How to cover canvas with fabric

Written by liza hollis
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How to cover canvas with fabric
Inexpensive fabrics can be used to make a graphic piece of art. (moodboard/moodboard/Getty Images)

Fabric can provide a visually stunning yet affordable way to add interest to your walls. This means that if you can’t find the right piece of artwork at the shop or gallery, you should instead look in the fabric department of your local sewing shop. Vivid and intricate prints are sold in pieces that you can cut to size and use to make one-of-a-kind visual displays in your home. If you have scrap pieces of fabric already, you can use these pieces in your display.

Skill level:

Things you need

  • Tape measure
  • Fabric
  • Canvas
  • Staple gun
  • Staples
  • Scissors
  • Straight pins
  • Decorative trim (optional)
  • Hot glue gun (optional)
  • Spray adhesive (optional)

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  1. 1

    Measure the length and width of your piece of canvas. Then measure the depth of your canvas. Double this number and add to each side of your measurements. For example, if your canvas depth is 2.5 cm (1 inch), add 5 cm (2 inches) to each side. Cut the piece of fabric to your measurements.

  2. 2

    Position your piece of fabric over your canvas, centred with even excess on all sides. If you have a graphic print that you don’t want to slide as you attach your fabric, use straight pins to hold your fabric in place to the front of the canvas.

  3. 3

    Turn your canvas face down so that the back of the canvas is exposed. Pull your excess material from one side taut over the edge and staple in place directly to the wooden frame of the canvas. Continue around the edges of your canvas until each side is stapled in place.

  4. 4

    Staple your fabric around the corners of your canvas by folding your excess material at an angle as if you were wrapping a present. If your material is thick, you might need to cut off some excess material at the corners so it gathers flat without becoming misshapen. Remove your straight pins if used.

  5. 5

    Cut off your excess material around your staples. If you are worried about the material starting to fray, consider folding under your material 1.25 cm (1/2 inch) and stapling the fold to the frame as if you were hemming an article of clothing. Add any decorative ribbon or trim with a hot glue gun.

Tips and warnings

  • Instead of straight pins, you can use a layer of spray adhesive to keep your fabric from sliding as you staple it.

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