How to Make a Floating Canvas Frame

Give your favorite canvas artwork a polished look with a DIY wood frame. This weekend project is perfect for beginners.

It can be hard to find a store-bought frame that perfectly complements your favorite piece of art. Next time you're struggling to choose a frame, consider making your own! This DIY wood frame elevates the look of canvas art, plus you can customize the measurements to fit your existing piece. A gap between the art and frame gives the appearance of floating artwork for a high-end look. You can even pick your preference of stain or paint color for a finishing touch that reflects your personal style.

diy dresser and water color wall art
Brie Passano

How to Make a Floating Canvas Frame

Make your favorite art even more beautiful with this DIY frame. Before you begin, make sure you've gathered all the necessary supplies.

Supplies Needed

  • 1/4-inch sanded plywood sheet, 3-4 inches larger than the dimensions of your artwork
  • 1 x 3-inch lumber (amount will vary based on artwork)
  • Table Saw
  • Miter saw
  • Wood glue
  • Clamps
  • Small panel nails
  • Hammer
  • Paintbrushes
  • Stain
  • Staining rag
  • Painters tape
  • Paint
  • Ruler or measuring tape
  • Pencil
  • Level
  • Drill
  • Screws
  • Adhesive hook-and-loop tape

Step-by-Step Instructions

You can build this canvas frame in an afternoon. Learn how with our simple instructions.

Step 1: Make Cuts

Add 2-1/2 inches to the dimensions of your canvas art, then cut the plywood sheet to this measurement using a table saw. Next, cut the 1 x 3-inch boards to form four sides. Miter cut each edge at a 45-degree angle.

Step 2: Create Frame

Create the frame by placing the 1 x 3-inch boards in a square or rectangle. Use wood glue to hold them together and clamp. Let dry. Add two panel nails per corner to secure the frame.

hammering nail for wood frame backboard
Brie Passano

Step 3: Attach Backing

Apply wood glue to the back of the frame, then lay the precut plywood piece on top. Make sure all edges are properly aligned and let dry. Add panel nails around the back edge to secure.

painting inside wood frame
Brie Passano

Step 4: Stain and Finish

Stain the 1 x 3-inch boards and part of the back panel that will show. Use a staining rag to wipe away excess stain. Once dry, paint the inside lip of the frame with your choice of accent color. We used gold. Make sure to use painter's tape to create a crisp line.

Step 5: Hang Frame

Determine a place to set the screws that will hold the frame to the wall. They should be low enough on the plywood sheet so they're hidden by the canvas. Once marked, use a level to ensure the frame is straight on the wall before drilling screws to secure. Use adhesive hook-and-loop tape to attach the canvas to the frame.

Editor's Tip: If you're framing large artwork, use a stud finder to mount the frame to wall studs.

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