We may be living in the digital age, but for studio photographers looking to attract clientele and sell prints, impactful gallery canvas wraps displayed in-studio are often much more compelling marketing tools than images shared via social media. Not only do gallery wraps provide clients and prospective clients with tangible demonstrations of the photographer’s skill, but they also encourage viewers to imagine what a similar print would look like in their own home.
But for all of their benefits, gallery wraps can be expensive to outsource, especially since a studio photographer will most likely want to change up his or her marketing strategies—and with it, studio decor—every once in a while. That’s why portrait photographer Julia Kelleher believes that every studio photographer should know how to wrap their own canvases.
In this short tutorial, Kelleher demonstrates the proper method for doing just that:
In order to gallery wrap your own canvas, you will need the following items:
- Structure bars, such as the 1.5″ 24 x 30 wooden frame that Kelleher uses in her video
- Electric staple gun & compatible staples
- Canvas pliers, such as Kelleher’s “Pit Bull” grippers
- Canvas print
How to Gallery Wrap Your Own Canvas Print
Follow these simple steps to easily make your own canvas gallery wraps.
- Lay your canvas down flat on top of your frame, face up.
- Line up and mark the corners where the canvas and frame should intersect.
- Flip everything over toward you so that your print is lying face down and the frame is visible.
- Line the frame up with the corner marks.
- Tack down one long edge with the staple gun. Don’t completely staple this edge down—just ensure that it won’t move while you’re stretching its opposite side.
- Use canvas pliers to grip and pull the canvas from the opposite long edge and staple it down completely. Start in the middle and move back and forth on the left and right sides to create even tautness.
- Move to one of the shorter edges and, using the pliers and staple gun, tack the canvas in place like you did in Step #5.
- Move to the opposite shorter edge and completely staple the canvas in place as you did in Step #6.
- Return to the long and short edges that you merely tacked down and finish stapling them down completely.
- To create clean corners, fold in one side of each corner and staple it down. Use scissors to cut off excess canvas. Fold the other side of the corner over what you’ve stapled, tuck in any excess canvas, stretch the canvas tightly using canvas pliers, and staple the corner down.
- Repeat Step #10 for all three remaining corners. That’s it!
Julia explains other ideas and concepts in her studio systems class.
“Learning how to gallery wrap canvases on your own is going to save you so much money in your marketing efforts,” said Kelleher. “It’s going to allow you to create marketing displays on a whim and change them out whenever you want without feeling guilty about it.”
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