Remember the reveal of my mom’s painting and the DIY frame we made? Well, I still have to give you the dibs on how we made the frame. Frankly I’ve been dragging my feet on writing the post ‘coz I knew it is going to be long, very long with a million pics. Too confusing for me to write and for y’all to read. You see, building the frame for the canvas painting consisted of three steps; making a canvas bar frame aka stretcher bars, building the frame, and making the frame look pretty, which included staining and gold leafing.
My mom painted the Kerala mural on a piece of unstretched canvas as it was easier to bring it along with her when she visited us. Little did she know that the stretcher bars available in the US come only in a few standard sizes. Her painting was custom size and didn’t fit any of the available sizes here. When we had stretched the Andre Derrain painting ourselves we had used the 24 x 30 bars from Michaels. This time when I checked the custom framing rates at Michaels they said it would cost me around $300 after all the discounts and that too with the cheapest frame. That frame was so plain Jane that I decided then and there that we are going the DIY route come what may. And thus our journey to frame this custom size Krishna mural began.
- 1 in. x 2 in. x Random Length S4S Cherry Board – Home Depot
- Miter Saw
- Staple Gun
- Small Nails (not required)
- Long Ruler or Tape
Canvas Bar Tutorial
- Lay the canvas on a flat surface and measure the border of the art work. Measure and mark the 1 x 2 Cherry board as needed.
- Since you are going to be stretching the canvas over the canvas bar frame the outside lengths of the frame should match up with the measurements of the art work’s border. i.e. if the art work is 20 x 22, then you will cut two 20″ and two 22″ pieces.
- Using a Miter saw make a 45° cut on one end of each piece.
- Flip the piece over and carefully make another 45° cut on the other end making sure that the long end of the pieces still matches the art work’s border measurements.
- Lay the pieces down on a flat surface and piece them together so that the ends are flush and the corners match up correctly.
- Using a staple gun staple the corners.
- If you want to be extra careful (my dad is and he insisted we do this 🙂 ) you can use a small nail to secure the corner joint as shown below.
- That’s all there is to it. The stretcher bar frame is ready for your artwork.
We stretched the canvas ourselves like we did earlier but this time we used canvas pliers*. Can’t recommend these pliers enough, they made our jobs so much easier.
It felt good doing it ourselves and saving some moolah in the process. Darn good job for first timers, don’t you think?
You might also be interested in my other framing related posts;
How to Frame a Canvas Painting
DIY Stained Wood Picture Frame
Easy Way to Frame a Canvas Picture
How to Apply a Gold Leaf Border to a Frame
*Post contains affiliate links
Good art work….