DIY Hanging canvas sign

When we began packing up our house to move, I started with reorganizing my craft area in the basement. It was incredibly overwhelming but needed to be done months ago. I had found so much stuff that I had bought to start a project and then never finish. It was ridiculous. I have a true problem!

We are trying to avoid moving a lot of things (like anyone, I think) so I set out to find some projects to do with all the stuff I found. I found a (well, 3 packs) pack of 3 5×7 flat canvases. White canvases are beautiful for me! I can’t paint actual things (if that makes sense) but I love to paint. So I set out to find a 3 tiered hanging sign tutorial for our front door on our new house. No such luck. So here is one! 🙂

(FYI, this took me 2 days  just because I had a million things going on in addition to this. Also, I did it one piece at a time (just in case of a giant fail, I didn’t want to ruin all 3 canvases) but I would recommend doing all 3 at once. It will go by much quicker because while you’re waiting for it to dry, you can work on the next one.)

Here is your supply list:

*Pack of canvases (I used 5×7 but you could use any size really)
*Paints of your choice (I am doing a blue and gray color scheme)
*Sponge brushes
*Super super thin paintbrush
*Paint pen
*Glue (I love Aleen’s tacky glue for pretty much everything)
*Clear acrylic spray (because I pretty much finish all my projects with it)
*Contact paper
*And of course, trusty wax paper (I will buy a silicone mat – I WILL!)

Here is the brand of canvas…

I started out by designing what I wanted on Publisher and playing around with colors to see what colors I wanted to do. After I chose, I went to Cricut Design Space and cut out every element on a 5×7 “canvas” on the contact paper (which I picked up at the Dollar Tree). If I do this again, I would pick a colored contact paper. I tried to take pictures of it all but I couldn’t get a good one because it’s all clear.

You don’t need a Cricut to do this project! You can print out your design on paper and then cut it out with an exact-o knife on the contact paper. Or you could freehand it..but that terrifies me.

I love Americana acrylic paint! I use it for everything. These are the 3 colors I chose (in addition to the white paint pen).

First things first, take your beautiful white canvas….

(I just couldn’t help myself and had to take a picture!)
And paint it your base coat (in my case, gray). I did one coat and let it dry (this is very important in this whole process! You have to let your layers dry!) and then did a second coat to get all the little nooks and crannies in my canvas. I do my work by the backdoor to get good pictures, so I just let mine sit in the sun to dry quicker because I am extremely impatient.

Acrylic paint is awesome because it dries super fast. Once your second layer is completely dry, it’s time to start stenciling. Take your stencil (I cut each out on a 5×7 rectangle so I knew exactly where to place it on the canvas and didn’t have to eyeball them) and place it on the canvas. I started freaking out initially because it wasn’t sticking at all. So the best way to do this is to push, not rub, down the edges of the cut part onto the canvas and then push down the rest of it. Use your fingertips and the palm of your hand.

So there is the stencil all set up on the canvas. Here’s the trick….take your base coat (in my case, gray) and paint it on the canvas and around the stencil. What this does is seal your edges and if anything seeps through the contact paper, it’s the same color as the bottom coat so it won’t matter. I did one coat of this all around. Make sure you seal ALL edges. I went about 1/2 an inch around the whole thing just to make sure. I also painted the inside of the “frame” as well, just to keep it all even.

Once your 1 coat is dry (more waiting – trust me, it’s worth it!), it’s time to choose your next color. In my case, this was the light blue. Whatever color you want the “frame” part of your art. Paint on that color paying attention to the edges.

Depending on the dark and light of your colors, you may only need one coat. I needed 2 because you could still see the gray peeking through the light blue.

Soooo beautiful. Gosh I am a craft nerd.

Next, after that is dry and you have taken off the contact paper, you want to attach your words (or your top layer whether it’s words, a design, whatever).

This one is more intricate than the frame, so you have to pay special attention to the inside parts of the letters where the paint might seep through. I have to say also, this was the hardest part of the project – adding the little insides of the “e,” “d,” and “s.” Such a pain in the butt to get it perfectly centered in the letter. I whipped out my Cricut picker tool (love love love this thing – if you have a Cricuit, you need this tool) Just don’t step on it. For the love of God, don’t step on it.

I used this tool to move around the tiny pieces in the letters and I used the round part to rub those tiny pieces down.

Take your second color that you used (in my case, the light blue) and paint a base coat again to seal in those edges. Once that is dry, paint it the color you want it. In my case, the bright blue.

This freaked me out because the sharp edges (like in the “n”) were popping up as I was painting! The idea of doing the first coat of light blue is to keep that from happening. So I just painted with the edge (so bottom to top). Also, when I first started painting with the bright blue, I dabbed instead of brushed. I did 2 coats of this blue on the words.  (picture above is after one coat, picture below is after 2)

Again, after it dries, CAREFULLY (also a word not in my crafting dictionary) peel off the “friends” contact paper stencil. Tada! My “friends” canvas turned out (dare I say) perfect.

The other 2 on the other hand, not so much. So, here is how “gather” turned out (sorry for the awful lighting – this was at 9pm)

So what I did was took a little bit of the light blue paint on my super super thin brush and touched it up. The acrylic paint is layered on the canvas so it sits up a little so it’s easy to fix the boo boos. Here it is after…

You can’t even tell!

Anyway, after you peel off your last layer, it’s time to give it some dimension. I took my white paint pen and traced the frame to make it pop a little bit.

Here is a close up…very simple and makes it look very nice!

Then I brought them outside and sprayed them with my handy dandy acrylic sealer that I pretty much spray on everything.

Now it’s time to attach them together with your ribbon. I chose to do 2 ribbons to attach them. Why? Don’t know. Just did.

All I did was glue the ribbon on the back of the canvases, like so…

And then when it dries, ta da! You’re all set to hang it up! (Mine is going straight into a moving box) 😉

 Happy crafting! I may add this to my Etsy shop after we get settled in the new house!

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