How to Create a Reverse Canvas - Step by Step Tutorial

If you have been crafting in the last few months you've probably noticed that reverse canvas projects are all the rage.  Why?  Well, they are relatively inexpensive and give you a beautiful framed project for your home or as a gift.  Plus, you have some many options on canvas sizes and can really customize exactly what you want for your home or to give as a gift to someone else.  You can create a rather large finished, framed product at half the cost or less than what you might find at the store.  That is why today I want to show you how to make a reverse canvas project.

A DIY step by step  reverse canvas tutorial for Cricut or Silhouette users
This post contains affiliate links to products I recommend.  I do make a portion off any you may purchase.  See full disclosure here.

When deciding what type and size of canvas you want to purchase as your base for a reverse canvas project, it's best to measure your area.  How much space are you wanting to take up?  Will you place the canvas horizontally or vertically?  Will it hang on the wall or sit on a mantel or shelf?  Make sure to think about this before you purchase a canvas.

Next, shop canvases.  Most craft and hobby stores carry blank art canvases.  Amazon carries a ton of sizes of blank art canvases including sizes from 8x10 to 35x47.  That means you can even get really large canvases for inexpensive.  If you plan to display this canvas in a common room, you might consider choosing a little higher quality of canvas just to ensure that the wooden frame on the canvas is good quality.  But for the most part, I've use many different canvases for projects and haven't run into issues.



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A DIY step by step  reverse canvas tutorial for Cricut or Silhouette users

Another thing to note, as your canvas size gets large the frames on the canvas start adding extra supports.  I purchased a large canvas for over our bed in the Master bedroom.  It had a support right down the middle of the frame.  Luckily, this wasn't a huge deal, but it was a little inconvenient and I had to remove it.  I'd suggest going to the store if you plan to purchase an extra large canvas so you can see the wooden frame and supports.

How to Make a Reverse Canvas Project

To start, make sure you take your wall area measurements with you to the store, otherwise you may run into issues.

Materials Needed
Blank Art Canvas (in whatever size you wish.  Mine is an 8x10)
HTV Vinyl or Permanent Vinyl (I used HTV for this project)
Rotary Cutter
Self Healing Cutting Mat
Stapler
Cricut True Control Knife - you need this.  It has a grip and it doesn't roll away!!!!!

I will say you can use either Iron On Vinyl or Permanent Vinyl.  I personally like the Iron On.  Sometimes permanent won't stick properly and makes it a bit tricky.  If you do use Iron-On, set your iron or EasyPress to 340° F and press for 30 seconds.

P.S.  If you'd like to see me make a Giant Reverse Canvas Project, check out my Instagram stories and I'll walk you through what I did.  You'll have to click through a couple photos.

    

Step 1
Using the Cricut True Control Knife, remove the canvas from the wooden frame.  Just cut around the outside of the staples and peel the canvas away.  You don't need to remove the staples because you will cover them up with the canvas again later.  But if you are super annoyed by them, feel free to take some pliers to them.

A DIY step by step reverse canvas tutorial for Cricut or Silhouette users

Step 2
Paint your frame.  Use an acrylic paint so that paint won't wear out so easily.  It also dries fairly quickly so you can add an additional coat of paint.  You could also stain your frames which is a very popular choice at the moment as well.

A DIY step by step reverse canvas tutorial for Cricut or Silhouette users

Step 3
While your frame is drying, cut out your design using your Cricut or Silhouette.  If you use Heat Transfer Vinyl, you'll want to make sure you cut your design as a mirror image so the design is facing the correct direction.  I've done this wrong a LOT of times, so make sure you don't make that mistake too!

A DIY step by step reverse canvas tutorial for Cricut or Silhouette users A DIY step by step reverse canvas tutorial for Cricut or Silhouette users

Step 4
Take an iron or Cricut EasyPress and press your canvas first.  {I didn't do this originally, but wished that I had later.  Just do it.} Next, place your design where you would like it on the canvas.  Use your iron and press the vinyl to the canvas.  You might want to use a press cloth under the iron just to ensure you don't discolor the canvas.  But if you have it at a low enough heat, you should be ok.

If you are using permanent vinyl, make sure you know exactly where you want your vinyl before placing it down with the transfer tape.  

A DIY step by step reverse canvas tutorial for Cricut or Silhouette users

Step 5
Allow the vinyl to cool and remove the clear sheet or the transfer tape.  Go slow and make sure all the pieces are stuck to the canvas.

A DIY step by step reverse canvas tutorial for Cricut or Silhouette users  A DIY step by step reverse canvas tutorial for Cricut or Silhouette users

Step 6
Lay your canvas down flat and place your frame over the top.  Use a pencil to trace around your frame.  This will help you know how much extra canvas to cut off.

A DIY step by step reverse canvas tutorial for Cricut or Silhouette users

Step 7
Using a rotary cutter (or the Cricut True Control Knife, which is super amazing) and ruler, cut along your pencil line.  Your canvas should now fit perfectly behind your frame.  If it doesn't trim it a bit more until it fits.

A DIY step by step reverse canvas tutorial for Cricut or Silhouette users

Step 8
Carefully staple your canvas to the back of your painted frame.  You'll want to do your 4 corners first, your middles next and than a few more around each edge.  You may need to to pull your canvas a bit for a tight fit.  


A DIY step by step reverse canvas tutorial for Cricut or Silhouette users


Now you can simply hang up your reverse canvas project or set it on the shelf.  Reverse canvas projects are so simple and easy and great gifts for everyone.

A DIY step by step reverse canvas tutorial for Cricut or Silhouette users

Follow along with this easy DIY step by step tutorial on how to make a reverse canvas using vinyl and cutting on your Cricut Maker or Silhouette cutting machine. #cricutproject #reversecanvas #crafting