How to Build a Canvas


This week video is an instructional video.

I’ve had many people get an excited then fearful look in their eyes when I tell them they can build their very own canvas. As a friend exclaimed to me, “That is so cool! I didn’t know you could buy the supplies to make your own. Wait, that sounds really hard.”

The good news is it is not hard to make your own canvas. It also doesn’t take much time out of your day to do it. I built my first canvas with one of my professors in about 10-15 minutes. Hopefully, with this instructional video, you’ll find it to be easier than you thought.

So go, grab your supplies, and then follow along in the video. You can pause the video after each step, and then resume when you’re ready to continue.

The supplies you’ll need for this project are:

  • Canvas Material
Medium Texture #10 Army Duck Cotton Medium Texture #10 Army Duck Cotton100% pure unprimed cotton has a medium texture and close weave construction. 15 oz.

  • 4 Stretcher Bars (pick any size you want. choose 2 bars at one size and the other 2 bars at another size. you can also have all 4 bars the same size for a square canvas. if you’re not sure which size bars to choose, look at the pre-made size canvases for inspiration.)
Best Medium Duty Stretcher Bars Best Medium Duty Stretcher BarsThese high quality stretcher bars are more than just a piece of wood! Their rounded back edge reduces surface friction and is designed to keep the canvas ½” from the stretcher bar. This feature helps insure that there will be no ghost impressions on the canvas. Stretcher bars are made from kiln-dried, knot free, straight white pine. Each strip measures 1½” high × 1¼” deep. Note — Price is per strip, not per pair. These stretchers are only for use with each other and Best Medium Duty Cross-Braces. They will not interlock with other brands.

  • Staple Gun (with staples)
Arrow T-50 Tacking Gun Arrow T-50 Tacking GunThis heavy-duty gun drives heavy-gauge staples into the hardest woods — even soft metals. The Arrow T-50 Tacking Gun is all steel, chrome finished, and has high-carbon steel working parts. It loads up to 85, T-50 staples, in sizes 1/4″ (6 mm) through 9/16″ (14 mm) with a 3/8″ (10 mm) crown. Arrow T-50 Staples are available in boxes of 1250.

  • Scissors
    (Check around your house or a local store) 
  • Hammer (or mallet)
    (Check your garage or local hardware store) 


Have fun! And feel free to send photos of your completed canvas to my email: artistrage @



founder and admin of Artist Rage. Illustrator, painter, and sometimes crafter.

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