The reverse canvas is an easy and budget friendly way to update your home decor! This easy DIY tutorial will show you exactly how to make a reverse canvas, plus how to hang it on the wall. There’s nothing like a cheap and simple craft to make your home more beautiful!
Reverse Canvas DIY Tutorial
When I want a quick sign to hang in any room in my home, this nice and easy project is my go-to! The results still amaze me every time.
There are a few different ways you can do this depending on what type of equipment you have available to use. You can find them all in our tutorial below.
Step 1. Disassemble your canvas
First off, pick up some canvas frames from either Michaels, Dollarama, or order some from Amazon.
You are looking for the hollow open-back type frame with canvas stretched on.
Once you have your frame, place it upside down and use an exact-o knife to cut your canvas around the staples on the frame. Be careful with the canvas, since you will use this to make your reverse canvas sign image.
It’s amazing how beautiful the frames are that are hidden away under that canvas.
Now that you have the canvas off, you can remove the staples.
This is my favorite tool for pulling out staples when I upholster and it works great for our reverse canvas signs too. You can find a similar one here on Amazon.
Do not remove any staples in the corners of the frame because they are helping hold it together.
Step 2. Sand & stain your frame.
Once the frame is staple-free you can give it a quick sanding if need be, and then stain it.
I do not fill my staple holes in the frame because they tend to show through after staining.
Therefore if you are filling any holes, test it on the back, even if the product says stainable.
Now you can do a few coats of stain, I usually do 2-3 coats depending if I’m layering stain colours or not.
My favorite combination right now is Dark Walnut with Ebony overtop, it is such a deep beautiful color. Jacobean is another one of my all-time favorite stains.
Step 3. Designing your reverse canvas sign
Now, back to your canvas, there are a few options you can choose from to complete this next step of the tutorial.
- You can do a printable straight onto your canvas by using the canvas in your printer (I have never tried this but here’s a link to printing on canvas).
- You can also print on cardstock and use that as your framed image, instead of the canvas.
- If you have a cutting machine, like a Cricut, you can simply cut your vinyl out on heat transfer vinyl and press it onto the canvas.
- You can also hand letter your canvas, whether you trace a printable or freehand it.
Pick whatever is most convenient for you, it will be beautiful no matter what. I usually use my cutting machine and make mine using vinyl.
*Fun Alternative – paint the canvas background in black chalkboard paint for another great look!
Want more ideas for quotes?
Step 4. Assemble the Reverse Canvas Sign
Once your canvas is complete then it is time to frame it. Place your canvas right side up and place your frame on top.
Make sure to center your image. Sometimes I use a bit of tape to secure it to the frame at this point because it helps to keep it from moving around while I secure it into place.
Next, flip the canvas with the frame over onto the front of the frame. Now, staple your canvas into place.
I like to staple it once in the middle of all four sides. Then, after it is trimmed, I will come back and staple around to the corners.
There is no need to pull tightly, in fact, this may distort your canvas.
Step 5. Trim your canvas
Once your canvas is secured to the frame, trim off the excess canvas. The easiest way I have found to do this is to flip it upside right and use an exact-o knife to cut it right against the edges.
Don’t forget to go back and staple out the rest.
Step 6. Hanging the reverse canvas sign
You can add a saw hanger to the back center of the frame for hanging. I like to use a small hammer and needle nose pliers so I don’t whack my fingers.
You can hang the reverse canvas or use a plate holder to display. Some frames will stand alone without any support depending on the style so you can place them on shelves too.
Think of all the farmhouse decor possibilities now that you know how to make a reverse canvas!
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Have you made your own reverse canvas sign? We would love to see the finished project! Let us know if this DIY tutorial was helpful or if you need any extra tips!
If you like humour check out our Funny Men’s Boxers tutorial!
Check out our Mop & Broom Holder tutorial for another quick and easy project you can make for your home!