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We are a small business here at Paint Plot, which means that every paint by number order is important to us. 

We have put together a step by step guide for how to stretch and frame a paint by number canvas, as we receive so many queries about this topic.

Once your paint by numbers kit arrives, if it hasn’t already, this will be information that you will need, so we recommend that you bookmark this page for future reference.

To purchase a frame is optional however, we highly recommend it. 

A lot of customers have told us that they were glad that they ordered their canvas with a frame because it not only made it easier to paint but it gave them an opportunity to display their masterpiece afterwards.

If you didn’t purchase a frame and you’d like to, don’t worry, you can purchase these separately online.

The term a ‘pre-stretched canvas’ means that it is already on the frame.  Here at Paint Plot Australia, we do not send your frames pre-stretched as they can often arrive damaged or have been broken during shipping.

The process of folding and tacking the paint by numbers canvas to the frame is DIY stretching and framing.

Your canvas comes rolled and should be flat however, occasionally it can become wrinkled during shipping.

If this does occur and you have given it time to settle, turn your canvas face down, put a light cloth over it and iron out the wrinkles with a warm iron.  This information is also accessible, with other tips and tricks on best paint by number guide for beginners.

We have put together a video for you to watch first and then below we have 9 simple steps to help guide you through on how to ‘DIY’ stretch and frame a paint by numbers canvas.

Step 1.  Have everything you need, as below before you start including your: canvas, DIY frame, thumbtacks, scissors, tape measure and a marking pen.

framing step 1 


Step 2. On this occasion, the canvas has already been painted prior to stretching/framing, however you don’t need to do this. There are three options, which we’ve listed below so that you can choose the option that suits you best. 

framing step 2

Option 1. If you are using an easel then we would recommend framing/ stretching your canvas before you paint it as this will help to keep it steady.

This choice makes painting the canvas a little more versatile, as you can relocate it at any time. Some days you might like to paint inside while you’re listening to music and on others you might choose to paint outside in the sunshine.

Option 2. You may prefer to paint the canvas first and stretch/frame later. Some customers prefer this as it means you have a flat, hard surface to work on.

If this sounds more appealing, just tape the corners of the canvas to a flat surface. 

This will help prevent any movement whilst painting and therefore prevent any smudging. It also helps you to get a consistent angle if you’d like to take progress photos.

Option 3.  Alternatively, you can tape or secure your canvas to a piece of foam board. This gives you the option of framing/stretching later, using a table or hard surface sometimes or the choice of painting on an easel as well.

Step 3.  Unwrap the frame and put the tacks to one side. The frame consists of four pieces, two long and two short. 

The DIY frame is easy to assemble as it does not require any glue or nails, it arrives pre-cut with groves.  You simply take one short piece and one long and push them together, repeat the process until the frame is squared and complete.

Step 4. Place the canvas facing up on a flat surface and manoeuvre the frame to the required position on the canvas. Using a tape measure, check diagonally from outside corners of the frame and then check the opposite diagonal to make sure the frame is square. 

framing step 4.1
framing step 4.2

Step 5.  With your marking pen in hand, lift each corner of the canvas and mark where the four corners of the frame are located on the canvas. 

framing step 5

Step 6.  Place the canvas face down, put the frame on top and align the frame with the marks from Step 5. 

framing step 6

 Step 7. Commence with the centre of the longest side of the frame, lift the canvas over the frame, stretching it slightly so that the canvas on the opposite side is not slack and anchor with thumbtacks. Repeat on all sides with at least three thumbtacks in each section. 

framing step 7 

Step 8. Using a sharp pair of scissors, make one cut in each corner. Make sure you cut in the same line as the frame (check video). Then fold over and tack the two corner pieces together.

framing step 8.1framing step 8.2


Step 9.  Depending on your individual choice of painting pre stretching/framing or after, your canvas is ready to either paint or hang on the wall.

framing step 9 

We hope this has helped you in making a decision as to whether you paint before or after stretching/framing your paint by numbers canvas.

Putting your frame together is relatively easy and with our instructions on how to stretch and frame a paint by numbers canvas, you should be ready to paint.

Just remember though, our favourite thing is to see your completed artwork hanging on the wall, so don’t forget to share with all of members of the Paint Plot Community.

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