How Do I Frame An Unstretched Canvas?

How Do I Frame An Unstretched Canvas?

In my shop, I have available stretched and unstretched canvas, however there has been a number enquiries about how to frame unstretched canvases.

So, in this article I am going to answer your question - how do I frame an unstretched canvas?  

"TRANSITIONS" {Original Sold, Print Available HERE}
There are a few options for you. 

Option 1Stretch It
Purchase your art as it is (unframed) and then take it so a local framer and have it stretched. What does this mean?

It means the canvas will be pulled tight around a wooden frame. The frame size determines the depth of your canvas. A 3cm deep frame is pretty standard. This is one way to frame an unstretched canvas. 


Things to consider: 
You will lose around 5cm of the painting to cover the edges of the canvas. So depending on how the art is painted, and what you decide, you might lose some of the art around the edges.

 Option 2: Frame It
  • Again you can take your art to a framer and get it professionally framed which is always the ideal option if you have the budget for it. Set and forget. It will look amazing. It is often worth saving up for this option.
  • If you are trying to be more budget conscious, find yourself a pre-made frame with a matt that is larger than your art work and place it in there yourself. You will still want to tape it down to a piece of board and stretch it as much as possible to it is firm and tight. Not quite as professional, but I always like to give people options, as we are all on different budgets. And because we all deserve a little art in our life!
Things to consider:
You will end up with a larger piece in the end. Because you can use the whole painting and place a mat, and then frame around it, this adds to the size.
Your painting will be behind glass. That's not a good or bad thing - just a preference you can mull over.
This is my "TRANSITIONS" painting that sold recently. The client chose to get it stretched because it was important to her to keep the painting exposed. She felt it had a stronger presence that way. I thought I would show you what it can look like in a room, stretched or framed. 
Which do you prefer?


If you are in Australia, and would like your art professionally stretched or framed, I offer the service to arrange that for you. Please contact me for more details.

If you are International, I can arrange stretching however keep in mind that shipping costs will change once the canvas is stretched. Sometimes it is cheaper to ship the painting in a tube and stretch it once it arrives at your end.

I hope this info has answered your question, how do I frame an unstretched canvas? Comment below and let me know if this has been helpful and if you have any questions I can help you with. 


If you are a lover of colour, positive energy and vibrancy in your home, you will love my art prints. Head over here to check them out.

Select of 5 colourful art prints by Australian Abstract Artist Rose Hewartson
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1 comment

Thank u for explaining the difference.I do a lot of digital art & have put my creations on stretched canvas but just ordered one that is not stretched.I have so many frames in my office that I am sure I can make it work.


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