How to Make a Frame for a Canvas Without Power Tools

Learn how to make a frame for a canvas WITHOUT using power tools!  Now you can get the polished, and finished without worrying about using power tools.

I am so excited to be participating in my first Create with Me DIY Challenge with this tutorial on how to make a frame for a canvas!

 It’s the neatest idea – you all (my fabulous readers) get to choose from 4 materials and I/we have to make something, ANYTHING out of that supply!!

Last month, the readers chose a canvas.  Which, I have to admit I wasn’t thrilled about!  When I think of a canvas, I think of a beautiful abstract art piece full of life and watercolor paint.

How to make a frame for a canvas without power tools . Perfect for a gallery wall or picture collage.

And, I can’t paint.  Or draw.  At all.  It’s basically at a 5th-grade level.  Embarrassing.

Thinking Outside of the Box for the Canvas

So, I knew I had to think outside the box for the canvas.  Any ole’ pretty art wouldn’t do, mostly because I couldn’t DO pretty art.

That’s when I came up with the idea of doing a framed canvas, without power tools!!  So many of the projects I do here on the blog require power tools.  

And, while I’m generally okay with that, I know many people who either don’t have or don’t know how to use power tools (like me!!).

Well, you’re in luck!  You CAN frame a canvas WITHOUT power tools.

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Step 1. How to Mark Wood to frame a Canvas

First, start by measuring your pine wood against the length of the canvas.

Marking wood to make a frame for a canvas or picture frame is easy with this diy tutorial

Using the pencil, mark a line where to cut the wood so that each piece is a little longer than the length of the canvas.  You want the top of each cut piece to be level with the next flat piece of the frame.

In other words, the length of each side of the frame is equal to the length of the canvas plus the width of the frame piece.

Close up showing pine wood surrounding a canvas in order to make a frame using no power tools

Step 2. Cut Wood for Canvas Frame

Once we had the pencil mark, we lined the mark up with the straight cut opening on the miter box (technically the 90-degree mark)and cut.

When making a frame for a canvas or other piece you want to be sure to use tools that help you make straight and consistent cuts

Next, we used that cut piece as the template and marked all the other pieces to match.  (Since the canvas is a square, each piece is the same length)

When you are learning how to make a frame for a canvas its important that all your frame pieces are the same size and line up

Step 3. Stain Wood for Frame

Now that we had 4 equal-length trim pieces, it was time to stain them!  I love the Jacobean stain; not too light, not too dark.

Stain 5 sides of each piece.  The only side that doesn’t need stained is the innermost side that will be touching the canvas.  Don’t forget those edges!!

Staining wood gives a great contrasting look with white canvas and is easy to do without powers tools

I let the pine dry overnight.  You don’t have to sand the pine at all because it’s a completely smooth finish!  That saves so much time.

Step 4. Glue your Wood Frame to your Canvas

Next, I grabbed my hot glue gun and got to work.  I covered the innermost (unstained) part of the wood with glue and stuck it to one edge of the canvas.

Remember, once you have the piece on it’s difficult/impossible to move without damaging the canvas so try to line it up pretty straight the first time.

Press firmly for a few minutes to make sure it’s adhered.

Using a glue gun to attach a stained pine wood frame to a canvas is a great ideas to add decor to your home
How to make a picture frame for a canvas without power tools and attaching the frame piece by piece with a glue gun

Continue the same steps with the remaining 3 pieces of wood and you’re finished!!

Step 5. Add Heart to Canvas

I simply drew a heart in pencil over an area we accidentally got some stain on and used washi tape to fill it in.  Make small cuts to the washi tape to get fill in the round edges of the heart.

I used this same washi tape for the pumpkin place cards and I’m obsessed!

Keep in mind, if you can actually make pretty art you can do that, too!!  Then have a gorgeous frame around it!

Once you finish your diy frame canvas you can add art using washi tape and a design that you draw by hand
Using tape to add flare to the canvas frame that you just learned how to make is easy and fun
Washi tape is great for all sorts of projects and makes them a bit more unique
Finished art made from washi tape on a diy canvas frame. These are easy to do ideas for decor in any room in your home

And, that’s it, my friends!

Completed heart project that was made and put on a canvas with a dark wood frame DIY
Showing the joint on the frame for the canvas made without power tools that was a great DIY project
Looking for an easy way to frame a canvas? This how to is extremely simple and is done without any power tools

It’s currently hanging (via 3M strips) under the DIY Irish Blessing Framed Sign.  I just need one more piece there to make that little area complete…

Need canvas ideas for decorating? This how to make a frame for canvas will inspire you and brighten up any room

I hope you enjoyed learning how to make a frame for a canvas without using any power tools whatsoever. This was a nice and easy project using no power tools at all! I love participating in these create with me projects and it’s easy to follow along too!

Hop down under the survey to see what the other ladies made!!

Create with me logo for the canvas project challenge
Canvas art ideas that are super simple for the Create with Me challenge

Butterfly Canvas- Our House Now a Home

Mixed Material Art- Little Bits of Home

Ombre Butterfly Art- Refresh Living

Map Canvas Wall Art- My Life from Home

How to Frame a Canvas – Making Joy and Pretty Things (that’s me)

Two Minute Canvas Art- Love Create Celebrate

DIY Leaf Art- Our Crafty Mom

Lighted Halloween Canvas- Knock it Off Kim

Wishing you a joyful day!

Yield: 1 canvas frame

How to Frame a Canvas Without Power Tools

How to frame a canvas without power tools . Perfect for a gallery wall or picture collage.

Frame a canvas WITHOUT using power tools!  Now you can get the polished, finished look of a framed canvas without worrying about using power tools.

Active Time 1 hour
Total Time 1 hour
Difficulty Easy


  1. Cut your pine boards into 4 pieces to fit your canvas to make the frame. You can do this using a hand saw and a miter box.
  2. Stain the pieces and let dry overnight. You don't need to stain the side that will rest against the canvas.
  3. Using hot glue, apply it to the unstained side of each piece and adhere it to the canvas.
  4. Draw a heart shape on the canvas with a pencil.
  5. Use washi tape in your favorite pattern to fill in the heart.
  6. Hang on the wall and enjoy!

Did you make this project?

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  1. Love this! And, I love that someone so creative feels she can’t paint – it makes me feel better! I adore the look of the frame around the canvas. Great, great project!

  2. So adorable! Super creaive! I love the heart and where you put it on the canvas. I know it’s simple, but the placement is perfect and something I never would have thought of! So hard for me to think out of the box like that! The frame is perfect, too! Must try!

  3. This is a great idea, I’m not sure why I haven’t thought about it before!! Going to have to give it a try. Love the art you made, too 🙂