DIY Canvas Art: Technique 1

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Combination Canvases-Pinterest2

One of the first projects that really got me into crafting was DIY canvas word art.  I know, I know, it’s been all the rage….but this kind of project is popular for a reason, right?   I’ve come across several techniques for transferring words to a canvas and I haven’t yet chosen my favorite because each has its own unique advantages and disadvantages.  The project below is my favorite canvas art that I’ve done, but I’ll feature others later in the post.  (The “love mercy” canvas shows up better in person.)


Here’s the first of three ways to transfer words onto a canvas:

Using Letter Stickers to Make Canvas Art

This is probably the most popular way (at least on Pinterest) that I’ve seen to make canvas art.   I’ve done several canvases this way and they’ve all turned out great.  In addition to the steps I provide, there are a lot of great tutorials on canvas art out there.  Some of the ones I’ve used include this tutorial and this one.  Unfortunately, for this post I don’t have any pictures of the steps, only the final results, so these tutorials may be helpful for you.

The steps are largely the same in each type of canvas word art, but you have a lot of room for creativity in design.  The first step is to choose what you want your letters to look like.  This may seem backwards, but since you’re putting letter stickers on top, the bottom layer will show through.  Here are some options that I’ve seen or done:

  • Mod Podge book pages, Bible pages or art to your canvas
  • Leave the canvas blank.  White looks great with most projects! (seen in the second linked tutorial above)
  • Paint a design or color streaks onto the blank canvas.  To create streaks, make stripes on the canvas and dry-brush the stripes to create blended streaks.
  • Use an existing piece of art to place letter stickers over (seen in the first linked tutorial above)

Once the background of your piece is done, place the letter stickers on the canvas.  I went smoothed mine with a credit card to make sure that the letters adhered to the canvas.  I have also seen that you can put a layer of Mod Podge over the sticker so the paint doesn’t seep through (I haven’t tried this, so try at your own risk!).  You can also use masking tape or painters tape to create lines, a chevron pattern, or squares.

Using a pouncer or a paintbrush, paint over the letters (and/or tape) with your desired top coat color (or colors).  Create a streaky finish with multiple colors, As an alternative, you can use spray paint for your top coat as well (again, I haven’t tried it, so trier beware). Let the canvas fully dry and then carefully peel off the stickers.  I used a toothpick to peel off the ones that wanted to keep sticking to the canvas.  Some people like to Mod Podge over them, but I’ve never really felt that it was necessary.

Canvas Art Letter Stickers


Added bonus: Kitties also like canvas art.  Or at least kitties name Oliver.  A multi-functional project: half art, half cat bed.



What are your experiences with canvas art?  Do you have a favorite technique or project?

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