Preparing the Canvas

Before setting any computer parts on the canvas, I prepare the back so it can hang on the wall.  These art canvases come wrapped in plastic and I recommend leaving most of the plastic wrap on at this stage to protect the front of the canvas.  As you will see below, I'll cut part of the plastic wrap in the back to allow for attaching the D-ring hangers and the (optional) offset clips for the foam board backing.

In addition to the parts shown in the previous section, we will need several common tools for this section.  First, we will need to cut away some of the plastic wrap in back with a knife or similar tool.

Shown here are 3 tools, any of which can be used to cut out a rectangular section of plastic wrap behind the canvas: an "X-Acto" style knife, a pocket knife and a ceramic blade like this Slice Craft Knife carried by Adafruit.

Choose your weapon and then cut away the protective plastic in the rectangular section behind the canvas.  This will allow for leaving the front protective plastic wrap on while attaching the hanging hardware in back.

Now that the protective plastic has been removed in back we can access the space just behind the canvas. Here I have opened up the hanging wire and D-rings.  Curiously, the D-rings come in packs of 3. We will only need 2 D-rings for this. And there is enough hanging wire in this pack for many, many CompuCanvases.

Shown here are two more basic tools we'll need: a wire cutter to cut a section of the hanging wire and a Phillips screwdriver for the D-ring screws.

I'm not sure if there is an optimal place for the hanging wire, but I recommend placing it near the top, a few inches down. On this canvas the paper labeling extends down about 3 inches. I poke a starter hole with a screw, as shown in the picture, in the middle of the wood just below the paper.

Then screw in this D-ring, and repeat the process of marking a spot and screwing in the D-ring on the other side of the canvas.

Now with both D-rings attached, cut a section of the hanging wire about 17 inches (my rule of thumb for this is to take the width of the canvas - 11 inches - and add 6 more inches to that).

I crimp the wire with my fingers to measure out the middle section.  It's important to leave a little slack so it's not too difficult to hang on the wall, but don't leave so much slack that the wire is visible over the top of the canvas.

This series of pictures shows how I wrap the hanging wire around itself to attach it to the D-rings. Looping it around 7-10 times should be plenty to keep it on the wall, and you can cut away any extra hanging  wire with the wire cutter tool.

Now, repeat the wire-looping exercise described above on the other D-ring and you will have a canvas that can hang on the wall!

Note in this picture how there is just about half an inch of slack in the hanging wire.  It's not an exact science, but this is about right.

If you got the 8x10 inch foam board and offset clips for attaching parts behind the canvas, now is the time to add them.  Get 2 of the offset clips with their screws ready for the next step.

Warning! When I took the original pictures here I thought the offset clips would be fine about 2.5 inches from the edge of the canvas. But midway through the next section, I realized that on the left side, this will interfere with one of the cables.

The additional pictures here show how I moved the left offset clip another inch toward the center.  I also added another offset clip on the top right (see the final picture).

Note also that the holes here are little below the center of the wood frame, but not so low that it might break through the edge of the wood as it gets screwed in. For the offset clip on top, make sure to leave a little extra space so the foam board can easily slide in and out.

Now you have a blank canvas that hangs on the wall. Proceed to the next section to learn how to place a Raspberry Pi and other computer parts into the canvas assembly.

This guide was first published on Dec 11, 2019. It was last updated on Dec 11, 2019. This page (Preparing the Canvas) was last updated on Apr 01, 2020.