How to Make an Easy Floating Frame for a Canvas Painting

Today, I’m going to share a tutorial for how to build a DIY wood canvas frame that you can quickly and easily make at home. The specific frame style is “floating” meaning the frame looks like it is floating around the canvas without touching it.

finished framed canvas

For this project, I partnered with Photowall and chose one of their beautiful canvas prints for our home. I have been really into landscape artwork, so after looking around hundreds of their prints, I finally landed on this one.

Disclaimer: This post is sponsored by Photowall. All opinions are my own. A discount code for their site can be found at the bottom of this post. Disclaimer: This site contains product affiliate links. We may receive a commission if you make a purchase after clicking on one of these links.

diy floating frame

I love this canvas print so much and wanted to complete the look by framing it out with wood. Floating canvas frames have caught my eye for awhile, so I set out to build one! Here’s how she turned out:

diy floating canvas frame

And here’s how I made it!

Supplies for a DIY Canvas Wood Frame:

-**prime 1″x2″ boards: enough to frame the canvas on all sides (I used (2) 8 ft pine boards)
-1″x3″ board, long enough to go the width of the frame once
miter saw
wood glue and glue brush
90 degree position squares
combination square
spring clamps
nail gun
wood filler
orbital sander
-stain of your choice
-playing cards (trust me!)

**Prime boards are a good option for this project because although they might cost a bit more than standard boards, they have less knots and imperfections. When making something like this frame, this is important if you want to create a more professional look.

Tip: you can save a little money on wood if you buy larger boards and dimension them yourself. Here is a great tutorial for how to dimension your own boards.

First, cut a 45 degree angle at the end of one of the 1×2 board with your miter saw. For tips on how to use a miter saw for beginners, check out this article!

how to trim frame

Line the board you just cut on one edge of the canvas, use your combination square, and mark the distance you want between the canvas and the frame to create the gap for the floating frame look.

measure gap

The combination square makes it much easier to get an equal gap all the way around the canvas to create the floating look.

floating picture frame diy

When the first side is lined up, take your combination square to the other side of the 1×2 and mark where your next miter cut will be.

gap for floating frame

Since it can be a little tricky to make a perfect cut for a miter joint at an angle, I recommend slowly inching towards your mark.

miter saw angle

Once the first board is cut, make another board the exact same size. Stop blocks for the miter saw make this process so quick and easy.

miter saw stop block

Repeat the same process for the remaining two sides. Once you have completed all four sides, you should be able to frame the picture with a slight gap between it and the canvas.

RELATED: This wood framed canvas would look great on a picture ledge shelf. That project is a great option to fill a big, blank wall!

framed canvas DIY

Now, to glue it up. I used this wood glue and glue brush.

glue brush

These 90 degree position squares and spring clamps ensured a perfectly square frame, which is so important when it needs to be such a precise frame. Anything off-sqaure will be even more obvious when it’s around a perfectly squared-up canvas.

build a perfect rectangle

While it is still clamped, add a couple nails with a nail gun.

floating frame how to

Then, fill the holes with wood filler and allow that to dry.

wood filler on nail hole

Now, for that stretcher on the back. This stretcher will connect the frame to the canvas. Measure the width for it to sit inside the frame, then trim it with the miter saw.

frame a picture diy

For me, when the stretcher sat on top of the canvas, it sat about 1/4″ proud of the depth of the frame. So I planed it down to the perfect thickness. You could potentially skip this step, depending on the thickness of your canvas and whether it is too thick or not.

dewalt planer

To attach it to the frame, add some glue…

floating canvas frame diy

…and nail it in from the outside of the frame. Fill these nail holes with wood filler.

frame a canvas DIY

Run over the whole thing with the sander. I used 220 grit.

sanding a canvas frame

And now you can stain it. For this project, I used Rustoleum Flagstone.

rustoleum flagstone stain

Paint the ends of the stretcher black just in case you can see through the gap while it’s hanging.

black painted frame

Now here is where the playing cards come in! Use the same amount of cards in every stack to evenly space the canvas inside the frame. For me, it was 12 cards in each stack.

I used this method to add the face frame to the front of the drawer of the mudroom hall tree build and DIY shoe storage bench. It also comes in very handy when installing drawer slides on face frame cabinets.

evenly spaced with cards

With the cards still in, nail the frame to the stretcher.

diy frame

Remove the cards, flip it over, and that’s it! I love how it turned out. The DIY wood floating canvas frame makes the painting look much more custom and finished.

diy floating canvas frame
farmhouse canvas print
finished framed canvas

The prints below from Photowall were all in the running as well. (Click the pictures to follow the link). In addition to canvas prints, they also offer wall murals, wallpaper, framed prints, and posters.

diy canvas frame
frame a canvas
floating frame DIY
how to make a floating frame
how to frame a canvas

Find any you like? Use code theaccentpiece25 for 25% off your order from Photowall!

So, there you have it! A simple tutorial for how to make your own wooden floating canvas frame for a painting at home. As always, I’d love to hear from you if you make one!

Check out the web story for how to make a floating frame for a canvas here!

One Comment

Comments are closed.