Want to learn how to frame a canvas for only $8? This simple DIY shows you how to build a basic frame in any color for a canvas.
This DIY shows you how you can frame a canvas for less than you’d pay at a store — and how you can do it in less than two hours.
We’ve had so many new people join this Thistlewood community lately, that I thought I might press pause on this post and introduce myself. If this is your first time to the blog here are just a few things about me you might need to know:
- 1. I almost always…..even with jogging pants…..wear big earrings and red lipstick.
- 2. I’ve had a few fashion disasters.
- 3. I tell stories. Like the day I was the talk of the county and why everyone should wear Lee Press-On Nails and how not to cook pancakes.
- 4. I like to talk and wave my hands around and I love neutrals and I live in the house I grew up in that we’ve completely remodeled and knocked down a bunch of walls.
I’m 100% random.
With a whole lot of bless your heart sprinkled on top.
There are days when I’m fine. Days when I’m sufficient. Days when I’m just happy that I made it through.
There are even a few days when I’m great.
But every now and then when the stars align and everything comes together and the heavens part and the angels sing the hallelujah chorus…..
…..there comes a day when I’m absolutely, positively amazing.
Today my friends?
Today is one of those days.
Wait until you see one of my favorite projects I’ve ever posted.
Here’s the $8 how-to frame a canvas DIY I have for you.
It all started with this canvas.
I fell in love with this amazing print and bought it for the living room a year ago and had it stretched on a frame. The whole buying the print and having it stretched ended up being a lot more money than I ever imagined.
It was one of those months with more month than money.
I didn’t have enough money to frame it.
So I just hung it on the wall.
From the front it was fine.
And double yikes with a little what is happening here on top.
From the side, you could see the edge of the canvas kind of wrapped around.
I tried to distract everyone with a picture light and flowers.
But whenever I walked into the room I saw this.
The how to frame a canvas challenge?
This canvas is 48″ wide and 36″ tall and that is an EXPENSIVE size to get framed.
Until I came up with a DIY under $8.
Here’s my canvas now.
Can you EVEN BELIEVE IT?
Doesn’t it look fancy?
Doesn’t it look like I took a course in framing and became a master framer overnight?
Not even close.
Let’s discuss how to frame a canvas.
HOW TO BUILD A FRAME
1″ x 1″ poplar boards
flat panel board
gold spray paint
1. Gather supplies
I’m going to show you a couple of different options for building a frame, depending on if you want to nail directly into the sides of the canvas or not. When we’ve made frames in the past, we’ve always used 1″ x 2″ boards. You can see how to paint a sign and how to build a frame for that sign here.
This was different.
This was building a frame for an existing canvas. I didn’t want to use 1″ x 2″ boards because the canvas was only 1″ thick and I didn’t want the frame to stick out beyond the sides of the canvas.
Does that make sense?
I wanted the canvas to be the star of the show, not the frame, so we went with 1″ x 1″ boards instead.
- Quick tip: you’ll find boards like this in the “dowel rod” section of the home improvement store, not the molding section.
2. How to frame a canvas: Use 1″ boards to build your frame
We started by building an existing frame for the canvas.
We built it 48″ wide and 36″ tall.
The two side boards sit on top of the longer boards on the bottom and top.
We cut them 34″ to allow for the extra inch at the bottom.
You could miter the corners, but to make it easier, we just attached them at the ends.
3. How to frame a canvas: Add corner pieces of paneling
Cut 5″ x 5″ pieces of paneling and attach them at the corners.
This helps provide stability for the frame.
This was the original frame that we created. When planning out how to frame a canvas, our plan was to attach the canvas on these panel pieces to avoid damaging the canvas in any way. I would recommend this option if you want to attach your canvas from the back.
After you create the frame, spray paint it gold and nail the canvas to the paneling pieces.
4. How to frame a canvas: Another framing option
But for us?
After we built the frame and attached the canvas, I discovered that the canvas sat too far back in the frame.
I wanted the frame to come up to the edge of the print.
So we simply nailed the boards to the side of the canvas.
In other words, we discovered when learning how to frame a canvas, sometimes you just built the frame around the canvas itself and attached the pieces directly to the sides. We spray painted them gold first.
Here’s the finished canvas frame up close.
I LOVE IT.
Attaching the pieces directly to the canvas makes it look custom.
And spray painting it gold?
It adds that little bit of shimmer to the print.
Here’s a look at the framed canvas one more time.
It’s such a minor change, but it looks so much more finished in the living room.
The canvas has finally arrived.
It’s having its day in the sun.
I’m still random. Still waving my hands. Still showing up. Still putting one foot in front of the other. Still EXTRA.
And trying with every fiber of my being.
To be amazing. 🙂
Here are all the room sources, too
- these pillows
- this blue and white chair
- this round glass table
- this round mirror
- this light fixture and also found this one that’s similar for 1/3 of the price
- this blue and white rug
- this canvas
- this loveseat
- this fireplace screen
disclosure: affiliate links are used in this post