How to Frame a Canvas Board

By Brandon Salo

Things Needed

  • Tape measure
  • 2 pine boards, 1-by-1-by-13 inches
  • Compound miter saw
  • Staple gun
  • 64 staples, 3/4-inch
  • Canvas, 19-by-19 inches
Many artists frame their own canvas boards.

Framing canvas boards is something the avid painter or frugal artist needs to know how to do. Building your own canvas frame is much cheaper than purchasing one outright. In fact, as of May 6, 2011, a small canvas board can be built for less than $10. All the builder needs are a few pine boards and a sheet of canvas. If the materials are bought in bulk the builder can save even more money. Framing canvases is not a complicated task, and it gets even easier with practice.

Cut the ends of the 13-inch boards at a 45-degree angle. Do not alter the original length of the boards. When the boards lie flat they should resemble the shape of a trapezoid.

Lay the boards flat so they make a 13-by-13-inch square. The angled cuts should be against each other and the corners should be flush. Staple two staples over each of the joints where the cut edges are against each other. This will hold the boards together while you stretch your canvas.

Lay your canvas flat and set your frame on top of it so each edge of the canvas is 3 inches away from the corresponding side of the frame. Fold the top horizontal edge of the canvas over the frame and staple it down from left to right using one staple every inch. The canvas should lie tight against the frame for this process as you work from left to right.

Fold the bottom horizontal edge of the canvas up and over the frame and staple it down using the same process as you did for the top edge.

Rotate the frame 90 degrees and repeat the 3rd and 4th step. Fold the corners of the canvas down and staple them to the frame.

About the Author

Brandon Salo is a world-traveling writer, musician, medical technician and English teacher. After earning his degree at Northern Michigan University, he traveled the world while writing, performing as a jazz pianist and teaching English. In 2014 he worked as an emergency medical technician in New York state before he left to travel the world while finishing his first book.