We like the idea of creating a versatile space without having to continuously spend large sums of money on home décor. It is already hard enough to find designs that fit both of our styles anyways ;)
Our home has limited open wall space, so we wanted this large wall to be a beautiful accent in our dining area. Building DIY floating canvas frames was just the right fit for us. The best part for us is that we can order canvas prints when there is a sale and rotate them with the seasons or put up family pictures. Plus, we needed to avoid the gallery wall trend because the two toddlers in high chairs in our home have an itch to touch anything in their reach with their ooey-gooey hands.
Disclosure: The Sociable Home is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program and other affiliate programs designed to provide a means for The Sociable Home to earn fees by linking to Amazon and affiliated sites at no extra cost to you; this page includes monetized links. Please see The Sociable Home's Disclosure for more details.
Things to consider prior to building your DIY floating canvas frame:
How to build DIY floating canvas frames:
We purchased long pieces of rough-cut lumber and used our miter saw to cut them into smaller pieces so that it was easier to work with on the jointer and planer. These pieces needed to be slightly longer than the final lengths required for the actual frame so that there's space to clean up the mitered joints later in the process.
Once we had pieces we could work with; we ran each rough cut board through the jointer and the planer to get clean-cut and squared-up boards. These boards were approximately 30 in. long x 10 in. wide x 1 in. thick.
We set up our table saw and cut each board into 2 in. wide strips, which means that each frame will come off the wall by 2 inches. We needed 12 of these 2-inch strips in total for three frames.
Next, we needed to get our measurements just right so that the frames had enough space for the canvas to slide in while also being tight enough to hold them in place.
We chose 18 x 24 for our canvas size, so we needed just enough space for this and enough room for our L-shaped brackets that will be holding the floating canvas. One thing we learned the hard way was that although the inside frames of canvas prints are the same, sometimes the actual canvas wrap makes the dimensions slightly thinner or thicker based on the folds around the edges.
Lessons Learned :(
The first three pictures we got fit perfectly; however, when we got our second set of pictures from the same company, they did not slide in as well. We ended up having to sand the inside of the frames, clean everything up, and add finish again.
Moving Forward :)
After our lesson learned, as mentioned above, we have some suggestions for measuring.
It's important to give yourself some wiggle room, so the vertical sides of the frame are 24.25 inches long (measured from the inside of the miter cut). The horizontal sides of the frame are 18.25 inches long (measured from the inside of the miter cut).
This allows for the 24x18 canvas, plus 1/16th of an inch for the thickness of each L-shape bracket, and 1/8 inch for wiggle room.
Sydney typically likes to measure from the outside of a miter (the longest points), but it is easiest to measure from the short sides of the miter in this case. We also learned the importance of double-checking our glue up on the mitered corners to ensure that none of them slide when clamped.
Now that we know each dimension, it is time to make the mitered cuts for the corners. First, we cut a 45-degree angle on one side of each board. Then, we set up a stop block on the saw to cut each longer board to the same exact length. Next, we reset the stop block for the shorter board and cut the miters again.
This means we ended up with six longer boards with miters on each side and six shorter boards with miters on each side.
We used our orbital sander on each frame to make them smooth to the touch. The best way to get a beautiful wood grain is to move through the sanding progressions by starting at 60 or 80-grit, sanding with 120-grit, and then with 220-grit.
Raise the Grain
Since we used walnut wood, we needed to raise the grain before moving on. This is because when walnut gets wet on the surface, such as when applying the finish, the fine grains will pop to make it bumpy. Use a slightly damp cloth to wipe down the piece and clean off the dust to avoid this. Then, sand with 320-grit sandpaper and clean up the dust with a dry rag.
Since these won't get much wear and tear, we chose to use a Danish oil finish to highlight the natural colors of the wood. It's easy to wipe on and then buff off the excess.
We're at the last step now :)
We measured the center on the inside of each board of the frame to mark our spots for the L-shape brackets. We pre-drilled to get a clean starter hole for the screws. Then, we used a screwdriver to attach the brackets. We put hangers on the back of each frame, and then they were ready to put up on the wall.
You can find more of our dining room projects on the blog.
Josh and Sydney are life adventurers that love to learn and create. We are exact opposites and enjoy gaining new perspective. Our home is where our varying personalities shine, and we use it to gather our friends and family together.