Reverse Canvas Art

6 Materials
3 Hours

So I made a couple of these for my wedding and got so many compliments on them. One of my closest friends recently got her first apartment on her own, she is a single mom of three amazing little boys, works full time and is also in school for dental hygiene, so to say she’s always last on her own list to care for is an understatement! So I thought I would make her a house warming gift to remind her every day that she’s powerful and amazing! Here’s the process!

Gather supplies

So I used my cricut for this project with heat transfer vinyl, this is optional! If you have wonderful handwriting you could free hand this, or use carbon paper to trace a design you print off the computer, or even stencil it! The options are endless, but since I used my cricut I’m also going to throw a few cricut hacks in there too!

you will need!

  1. canvas in size of choice, I used 16x20
  2. box cutter
  3. staple remover
  4. heat transfers vinyl (if using cricut)
  5. paint or stain for frame
  6. hot glue gun
  7. iron or easy press
Pull the staples

Okay, really this step is kind of optional. You could simple cut the canvas off, the back will still be the back in the final step, but pulling the staples will make the finished project much neater!

Love this tool

Side story! We got a new couch last year, and the new couch got damaged shortly after, they came to see if it could be repaired and they had this tool! I had to have it! It’s an upholstery tool and it’s awesome! I found it at Home Depot.

Sand the frame

Once the canvas is removed flip the frame over to the front side, the side without all the staple holes and sand it well.

Create your design

Or find it on google! I searched for women empowerment printables and this one came up! I love it! It was so perfect! So I saved it to my device and uploaded and edited it with my cricut ap. Resize it to fit your canvas, I sized mine to 11.5 x15.5 to give a 1 inch margin on all sides.

Mirror the design

Always. Always. ALWAYS mirror for HTV.... I’ve made this mistake a couple times. It’s not fun! While this is cutting (Large designs take some time to cut and “weed” which if you don’t have a vinyl cutter basically means removing all the vinyl from around your design that’s been cut) I’m going to take care of the frame and the canvas!

Trim the canvas

I used a box cutter to trim down the canvas to fit the back of the frame since we won’t be wrapping the canvas around the frame and the frame will be exposed on the front of the piece.

Work work work

I love watching this thing work. Honestly, if you’re debating getting one of these, do it! You won’t regret it! I have made my money back 3 times over on this little guy! And saved so much money on signage for my wedding, it’s insane!

Stain or paint your frame

I honestly could have done this earlier in the process butttttttt here we are. Hurricane Zeta brought some super nasty weather to Georgia so I was stuck inside, so I opted to water down some paint to use as a stain! It works really well, dries really fast, doesn’t stink and washes off your fingers easily.

Dilute and paint!

Just dilute the paint with some water, brush on, and wipe off just like you would traditional stain!

Time to weed!

With large designs I like to cut apart my design, but not all the way through the plastic backing, just through the vinyl, use your box blade and lightly cut through the vinyl. Gentle pressure is all it takes. The plastic backing it pretty tough!

Weed away the excess

So to me, it’s easier to work in small sections, but to each there own! However you like to get it done, do it :)

Hack time

Was up a piece of tape to collect all the scraps while weeding! Nothing is more annoying while doing a project than these tiny pieces blowing back onto the sticky backing or ending up all over your workspace or floor!


Lay the frame on top of the cut canvas, place your finished design onto the canvas and figure out the spacing. I’m using the unpainted side of this canvas, the front, bright white side of the canvas is painted, the more off white side that was once the back will now be the front. Mark with WHITE chalk the corners of your design, other colors may stain, remove the frame and your design and iron over your canvas to preheat the canvas. Iron over the canvas until it’s warm then replace the design on top.

Follow the directions

Follow the directions on the vinyl you purchased for the temperature and peel type, they are all different! This one was a warm peel! I always use thin craft paper in between my iron and the design, you can use parchment or a pillow case, I just always have craft paper on hand so that’s my chosen weapon!

Hack time

Save unused vinyl in the cardboard roll, write on the outside of the tube what’s inside and keep the directions for the heat needed etc all in one place! Keep the excess from getting lost or damaged and you never have to guess the brand or the heat setting!

Reattach the canvas

You can use staples if you want, I find hot glue to be the easiest for me! I just place a dot in each corner and pull the canvas nice and tight, then go back in and fill in the space in between!

Attach hanger

This honestly weighs nothing, and since my friend is renting I went with a command picture hanger. I trust the brand, they’re no damaging and will work well for this application! But you could also use a saw tooth hanger if you wanted!

Enjoy your work of Art!

I love these frames! Simple, modern, and can fit with any type of decor! Thanks for hanging out with me for this one guys! I hope you love it as much as I do! I would love to see what you create! If you use this tutorial I would love it if you would tag me in your creations! @redsrusticworkshop on Instagram!

Resources for this project:

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