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Canvas Sizes: How to Pick the Best Size

Whether you’re creating an elaborate gallery wall, seeking the right frame for that new photograph or picking a canvas for your next DIY, size can make or break your project. Buying something too small or too big, too wide or too tall—it’s a lot to consider. Before you start shopping, take some time to find the best fit for your home. Below we’ve outlined nine popular canvas sizes for a home decor project. Or, if you’re looking for more options, scroll down to understand how to create a custom canvas for any type of home decor or craft project

10" x 8"

10"x8" canvases are a popular choice for fill-ins in gallery walls or as a small desk or bookcase accessory. Its size makes it versatile for a variety of artwork - you can mount your favorite family photo or simply print out an image and trim to fit.

Good for: Desks, bookcases, small hallways

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10" x 14"

To upgrade to the next level, opt to use 10"x14" canvases if you have a print or piece of artwork that looks best matted. This canvas is also large enough to accommodate a photo collage - you can easily stack four 5"x7" photos into this canvas.

Good for: Small photo collages, guest bedrooms, kitchens

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12" x 12"

The 12"x12" canvas is an easy pick if you want to display a large photo, but may have limited wall space. This canvas size looks great with a single large image or broken up into a photo collage - get creative with your photo sizes!

Good for: Apartment living rooms, bathrooms, gallery walls

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24" x 10"

While odd in shape, the 24"x10" opens up more possibilities than it limits. Fit this canvas in unique places of your home like on a mantle, above a kitchen stovetop or over your bedroom headboard. This canvas looks lovely showcasing a panoramic cityscape or large family photo.

Good for: Fireplace mantels, kitchen, long hallways

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16" x 16"

Use a 16"x16" as the "wow factor" to a gallery wall or hang on its own above a bedroom dresser. With plenty of space, create a unique photo collage by combining photos and fun quotes.

Good for: Living rooms, dining rooms, guest bedrooms

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20" x 16"

Slightly larger than the 16"x16", the 20"x16" canvas allows you to display longer photos like wedding pictures, tall buildings or expansive landscapes. Hang this behind a desk or above a doorway.

Good for: Offices, game rooms, living rooms

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36" x 12"

Similar to the 24"x10", the 36"x12" canvas works well in longer hallways or over your entertainment center (it’s the same width as a 42" TV). Print inspirational quotes or your favorite travel photos on this canvas.

Good for: Living rooms, bedrooms, entryways

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20" x 30"

This tall canvas leaves a lasting impression on any room. You can opt to hang it above a sofa, but it’s also tall enough to prop up against a wall as a standalone image.

Good for: Studies, bedrooms, living rooms

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24" x 36"

Ready to really impress your guests? This large 24x36 canvas can set the stage in any room with an expansive wall, but will do best in a room where it’s the only photo.

Good for: Bedrooms, living rooms, offices

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Finding Your Perfect Canvas Size

Whether you’re shopping for artwork or creating something yourself, picking the right canvas size is critical for your one of a kind pieces. We outlined some popular choices above, but the number of standard canvas sizes available to you are in the dozens.

All canvases follow an aspect ratio, which is determined by the relationship of each side of the canvas to the others. For example, a square image has an aspect ratio of 1:1 because all sides are equal. If the aspect ratio is 1:2, that means one side is two times larger than the other.

If you don’t have the math chops to quickly calculate your desired aspect ratio, here are some other common canvas sizes:

Finding Your Perfect Canvas Size
Ratios 1:1 1:2 2:3 3:4 4:5 5:6
Canvas Sizes All Squares 10”x20”
12”x24”
20”x30”
24”x36”
9”x12”
12”x16”
8”x10”
16”x20”
8”x10”
20”x24”

Figuring out this aspect ratio is important not just so the canvas fits on your wall, but also to set the stage for your artwork. If you’ve ever seen a photo that seems too large or too small for the frame, you know that the size of a canvas can greatly impact the composition.

If you’re still unsure what canvas will work best for your photo or painting, you can quickly measure out some ratios with these few steps:

Step 1) Measure the current size of your artwork.

Step 2) Measure a ratio within that artwork’s size.

Step 3) Using cardboard or strips of paper, outline the ratio over the image.

Step 4) Adjust the position of your picture within the outline to see different ways to view it.

For example, if your picture is a standard 5"x7" photograph and you’d like to see how it would look as a square, simply overlay a 5"x5" outline cut out of cardboard. By moving the picture around, you can see how the focal point changes. You can now even increase the size within that ratio to see how an image looks blown up. For instance, taking that same 5"x5" image, it’ll have the same focal point at 10"x10" or 20"x20".

Why Canvas?

Before you resort to a regular ol’ frame to showcase your favorite photo, consider getting it professionally done as a canvas print. The material (typically cotton or linen) is hand-stretched so the fibers turn an ordinary photo into a work of art. Additionally, opting for a canvas print is actually lighter weight than other wood wall art pieces, making it ideal to change around for gallery walls or during redecorating. If you’re missing the elegance, try a framed canvas for museum gallery quality.

When you’re about to dive into a DIY project—whether it’s painting or home decor—it helps to have a plan in place to allow your creativity to flourish. Starting off with a blank canvas, use our guide above to determine the size and shape that best suits your project. Looking for the right canvas for your room? Browse all nine of our canvases to customize for your home.