I’ve been wanting to make my own canvas wall art for a long time. I just don’t have the steady hand or artistic abilities to make anything that would look nice on my wall. This is where my Silhouette saves the day again. It gives me the ability to create whatever design I have in my head, even though I don’t have the artistic talent to do it all by hand.
I started by painting a 16×20 canvas with a foam brush and acrylic paint. Two coats of my favorite color green and it was looking great. Let me apologize now for the extra terrible lighting in these pictures. This was a craft after everyone else is asleep sort of project. Unfortunately, the lighting in this room is awful.
While the paint was drying I got to work and created the stencil. In the Silhouette Studio I changed the size of the page to match my 16×20 canvas. This is just temporary so I can get a better idea of how I wanted it to look. You can click on any of the screenshots using the Silhouette Studio for a larger picture that will open up in a new window.
I played around with different fonts and found an arrangement I liked. Then I checked the cut lines.
Since I wanted the letters to flow continuously I used the offset tool to fix it.
I used to offset tool again to make some of the other words thicker.
I dragged the words to the side and drew a rectangle around each word.
I changed the page settings to cut without a mat and fit each set of words being cut. When I was originally thinking about this project I had planned to use vinyl for the stencils. I ran into two problems with that. The vinyl I have on hand is very sticky. Also, it is only 12 inches long. I figured I’d experiment and try using contact paper instead. I’ve always had great luck with the contact paper from the Dollar Tree. It is cheap so I don’t feel bad messing up. It is also just the right amount of sticky. It comes in a nice long roll so I was able to cut the longer words without a problem.
Each piece of contact paper was cut so that the curl of the paper loaded smoothly into the machine.
I set the cut settings to “vinyl” and made sure the cutting mat box was left unchecked.
After each word was cut I used my hook tool to weed out the pieces I didn’t need.
I separated each word using scissors.
The clear transfer paper was placed sticky side up. Then I placed the words face down against the clear transfer paper. I cut around each word again using scissors.
To make sure everything looked right I arranged the words on my canvas before I stuck anything down. Then I took scissors and cut around the parts that overlapped.
Once everything looked good I removed the paper backing stuck to the bottom of each word and then the clear transfer paper stuck to the top.
I placed a book underneath the canvas to get a sturdy area to paint on. A small paintbrush worked well for getting into all the parts of the stencil without pushing paint underneath.
By the time I was finished painting most of it was almost dry. I peeled the stencil off and let it finish drying overnight. Now I have a piece of art that is very much “us” and goes perfectly in our home. Did I mention that it cost me under $6 to make using craft store coupons and sales? I see a ton more canvas art in my future.
David Smith saysMarch 22, 2014 at 12:06 am
I would love to have one of the Silhouette cutters to do acid etching and sandblast etching on glass and metal using the vinyl sheets.
Analisa saysMarch 22, 2014 at 6:00 pm
I’ve been wanting to try glass etching too. It is incredible how much the machine can do.
Sarah saysMarch 22, 2014 at 8:21 am
Beautiful work! I love the quote too. It looks really nice especially considering that it was an after-hours project :).
Dollar Tree is awesome, isn’t it? I’ll have to remember to pick up some contact paper the next time I go. Never thought about using it as a custom stencil before!
Analisa saysMarch 22, 2014 at 6:06 pm
Thanks Sarah! I love the Dollar Tree. You can really get your money’s worth when you know what to look for.