The Art of Building a Stretched Canvas from Scratch

Learn the DIY way to building a canvas for your artwork. Stop wasting money on pre-stretched canvases!
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11 students enrolled
Instructed by Megan Dorien Design / Other
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  • Lectures 32
  • Length 1 hour
  • Skill Level All Levels
  • Languages English
  • Includes Lifetime access
    30 day money back guarantee!
    Available on iOS and Android
    Certificate of Completion
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About This Course

Published 3/2015 English

Course Description

Hey! If you've been painting on pre-stretched canvases, stop wasting money and take this course! I will teach you everything you want and need to know about how to create a gallery quality, stretched canvas. The artwork you choose to put on it is on you, but I will teach you tips, tricks and detailed how-to's on the art of building your canvas.

You will also learn:

  • How to select the correct canvas type for your art style
  • How to prep your canvas
  • All about stretcher bars; what they are and how to use them
  • The tools you need, the purpose of each, and where to get them
  • The art of stretching the canvas to the wood
  • How to prepare the finished canvas for hanging

The Course

I have broken the course into easily digestible sections that go into lots of detail. People taking this class will range from total beginners that are just taking up art, to experienced artists that are looking for another way of completing their finished artworks. You can choose to create your canvas alongside the videos, or take the course and then complete the project when you're ready.

Why YOU should take this class

If you're like most artists, you get incredible joy from creating things with your hands. There's nothing like the feeling you get when you have created every part of a painting; the work itself, the canvas it's on, all the way down to the wire that hangs it. By enrolling in this course, you will be able to feel that feeling in your career.

Outside Availability

If you enroll in the course, I am available for any questions via email. Questions pertaining to the actual course, or anything else art related. I think that we, as artists, can learn so much from each other. We should be sharing and giving advice and caring about seeing each other succeed.

As an Added Bonus

Since marketing your work is a big part of your success and exposure as an artist, everyone that enrolls in this course will have the option of being included on my own personal website on a page titled "Friends". When you finish your painting, you can send an email with an image and description, and links to your website with contact info. You can take advantage of the 1,000+ unique visitors to my site, gaining yourself more exposure. My goal of this sharing method is for you to pick up new fans or, best case scenario, to sell your painting.

What are the requirements?

  • If you plan to execute the lesson at the same time as the course, you will need the following: a piece of canvas (either finished or blank), wood, staple gun, canvas pliers.
  • This course will not act as an instructional on the actual act of painting. Instead, it will teach you everything you need to know about how to take a piece of canvas and turn it into a wrapped canvas.
  • I will outline a detailed account of all supplies needed to execute a finished, gallery quality, stretched canvas. However, if you are signing up for the course simply to learn how to stretch a canvas and will execute later, you will need nothing! You may want to use the course to simply learn the how-to's and plan on actually building the canvas later on, that is fine as well.

What am I going to get from this course?

  • Build a stretched canvas from scratch
  • Be confident in choosing the right canvas type for your work as an artist
  • Identify each tool needed to stretch a canvas and their purpose
  • How to prepare your canvas for either stretching or painting
  • Learn about the most popular types of canvas wraps, so you can decide which you prefer stylistically for your own art
  • How to cut your loose canvas for different applications
  • How to assemble your stretcher bars into a frame for your canvas
  • Learn when a cross brace or extra support is needed in your frames
  • Learn how to fold the most amazing corners
  • Learn how to hang your finished painting like a museum or gallery

Who is the target audience?

  • This course is designed for artists (or people who are looking to become artists) that want to learn how to create your own stretched canvases. There is no prior knowledge needed, nor do you have to have experience with any building or construction. I will be going through each stage of the process in very detailed explanations alongside video tutorials.
  • This course is great for artists that want to learn how to use their hands to build every part of their artwork. Artists that are sick of purchasing factory, pre-made canvases.
  • This course is also great for artists that need to learn how to make canvases for custom sized jobs.
  • This course is great for artists that want to learn how to take part in every single step of piece of your finished work.

What you get with this course?

Not for you? No problem.
30 day money back guarantee.

Forever yours.
Lifetime access.

Learn on the go.
Desktop, iOS and Android.

Get rewarded.
Certificate of completion.


Section 1: Introduction to the Course

This is the beginning of our course! Before we dive in, I'll give a little bit about myself and what you can expect from the course.


You'll learn what a stretched canvas actually is. Which is to say, it's a ready-to-use surface that consists of either cotton or linen fabric, that's stretched around a wooden frame. It's then secured either on the back or the sides with staples or tacks.

You'll also learn that you have 2 choices when participating in this course and what the 2 choices are.

Take Away - Canvas

In this lecture you'll learn about the tools required to stretch your canvas from scratch. We'll go over every tool and their purpose. Don't feel shy or nervous about them, you've most likely used all of these tools before at some point in your life!

Included in this lecture is a visual checklist of every tool that you'll need.

Take Away - Tools
Sending me your finished paintings for inclusion on my site
Section 2: Canvas Selection

In this section, we'll be going over the most common types of canvases and how to decide which canvas type is right for you. We will discuss which types of canvas are used for which medium and the pro's and con's of using each. At the end of this section, you will be able to confidently choose a canvas type to try out in your own art.


We'll learn about the most popular types of canvases in the market; cotton duck canvas, linen canvas, pre-stretched canvas, canvas board, and watercolor canvas.

We'll also learn why there is such a price difference with these different types of canvases.

Take away - canvas types
The difference between prime and raw (unprimed) canvas
What we've learned in Section 2
Section 3: The Art of Preparing Your Canvas
What we'll learn in this section
Sizing your canvas
Canvas wraps - the different types
How to properly preparing your canvas for cutting
Cutting your canvas to your predetermined size
Take away - canvas preparation
Section 4: Assembling the frame
Stretcher strip components
Assembling our pieces
Structural issues - When to use support braces
Cross braces - When and how to use them on oversized paintings
How to install your cross brace - Using our example
Take away - frame assembly
Summing up Section 4
Section 5: Stretching the canvas
The art of stretching your canvas
Perfecting the corner fold
Take away - stretching your canvas and folding your corners
Section 6: Preparing your painting for hanging
How to install hardware for hanging
Take away - hanging your canvas
Section 7: Conclusion to our course
Wrap up
Review me please!

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Instructor Biography

Megan Dorien, Artist/designer/maker of things

I have been a fine artist for 13 yearsI graduated college in 2004 with a BA in Media arts from an art school in Philly. In the years since, I have honed by skills and knowledge as an artist. I have showed my paintings in group and solo exhibits on an international level. My favorite thing about being an artist is that it gives me a unique opportunity to connect with so many people on a higher level. When someone connects with my art for whatever their reason, an instant, recognizable connection occurs.

I plan to continue creating artwork that people can connect with. I also plan to share my knowledge and tips with other artists, because I think it's so important that we all support each other in any way we know how.

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