I discovered the Reverse Canvas technique through a few of the wonderful Cricut facebook groups I am involved in. I put it off for a long time because it looked super intimidating. After building up my courage to give it a whirl, I realized the intimidation to give it a try was totally all in my head. Reverse Canvas is beautiful, rustic and oh so much easier than it looks. I can’t wait to share with you how I did it, and a few of the beautiful Valentine’s Day decor pieces I created using this unique method.
Reverse Canvas Valentine Wall Art – Pin It For Later!
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I am super excited to be sharing a Valentine’s Cricut craft with you this month as part of the Craft & Create With Cricut Challenge! I have joined up again this month with 16 very talented bloggers to bring you some very unique and beautiful Cricut crafts for Valentine’s day. Please use the graphic at the bottom of this post to visit each of their websites and see their amazing projects! If you missed December’s project, you can see all of them HERE.
Reverse Canvas – What is it and how to create it.
Reverse Canvas is a technique used to transform an inexpensive white stretched canvas into something gorgeous and rustic. By removing the canvas from the existing wood frame and flipping it to the back, you expose the already constructed wood underneath. Which also acts as the frame for your amazing Cricut cuts. I will show you step by step how I created my Valentine Wall Art using this technique and a stencil I made on my Cricut Explore Air.
Materials & Helpful Tools Used
- 11″ X 14 ” White Stretch Canvas
- Utility Knife or Box Cutter
- Mod Podge
- Walnut Wood Stain
- 631 Vinyl (or whatever you have on hand to make the stencil)
- Transfer Paper
- Foam Paint Brush
- Small Stencil Brush
- Hot Glue
- Staple Gun and Staples
- Saw Tooth Picture Hanger
Select Your Image
Before you get started on reversing the canvas, decide which image you would like to add to the inside of your frame. I chose one that I found on Cricut Design Space. I did alter some of the text to make the weeding a little easier. You can find the Love You Yesterday design by searching “love you yesterday” in Design space. The “OWL” Always love you owl was shared in one of the groups I belong to. I just added the text to make it a complete sign. The font used for the owl print is “Great Vibes“.
Once you have the measurements of your image you can decide which frame to use. Be sure to measure the frame from the inside edges to make sure you have enough room inside the frame.
Reversing the Canvas
Using your utility knife or box cutter, CAREFULLY cut the canvas off the back side of the frame. If you are not comfortable using a utility knife, you can also remove the staples with a staple remover. Please wear protective eyewear when doing it this way.
Set the frame aside.
If you are using HTV, you can iron your design right onto the canvas on whichever side you prefer. I like the white covered side personally. Follow the instructions for the HTV and the pressing method you choose.
I have read that some people don’t prepare the canvas at all before they use 631 as a stencil. I find that if you are not painting the canvas, a thin coat of mod podge over the entire surface helps the 631 vinyl to adhere to the canvas better. If you paint or mod podge to prep your canvas, be sure to let it completely dry, not just dry to the touch. Through trial and error, if you only let the mod podge dry to the touch, when you pull the stencil up after applying the paint, it also pulls up the mod podge. Your design will be ruined.
Applying mod podge before laying your stencil also helps prevent bleeding paint. Keeps your lines crisp and where they are supposed to be.
Once the mod podge is completely dry, apply your vinyl stencil to the canvas using transfer paper. Transfer paper seems to work better than the standard transfer tape. Not quite as much adhesive, and easy to release the vinyl.
Stencil your design with a light hand
When working with a stencil of any kind, always use a very light hand to avoid bleeding or pattern lifting.
Use a dry stencil brush with a small amount of paint. Dip the brush into the paint and tap off the excess onto a paper plate. Stencil your design until it is covered to your liking.
Carefully pull up the stencil when the paint is dry to the touch. Remove any extra pieces (middle of the letters, small areas that didn’t lift with the outer stencil piece.
Set aside to dry completely.
Paint or Stain the frame.
If you like the rustic look, there is no need to sand the frame. Apply your favorite color stain according to the package directions. I am in love with this Walnut stain from Minwax.
Putting it back together.
Now that you have your frame stained and your design perfectly stenciled on the canvas, it is time to put everything back together. Lay the canvas flat and place the frame exactly where you want it to sit.
Flip the entire thing over and reattach the canvas to the back of the frame. You can do this with a staple gun or hot glue. Trim the excess off so nothing shows over the sides of your frame.
Attach a sawtooth hanger at the top.
The finished product!
I am in love with this process! Sure you can put your design right on the canvas itself and it would look lovely. But I do love the rustic look of the frame on the reverse canvas.
The Possibilities Are Endless!!
If you can design it on your Cricut, you can cut it and apply it to a canvas. Whether you choose to use HTV and press the design on, or hand stencil the whole thing, your designs will be a unique and creative masterpiece!
Don’t forget to check out the other fantastic projects from the Craft & Create With Cricut Challenge!!
Click the images below to see each project! I hope you find lots inspiration to craft & create a fabulous one of a kind gift for your Valentine!