How To Frame a Standard Stretch Canvas


How To Frame a Standard Stretch Canvas

Framing stretched canvas is quite different from framing a traditional photograph. Stretched canvas does not require a mat or glass and it fits into an open back frame. You can take your Standard Stretch canvases to a professional frame shop or use these instructions to do it yourself and save money.

With a Canvas Press Standard Stretch canvas, the image is on the front while the sides are white. The wood frame the canvas is stretched around is ¾” thick and we staple the canvas on the back. You may see a small amount of white when looking at the canvas straight on because of the canvas folds; however this will be hidden by the decorative frame.


Standard Stretch Canvas from Canvas Press


Standard Stretch Canvas from Canvas Press


Standard Stretch Canvas from Canvas Press

Go to your local frame shop or craft store with a selection of ready made, open-back frames. The standard sizes are usually 8×10, 11×14, 16×20, 18×24, 20×24, 24×30, and 30×40, some stores will have other sizes like 10×20. You may want to see what is available in your area before placing the order for your canvas.

If you require a custom size cut and assembled by framing professionals you can still save money by finishing it off yourself. The frame will have a lip that the canvas rests on, depending on the frame it may cover ¼” to ½” of the canvas. Keep this in mind when cropping your image and make sure there is room for this overlap.

Frame for Standard Stretch Canvas from Canvas Press

Frame for Standard Stretch Canvas from Canvas Press

Frame for Standard Stretch Canvas from Canvas Press


You will also need clips to secure the canvas to the frame. These are usually found on the same aisle as stretcher bars. They should come in a pack of four, the exact amount for one frame.

Canvas Clips

Once you have gathered these supplies you are ready to finish assembling the framed canvas. Set the canvas inside the frame so it is resting on the lip. Every frame will be slightly different, some fit tightly while others are loose. Just be careful not to scratch the ink on the canvas when placing it in the frame.

Lip of frame

Framing Standard Stretch Canvas from Canvas Press

Now you can apply the clips to secure the canvas. Slide the pointed end down along the edge and against the frame like shown in the pictures below. Pull the remaining clip over the stretcher bar and press firmly in place.


Clipping Standard Stretch Canvas from Canvas Press into frame

Clipping Standard Stretch Canvas from Canvas Press into frame

The frame is complete. There are many different ways to hang the finished piece. You can hammer a sawtooth hanger onto the part that sticks out the furthest, be it frame or stretcher bar. Another option is to attach a wire across the back. Many frame shops will clean up the look of the back by taping or stapling a solid sheet of black butcher paper. You can also set your framed canvas on an easel for display.

Framed Canvas from Canvas Press on Easel

Framed Canvas from Canvas Press

This article is written for Canvas Press.  To find out more about Canvas Press’ products visit


  1. Posted by Anne, at Reply

    THANK YOU. this is the FIRST website I’ve visited that actually SHOWS the steps, and what the clips look like: rather than just assuming you can figure it out in your imagination. Thank you thank you.

  2. Posted by Eric Fine, at Reply

    What about using black lathe strips on the edges of the canvas painting and adding mitred wood strips over them?

  3. Posted by Heidi, at Reply

    Thank you– I appreciate the money saving tips. Professional framing is so expensive!

  4. Posted by Linda, at Reply

    Huge thanks! For those of us who have never done this I was surprised there wasn’t more information on this! Off to find some clips!

  5. Posted by Yessy, at Reply

    Hello. Thanks for the tips of framing. But I am kind of confuse. If I have a stretched canvas which measure 36×24 (custom size), the frame should be the same size, or a little bit bigger so any part of the paint is left behind? Thanks in advance.

    • Posted by Eric V., at Reply

      Yessy, If your print measures 36×24 and you want it to wrap around the edge of your frame then the size of the frame will be smaller than the print to accommodate for the canvas being wrapped around the edges. It depends on how thick your frame is to make it the correct size. Generally a 1.5″ thick frame would mean you need to size the frame to 3.5″ to 3.75″ less than the 36×24 size. So in your case with a 1.5″ frame the frame size would be 32.5″x20.5″. I hope this helps out.

  6. Posted by Bryant Mink, at Reply

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  7. Posted by, at Reply

    Love your site. Thank you for posting this. I’ll definitely check here to see what’s new and tell my neighbors about this.

  8. Posted by Wendy graves, at Reply

    I want to build a shaker style picture frame for a 4’x4′ painting that is on a stretched canvas frame, so I do not want traditional mitered corners. Also I’m not sure what the back od the frame should look like to secure the painting. Can u help me or tell me where I can find information? Thanks

    • Posted by Eric V., at Reply

      Hi Wendy, I think the best place to go for help on building a frame would be a local carpenter. You will need some type of underpinning (fasteners) and wood glue to keep the corners together. You will also need a lip on the front of the frame that will keep the canvas from coming out the front which can be done with a router. Depending on the depth of your stretched canvas I would make sure your frame is at least that deep if not about 1/8″ deeper. That way the frame will sit in there nicely and you can hold it in place with staples from a staple gun. I hope this helps. Sounds like a fun project. I think the best place for more info would be to start at your local hobby/framing store and tell them what you want to do.

