Tag Archives: canvas stretcher

Build a Basic Box

One of the most basic applications of the box form. Used to stretch canvas for painting or embroidery.

One of the most basic applications of the box form. Used to stretch canvas for painting or embroidery.

Tools:
Saw
Hammer

Materials:
Wood
Nails

A box is one of the most basic wood-working projects there is. It is also one of the most versatile. It is the basis for frames, containers, shelves, and more.

Detail of the slight bevel cut onto the front side of the frame.

Detail of the slight bevel cut onto the front side of the frame.

Most of these DIY projects are variations of the basic box form. It is a project worth practicing often. Two of the most common applications for an artist are illustrated here, 1) a canvas stretcher and 2) a wooden painting panel. All of my projects use primarily recycled or leftover materials. A box can be simple or complex, large or small. Check some other posts for examples.

Start by determining the size and type of box you would like to construct. Cut the four sides to size. You can use four equal sides, or a rectangular form that is long and thin. The joints can be beveled or straight. More advanced joints include dovetail. Assemble the sides together and then attach the bottom or base of the box. The top can be hinged or fitted.

One of the most basic applications of the box form. Recycled 3/4" plywood is used as the substrate for a painting panel.

Recycled 1/2″ plywood is used as the substrate for a painting panel.

Recycled wood used to construct a painting panel.

Recycled wood is used to construct painting panels.

Recycled wood used to construct a painting panel. View of the back of the panel.

View of the back of the panel.