How To Make a Canvas Print

You’d normally think of canvas as a material used for oil paintings, or that durable cloth used for tents. But why not explore it as a material for printing your photos, so you can have exquisite canvas prints? Whether portraits of your favorite pets, or the most majestic of landscapes, using canvas as a print material adds a touch of creativity to your photos. An added bonus is that printing on canvas using your computer printer is a cost-effective and surprisingly simple task.

You will need the following tools and equipment.

  • An ink-jet printer with a reasonable resolution. Most printers offer a 4800 dpi (dots per inch) resolution, but depending on your needs, 1200 dpi is sufficient for home applications.
  • Ink cartridges. You don’t want to run out of ink while printing! Check the ink levels inside your printer and gauge whether it is enough for your printing requirements. You can usually check this with your printer’s supplied software.
  • Canvas sheets cut out to fit your printer tray. Most stores carry pre-cut canvas sheets, and are in the photo supplies section similar to photo papers. If you want to customize your canvas sheets, you can order canvas from a textile store and cut the canvas sheets yourself. Take precaution in choosing the appropriate grade or thickness of the canvas. Remember that the canvas has to go through the printer, and should be pliable enough to move inside the printer’s rollers.
  • A digital photo with good resolution. As a rule of thumb, 5 megapixel cameras can clearly print up to A4 size canvas sheets. If the photo you want to print does not have a digital copy, consider using a scanner to digitize the photo, so you can easily do post-production, editing and printing.

Now that you’ve gathered the necessary materials and equipment for this crafty endeavor, all you need are simple steps and programs in your computer to print on canvas.

  1. Open your scanned photo or digital file with a picture viewer. Programs such as ACDSee or Windows Photo and Fax Viewer are more commonly used. Higher end applications like Adobe Photoshop are also ideal, if you need to do post-production.
  2. Open the Page Setup Menu to determine the size of the print that you desire. Unless you’re planning to print on a custom size, most formats (A4, Letter 8.5 x 11, Legal 8.5 x 13) are pre-set in the menu and can easily be selected.
  3. Open the Print Menu and select the Print Quality to be used. For photos, choose the best quality to avoid the dot-matrix effect on your photos.
  4. Print away!
  5. Remember that you are printing on cloth – allow adequate time for the ink to be absorbed by the canvas, and try not to touch the canvas until completely dry. Most water-based inks dry within ten minutes, while ink that contains oil components will take longer.
  6. Set down your canvas print on a piece of paper to allow excess ink to drip and be absorbed by the paper.
  7. You may want to frame your photos to give them an added touch of elegance.

Like most masterpieces found in an art gallery, you can have your personal photos printed on a clever material like canvas, done in the convenience of your own home. As canvas prints can look like paintings, these can be great additions to your wall when framed properly.


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