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How to Create a Mirrored Edge for a Gallery Wrap


This post will show you how to create a mirrored edge for a gallery wrap in Adobe Photoshop.

UPDATE FOR 2016: We have recently released a set of Photoshop scripts that will allow you to mirror your images for gallery wrapping in seconds. Free download and step-by-step instructions.

A gallery wrap is a canvas print that is stretched onto a frame and traditionally stapled to the back edge of the frame.

Since the canvas print is visible on the outer 4 edges, common practice is to size the image to fit not only on the front face of the frame, but also the outer edges of the frame.

The easiest way to achieve this is to re-size your image to accommodate the additional thickness of the stretcher bars.

Sometimes this might not work if your entire image needs to be visible on the face of the canvas frame. Here’s how to address that issue…

Mirrored Edge

In order to keep your image entirely on the face of the canvas (but also have image around the four outer edges), you need to create a mirrored edge in Photoshop.

A mirrored edge copies the outer edge of an image to extend it without losing any of the original image.

This process is best suited for a canvas gallery wrap where an entire image must remain on the face of the frame, yet have additional image to wrap around the outer edges of the frame.

The outer edges of the frame will include the mirrored portion of the file, which will give the appearance that the entire print is flowing from the face to the edges.

The photos above and below are an example of a gallery wrap that utilizes a mirrored edge:

*Printed image photography by Michael Gilbert MA.CR.XXV

These photos show the left edge and top edge of a mirrored image. This can be created quickly and easily in Photoshop.

I have created a video tutorial that goes through all the steps from start to finish. I normally like to use Photoshop actions and keyboard shortcuts, but the method explained in this video utilizes a basic approach that is easy to understand; even for the novice user.

There is more then one way to skin a cat, so if you have any additional tips or your own method of creating gallery wraps I’d love to hear them! Post your examples below!


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