Canvas Clips and Offset Clips

You have been steadily working and are now near the end of your project. The paint has dried on the canvas, the canvas has been stretched, and the frame selected. Now you put the canvas in the frame… whoops! The canvas sticks out of the back of the frame.

You say, “Now, how do I hold the stretcher in the frame?”

We say, “Try using canvas clips or offset clips.”

These handy canvas clips were designed for just this situation, where the stretched canvas is deeper than the rabbet of the frame. Quick and easy to install, they will hold the canvas securely in the frame. They will fit over 1 ½” to 1 ¾” wide stretcher bars.
pack of canvas clips

To use, simply push the double pointed end into the space between the stretcher and the frame.
insert canvas clip

Then push the canvas clip down so that is clips over the stretcher bar.
canvas clip not pushed down
canvas clip pressed down over stretcher

They are removable and reusable. How easy is that! Except for hanging, your project is completed.
3 canvas clips in place

If your stretcher bars are larger than 1 ¾” wide you will need to use offset clips, which can be found at hardware stores.
offset clips

 They require some extra effort, but will hold the larger work safe and secure in the frame.

Offset clips come in 7 sizes (1/8, ¼, 3/8, ½, ¾, 1, 1 ¼), which is very helpful considering the wide variety of rabbet depths and stretcher bar sizes on the market.

To use them, put your stretched canvas in the frame. Measure the distance from the frame back to the back of the stretcher bar.
measure distance

 Then select the offset clip that is closest to your measurement. If your measurement is between two sizes, choose the smaller.

Now, how many to use? There is no set standard for this. For example, on a 16 x 20, one might put 2 on each 20” length and 1 on each 16” length. As your work gets larger, use additional ones.

Clip attachment- Position the clips where you want them on the frame and mark the hole positions.
mark position of clips

Drill a small pilot hole at each mark on the frame and stretcher. CAUTION: Do not drill through the frame or stretcher bar. Set your offset clips over the holes and screw them down. Hang your finished framing and you are done.
completed frame with offset clips

Offset clips can also be used for securing canvases that are lower than the back of the frame as well as for attaching linen liners. An advantage over nailing the canvas’ or liner to the frame or using framer’s points is that the offset clips are easily removable when reframing.

Every framing project presents opportunities to learn something new. Try some of these clips on your canvas framing and see how they work for you.

Consult our other canvas articles for more information:
Why Should I Frame My Canvas Painting?
Using Linen Liners for Art and Framing
How to Choose a Frame for a Stretched Canvas
How to Frame a Canvas with a Canvas Floater
Calculating the Float with a Float Frame
Do You Stretch Large Canvas?
What Frames Are Best With Linen Liners?