hinged canvas box

Hinged Box Made From Stretched Canvas Frames

Posted on February 11th, 2013 in Craft Attitude, Crafts

My friend, actor Loren Lester, is currently starring in the Noel Coward play “Fallen Angels” at the Pasadena Playhouse. I went to see the show and met him backstage to congratulate him on the wonderful show and the rave reviews they’ve been getting. I wanted to bring a gift that wasn’t flowers, so I made this box from two 5″ x 5″ canvas frames. I attached the two frames with hinges to make the box, and the cool thing is the back of the frames have a small square opening, so I turned them into shadow boxes that looked like proscenium stages. This box looks really elaborate and hard to make, but it was really easy. I decorated the front and back of the canvases with Craft Attitude. I tell you, it goes on canvas like butter.

hinged canvas box

hinged canvas box

What you need:

Two 5″ x 5″ stretched canvas frames

Craft Attitude film

Two 1″ square hinges

One hook and latch closure

Decorative ribbon

Step 1: Print the design you want onto a sheet of Craft Attitude with your home inkjet printer. Make sure you print it in reverse because you will be flipping the image, ink side down onto the canvas. I sized my image so it was about a quarter inch larger than the canvas on all sides. Trim the image. Spray the printed side with spray adhesive. (I used Scotch Super 77.) Then place the film ink side down onto the canvas. Rub the sheet into the canvas so the adhesive sticks, and then remove the protective backing. Smooth out bubbles and wrinkles with your fingers. Then fold the excess film onto the sides of the canvas. We’ll be covering that up later. Do the same thing with the second canvas, which will be the back of the box.

fallen angels box

Step 2: Print your desired design for the interior of the box, i.e. the back of the frame. Apply it the the back of the frame with spray adhesive like you did the front. The back of the stretched canvas frame is not smooth and perfect like the front; there are staples and woods, and even some gaps sometimes. I just covered it all up with Craft Attitude and it all looked even. Presto. Then, using an exacto-knife, cut out the square hole in the middle, using the wood frame as a guide. Do this with both stretched canvases.

stretched canvas interior

Step 3: This is optional, but I added a design to the back of the little square hole by placing a small piece of Craft Attitude film, adhered with spray adhesive. Then in this opening, I glued photos of my friend and other cast members, so it looks like they’re standing on stage.

stretched canvas box

Step 4: Cover the sides of the canvas with decorative ribbon. I found gold glitter ribbon and applied it to the sides with Fabri-Tac glue.

how to make a hinged box


Step 5: Screw hinges onto the sides of the stretched canvases to join them together. I bought 1″ hinges at the hardware store. Drill little holes first to make screwing them easier. I am not a really handy person when it comes to tools, but even this was super easy for me.

how to make a hinged box


Step 6: Screw a latch and hook onto the other side, so you can close the box. I also found this at the hardware store, right next to the hinges.

hinged box latch and hook


I just loved how this box turned out, and now I’m inspired to make all kinds of variations on it for different people. It may just be my go-to gift this year. It looks fancy, but is inexpensive and easy.

hinged canvas box

hinged box back




  1. Allie Gower says:

    This is really fun. I would like to make a little purse with a similar concept. Oh, and one to hold handmade movie coasters. Oh and one that holds a mini brag book. Oh my, so much inspiration. That film really has a MILLION applications. CRAFT ATTITUDE rocks, and so do your tutorials!

  2. Anne Grbic says:

    Very, very cool application, Allie! And, love your other ideas too.

  3. Enairama says:

    This is a great idea for doing a box for a mini album! Loved it!

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