My sister was the first person to introduce me to reverse canvas DIY projects. She had moved into an apartment and was looking for an inexpensive way to decorate. I honestly didn’t really know what she was talking about and had a hard time visualizing what she meant. How do you “reverse” a canvas? Many Pinterest searches later, I found a wide variety of different reverse canvas DIY projects.
A stretch canvas
Assorted scrapbook paper
The first thing you need is a blank stretch canvas. You can find them for pretty cheap at Michael’s or your local craft store. They look like this:
The next thing you need to do is remove the stretched canvas from the frame. Flip the canvas over and either cut the canvas off using a blade, or just rip the canvas off of the staples. Below you can see what method I opted to use. Don’t worry if it looks a little messy or ugly! The outer edges of the canvas will be cut off later.
Paint the wooden frame any color you would like. I used gold spray paint for these, however, adding a bold color will instantly turn your reverse canvas DIY project into a focal accent piece!
Once the frame has dried, you can reattach your canvas. Some people prefer to do this step after they’ve already decorated their canvas. However, I choose to do this step first because I am a lazy crafter. This step ensures that everything will fit in the frame the way I want it without precise measurements.
First, lay your frame down so that the staples are facing up. Lay the canvas on top of the frame, ensuring that the entire frame is covered. Use a staple gun to re-attach the canvas. If staple guns make you nervous, you can also use hot glue. After the canvas has been anchored in one spot, make sure you pull the canvas tight as you attach the other sides. This ensures that your reattached canvas is taught. If your canvas isn’t tight, you run the risk of the canvas sagging and making weird shadows when placed on the wall. Remove the excess canvas using scissors or a blade.
Your canvas should now look like this:
Here comes the fun part! The world is, quite literally, a blank canvas for you to do whatever you want! Below are three different ideas to easily decorate your canvas.
Got a favorite quote? Need some daily inspiration? Put it on your canvas! Our dining room is plant themed, so I decided to put a quote that matched the theme. For Christmas, I was generously gifted with a Cricut Explore Air 2, so I was able to cut out my words using a mix of vinyl and patterned scrapbook paper. If you choose to go this route, you can simply adhere your vinyl or glue your paper directly onto the canvas.
The coolest thing about using patterned scrapbook paper is that you can choose any pattern or color you want! There are endless patterns and colors to choose from, and the paper can be bought in a booklet or even in single sheets for very little money.
If you don’t have access to scrapbook paper, plain card stock is always an option! You can use things like markers, watercolor, or colored pencils to decorate your image before gluing it to the canvas.
Again, using a stencil and different pieces of patterned scrapbook paper, I cut out smaller images of different tropical leaves. I put them in a pattern that I liked and glued them on to the canvas.
Another option is to use a stamp. Stamps provide an awesome, easy way to use the same image, but without rigid uniformity. Even if you use the same stamp, it will look different due to the amount of ink or pressure you use each time. You can also use different colored ink pads to spice things up a little.
What I Love About This Project:
The first thing I love is how customizable it is. I have spent a disgusting and embarrassing amount of time obsessively scouring through stores like HomeGoods, TJ Maxx, and Target for the perfect piece of wall art. I’ve come to realize that I’m really not easy to please. I often find myself looking at wall decorations and saying things like:
“I love this, BUT…”
“I would love this if it came in a different color…”
“I wish this wall art was bigger.”
“This wall art is too big for my wall.”
“This is too plain.”
“This is too busy looking.”
Honestly, I could keep going but I think you get the point. This Reverse Canvas DIY project allows you to pick the size, color, and pattern of your wall art.
Another thing I love about this project is how inexpensive this project was. I have to tell you, wall art is not cheap. I’m afraid to say I have a “Joanna Gaines” taste with a “teacher and dog mom of one budget.” In other words, the things I like always seem to be more than I can afford. Also, as an avid HGTV watcher, I know that different interior styles gain popularity and lose popularity all the time. Take for example, the move from dark kitchens to all white kitchens. Just a few years ago, dark cabinets with colored, glass, backsplashes and dark, granite countertops were a thing. Nowadays, people are leaning more towards all white cabinets, subway tile backsplashes and quartz countertops, but even that is changing as we speak. The two looks are completely different from one another and this trend has changed only over the past couple of years! That being said, it can be really, really expensive to keep buying new decor.
Finally, I love how simple this project is. Some projects that are marketed as “DIY” require things like saws, sanders, and other things that you just wouldn’t find around your house. The average person doing this project can easily attain the materials needed from their local craft store, and only need a minimal (if any) amount of construction knowledge. This truly is something you can “do yourself.”
With those three things in mind, this reverse DIY canvas project is an easy and inexpensive way to turn an ordinary, blank, canvas into a beautiful piece of wall art that fits your exact style and decor!
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