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Cheap And Easy DIY Canvas Frame (Quick Steps And Video)

Hi guys. Today, I’ve got a quick and easy project for you all. This is how I build a pretty and simple Wood Frame for Canvas Art out of 1×2 dimensional lumber.

The clean lines of this wood canvas frame means this frame looks beautiful in any home. And, it’s such an easy frame to build, that you can easily have it done in a day. Yay!

I used Select Pine for this frame, but you can use the Oak, Poplar, Cedar or even Common Pine 1×2’s from your local Lowe’s or Home Depot.

Image of a wooden DIY canvas frame made with 1x2 lumber, on canvas wall art.
This easy DIY Canvas Frame looks beautiful with this DIY Acrylic Paint Pouring Wall Art.

Changing up the type of lumber and stain color you use can give you a unique, custom look for your canvas art. OK, let’s get to this DIY Wooden Frame for Canvas Art build.

DIY Wood Frame for Canvas Build Video

Seeing someone do something always helps me understand the steps better. Watch this video to get a better look at each of the written steps.

I LOVE this EASY DIY Canvas Frame made with 1x2's (Easy DIY Wood Canvas Frame For Canvas)

What Wood Is Used To Make A DIY Canvas Frame?

What is the best wood to make a canvas frame?? Most dimensional lumber can be used for framing canvas art, as long as you follow general woodworking guidelines for picking boards.

So, pick straight, knot-free boards when you’re making a wood frame for canvas art.

For this DIY wood frame for canvases, I like to use the Select Pine, Cedar, or Poplar Dimensional Lumber available at most big box hardware stores, like Lowe’s and Home Depot.

The Oak 1×2’s would look beautiful as a frame too.

Just be sure to finish the frame with at least a Top Coat to seal the wood. That will protect the wood from the art medium on the canvas AND it will protect the canvas from the wood oils.

Make your own stunning art for less than $20 with this pretty DIY Paint Pouring Wall Art Idea & Tutorial. I love this DIY Art Project, guys! Anyone can do this. #AbbottsAtHome #WallArt #PaintPouring #PouringPaint #AcrylicPaint #DIYDecor
Building this wood canvas frame slightly bigger than the canvas means that it fits snuggly inside the frame without having to be permanently attached to it.

How To Build A DIY Canvas Frame

Luckily, it’s pretty easy to make a DIY frame for canvases, especially if you’re already comfortable with power tools or know someone who is.

And, this DIY Wood Frame for Canvas art is actually a pretty quick and low cost build. Here’s what you’ll need, followed by the steps.

Materials Used

  • Sander & Sandpaper – I used 80 and 150-grit on Select Pine
    • Other types of wood may require other grits for the best result
  • 1×2 Dimensional Lumber, I used Select Pine from Lowe’s or Home Depot
  • Wood Glue
  • Miter Saw
  • Angle Strap Clamp (I use this one)
  • Wood Filler
  • Finish – I used Watco Danish Oil in Medium Walnut
Image of a 1x2 wood frame for canvas art with text that says "Quick and Easy DIY Canvas Frame".
Don’t forget to save these steps to make a DIY Canvas Frame.

Step One – Measure And Cut Lumber

Using a Miter Saw, cut the inside of your frame to be 1/8″ to 3/16″ larger than the canvas size. Use 45-degree cuts on the corners.

I like to use the 1st cut piece for one side to mark the cuts for the opposite side. Getting clean 45-degree corners is really easy if the opposite sides are exactly the same size.

Step Two – Attach Back Stops

Next, attach scrap wood or trim molding to the 4 corners (on just the top and bottom boards) with brad nails and wood glue to act as a stop for the back of the canvas.

I used scrap 3/4″x 1/2″ molding pieces to stop my 3/4″ depth canvas flush with the wood. You can also use 1″ or 1/2″ or 1/4″ trim pieces to change the look or to work with a canvas with more depth.

Step Three – Glue And Nail Frame

Layout the 4 sides of your DIY Wood Frame for Canvas on a flat surface. Use Wood Glue and clamps to hold the corners tight and straight while the glue dries.

I love using my Bessey Strap Angle Clamp for frames. It makes building wood frames so much easier. You can see it in the video above. 🙂

Bessey Angle Clamp Strap on a pine picture frame.

If you don’t have corner clamps of some sort, use brad nails with the glue to assemble the DIY wooden canvas frame. If possible, use nails only on the top and bottom sides of the frame, so they’ll be less visible.

Step Four – Sand And Apply Finish

Let the glue dry for a few hours before removing the clamps. The joints should be pretty tight, but a little bit of wood filler along the front and corners of the canvas frame will make them look even neater.

If you used a brad nailer on the exterior of the frame, use wood filler on those holes too.

Let the wood filler dry, then sand the frame to prep for stain. I used Danish Oil, so I only needed to prep with 1 sanding of 150-grit sandpaper.

