Friday, June 10, 2011

How-to: canvas photo prints

Earlier this week I mentioned that I was planning a post about how to make your own canvas prints. So I've put it all together. 


Canvas printer paper
stretcher bars or unfinished frames
Staple gun
Image sized for printing

Image: This is one of my favorite photos of JR. We had gone hiking in Tuscon, Arizona in early spring. I think it was February or March. We had had a large snowfall in the mountains that year and the run off was high. Usually, this river (yes, I know it looks like a creek but it is a river) is dry. It is only during the run off season that it has water.

Resize: You will want to print the image to fit the whole paper size. I had 8.5 X 11 canvas paper. 

Paper: You can buy several sizes of paper. I found mine at Michael's but when I went to there the other day they didn't have it. After a quick check online I found that this paper can be picked up at Amazon. Not only does Amazon carry it in a larger size but they have it in rolls. So if you have access to a roll/plotter printer you can do much larger sizes.

Print your image: This probably doesn't need an explanation. You know how to use your own printer but here's what mine looked like printed out. I'm not sure you can see it but is has that canvas grain texture going.

Unfinished frames or stretcher bars: I couldn't find stretcher bars small enough at my Michaels craft store and I didn't want to drive to the art supply store. What I did find was these small unfinished frames. With some careful measuring I figured out that the 8.5 x 11 paper was going to wrap around them just perfectly. Best of all they only cost $1 each. 

Stapler: You will want to use a heavy duty stapler but it doesn't have to be a construction one. Let's say more than your desk stapler but less than a pneumatic nailer. In my case the stapler was easy to find. It was the staples that were hard. You would think that they would be found with the stapler but I guess in our house you would be wrong. Thank heavens the stapler had some staples in it already.


Now, to put it together: Place on the printed canvas. Making sure that the focus of the image is positioned the way you want it. 

Fold up the middle of the canvas on one end; staple. Fold up the middle of the canvas on the opposite side; pull as tight as you can; staple. Continue until all four sides are pulled tight and stapled.

Now, tackle the corners. Pull and fold until you get as even a fold as possible. Don't freak if it's not perfect. Really, no one will see it.

Finish folding and stapling all four corners before you pull and staple the rest of the canvas. 

Turn the photo up one it's sides the press against a hard surface. You are trying to crease the canvas over the frame. 

Then you are done.

See? That wasn't so hard. I plan to make three more of my family including the dogs to hang in my new office. 



  1. What a great idea! You can use Photoshop to make your photo look like a watercolor or oil painting, too. Perhaps I'll look into doing that with some photos of The G Man.

  2. Ooo, you are crafty. This inspires me to finally and replace our old printer which broke almost a month ago!

  3. Heck, when I read about this process a few days ago I thought you were aiming for something a smidge smaller than The Night Watch. :D

  4. Impressive, but I'm far too lazy for that.

  5. Jan: I know! With this and photoshop you could go crazy!

    Gretchen: Go forth and replace. You'll be glad you did.

    Vince: considerably smaller than The Night Watch. HA! you are hilarious!

    Capt: remember who you are talking to? I'm so lazy I make hound dogs look ADHD.

    SK: I was thinking of this in your guest room.

  6. You sure can do a whole lot of things woman.

  7. Oh, you're a smart one! I'm going to Michaels in the morning, now I want to look for stuff to make canvas prints! Love that picture of JR... did he bust his butt after you shot it?

  8. Pseudo: Beyond the motto on my banner I have another one. "Never pay for anything that you can do for yourself." Of course, if it looks like shit then pay someone to do it.

    Casey: Oddly enough, No.

  9. I love how that turned out! You make it sound like something any of us could do, but I know for a fact that I'd screw it up. It wouldn't be centered. That's just how I am. :(

    LOVE yours!

  10. I have several very large canvas prints of my comics. They're really brightly colored though so I've never found a good place to put them.