How to Make a Stretch Canvas Frame - Art Supplies Australia

canvas frames stacked in gallery

Whether you're an artist looking for a new way to display your work or simply wanting to add a touch of personality to your home décor, stretch art canvas frames are the perfect solution. They're easy to make and can be adapted to any size or shape. In this tutorial, I'll show you how to create your frame using simple supplies that you can find at any art store. Let's get started!

What is a Stretch Canvas?

canvas stretching. wooden stretcher bar, staple gun, canvas plie

A stretched canvas is a type of frame that is used to display paintings, photographs, or other types of artwork. It consists of a wooden frame that is covered with a piece of fabric (usually linen or cotton), onto which the painting is stretched and secured. Stretch frames are popular because they're relatively inexpensive and easy to make. Plus, they provide a clean, simple look that can be customized to match any décor.

Tools and Materials Needed:

  • Canvas
  • Stretcher bars
  • Clamps
  • T-bar hangers
  • Hammer


  1. Begin by measuring the width and height of your canvas. Then, cut the stretcher bars to size using a saw.
  2. Next, use the clamps to secure the bars together at the corners. Finally, make sure that the frame is square by measuring the distance between opposite corners.
  3. Once the frame is square, flip it over and Hammer in the T-bar hangers. These will be used to secure the canvas to the frame.
  4. Now it's time to stretch the canvas. Start by attaching one end of the fabric to the frame using staples or tacks. Next, pull the fabric tight and secure it to the other side of the frame in the same manner.
  5. Repeat this process for the remaining two sides. Trim off any excess fabric, and your frame is now ready to use.

There you have it! A simple yet stylish way to display your artwork. Be sure to experiment with different fabrics and sizes to create a look that's uniquely yours.

Tips for Choosing the Right Type of Stretcher Bars

stacked wooden stretcher bars

There are a few things to keep in mind when choosing the right type of stretcher bars for your project. Here are some helpful tips:

1. The Thickness of the Bars

The thickness of the bars will determine how sturdy your frame is. If you're planning on displaying heavier artwork, choose bars that are at least 1" thick. For lighter pieces, 3/4" wide bars will suffice.

2. The Length of the Bars

It's essential to make sure that the bars are long enough to support the size of your canvas. Most art stores sell bars in standard lengths, so be sure to measure your canvas before making your purchase.

3. The Material

Stretcher bars are typically made from either wood or metal. Wood is a popular choice because it's sturdy and easy to work with. Metal bars are also a good option, but they can be more expensive.

4. The Finish

The finish of your bars will be visible on the edges of your frame, so choose wisely! If you want a natural look, go for unfinished wood or metal. For a more polished appearance, opt for bars that have been stained or painted.

5. The Cost

Stretcher bars can range in price from a few dollars to several hundred. It all depends on the type of material, finish, and size that you choose. Metal bars are usually more expensive than wood, but they will last longer.

Now that you know the basics of stretch canvas frames, it's time to get creative! Experiment with different sizes, fabrics, and finishes to create a look that's uniquely yours.

Conclusion: Stretching Canvas Frame

stretching cotton canvas

As you can see, making a stretch canvas frame is a relatively simple process. Just follow the steps outlined in this tutorial, and you'll be well on your way to creating your custom frames. With a little bit of creativity, the sky's the limit!

We hope you enjoyed this tutorial. If you have any questions or comments, please feel free to leave them below. Thanks for reading!


Here in Art Supplies Australia, we offer stretched linen canvas in a variety of sizes and thicknesses to suit your project requirements. Our stretched canvases are made from high-quality linen that is stretched over a sturdy frame and stapled into place. They're perfect for oil painting, acrylic painting, mixed media, and more! So please browse our selection of stretched linen canvas boards today and find the perfect one for your next project.

How to make a stretch canvas frame

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