Other types of stain may require higher levels of sanding. Be sure to follow the directions on the stain to get the best results.

That’s it for the build steps. Keep scrolling to see the full steps for how I finished my canvas frames.

Finishing My DIY Frame For Canvas Art

Step One – Prep For Finish

Once the wood filler dries, sand the extra wood filler off and smooth the whole frame with 100-grit sandpaper. Then switch to 150-grit to get Select Pine ready for finish.

For different types of wood or finishes, you may need to use different grits to get the best finish.

How to Make an Easy Wooden Frame for Wall Art or Canvases. Full tutorial and video. You can build these in an afternoon. #AbbottsAtHome #DIYwoodworking #Frames #woodworking #woodworkingforbeginners #DIYDecor #HomeDecor

Step Two – Apply Danish Oil

Next, dust off the DIY Wood Frame for Canvas with a clean rag. Then apply your finish. I used Danish Oil in Medium Walnut.

It’s one of my go to finishes, lately. It wipes on easily and dries pretty fast. Plus, it hardens the wood a bit and doesn’t require a top coat. So, it’s super easy.

Step Three – Attach A Sawtooth Hanger

After the finish dries, you can nail a small sawtooth hanger to the back of the frame. Then flip the frame over and gently push the canvas into place.

Building the frame just an 1/8″ or 3/16″ larger than the canvas should give you a tight enough fit to hold the canvas in without extra help.

If not, painters tape, sticky putty, or a few drops of hot glue on the back can hold the canvas where you want it.

How to Make an Easy Wooden Frame for Wall Art or Canvases. Full tutorial and video. You can build these in an afternoon. #AbbottsAtHome #DIYwoodworking #Frames #woodworking #woodworkingforbeginners #DIYDecor #HomeDecor

And now you’re ready to hang your beautiful new wall art. Check out this post about my Easy DIY Coffered Ceiling to see more of my Dining Room.

Image of a Dining Room seen through a large white kitchen.
You can see that frame in the background in this photo from my kitchen. See more of my freshly remodeled kitchen in 7 DIY Kitchen Makeover Ideas That ABSOLUTELY Made My Boring Kitchen BEAUTIFUL.

That’s it for this DIY Wood Frame for Canvas tutorial. Here’s a few more tutorials you might like. Thanks for stopping by!

Want to see more DIY wall art ideas? Check out how I make scrap wood wall art here.

Build your own custom DIY Scrap Wood Wall Art. Works for Barn Quilt, Tribal Art, Boho, Mosaic, geometric wood designs and more. Includes DIY Wood Wall Art Tutorial steps and how-to video!

Or, this pretty DIY Chevron Wood Art.

Here's a cool tutorial for DIY Chevron Wood Wall Art that I love! She used Cedar with accents of blue and white paint to add a chippy, distressed look. #AbbottsAtHome #WoodArt #WoodworkingIdea #DIYIdeas #Cedar #WallArt

I love this easy DIY Wood Drawer Front. The beautiful routed edge gives it so much style.

How to build a Quick & Easy DIY Wood Drawer Front with a pretty routed edge, slab overlay design. I love how adding a simple routed edge to this DIY Wood Drawer Front gave it a beautiful, classic, high end look. That was so, so easy!

Feeling inspired? Now that you’ve seen how to build a frame for a canvas you can too.

Let me know if you have questions. Don’t forget to sign up for the Abbotts At Home email newsletter to get DIY, Remodeling, and Crafty ideas in your inbox.


Monday 22nd of July 2019

Great frame tutorial Stephanie! I can't wait to see how you made the paint pour artwork. Thank you for sharing at Celebrate Your Story!


Thursday 8th of August 2019

Thanks so much, Rebecca. It's such an easy project. It's just about the only way I can make art. :)

Michelle | Thistle Key Lane

Sunday 21st of July 2019

Hi Stephanie, thanks for sharing this beautiful framing project with us. I can't wait to feature it this week on Tuesday Turn About!


Thursday 8th of August 2019

Thanks so much, Michelle. That's so exciting. :)


Thursday 18th of July 2019

Perfect! I have done several acrylic paint pour canvases and want to be able to frame them reasonably. I like them fine un-framed but framing just finishes them off so beautifully. Featuring when my party opens up tonight!


Thursday 18th of July 2019

Yay! Thanks so much, Carol. :)


Thursday 18th of July 2019

I can't tell you how perfect the timing of this post is for me! I was just wondering about how to make something like this the other day. Thanks for such a great post, Stephanie!


Thursday 18th of July 2019

Yay! So glad I could help Candace. Good luck with your build!


Tuesday 16th of July 2019

A handy frame tutorial for visual artists! And I love paint pour art! Beautiful!


Tuesday 16th of July 2019

Thanks, Michelle!

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