How To Make an Easy Custom Canvas

Hey, y’all!

I’m finally doing a DIY project! Y’all may have thought otherwise, but I am not super crafty or good with DIYs. I have a million Pinterest ideas that I’ve never completed and a ton of craft supplies I will never use. But this little craft is something I can actually do! And, they make easy and cheap gifts (especially for us broke college students!).

You Will Need:

You Will Need

  1. Stretched Canvas (I got this 2-pack from Walmart for about $4)
  2. White Gift Tissue (About $2)
  3. Cardstock Paper (You can get a small-ish pack for about $6)
  4. Mod Podge and Craft Sponge (Mod Podge usually runs about $5 for the large jar, and the craft sponges  are less than $1 each.)
  5. Scissors
  6. Scotch Tape
  7. Clear Spray Paint (About $4)

There are three main steps to making your own custom canvas. First, you’ll need to create the image or quote you want on the canvas. Next, you’ll need to print the image. And finally, you’ll transfer the image to your canvas.


Creating Your Image

The coolest thing about these custom canvases is that they can be completely unique! You can use an old photo, an Internet image, text, or a combination. It’s completely up to you!

The easiest way to create your image or text is by using a Word document. Go to the Insert tab and select “Text Box.” In the drop-down, select “Draw Text Box.” Then draw the box as large as you need it for your canvas. In the “Shape Fill” drop-down, select the “Picture” option; then select the picture or image you want on the canvas. You can then add any desired text on top of the image.

*TIP: I use copyright-free images from and downloadable free fonts from DaFont.


Printing Your Image


Now that you’ve created the image you want on your canvas, you’ll need to print it so that it’s easily transferred. This part is probably the trickiest, so if it doesn’t work out the first time, just keep trying!

First, cut a single unfolded piece of tissue a bit larger than the cardstock paper. I like to leave about an inch of tissue on each side of the paper.


Next, tape the tissue to the cardstock so that it lies flat and is completely taut.

Once your tissue is completely affixed to the cardstock, you should be able to run it through your printer to print your desired image on the tissue.


*TIP: I find this works best with printers that load paper from the back and bring it straight through to print. It may also help to take all other paper out of the printing tray.


Transferring Your Image

Next is to transfer your printed image to your canvas. This part is also a bit tricky and time-consuming, but it’s pretty fun and still far cheaper than purchasing something similar.

First, gently cut the tissue from the cardstock, still leaving a bit on each side. It’s okay if it looks jagged or imperfect on the edges.



This is after I cut the tissue and placed it on top of the canvas.

Then, trim the excess tissue so that it covers the sides of the canvas but not much more (the less tissue you have to work with, the easier the process will be).

Next, use the Mod Podge and sponge to glue the tissue to the canvas. It’s okay if it doesn’t look perfect or completely flat after the first coat.


First Coat.jpg

Just after I applied the first coat. Note how the tissue isn’t completely affixed to the canvas just yet. That’s totally okay.



Allow several minutes for the Mod Podge to dry. Apply as many coats as necessary (don’t forget the edges!), allowing each coat to dry completely.

Finally, once the final coat of Mod Podge is completely dry, spray the canvas with 1-2 coats of clear spray paint. This will help to seal the canvas and prevent any tears or water damage.

*TIPS: Be sure to put down newspaper or a trash bag to protect your furniture from the Mod Podge. It’s non-toxic, but it has a pretty strong smell, so prepare yourself. When applying the Mod Podge to the canvas, use the sponge like a paintbrush. Make short and light strokes, and try to use the same motion throughout (If you start applying it with a top to bottom motion, try to use the same top to bottom strokes the whole time.).

That’s it! You have your very own custom canvas to liven up your room or to give as a special gift. And the best part is… it’s crazy cheap and pretty darn easy! Happy crafting, y’all!

All 4.jpg



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