How to make canvas wall art

Jun 03 2012

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New craft snark! Today we are going to be making some canvas wall art for much cheaper than they would charge you in one of those poster art places. For example this canvas is about 13.5″x18″, and cost less than $10, but would cost about $73 to get done at my local art store.


  • an image printed onto canvas
  • 3/4″ by 3/4″ lengths of wood
  • a brother with power tools
  • staple gun (with staples, duh)


First, pick out your image. This one here is by Muhtik, the curator of Metapause. It is pretty sweet. I printed a bunch of images at spoonflower. A 36″ x 54″ piece of cotton canvas of my own design cost $27 including shipping, and I was able to fit several images onto it. Only problem, which I learned too late (i.e. after I got the fabric in the mail) is that dark colours that are similar do not print well together, from their website: “Black stripes on a dark-grey background are a bad idea.” Do you know what’s a bad idea? Getting printers that can’t print dark colours that are similar! Oh wellllll.

Here’s all the images I printed. I separated them by a few inches each. Some printed better than others.

Here’s the resulting printed canvas.

The next step is the easiest one… get your brother to make up some wooden frames to match the size of your image.

Next, stretch your canvas over your wood frame, trying to keep the grainline of the fabric square to the frame. Staple in place. Buy a better staple gun than I did.

Here we go, only took about 200 staples, of which at least 10% stuck.

beeoooteefulllll. I probably should have ironed it, and stretched it a bit tighter.

ooooh, ahhhh. I do wish the image had printed nicer than it did, to do the artwork justice. But now I know, high contrast images would work better. I still enjoy the canvas as is. And you should too! You are welcome for this informative DIY. And for any schmuck out there who does not know what DIY means: get with the times!

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6 Responses to How to make canvas wall art

  1. Slippery Pete says:

    I have been listening to a record by colour buk. In it there is a song where on repeat the singer says “DIY sucks, The Fall suck, DIY sucks, The Fall suck,” on and on. I find this song hilarious. I have never heard anyone so blatantly deride DIY or The Fall. It is amusing. This post does not suck. Stretching the canvas takes some care to make sure the image is not distorted.

  2. the_snarkster the_snarkster says:

    Those are quite amusing lyrics. I am personally obsessed with DIY but it may still suck. Close monitoring of the grain of the fabric along the edge as you staple will prevent distortion of your image.

  3. Luther Vandross says:

    Now I’ve known quite a few black people in my day and none of them have power tools. Perhaps your DIY should be called DYB…

    …for Do Your Brother.

    None the less, it looks fantastic.

  4. larrybrains larrybrains says:

    This is a great idea. I have heard of people spending hundreds of dollars to have images transferred onto canvases. I would probably do this if I wasn’t so lazy.

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