How to Create Your Own Canvas Art

Canvas paintings are an incredibly simple yet effective way to spruce up your home, especially if you’re on a tight budget. It’s not entirely unrealistic to believe that you could create a finished and gorgeous piece for very little money.

DIY Canvas Art

If you’re in a new location with walls that are looking rather sparse, or in the same old place but find yourself becoming increasingly bored and uninspired by its look, then creating a canvas piece is an ideal way to fill up the walls with colour, character, and a personal touch. By choosing to go DIY rather than just buying a canvas piece, you can better reflect who you are through your wall decor, and achieve more accurately the look and atmosphere you want to cultivate in your room or perhaps your entire house. After all, it is highly unlikely that you may stumble upon a canvas piece that hits all the right spots – in terms of colour, shape, size and so forth, so who knows, you might have to call upon yourself to create what you have envisioned in your mind! Regardless of how grand or humble your abode may be, a few DIY canvas pieces will help to make it feel like home.

And of course, if it’s a piece that you have made with your own hands then it’s one of a kind, rather than an off-the-shelf piece that many others can also acquire for their homes. It would be difficult, nigh on impossible, for someone to replicate exactly the piece that you produced (and if they do want one just like it, then you may just have discovered a new talent!).It certainly doesn’t hurt that you can add this breath of fresh air in your home without being forced to drain your wallet!

DIY Wall Art

Another, perhaps unexpected, benefit of creating your own DIY canvas is the potential benefit to your mental health. Art is often therapeutic for many as it gives them a chance to switch off from the hustle and bustle of daily life and instead focus their scattered thoughts onto one task, as well as express any suppressed creativity and use up any extra energy that they have left. In this sense, making your own DIY canvas could prove to be as relaxing as it is rewarding!

If you’d like to have more family portraits around the house or maybe you or someone you know took a photograph that you’re really proud of, then you can display it in your home by simply transferring the photo onto canvas and making your own canvas print. It may sound like a lengthy and complex procedure but in actual fact, there is not much to it. It would also be significantly cheaper than buying a professional canvas print of your photos. You don’t need any special equipment and you won’t be required to break the bank either! Before you begin gathering equipment and getting started with the canvas, you, of course, need to pick out a favourite photo (or more than one if you buy multiple canvases) that you would like to display on your walls. The main things you really need are a canvas, a brush to paint with, paint (optional) and any kind of craft glue / Mod Podge / PVA. You’ll also need to print out your photo of choice, though the paper need not be fancy as average printer paper will do the job just fine.

To begin, apply a layer of your craft glue to the surface of the bare canvas. Then position your print onto the canvas, taking extra care to make sure it is being applied neatly. Make sure the edges of the photo and are canvas matching up, with no unsightly bumps. Then leave the canvas for an hour or so, so that the craft glue can dry and the print can firmly stick itself to the canvas. Next, if you wish, you can add an extra layer of Mod Podge, or PVA mixed with water, over the photo. Like before, be sure to give this layer time to dry completely. And there you go, your canvas print is done! Now it’s up to you what you wish to do with it, and where you wish to hang it in your home.

You can also use vinyl stickers to add quotes or special dates and names to a canvas, for that extra-special personal touch in your home. They are remarkably easy to use – perfect for a beginner who may be wary of their artistic abilities! Of course, if you search around you can find vinyl stickers in a variety of hues, fonts, and sizes, so the choice is yours as to whether you want to go for something subtle or something bold with your canvas piece/s. Depending on your selection of font/s, you make your canvas piece chic, minimalist, abstract or maybe traditional, as per the general theme of the room where it will be displayed. However, take extra care to ensure that your vinyl stickers are not the permanent kind, as this will lead to difficulties when you need to remove the stickers from the canvas.


