Even before I met my husband Mike, I loved to buy art from every place I visited. I love street art because I love supporting the starving artists of the world and usually the art is a true reflection of the place itself. And as I’ve mentioned before, I like to have a story about everything, especially anything that’s hanging on our walls.Why you want to learn the DIY way to stretch a canvas:
We have a story about every piece of art we own and we get excited to pass down the art AND the stories through multiple generations (my parents did this with my sister and me). On most trips, we take extra time to find a street artist that captures the spirit of the area best. Often in Europe you can find artists painting watercolors which are easy to frame; however, Mike worked in Nigeria for quite some time and brought back several large, unstretched canvases. In the past we had asked others stretch them and we were less than thrilled with the results…not surpringly our solution was therefore to pursue a DIY project!! Last year, we purchased several large paintings from South Africa and we put our new techniques into play. And of course each canvas had different dimensions, which weren’t even symmetrical on each piece on its own. Therefore, we needed to find the easiest and most flexible way to stretch each canvas and preserve the painted space.
The first question you want to ask yourself is do you want the regular sides or gallery sides? Gallery wrapped canvases are deeper and typically don’t require a frame when hanging (meaning, they look great on their own). The trade-off is that you need to have extra canvas fabric to stretch it all the way around the frame to the back to fasten it. Typically professional artists will leave enough space to stretch the fabric well, but all bets are off with street artists!!
The rest is fairly straightforward (now that we’ve had plenty of trials and tribulations to create our own opinion of what works best). You need the following tools:
Tips and Tricks:
The directions typically come with the product, but here are some tips and tricks:
Feel free to reach out with questions!!
Happy travels and happy stretching!