How to Make a DIY Floating Frame for Canvas Art

Give your canvas artwork an easy, sleek upgrade by creating a DIY floating frame using scrap wood. It only takes a few easy steps to give your space a trendy refresh.

DIY floating frame for canvas art

Wipe clean and hang

Wipe off any excess sawdust with a dry cloth. Add a hanging kit to the back and hang! Tip: Make it your own, by painting or staining the frame.

Photo by: Crafty Lumberjacks

Crafty Lumberjacks

A floating frame can be super expensive when purchased new. But, what if we told you that you could have a great-looking frame at just a fraction of the cost? Using scrap wood (and a few extra supplies), give your canvas artwork an easy upgrade with a sleek touch by making this DIY floating frame.

DIY Floating Picture Frame 06:31

Frame any piece of canvas art with this easy tutorial from the Crafty Lumberjacks. Andrew and Dennis show you how to build a custom, professional-looking wood floating frame with inexpensive materials from the hardware store. This is a great tutorial for beginner artists or anyone looking to save some cash on framing.

Materials + Supplies

  • measuring tape
  • large canvas frame
  • 4 pieces of wood half the thickness of the canvas (general purpose pine wood 3/4-inch)
  • 4 pieces of wood the thickness of the canvas (general purpose pine wood 1 5/8-inches)
  • miter box
  • hammer & nails
  • wood glue
  • clamps
  • wood filler
  • electric sander
  • sand paper

For this project you will build two frames that will essentially go on top of each other, creating the illusion of a floating frame. Make sure you’re buying wood that will work with your canvas measurements.

materials for DIY floating frame

Materials

Measuring Tape Large Canvas Frame 4 pieces of Wood half the thickness of the canvas (General purpose pine wood 3/4”) 4 pieces of Wood the thickness of the canvas (General purpose pine wood 1 ⅝”) Miter Box Hammer & Nails Wood Glue Clamps Wood Filler Electric Sander Sand Paper

Photo by: Crafty Lumberjacks

Crafty Lumberjacks

Measure + Cut Wood for Inside Frame

For the inside frame, the wood should overlap at 90-degree angles in the corners; to account for the overlap, you want the sides to be slightly longer than the actual canvas size. Make sure you figure out your measurements carefully before doing any cutting. Measure the perimeter of the canvas and cut 4 pieces of the 3/4-inch wood to size to fit the length of each side of the canvas.

cutting wood in a yellow miter box

Measure and cut wood for the inside frame

For the inside frame, the wood should overlap at 90-degree angles in the corners, so you will want to allow for two sides to be slightly longer than the actual canvas size, to account for the overlap. Make sure you figure out your measurements carefully before doing any cutting. Measure the perimeter of the canvas and cut 4 pieces of the ¾’’ wood to size to fit the length of each side of the canvas.

Photo by: Crafty Lumberjacks

Crafty Lumberjacks

Nail the Inside Frame to the Canvas

Place the smaller wood pieces as close to the back of the canvas as possible and nail into place (Images 1 + 2). Start with one side and line up the wood so that it is flush to the corner and repeat with the next piece of wood, creating a 90-degree angle where they meet (Image 3). Continue around the frame until it is complete (Image 4). Sand down any rough corners until smooth.

Measure + Cut Wood for Outside Frame

For the outside frame, you'll overlap the wood at 90-degree angles in the corners, so you will want to allow for two sides to be slightly longer than the actual size of the frame you built around the canvas. Measure the perimeter of the inside frame and cut four pieces of the 1 5/8-inch wood to size to fit the length of each side of the canvas.

cutting wood for the outside frame

Measure and cut wood for the outside frame

For the outside frame, you overlap the wood at 90 degree angles in the corners, so you will want to allow for two sides to be slightly longer than the actual size of the frame you built around the canvas. Measure the perimeter of the inside frame and cut 4 pieces of the 1 ⅝” wood to size to fit the length of each side of the canvas.

Photo by: Crafty Lumberjacks

Crafty Lumberjacks

Glue the Outer Frame to the Inside Frame

Starting with one side of the canvas, add wood glue on top of the frame (Image 1). Press the cut piece of wood on top of it and clamp it in place (Image 2). Continue to glue and clamp all the pieces working in one direction so that it is flush to the corner, creating 90-degree angles where the corners meet. Continue around the frame until it is complete and set to dry. Tip: If the wood pieces aren’t lining up properly in the corners, sand the pieces separately until they fit together before gluing.

Sand Down Uneven Corners

Once the frame is dry, remove the clamps and sand down any edges with overhanging pieces of wood in the corners. Tip: Make sure to keep the sander straight while sanding.

sanding wood frames

Sand down uneven corners

Once the frame is dry, unclamp and sand down any edges with overhanging pieces of wood in the corners. Tip: Make sure to keep the sander straight while sanding.

Photo by: Crafty Lumberjacks

Crafty Lumberjacks

Add Wood Filler

If there are any gaps in the corners, add a little bit of wood filler in the cracks with your finger and wipe away any extra. Once dry, lightly sand down any rough areas.

adding wood filler to wooden frame

Add wood filler

If there are any gaps in the corners add a little bit of wood filler in the cracks with your finger and wipe away any extra. Once dry, lightly sand down any rough areas.

Photo by: Crafty Lumberjacks

Crafty Lumberjacks

Wipe Clean and Hang Your DIY Floating Frame

Wipe off any excess sawdust with a dry cloth. Add a hanging kit to the back and hang.

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