First, decide on a colour (or maybe more than one) for your letters, and then paint your entire canvas in this colour. Be sure to let this paint dry before proceeding with the next steps. Once you are sure the canvas has dried place your vinyl stickers onto the canvas, taking care to make sure they are positioned exactly as you want them to be. If your vinyl stickers are meant to be in a straight line then use a ruler to ensure that no stickers are out of place as this can ruin the clean and professional effect. Once the stickers have been applied properly, repaint your canvas – but this time with the background colour/s of your choice. The vinyl stickers will ensure that only the background is painted and the letters retain the original colour. When your canvas has almost completely dried it is time to take off the vinyl stickers. Once the stickers have been removed you may need to neaten up the edges of the letters with a paint brush for a neater look. And voila, your canvas is complete, ready to grace any wall and take your interior up a notch!

If you like to think yourself quite the DIY expert (or you just want a challenge!) then you should consider using stencils instead of stickers as they allow you to create a more intricate background for your letters. Again you can also use the stencils to write out a meaningful quote or quirky saying. Stencils will really take the canvas up a notch, though it must be said that for this reason they’ll ask to require more of your time than vinyl stickers, so make sure you’ve cleared your schedule before getting paint all over your hands!

All you’ll really need for this project are stencils, a ruler, paintbrushes, paint and of course a canvas, which can be whichever size you fancy. This time, begin again by painting the background onto your canvas and then leave it to dry. Once that’s done, position your stencils onto the canvas, ensuring that they are all exactly where they need to be. Now you can paint over your letters, after which you need to remove the stencils so that you can clean up the outlines of your letters with a paintbrush. The paintbrush will be able to pick up any excess paint that may have leaked outside of the lettering, and a paper towel will do the same job too. Once you are satisfied with the letter’s look, move on to the next one, and repeat the process. Soon enough, you’ll be left with the finished piece to hang and admire!

Sticking with the letters idea, if neither vinyl stickers nor stencils sound particularly appealing, or if you think that they may be a little more challenging for you, then it’s worth considering trying out collage on your canvas. Now, of course, collage doesn’t limit you to just words and phrases, as you can also create images and portraits, as well as patterns, abstract designs and pretty much anything else you can think of! You can add geometric designs for a more sophisticated look, like shapes intertwined with lines and dots for something sharp and clean. Collage can also be a fun activity for the little ones and can be a fun way to spend time with them and create a charming decoration piece. Collage, of course, omits the need for paint, which can sometimes be a little messy and may at times need the deft hand of an experienced artist! You can cut letters out of magazines for that glossy matte look, or alternatively cut letters out of a newspaper for a more mysterious and antique look. Of course, you could sketch some letters onto a card and cut those out, as this would lead you to have more choice in the kind of hues you want for your canvas. If you’re feeling a bit more adventurous, you could cut letters out of different fabrics like velvet and silk, for a chic and elegant look. Collage is probably one of the easiest ways to add varying textures to your canvas, and make it infinitely more interesting to look at.

Canvas Artwork

Before beginning with any lettering, apply your background colour to the canvas, and of course, try and choose a colour beforehand that complements your lettering in one way or another. Once the canvas has been painted, leave it to dry. Next, cut out your letters (if they haven’t already been) and position them onto the canvas. Once you are satisfied with their placement to apply to the back of the letters any kind of craft glue, like PVA or Mod Podge. Take care to ensure that the letters have been applied smoothly onto the surface with no bumps and rifts. It can help to have marked lightly on the canvas where you are wanting the letters to go whilst you were positioning them. Once the letters have been glued on, leave the canvas to dry once more. If any edges are sticking out or lifting off the surface, apply extra glue to keep them down permanently. Once the canvas has fully dried, it is ready for you to hang up on an accent wall or above your TV!

So there you have it, these were some reasons why making your own DIY canvas could be the right solution for your home and your wallet, as well as some ideas as to what you could do with just a simple white canvas. If you have children, it could be a fun way to get them involved too, but regardless, give it a go and you may surprise yourself with what you achieve!

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