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A canvas can be purchase pre-stretched, but this can sometimes cost more money than some artists want to pay. In order to avoid this problem, some artists choose to pre-stretch their own canvases.

A canvas can be pre-stretched by doing the following:

• Choose the size you want. Once the size has been chosen, stretcher bars can be purchased according to this size. You will need fours stretcher bars – one for each side.

• Check the corners after sliding the mitered edges of the bars together. It is important that all of the corners are exact right angles.

• Secure the stretcher bars together with two or three staples in each section where the mitered edges meet.

After these steps have been taken, you now can stretch the canvas. The stretching of the canvas is done by:

• Buying an unprimed linen canvas – This canvas should be at least six inches taller and six inches wider than what you hope the final measurement will be.

• Spread the canvas – It should be spread across a clean, flat surface and then laid on top of it with about three inches of extra canvas on each side.

• Trim – If there is too much excess canvas, do not be afraid to trim it a little. After the trimming is completed, fold on side of the canvas onto the bar and then proceed to staple the center.

Lastly, just pull the canvas tight and staple to the opposite side and then to the frame. After the canvas has been folded at each corner, you are done.

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