for making Gallery Wrap prints –
We’ve all seen ads for gallery wrap prints – but have you considering doing your own? It can be done easily (and less expensively than the commercial alternatives).
- Image file of your choice
- Print program
- Printer capable of printing on canvas
- Canvas (sheet or roll depending on your printer)
- Canvas stretcher bars
- Staples, glue, etc. for attaching the canvas to the stretcher bars
- Canvas/print varnish to preserve & protect your uncovered print
1. Prepare your file for printing. Special consideration of the image’s border is required when making a gallery wrap since a border of some sort is required where the print “wraps” around the sides. You probably don’t want to simply wrap the image around the edges as this may cut off important parts of the picture. Three basic types of borders are typical for gallery wraps.
- Solid color
- Mirror (as in my example – note the left edge)
- Variations of these three lead to numerous possibilities as seen here (look at the six examples part way down the site’s page).
Sizing and printing the border area of the print may be the most difficult part of the process unless your print program (and/or you) is up to the task. I use what many believe is the best print program in the world – QImage. Among QImage’s many features is the option to create any of the three gallery wrap border options mentioned above with almost zero effort – you do nothing more than specify the border’s size and type, and the rest is automatic.
2. Print your image.
3. Now you’re ready to wrap your canvas using your stretcher bars. This can be easy or moderately difficult depending on the bars you have. I’m always for making life easy and so here’s my recommendation – buy these gallery wrap stretcher bars (watch the video; a trial kit is available). The claim is that the entire wrapping process takes 2 minutes. Well, it took me twice that on my first try!! ;-) Seriously, it is so fast, simple and fool proof (with no stapling, hammering, tugging, pulling, stretching, etc.) that I can’t imagine doing it any other way. (Hahnemuhle makes a similar system. It’s a bit more expensive than the one I used but seems to be almost identical in concept.)
4. And – that’s it. You’re done unless you want to apply protective varnish over your canvas (probably a good idea from several points of view).
Here’s the rear view of my gallery wrap. It’s solid & sturdy, reasonably light, and I’m very pleased with the result. Give it a try.