How to Make a Simple Frame For a Canvas

Friday, April 7, 2017 -
simple wood art canvas wood frame tutorial diy

Most of you guys know I live in the Phoenix area. I actually live in the quaint suburb called Gilbert. Downtown Gilbert is full of cute little shops and yummy restaurants; a totally fun place to hang out. Last week, I had the chance to cruise on over to downtown and had one of the best girl's night out ever! Some of my blogging buddies and I were invited to The Art House, where we got to play around and create our own piece of art.

With some major help from their in-house artist, I painted a cute paddle cactus canvas. I was a little proud of my work.  I came home and decided I needed to build a frame so I could hang it on the wall. Whether you dabble in the arts or found an inexpensive canvas print at the store, knowing how to build a simple frame can definitely step up your wall art! Keep scrolling to learn how to build an easy frame which with fit a standard 16" x 20" canvas.

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Materials List:
  • (1) 1 x 2 x 96"
  • (1) 3/8" x 3/8" x 96" wood dowel

1. Start by measuring your canvas. Although the packaging may say 16" x 20" the actual measurements are likely to be slightly off. You'll want the frame to sit as tightly as possible.

2. If you want a nice looking seam, you will want to miter (or cut at 45 degrees) the joints of your 1 x 2 frame. The length of each side of the canvas will become the short ends of the mitered pieces.

3. To create a frame that sits nice and square, it's very important that the opposite members (pieces of wood) are exactly the same length. Instead of trying to measure, the easiest way to accomplish this is to cut one side, then lay the piece on top of a new length of wood and scribe the ends.

Use the measurements taken from the canvas to cut the 1 x 2, vertically (1-1/2" side running up and down).

4. Apply glue to both sides of the joint, align the seams and attach members together using 1-1/4" brads.

5. To get nice and tight joints, you will want to use something to hold the frame together while it dries. You can use clamps, a bungee cord (like me), or even masking tape.

6. You will need to create an inner frame to attach the canvas to. Cut 3/8" square dowel slightly smaller than the inner perimeter of the frame. The dowel doesn't have to be the perfect size, just short enough to fit in the frame.

7. Apply glue to one face of the dowel pieces and clamp on to the center of the frame, flush with the top edge.

8. Once the glue is fully cured, fill all nail holes and cracks with wood filler. Allow to dry and sand smooth with 220-grit sandpaper. At this point, stain, paint or finish however you'd like.

9. Place your canvas face down on a work surface and slide the frame on top. Pre-drill through the 3/8" dowel and into the canvas.

10. Drive a screw through each dowel, securing the canvas in place.

Brush off the sawdust and you're ready to hang your new masterpiece!

The cool thing about the frame being 1-1/2" thick is you don't have to hang it on the wall. It will stand by itself on the table.

Ready to build your own? Pin the image below to save the idea for later!

How to make a simple frame to fit an art canvas

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1 comment

  1. I love this!!! I will probably make one of these frames shortly. Thank you for the tutorial.


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