How to Hold Canvas Paintings in a Frame

Written by lynn burbeck
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How to Hold Canvas Paintings in a Frame
Save money by framing canvas paintings yourself. (woman painting on a canvas image by from

Paintings or photographs that are printed on canvas can be framed in an open-back picture frame without the need for a glass front. Unless your canvas painting requires a custom frame size, you can save money by purchasing a ready-made frame and framing it yourself. The best way to ensure that your canvas painting is sized correctly for a ready-made frame is to purchase or create a canvas painting that is sized correctly for the frame you have available.

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Things you need

  • Frame
  • Frame clips

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  1. 1

    Go to a photography speciality store or craft shop to view their selection of ready-made frames. Frames usually come in a variety of standard sizes, such as 8x10, 11x14, 16x20, 18x24 and 20x24. While you may be able to find frames in other sizes, it is more likely that a canvas painting with different dimensions will require you to purchase a special-order frame.

  2. 2

    Purchase a ready-made, open-back frame that suits the dimensions of the canvas painting. If you need to have a frame made for you, it is possible to save money by ordering the frame and assembling the framed canvas yourself.

  3. 3

    Purchase clips to secure the canvas painting to the frame. Clips can be purchased in the framing department of craft stores -- they usually come in packages of four. Unless you are framing a very large and heavy canvas, one clip per side of the painting is sufficient.

  4. 4

    Place the canvas inside of the frame carefully, so it rests on the inner lip. Some frames will fit more tightly around the canvas than others, so it is important to proceed carefully -- so that the canvas isn't scratched during assembly.

  5. 5

    Put the clips in place to secure the painting in the frame. Push the straight end of the clip between the frame and the canvas and pull the other end over and around the canvas stretcher bar to secure it in place.

  6. 6

    Repeat until all of the clips are secured. Once complete, the framed canvas is ready for display.

Tips and warnings

  • While shopping for a frame, keep in mind that the size of the lip varies dramatically between frame styles. Because this lip will cover a small portion of the painting, the canvas itself may need to be cropped if the lip is too large.

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