Stretching Canvas

Everything you need!

Stretching canvas is fairly easy and will save you a lot of money! This is a Cameo Anderson original painting printed on rolled canvas that we need to mount and ship. Obviously it’s a lot easier if you’re just stretching blank canvas!

What do you need?

A pair of canvas pliers.

Canvas Pliers

They should clamp the canvas with the curved side down so no damage is caused to the stretcher bars.

A staple gun with staples!

Staple Gun

Stretcher bars

Stretcher Bars

Stretcher Bars

These are the type of stretcher bars I use. I forgot to take a picture of the frame put together so I grabbed these pics. The pieces just slide together.

Fabric Scissors

Paper dulls scissors fast. I have scissors specifically for canvas and fabric. This helps if you have excess canvas you want to remove.

They are very exciting.

They are very exciting.

Oh and finally canvas hangers!

Picture Hangar

Now you are ready to begin!

Step 1


Put the frame together, the ends should slide within each other fairly easily. I also sand any sharp edges to avoid tearing the canvas.

Step 2

If you’re using printed canvas, very carefully place the canvas face down on a clean surface. Position the frame on top of the printed area (back side) and put a single staple in one side. Turn it around and check that the painting is still in the right place and will look ok when you pull the opposite side. If it is not wire cutters or a standard screwdriver will work to remove the staple.

Step 3


Pull the canvas tight on the opposite end and tack another staple in. Check after each center staple! (If you’re doing a printed canvas) I usually have the canvas butted up against my knee and pull towards my body so it doesn’t shift.

Step 4

Do the same on the other two sides.


Step 5

Time to start adding staples! Follow the diagram apart for a larger canvas, you will ultimately have to judge how many staples you need. Go halfway between the edge and the closest staple, and if there’s more than 2 inches, I would give it a staple. Just to keep everything tight.

Again if you’re using pre-printed canvas, ALWAYS check the print. If you have to print it again it cuts into the profit.

Step 6

Corners! If you have too much fabric on it, now is the time you’ll find out. Just fold one end in pull the top piece tight and staple. This will probably take some noodling.

Canvas Corner

If you have extra canvas, cut it off, don’t try and fold it under.

Cutting the Excess

Step 6

This is a smaller canvas (12″ X 12″) so I don’t need to use extra support. If I did it would look something like this.

Canvas with support

Step 7

Add the hangar to the top center of the canvas.

Canvas Hangar

Just tap the two small nails in and voila! You are finished.

Hung canvas of a husky running

Hang it up! Preferably not on a wall that so horribly clashes with it 😉 This was for demonstration purposes only, no artists sense of aesthetic were (hopefully) harmed in the placement of this canvas.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *