HOW TO MAKE A STRETCH CANVAS FREE LESSON Learn how to make a large canvas art

HOW TO MAKE A STRETCH CANVAS FREE LESSON Learn how to make a large canvas art

Welcome to Art Fusion Productions. And step-by-step
abstract art. Today I’m gonna teach you how to make your own Timber Frame and stretch
canvas. Some of the tools you can use are a timber mitre box. You can use a plastic
mitre box. You can also have a manual mitre saw. Or you could use an electric mitre saw.
All of these will work fine. To start with, we have our nice straight timber. And get
your timber yard or lumber yard to get you the straightest timber you can find. And then
we’ve gotta bevel off one edge of that timber frame. And as you can see here, I’m just running
the plane along on an angle. Now you can use an electic plane, or you can use a hand plane.
Whatever you have in stock. Or you ask your timber yard to do it for you. and as you’ll
see we gotta have your timber with a bevelled edge on it like you can see here. It doesn’t
have to be perfect. As long as it’s bevelling away from one side to the other. Once you’ve
got your timber bevelled. We put it on your mitre saw. Up on it’s edge with the flat side
at the bottom and your bevel at the top. And you cut your first angle using your mitre
saw. Once we’vbe got our first angle cut, you then measure the length of the piece you’re
going to create. I’ve got two pieces 1.7m long and I’ll have 2 pieces 1.2m long. Once
we’ve measured those we can then go to the other end and cut the second mitre off. Being
very careful you got it in the right position and you’re cutting it in the right direction.
Always cutting inwards so when you put it together, they join at a 45 degree angle.
Once you’ve got that one cut, I’ll show you close-up. You need the highend to the back
of the saw and the low end to the front of the saw. We can then turn it round and cut
the other end of a new piece and just keep on going until we have our 4 pieces all cut
and ready to assemble. Always be extremely careful when using your electic mitre saw.
Once we have our four pieces cut we can lay them out onto our table. Putting the joints
together with the 45 degree angle, the bevel facing upwards on the table, you can then
line them up and get ready to start to join. Using your drill, drill through the centre
of one piece. So your screw will go through into the centre of the other piece. We then
apply some glue. Once we have the glue on, we can then just push them together and that
will just spread that glue out evenly. Then getting a screw. I’m using a cordless screwdriver.
We then hold them tightly together and screw them in. But don’t over tighten the screw
once it gets to the end. You just want it so it just closes the gap. I’ll show you why
later. Once we have all four angles together, we can then get our frame and we flip it over
so we have the bevelled side facing down onto the table and the flat side facing up. Once
we have this in place, we then measure to put a piece so it fits inside the frame. One
for both ends. Once we have that measured, we then get our saw and we cut it exactly
to the right length and we cut it off at right angles. Not on an angle of 45 degrees like
before, we want it at a very straight right angle cut and this will help our frame stay
together and come into place. Once we have that cut, they’re going to fit inside the
frame and we put this on the side of the frame where we’re gonna put our hanging strings.
This is the side we need to be the strongest. Once we have them cut and ready to put in
position, we’ve gotta measure down on the side to do some more pilot holes. We want
these so they finish in the centre of the timber that you’re gonna attach. We also want
them to sit down about 7mm from the top edge. So we allow a little bit extra. An extra 7mm
and that’ll give us our position for our holes. And you’ll see that a little bit later in
clearer details. I’ll do a close-up for you, so you can see what we’re doing. So we put
a hole in each end, one in the middle, and then one in between each of those again. So
this gives us five holes to do. Once we have the holes drilled, you just take up any birds
that might be sticking out. Get our timber, put it on its edge and we just a bead of glue
right along. Only a thin bead. You don’t need a lot. This is a PVA wood glue that we’re
using. Little bit of glue on the end and a bit just inside where it’s gonna meet up.
Do the same down the other end as well. We then put the timbers in its right position.
Making sure it’s in at both ends. And as you can see here, I’ve got it dropped about 7mm
down from the top edge of the main frame. Then we put our screws straight through and
hold that in position. Once that’s in position we then put another screw in the other end
and this is where your right angle is very important because when we screw this one in,
that pulls the timber together at a right angle and squares the frame for you. Once
you have the one end in, you go to the other end, and just repeat the same motion. Making
sure you’re the 7mm down from the top, put your first screw in, go round to the side,
and put another screw in just along a bit further. And then we go to the other edge
like we did at the-on the last one and put the crew in here which pulls the frame in
nice and square. Just tighten those screws up that little bit more once it’s together
and you’re right. Now we’ve gotta put our centre rails in. So we just gotta evenly-space
them. I’m putting two centre rails in so I need 3 even spaced sections. All we do is
measure out our distances. So we put a pencil mark where each centre run rail will go. And
we do this just at both ends, measuring them exactly the same to make sure that they’re
going to run parallel with each other which all helps keep the frame nice and square.
As accurate as you can be because the accuracy on all of your measurements give you that
finished product of a nice square, straight, canvas. Then we cut the two rails to fit into
that space exactly the same as the rails on the outside edges. That way again, you have
the same length of timbers on all four. Now we’re going to attach the centre rails. Same
process as before, put our drill pilot straight through allowing for the 7mm drop down from
the top of the rail. We’ll apply some glue onto both edges so we get a good strong grip.
And then just with our screws we’ve been using, we’re just going to drill that through and
screw that in so they’re nice and tight and you’ll see when they’re tight because the
glue will squeesze out. Then that’s all we have to do to put our centre rails in. We’ll
go around and follow through with the whole four so just repeating the process and once
you’ve repeated that process, screw them all into place, that should give you a square
canvas ready for the final stages to get this frame nice and solid. And ready to be stretched
with canvas. Now we’re ready to install our final timbers. These are the ones that are
gonna run through the centre. So we just measure the centre of your canvas. And we do that
on all four timbers. So we’ve got the exact same centre for all. So we want this to be
again a nice straight finished job. And by measuring them properly, you’ll get that.
Then we measure the distance we need to cut each timber. Once we’ve cut those timbers,
cut them so they’re really nice tight fit. The tighter the fit, the better. And then
we position them. Now, we’re gonna have two of these timbers centred on the lines that
you just drew. As you can see here. The centre one will be off-set so we just pull it back
to give us room to get our drill and to screw in sideways. Now we have to screw these in
position. And as you can see, at the end here, we’ve got a every wide piece of timber because
we got the two together. So we’ve gotta drill right through the two, so we can come through
in the centre of the piece of timber and that’s our pilot hole. Now we’ve gonna have to clear
any birds off there and then we’ll glue like we normally do. Make sure we get the glue
on both surfaces. Then we fit our timber in position. Once it’s in position, we’re ready
to go. Now we’ve gotta use a much longer scerew here that’s gonna reach right through. But
again, it’s the same procedure, just with our drill. Screw it in and bring it in so
it turns nice and tight at the end. And once it’s in position, you see the glue come out,
you know you’ve got a nice tight joint. And then we’re ready to continue on. So all we’ve
gotta do is continue on from the other side, same procedure. Put our pilot hole through
and then we can use a slightly shorter screw here because we’re only going through one
timber, not two. So you don’t need as long a screw. I’ll give you some measurements for
all these screws as we go. At the end of the tutorial. And then it’s just a matter of tightening
this one in exactly the same as what we did on the other side. So we can get a nice tight
strong secure timber joint. Once we’ve put the two end ones in position, we just go and
put the centre one in using the same methods again. And once you’ve done that, on both
sides, that’s all the timber work is complete. And you have a nice strong secure frame ready
to put your stretch canvas across. Once we’re finished putting the frame toegehter, get
some sandpaper, just wrap it around a bit of scrap timber. And we ant to sand off all
the sharp edges right round the frame. So that the top and the bottom of the frame,
the corners especially. We need to sand those around because those sharp edges can end up
tearing your canvas when you’re stretching it across it. So you’ve gotta be very careful
that all those sharp edges are off. And as you can see, I round off the corners especially.
I don’t want those sharp where they can dig into the canvas and start a tear when you’re
stretching. Now here I’ve got an example for you as to why we have the bevelled edge. It’s
to make the that inside edge doesn’t touch the canvas, cause if it touches the canvas
when you paint it, you can form a ridge which you don’t wanna have right around your canvas.
Now we have your canvas on the table with the good side of the canvas facing down. We
sit the frame on top of that with the bevelled side facing down as well. We allow about 80mm
all around the outside of the whole timber frame. So when we fold the canvas over, we’ve
got a good bit of canvas which folds over without having too much. And you’ll see as
we go along how much I have folding over each side. And that way we get a good cover. As
you can see here, once you’ve folded it up you should be able to have about an inch or
so. We start in the centre, just fold one side up and then we’ll put some staples in
to get us going. Once we’ve got that side ready, we’ve go across to the opposite side,
using our canvas stretcher pliers, we then put some tension on our canvas. Now, we don’t
put a large amount of tension. It’s quite gentle, but just engouh to stretch that canvas.
Put too much tension on, you’ll start tearing your canvas. Once you’ve got the tension on,
hold it with your hands, fold it over with your fingers, and put some staples in. That
gets our first stage done. Then we go to the other corners and do exactly the same thing.
In the middle, just put a fold over, put some staples in, go to the other end, then we put
some stretching tension on, hold it with our thumb and then put some more staples in just
to get us started. Now we want to start to try and even the tension out. Especially on
the large canvas you need to do this. We’re going to go to each corner and we’re gonna
put a bit of tension on each end. Now not too much tension. Just enough to make sure
the canvas is straight. We go on each corner and do the same thing. Just put one staple
in and one staple only because you’re going to remove these staples later. it’s just to
get some tension across the whole canvas. So as you’re doing your stapling along the
edges, it’s gonna be evenly tensioned. so we do that to the whole four corners and once
you’ve got those ready, you’ll be right to then continue on and start stretching. Now
by starting from those centre points, we just start working along putting some tension on
the canvas and just adding staples as we go. I usually do about 3 staples at a time. Now
when ywe’re doing this tension, I don’t want you to put massive force on it and try and
tighten it as tight as you can, all you do is just destroy your canvas. The canvas just
needs to be stretched out so it ends up just a nice solid surface. And all you do is just
fold it over like I’m doing and just add staples. We just keep working our way down and go one
way then stop and then go back the other way until we eventually make it to the ends of
each run. And once we’ve got to those ends, well then, you’ll start to see how your canvas
is really starting to stretch together. Once we goet to the end, this is where we remove
that one staple you put in. That was just holding a bit of tension for you. So we’ll
remove that away and once it’s out of the way we then just get pliers and we continue
just lightly tensioning here. I only want light tension on the corners cause this is
where you will split your canvas. You don’t need much tension becuase you’re only doing
a very small little area. So you put your last staple about 20mm from the end. And you
just go to all four corners and do the same and finish them all off the same. On all four
and then I’ll show you how we fold and finish our edges for you. Now we’re ready for your
coner. Work out what side you wanna fold it on. I always keep it to the bottom of the
canvas so it’s not seen. Them you just fold it across like as if you were wrapping a present.
Look, what we wanna do is take a little bit off the inside here so it doesn’t end up as
thick. So we just cut down to the corner, then turn our scissors upwards and go up so
we don’t take too much of the other side away. Then we just fold it back around just like
we were doing that present and hold it in position. Now I’ll show you again. We just
fold it in keep it tucked in nice and tight. And with your fingers, run it along and pull
it up over the top and get a good bit of tension on there and once you have it in position,
put a couple of staples in and then that holds that so it won’t fall away. Now when we do
this next fold, fold it nice and tightly. Don’t fold it so the canvas is overhanging
on the edge, that’ll look ugly. Tuck your finger in, get it folded right in and so it
comes back on an angle. Once it’s back on the angle you will not see that once the canvas
is finished. Put a couple of staples in. A few more, down lower, just to hold it all
together. And that’s a really neat corner that you’ll have on your canvas. What I like
to do is run a few staples just a long this edge here and that holds it even tighter up
against the side. And then when you paint over the top of that, that tends to disappear.
So that’s how you do an angle. Well I hope you’ve enjoyed watching this stretch canvas
come toegether. If you’d like to learn how to create abstract artworks of your own, go
to the website and check it out. We have all sorts of information on everything to do with
abstract art. I also have 13 art lessons all different techniques all in step-by-step and
fine detail for anyone to be able to follow especially if you’re a beginner artist. So
go to the website, check it out, and until then, happy painting.

100 Replies to “HOW TO MAKE A STRETCH CANVAS FREE LESSON Learn how to make a large canvas art”

  1. It's been over 10 years since I did this. Great refresher. Btw you forgot to talk about when you tightened the first screws.

  2. Hello, thank you for the clear informative valuable video that you’ve made.
    I’m new to woodwork.
    * Enquiries *
    Where to buy
    an accurate mitre box (timber- / plastic-type) or an accurate manual mitre saw
    (in Penang, Malaysia / at online websites that offer shipping to Penang, Malaysia)?
    # A few of hardware stores nearby my house do not sell mitre boxes.
    I have a backsaw only —
    Characteristics of the backsaw:-
    Type: Gent’s saw (a.k.a. Gentleman’s saw)
    Length of the blade: 9.8 inches / 25 cm
    Width of the blade: 1.7 inches / 4.3 cm
    Thickness of the blade: less than 1 mm
    Made in: Germany
    [2] What type of hand plane (type, brand, size, …) would you recommend to make the bevel?
    [3] Do I have to sand a little bit on the slanting surface after the wood cutting by using backsaw (together with mitre box or so) before joint assembling? Or use a hand plane instead?

    Thank you very much.

  3. Thank you for the great tutorial!  I've made two large canvasses using your technique.  I was wondering how many coats of gesso you use on raw canvas.  And do you water it down or do you simply use a wet brush?  Also, how long do you let it dry between coats and do you sand after every coat or do you sand at all?

  4. nice job on explaining how to build a canvas frame,i always thought it would be easy to build one but seeing your video i was like holy fuck i have to do that i never build one before but now i know thanks too your video..

  5. Excellent video. You taught me stretcher construction theory and canvas-stretching techniques that I didn't know. Cool!

  6. Hi Glenn,  can you please help with a question,  I am having my large custom frames made for me by a carpenter as I do not have the space to make them myself.   I was worried that I overlooked something, which was that my frames that he is making for me do not have the corner 'wedges'  for stretching the canvas tighter that almost all stretched canvases have when you buy them pre-made!   BUT..  the nice thing was to see that your frames do not have these wedges either!  Could you please tell me how important is it to a customer that is buying a canvas painting that the corners have the wedges for them to stretch the canvas tighter if they need to in the future?  I would really appreciate your advice with this as I am slightly concerned I might have customers complaining if they are expecting them.   Many thanks!   P.S  great job with this demonstration it really have helped a lot.

  7. Excellent instructional video.It is very gracious of you to share your skills and knowledge. Such instructional videos help enable people all the world in their endeavors. Thank you.

  8. Thank you so much for this tutorial, I can definitely say that for a dummie in carpentry I learned something.
    Also I don't own a drill so could I use nails?
    And approximately what is the width and breadth of the timber pieces? And what size screws or well nails should I use?
    So sorry I really don't know any carpentry so I am starting from scratch with the learning

  9. Gostei muito da tela, nossa muito bem feita e forte. não sei fazer e vou mandar um cara fazer para que eu faça minhas pinturas, também não sei se ele sabe fazer, ele faz moveis tela eu não sei ainda se ele faz. mais gostei muitoooooooooooooo da sua tela parabéns

  10. I liked the screen, our very well made and strong. do not know and I'll send a guy to do for me to make my paintings, also do not know if he can do, it makes mobile screen I still do not know if it does. more muitoooooooooooooo liked your screen congratulations

  11. great explaination… I must follow this instruktion… I hate to buy cheep canvas from the shops, but this is real and professional… this is so good I dont need to watch any other here … now I just need to find a stretsher… I even make my own canvasmaterial… thanks and regards from Germany… (*_*)

  12. Would you do all of this same stuff with the wood parts if you were making a canvas half that size? If not, I'd like to make a video request to you because all the other canvas-making videos I've seen don't have nearly the same quality in structure and tension that yours has.

    Thank you for making this video, by the way!

  13. I've had better experience going corner inward than center outward, it's a shame so few seem to know about it. Google 'canvas preparation information sheets – just paint ' and you should find 7 very useful guides which explain the process.

  14. thank you for this tutorial. it was very well done, plus I love your accent…all the way from The Bay Area California 🙂

  15. Asked by another, what size lumber is that?
    Wouldl like to know if I can rip that from a 2-by or not.
    Also, how long of sptaples do you use.
    Great video.

  16. Thanks for sharing. Not if I've missed it but you said you are going to explain why first four screws weren't going right in? Still a great tutorial.

  17. Thank you for this video! The time you have invested is much appreciated, Making a frame for my canvas does not seem as daunting now. Very clear video and great audio, I had no trouble viewing or learning. Thanks again

  18. i appreciate the craftsmanship that goes into a frame like this, good job by the way. But would conventional precut stretcher bars and cross braces make it easier?

  19. mean glenn, off to do my scholarship block course in this area tomorrow and sunday, love your tutorials you simplify everything with out all the tech lingo and explain things so even miss dyslexic here understands with my inside out brain wiring haha, cheers lovingb yoyur downloads too thanks for your efforts and sharing your talents

  20. Cross arm cutting on a mitre saw is super dangerous! Never cut with your left arm in the path of the saw to hold the wood in place while the right hand controls the the power of the saw; especially a slide mitre saw!!

  21. beutiful done! I would like to get hold on bigger canvases, also using the linen i prefer. really inspiring! a question, maybe a little late. do you not need to ree-stretch the canvas later? been impressed by this kind of custom frames but in my head, as you paint on it you will stretch the canvas a little. making it loose when your done. an easy reply to this comment could be “no”. haha. thanks for the inspiration.

  22. listening to this tune softly behind this video thanx foe this video yo! today I sold my first piece of artwork ….trash canvas so now I have untreated canvas and need to go about the treatment and stretching and constructruction processes. Im really appreciative ur time for making this vid… do u have any experience with material canvas that is not treated? I heard thru the grapevipe I would have to treat the canvas before stretching on framework.. I am unsure on that matter .. ddo u have any those kind of vids or maybe add rto list of ideas for vids.. treating the material for stretching

  23. I don't understand every things you explain – i'm french – but your tutorial is clear and excellent.Thanks for sharing.

  24. Oh my goodness..I cannot Thank You enough!!!! There’s no way I can afford to buy larger sized canvases so this is going to open a big door for me to be able to dream about bigger pieces of art. Many Thanks 🙏🏽

  25. instead of the horizontal boards as support, would it be possible to build the frame with only 4, 45degree corner boards as support? or would the frame bend when stretching?

  26. 6:15 is 7 mm from the top edge an also 7mm from the bottom edge? or it has to be flast in the other side?

  27. A good simple basic frame but it lacks for any way to adjust to tension up a canvas that's stretched while being painted

  28. Hate the break this to you, but do you see that little nub on your huge pliers? They rest against the wood/frame so you are using the tool, and not your arms to actually stretch the canvas. The way you are doing it, you are depending on your arm strength, and that will give you an uneven stretch. Also, use too many staples will overstretch your canvas and might eventually warp the frame. Staples should be tacked on from the thumb to pinky length apart. I paint very large and have never had a painting warp.

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