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!
Love this project? Be sure to PIN IT for later!!
Looking for more? Check out more stencil projects.
20 thoughts on “Reverse Canvas Valentine Wall Art Using Your Cricut”
Your lovely projects with the Circuit always make me want to get one and make personal crafts for my home and family too. Your ideas always inspire me. I love the Valentine saying you picked out too.
I have to try the reverse canvas method. I have also been intimated by it, but it’s on my list to try. These signs look awesome. I like the sayings you picked.
This is so cool. What a great project. Yours turned out so nice. I love it.
How have I never seen this technique! I am pinning this to try!
Such a great tutorial! I’ve always wanted to try the reverse Canvas! You motivated me!
How sweet! I absolutely love your quotes, so pretty.
I love this! Such a unique way to use those canvases that are always on sale at Michaels! Thanks for the tutorial!
These are great. I love the owl. So cute!
You have created lovely wall art and your tutorial is perfect for pinning and making my own.
Thanks it’s already pinned,
Thanks so much Karen!
This is so pretty! A cricut is on my wish list! Thanks for the great tutorial 🙂
Thank you Janice. You would have a blast with it I’m sure of it.
Beautiful result – it is a very tasteful piece. I don’t know about you but the first time I heard about the frame behind a canvas I was so surprised. I never imagined it would look so nice and look so good varnished.
If you are using a stencil/paint on a reverse canvas do you do it on the canvas before your remove it and reverse it? Or do you do it on the canvas when its off the frame or after you have put it back on the stained frame?
I do the stenciling after I take it off the frame but before I reattach it. so I can put it flat on a hard surface when stencilling the paint on.
I am a newbie with the cricut. I am doing a canvas with vinyl. Do I still need to mod
podge the canvas before I place the vinyl? Thank you
Hi Carolyn, I only use the mod podge when painting to keep the paint from bleeding. The only time I use it with vinyl is if the surface is a bit rough, the modpodge helps the vinyl stick a bit better. If using HTV (heat transfer vinyl) I don’t use modpodge at all. Hope this helps some. Have fun!
It’s nice to come across a blog every once in a while that isn’t the same unwanted rehashed information. Admiring the commitment you put into your blog and the detailed information you offer. Wonderful read!
I think the end result is very tasteful – it is well made. I think the end result is very tasteful – it is well made. It looks great and looks so great varnished. I never expected it to look that good.
Use a high-quality permanent adhesive vinyl, like Oracal 651. Use low-tack transfer tape or contact paper to transfer the design to the canvas. This should help you transfer the design more easily.