is a lot easier than mitered joints… Start by measuring one of the edges, cut a piece to that length, then secure it as outlined above to the canvas. This example has three narrow canvases that will share one frame.
Next, cut a piece for the opposite side and secure it to the canvas.
Then, measure one of the remaining sides including the two framing pieces that were just attached to the canvas. Cut a piece and secure it, repeating for the last piece. Touch up the stain on the cut edges as needed.
The Final Framing Method – Decorative Trim
So, let’s say you want a more delicate or lighter frame for your canvas art… Something that is a little narrower than a square dowel or strip of wood… This decorative trim fits this bill perfectly, and it can be cut with miter joints (if you’re feeling brave) or straight butt joints for an easier option.
Measure the canvas edges and fit the trim, securing with hot glue or brad nails.
Do you have another option to build a wood frame for canvas art? Leave a comment below!