How do I do a gallery wrap?


Grumbler in Training
Aug 2, 2004
Canton, CT
Can someone explain how to do the corners on a gallery wrap? I can't find a description of how to do it in any of my books. If you've got pictures, that's even better - I can be pretty dense at times.

Thanks for your help.
Hospital corners, if you're talking canvas on bars...

But then, your question BEGS the question: which gallery?
Let's just call it the Experimental Gallery. These gallery wraps seem to be the hot item this year. I don't really promote it... hard to sell mouldings that way... but because we do art reproduction here also, it has come up a couple of times and I want to be able to offer an neat stretch and corner. Also have an employee who is an outstanding photographer and he's always experimenting with stuff in the backroom. Together, we faked our way through a gallery wrap the other day with one of his photos printed on canvas. We came close, but no cigar, so thanks for your help.
Try a search on google, found a number of sites that might help you. You just need to do a bit of sifting.
For what it’s worth, Old Grange Graphics offers both a “Museum” wrap and “Gallery” wrap.

In both cases, the finished product is designed to be hung without being framed.

In their “Museum” wrap, the canvas is stapled to the back of the stretcher/strainer. White primed canvas is visible on the side edges of the strainer.

In their “Gallery” wrap, the canvas is stapled to the back of the stretcher/strainer, too, but the image extends from the front of the stretcher bars to the sides i.e. the image is visible from the side of the bars which normally contain the staples.
You can always finish off the edges of a canvas like this:


Here is a detail of the application:


Hmm, that didn't work,,
Frankenthread: OK the link works, how come the picture doesn't show?
Ribbon,from my local el cheapo Wall Mart fabric section.

Staples through the matboard catch the ribbon. Fold the ribbon over the matboard (hides the mat and the first set of staples) then stretch and staple to the back. This gives a nice crisp edge. Make sure to leave a enough ribbon to fold the start/stop point so no cut fabric shows!

....Now how did you get the pictures to show?

[ 04-06-2005, 04:19 PM: Message edited by: Phoneguy Canuck ]
After much playing I figured put the picture part. Here is a finished corner detail of the previous canvas in a floating frame


OK, so it worked on the preview post....humph
I love the way gallery wraps look but I think they need the deeper bars to look good. Which plays into my question for y'all: I need bars 1" deep on the back edge to accommodate a previously g-wrapped canvas which has crease lines I must follow.

LJ has them but sells in 50' bundles: don't need that much but would buy them if they were 1-1/4" as that's a better depth for the look. Anyone have a source for 16' of 1" depth strainers?

BTW, g-wraps with paint visible on the side eat into the artwork quite a bit so I always warn the client they'll lose some of the image doing it that way.
Thanks for all your input on this subject. Interesting alternative, Phoneguy.

My employee recently took a PhotoShop class where he learned how to accommodate the issue of losing part of the image on the wrap. Of course, it has to be an electronic image to manipulate it and make it work. And since it was his doctored image he was working with, it turned out just fine.

We tell our artists who bring their canvas works in for reproduction that we cannot reproduce any of the image painted on the edges. No one has objected yet. They're just happy to get a reproduction.
Hello... Who originally posted those pictures of the canvas that was wrapped with ribbon on the sides? I was wondering if you could give a detailed explanation (if you don't mind) on how it was done? Looks neat. I paint a lot, so I'm always looking for something different to finish off a painting. Thank you.
It was me....Here is a link showing the canvasses in a frame:

Framing Photos

Look under framing, it is the Cuban Pictures...

Now the idea was given by someone here on the grumble so it isn't original to me, and it is similar to a technique used by upholsterers;

I cut mat flawboard strips to about the same width as the stretchers. Using ribbon that was (as I recall) 1 1/2" wide I stapled through the flawboard, through the ribbon and into the stretcher material. I left about 1/4" free at the starting point (no mat board).
After I had stapled this around the edge of the frame I folded the ribbon over the matboard, and stretched and stapled to the back of the frame. At the end/beginin of the ribbon I folded the end over and in so there was no cut edges showing. No staples show on the sides, only on the back of the stretcher bars. This technique worked well to hide the staples that were originally used on the sides to stretch the canvasses.

If you look at the picture showing edge application detail this may help clarify.

I have an upholstry air stapler that shoots a 23 guage staple (I think I use 3/8" mostly). Senco makes one, mine is an asian knock off and works just fine. I actually use those staples for most of my fitting too! A fairly versitile gun.

Feel free to ask if this is not clear

Merps, Foster Planning Mill has H.D.strtcher bar stock w/no minimum.
Tel. (323)759-9156/Fax. (323)758-4071
Thank you, I read your instructions a couple of times and I think I got it now. This looks really cool, I think I'll give it a try sometime.
Phoneguy - I used your idea today (with a slight modification) to save me a trip to WallyWorld for ribbon.

I black gessoed a length of lineco framer's tape and used it exactlly as you used the ribbon, only cutting it at each corner before wrapping down. This left me with 1/16" gaps showing matboard which were easily daubed with a Q-tip and more black gesso. And the tape stuck to the back of the stretcher!!!

PERFECT!!! Merci!
Call me a naysayer, but has it entered anyone's head that these techniques basically eliminate the need for picture frames?

I sell picture frames.

Last time our Decor rep was in he showed us a nice looking gallery wrap stretcher.. pretty deep.. don't know the number on it.. we'd rather sell a frame around the canvas :)

Look at the pictures in the link above. These did go with frames. Black L shaped floating frames....and they weren't cheap ones either as I recall. I used that technique to hide the staples on the side for stretching, and to extend the "black hole" look to really emphasise (sp?) the floating vibrant colours.