How to Make a Frame For Your Canvas

Not too difficult a process and way more cost effective than buying pre-made canvasses.


  • 1″x2″ or 2″x2″ board (I used a furring strip)
  • Saw and mitre box OR power saw
  • Hammer
  • Small-ish nails



1.)  Determine what size canvas you would like to make.  I went with a 16″ x 20″ on this one.  An 8′ long 1″x2″ furring strip ($.95 at Home Depot) worked out to be exactly the right amount for me.



2.)  Cut a chunk off the end of your board so that it is a 45° angle.  This is where a mitre box is helpful if you are using a hand saw.  Cut the wood so that it is standing up on its skinnier side.  This way you have an attractive thick edge to your canvas and not a lot of wood pressing up against the your painting (messes with your brush strokes.)




3.)  Measure to your first edge.  It doesn’t really matter what side you start with.  Make sure you are measuring along the longer side of your board so that all angles will be eventually facing inward.


4.)  Use a mitre box or a table saw to cut a perfect 45° angle, again, standing the board on it’s thinner side.  Ensure that your measurement is relevant to the longer side of the board (each edge of the frame is going to be trapezoidal in shape.)

Continue this process until you have created all four sides of your frame.




5.)  Put two or three nails in each corner to keep in place.




What you have made so far should be good enough for a one time use.  I like to make my frames sturdier, however, so that I can reuse them.  If you have extra wood left over, you may as well use it to reinforce the corners…



6.)  Cut your leftover wood into 4 equal pieces with 45° edges.  This time, cut the wood on it’s flat side.



Nail these pieces in as supports on each corner.  Keep them all along one side of the frame (the opposite side of which you will be painting on.)  This ensures the supports will not be pressing up against your canvas.




Stay tuned for instructions on how to stretch the canvas.

One thought on “How to Make a Frame For Your Canvas

  1. Pingback: How to Stretch a Canvas

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