Extra Fun Things to Do at the Festival By attending our DIY stretching canvas print art lessons!
In this short post we go over some of the ways we educate our festival staff and customers by getting involved in one of our 30 person private lessons on how to stretch your own art canvas prints. Many of our attendees that come to our festival are the arts and craft type and over the years they’ve enjoyed this lesson on photo canvas stretching and more. Below we go over some of the techniques, common practices and more on how to build your own canvas print art. We hope you enjoy.
Building Your Own Stretched Canvas Print Art
Building and designing your personal space involves a lot of ingenuity, confidence, and research, not to mention the monetary or time expenses involved and when canvas prints are involved, there are definitely numerous ways to create outstanding pieces. In general, there are two options, the quick and laidback online route which brings with it a lot of options and services at competitive costs or the more hands-on approach with its somewhat competitive cost, time consumption, relative ease (with the internet to help) and the “looming fear of failure”.
Do not be bothered! there are no right or wrong routes with respect to designing your personal space; should you belong to the category of people that are constantly on the move; at work or at home with little or no time to spare for such luxuries as DIY projects; the first route would definitely be more appealing as it shifts all the burden of designing, materials purchase and production to the “professionals”, thus allowing for little or no room for errors. In contrast, should you be a more relaxed person, constantly seeking ways to leave a personal mark on your space or personally design and produce admirable products, the DIY route is definitely for you, therefore we at Inkdoodle.ca believe we should support your design interest by providing you with an in-depth article on how to create your own stretched canvas print art.
To begin with as you know, a canvas print is basically an aggregation of two words, namely the canvas (the stretched material held in place by a wooden frame, on which the print lies) and the print (the graphic image that is to be reproduced or represented on the surface of your canvas). Over the years, various forms of canvases have been developed with varying functionalities, however they each serve the same purpose and for the purpose of our article, you can either create your own canvas, or you can walk into a departmental store such as Goodwill and buy one of (16 X 20) for about $10, however, endeavour to purchase UV resistant canvases.
Create your own DIY canvas frame
Tools needed: Tape measure, 1/2” Nails, 2X1 Wooden bar (length dependent on your expected frame perimeter), hammer or electric nail gun, electric wood saw, pencil.
- Measure three equal (2) lengths of your desired frame length on the 2X1 wood using a tape measure and cut them using the electric saw. Ensure the third length is divided into two and is reduced by one inch.
- Measure and cut three lengths of your desired frame width minus four (4) inches (width – 2) to allow or uniformity.
- Using your try square to ensure accurate right angles of your frame’s edges, place the end of one width bar on the end of one length bar, aligning them perpendicularly. Fasten this joint using your nail gun.
- Fix the second width in a similar manner to the opposite end of that same length bar. At the center point of that length bar, insert the third width and fastening its edges securely with nails.
- Place and align the second length bar over the open end of the attached widths, fasten all loose ends with the nail gun.
- Insert the two half lengths halfway through the widths to provide a cross-shaped support for the frame, fasten all joints and edges using the gun.
Common Canvas Art Techniques
The next phase of your DIY project is deciding what type or technique of canvas printing you require. The general tools needed are Mod Podge, soft Brush, canvas foam rollers, neat piece of cloth and image to be transferred. Some of the most popular canvas art techniques are listed below.
Mounting an Image on canvas (with optional texture)
This is the easiest technique as it involves little or no technical capabilities, basically, it has the following steps:
- Choose the image to be mounted while in the soft format, ensure the image is as professional as possible and has been retouched to attain high contrast level and image quality, for better aesthetics when printed.
- After image selection, proceed to print and be sure to print the images on photo lab paper and not on banner paper, to allow for better transfer. Also, print the image to a size that is slightly larger than your canvas.
- Apply a layer of mod podge to the canvas top surface, and while wet, place your photo top side up on the wet mod podge imbued surface. Centre and straighten the image to align with the frame using the foam rollers to allow all air bubbles escape from the edges.
- Place the canvas-photo setting upside down on a flat surface and place some smoothly-surfaced materials on the inside of the frame to allow easy setting and adherence.
- After this setting is dried and using your scissors, trim away all excesses photo, then flip the image to its front surface.
- At this point, you should apply a thick layer of Mod Podge to the surface of your photo, using your soft brush to make long neat strokes across the surface.
- To add texture to this art, you would place the neat piece of cloth over the surface of the mod podge wetted photo, smoothening out all wrinkles. After a few minutes, remove the cloth briskly before the podge cures to reveal an artificial texture on the canvas surface.
- Hang your beautiful piece conspicuously.
Transferring an Image to a canvas.
For non-commercial DIY canvas prints, transferred print canvases are a viable option as it can be achieved via using readily available resources such as a regular inkjet printer image and the same set up above and the steps involved in its production are stated chronologically below:
- After selecting the image to be printed and the gathering the required tools, it is needful to ensure the image is retouched to allow for high contrast and photo quality.
- The next step is to coat the top surface of the canvas with a layer of Mod Podge using your foam brush.
