The first I want to tell you before getting into the details of this project, is that the instructions are more time consuming than they look. The first time I did this I thought, “Wow, I’m literally never doing this again!” and then I have proceeded to make more of these signs. So, don’t let the instructions scare you away. Remember, this is a mom’s blog, and I am a mom who accomplished this DIY project in a couple nap times.
PS: they would make amazing Christmas gifts!
DIY Framed Canvas Sign
A canvas – any size or shape you want
1×3 pine board (or pallet wood works well, if you’re okay with its width)
Water and paintbrushes (I prefer a wide brush and a fine tip)
Black paint pen
Sand paper (if you’re using pallet wood)
1. Find a font that you want, either one that came pre-loaded on your computer, or one online to download. It is super easy and there are tons of quick tutorials found with a Google search. I typically use dafont.com for my cutesy fonts.
2. Type out your text and then flip it. My place of choice to do this is Word. To do this in Word, all you have to do is insert a text box, type in your quote, and then flip it. To flip it, right click on your text box, choose Format Shape, then go to 3-D Rotation. In the X Rotation type 180°. All done.
4. Once the words are placed where you like them, dip your wide brush in water and “paint” over a word. Then take the end of your fine tip paintbrush (the non-brush side) and trace over the letters. Press firmly. You will see the ink getting darker on the paper (like below) when it’s transferring to the canvas. Repeat until all your words are done.
Tips: Be careful not to use too much water and over-saturate, as the ink will bleed and the paper will rip. Also, you may want to have a something to put under your canvas so you can put pressure on it (like a wood block or a textbook). When I did this with a canvas from Walmart, I had to use a wood block under it because it was too thin and flimsy. The cheaper ones that I got at Hobby Lobby seemed to be thicker and so I didn’t need something to put underneath it.
5. Once all of your letters have been transferred, take your black paint pen and trace over the words. Since this is a Charlie Brown quote, I wanted to add the tree and I also wanted it to look like a kid wrote it. So I went for a scattered format. This works well for me because then I don’t have to worry too much about a big mess up. I wasn’t originally going to color in the tree, but I did. You can truly make it whatever you want. If you can print it, you can do it.
6. While you’re letting your paint dry, make the frame. Measure the height of the canvas and cut two boards the same height. Then measure the width of the canvas plus the width of the 1×3 you already cut. Then glue one bottom piece and the two side pieces together, remembering to put the side pieces on top of the bottom piece (not on the sides of it). I like to reinforce the wood glue with nails, but that is optional. (I forgot to get a picture of this step, but it should look like a box-y “U” before you put the canvas in it.)
I will be completely honest with you: my husband does step 6 for me because he’s awesome and he likes to do it…BUT, it’s something I could do myself if I chose to, and you can, too.
7. Stain your wood if you’re choosing to stain it. It will need a little drying time.
8. Slide your canvas into the frame. It will be a tight fit. Then add the top piece with wood glue. Again, I like to reinforce with nails, but it will work without it.
And that’s it, you’re all done.