Tuesday, March 8, 2016

DIY Framed Canvas

If you were following along with #joshandlusayido, you may recognize this beautiful hand-painted canvas from behind the bars at our wedding. The quote by C.S. Lewis - "Now at last they were beginning Chapter One of the Great Story no one on earth has ever read, which goes on forever: in which every chapter is better than the one before" - is one of our favorites and seemed very fitting for a wedding, so we knew we wanted to incorporate it in a big way. We recruited our wonderful calligrapher Lauren of A Fabulous Fete to paint it for us, and I loved what a statement it made in our tent.
Anyway, fast forward 6 months and we still had this lovely painted canvas folded up in a closet. It seemed like such a waste of beauty, and I knew I had to do something to display it and return it to it's wedding day glory. However, it's large size (7 ft wide x 4 ft tall)  proved to be a tricky factor. We consulted a couple of framers, who quoted us over $1000 just for the frame. Then to have a custom piece of glass cut would be another $1000 on top of that, at least. Since we only paid $200 for the custom canvas, this all seemed a bit ridiculous and getting the canvas professionally framed was quickly taken off the table. Our next tactic was scouring the internet, mainly Amazon, for a 7'4' frame, which also proved unsuccessful.  And so we came to the only realistic solution - DIY it!

The design plans were pretty simple: create a wood frame that was the size of the quote, and then staple the canvas around it. Here's what you need!

  • Canvas print or painting
  • 4 inch wide pine boards (Home Depot)
  • 4 brackets with screws (we used these)
  • Tools needed: staple gun, electric screwdriver, circular saw 

First, josh cut the pine boards to the dimensions of the quote, which as I mentioned was about 7ftx4ft. You want to make sure to make your frame slightly larger than your piece of art, because you will be stretching it very tightly around the wood.
Next, josh added the brackets to each corner to secure the frame in place. We started with smaller L shaped brackets but after realizing the resulting frame was too flimsy, upgraded to the larger steel brackets I listed above.
Next, we positioned the canvas underneath the frame and stapled one side to make sure we had the quote exactly where we wanted it before stapling the whole thing.
Finally, go staple crazy! Put at least 5 key staples on each side of the frame, and then circle back around with the staple gun, pulling the canvas super tightly in between each staple to ensure there's no wrinkles. I know I can't be the only one who finds using a staple gun to be so invigorating.
And just like that, you have a beautiful framed canvas, for less than $20! Since this was such a large scale piece, we decided to hang it right above our bed, where it would make a statement but not look overwhelming or busy. We purposely decorated our bedroom in very neural, soothing colors like whites and browns with almost no color at all, so I love the little blue pop that this now adds to the space.
What do you think? Would you try a DIY frame at home? I love that I now get to wake up to this piece every single morning, and am reminded not only of our wedding day, but that every chapter is just going to keep getting better. xx