- With its face downward, gently place the printed image on the Mod Podge drenched surface, centering and adjusting the image to allow for utmost alignment and adherence.
- Afterwards, use your hand to gently smoothing the image out, trying to eliminate all errors or air bubbles. Then wait for the image to dry.
- After drying, use a damp sponge or the tip of your fingers to gently remove layers of the paper that exist on the canvas surface. Repeat this process till all the pieces of the paper is removed.
- Apply an additional layer of mod podge to the surface of the revealed canvas to protect it from decomposition and fading.
- Once dry, carefully hang your artwork to reveal its beauty.
This form of printing is more commercial in nature, and although the global supply outweighs demand due to the low entry cost and relative ease owed to the internet. This form of printing involves huge equipment and expertise, such as Photoshop, Lightstudio, and quality control capable of replicating images with laser sharp precision. If you do not have a minimum of $1000 to invest in a printing machine and or the necessary Photoshop and printing expertise to pull this off, it is professionally advisable to outsource printing to online sites like Inkdoodle.ca, however, should you be interested in making such huge commitments, here are the procedures:
- Select the right Printer: There are specific printers that have been designed to handle printing on canvasses, with sharper cutters and the ability to handle such heavy-duty jobs on a commercial scale. The ability to select the right printer ensures the right print quality is attained, although they are designed to produce images on canvas that are highly visible from a great distance, they aren’t dpi (dots per inch) specific. It is also important to choose the more renowned and trustworthy brands like Hp and Epson that already have established reputations and support networks.
- Select the right inks: Most canvas print inks are pigment based and have been specifically designed to offer amazing features such as water resistance and UV resistance, thus ensuring the images remain visible years after printing, some even go as far as offering perpetual resistance to UV radiation (sunlight).
- Select your image: The picture selected should have effectively illuminated details that would appear conspicuous on large prints and not pixelate when enlarges. It should preferably be professional shots to highlight the outstanding features of the image.
- Retouch your picture: Using suitable software, ensure the pictures are retouched to conceal flaws, blur out distractions and highlight prominent details while achieving aesthetic balance and brilliance. Also, using the computer, adjust the print properties to coincide with the preferred size of the canvas.
- Appropriately feed the canvas fabric into the printer; this should be in tandem with the print direction of the printer, whether it prints topside up or otherwise.
- Wait for the canvas to dry, while prepping your hardware resources to incorporate your frame and canvas fabric together.
Stretching your canvas
This often involves creating your frame and transferring your print art unto the canvas frame and the tools required are: Staple Guns, Canvas pliers, Glue GAC 100
- Using grooved bevel edged stretcher bars, apply Golden GAC 100 or other appropriate glues to the bar tips.
- Aligning the bevel edges appropriately, slot the bars together perpendicularly to create the entire frame with the bevel side outside and the slimmer side inside.
- Using four corner wooden sheets, buttress the frame’s corners, fastening them with staple pins for sturdiness.
- Repeat the slotting and buttressing till all four sides are complete.
- Place the canvas frame over your canvas sheet, topside down to determine how much canvas you need. Ensure the weaves of the canvas are parallel to the corresponding side of the frame to allow for even tension and remember to leave adequate allowances for the edges and wraps. Once you’ve determined the size needed, use your scissors to make an incision at one end and use your bare hands to pull the incision across all the way to your desired length as the canvas would automatically tear along a straight line following your incision.
- Align the sheet and frame appropriately and staple the center region of the lower end of the sheet to the corresponding frame, avoiding creases.
- Also, starting from the center, use your canvas pliers to grip the upper end of the canvas sheet and apply appropriate tension while avoiding folds or wrinkles, staple this sheet to the frame.
- Having successfully placed four staples on the four sides of the frame, use your canvas plier and stapler to insert pins across the edges following the same sequence, one side then the opposite till the entire frame is stapled and firmly gripped (leaving a 4-inch gap from each corner for the fold).
- Thereafter, considering one edge, you staple a single frame going up till the tip, then you create an inward ninety degrees fold as depicted below to avoid any wrinkles. Ensure the canvas fold is even with the stretcher bar frame and not revealing when viewed from the front. While positioning the canvas fold accurately and applying adequate tension staple the joint along the frame to fasten it permanently.
- Repeat the process for the four edges and hang your Stretched Canvas Print Art.
- Prime your canvas against discoloration with Golden GAC 100, paint or hang your canvas.
In conclusion, considering the amount of information presented in this article, we hope it is easy to ascertain what form of canvas print technique appeals to you personally. All these prints can be completed in a little less than a few hours, particularly the photo mounting technique because it involves fewer and easier processes. For the full-blown canvas printing, it should be noted that innovative firms such as Inkdoodle.ca have taken it upon ourselves to cater for the growing need to immortalize our experiences, events and loved ones through canvas prints, offering various range of solutions to meet this demand. Our range of products run from table-top sizes to over 30X30 sizes that would effectively create a presence in any room it is mounted. We also help our clients boycott all aspects of the production process such as retouching, selections, printing, and logistics, thereby easing their artistic projects and we look forward to working with you.