OCAD Studio: 7 Canvas Stretching Tips

Stretching your own canvases can be great way to improve the quality of your surfaces and save money at the same time. Watch the video tutorial and read through these tips to get started making your own canvases.

  1. Get the right tools; a staple gun, scissors and a hammer are essential and I highly recommend investing in stretching pliers.
  2. Work slowly and check your corners carefully to make sure that your stretchers are square before starting to stretch.
  3. If possible, use linen as it will change shape less over time compared with cotton.
  4. Stretch as tightly as possible,and only use the corner wedges if absolutely necessary.
  5. Stapling at the sides is easier but if you want the piece unframed you will need to staple the back instead.
  6. Allow at least three times the depth of the stretcher bars in excess canvas for stretching. This will ensure that you have enough fabric to grip.
  7. Fold your corners before stapling as this will make it easier to spin the canvas around and rest it as you work.

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