  9. Posted by Wendy Graves, at Reply

    Thanks for the speedy reply, you gave me all the information I needed .:)

  10. Posted by krazyspender, at Reply

    Unbelievable!!! Thank you so much. I got an estimate from M******’s for $164 to custom frame ONE 16 x 20 stretched canvas. After I read this post I went back to M******’s and spent $133 on FOUR frames (buy one get one free deal), that’s 2 – 16 x 20’s and 2 – 18 x 24’s! And now the canvases shine like they belong in a gallery. FYI – I also covered the back with a little butcher paper for a professional finish.

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  14. Posted by paul, at Reply

    Thanks for the tips it worked beautifully. I like the site

  15. Posted by Carrie Rowe, at Reply

    When I buy canvasses, they have a package of 8 flat wooden pieces attached. What are they for ?

  16. Posted by buy phen375, at Reply

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  17. Posted by Mira, at Reply

    You really make it appear so easy with your presentation however I find this matter to be really something that I believe I would by no means understand. It seems too complex and extremely extensive for me. I’m having a look forward in your next post, I’ll attempt to get the hang of it!

    • Posted by Eric Von Lehmden, at Reply

      Hi Mira,

      The basic message is that you can take any frame you have and print a photo on canvas to replace the existing photo. All you have to do is take out the glass from your old frame, measure the opening, and order your canvas print from us. Most canvases in frames won’t need those clips because of how snug they will fit inside the frame…they are more of a precaution and mostly used on larger, over sized framed canvas. I hope that helps a little.

  18. Posted by Barry, at Reply

    Hi. Can a wrapped canvas print (36″W by24″H) be framed without losing ANY of the picture as there is no room to cut off any part of the is wrapped about 1.5″ deep. I want a very dark brown/espresso frame, even a plastic one; can’t one glue four frame pieces all around above/beside the print that is 1.5″ thick and even make the frame perhaps 2″ all around. I hope you understand what I am trying to say.

    Thank you!

    • Posted by Eric Von Lehmden, at Reply

      Hi Barry. Absolutely. I would suggest our color border option…especially if you will be putting it in a frame (or building a frame around it. If you were to order from us you would choose your size then choose from the “Border Type” drop down menu and choose “Color”. Then you can choose a color for the borders of the canvas from the palette of colors that shows up next to the image. For the 2nd part of your question…yes, you could build a frame if you wanted to, but sometimes glue isn’t enough to hold a frame together over a long period of time. Frames are put together by something called an underpinner which gives the frame stability without any visible nail marks. I hope that answers your question.

      • Posted by Barry, at Reply

        Thank you so much for your quick response/reply to my question. I realize now that you are in Texas, but I live in Toronto, Canada. I thought I saw a comment from someone in Toronto; therefore I can’t do it from you. The picture stretched on canvas is quite light weight, perhaps a strong glue that you mentioned might work; for a 36″ by 24″ canvas print, using just inexpensive dark espresso plastic, would that cost very much…and do you have a store recommendation in Toronto. I must go out shortly. I realize that since you know I can’t get it done by you, that you are not obligated to respond.

        Thank you and have a great day!!

        • Posted by Eric Von Lehmden, at Reply

          Barry, Unfortunately I don’t have any recommendation in Toronto. I do wish you all the best!

          • Posted by Barry, at

            Thank you again,

            I got lucky and found a canvas picture I like, same size but had the proper type frame for it already…plastic of course but unless you touch, one can’t tell, it is a nice darker brown tone with a slight nice shimmer of gold within; it’s a horse’s head turned to the right looking towards his back and part of upper back..very soft brown tones ..a winner! :o)….and frame makes it two inches larger horizontal & vertical….so REALLY perfect size…just $49.99 at HomeSense. But you sound like such a nice person and Company. I truly appreciate it.


          • Posted by Eric Von Lehmden, at

            Glad you found something that fits for you. All the best.

  19. Posted by christine, at Reply

    I found a canvas art picture stretched and framed. But I dont want it framed. Can I take frame off without ruining the picture myself.


    • Posted by Eric Von Lehmden, at Reply

      Christine, usually it is fine to take a canvas out of a frame and hang the artwork back up. You should be able take it without any problems. Hope it goes ok.

  20. Posted by Di, at Reply

    i work in a custom frame shop & we attach the stretched canvas to the frame one of two ways.

    With offsets & screws, screwed into the frame, and with staples: light & heavy duty, put into the canvas and frame.

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