Let me show you how to make a reversed canvas with an (optional) shiplap twist! Reversed canvases are great for personalizing your space!
We don’t currently have a headboard and don’t plan to get one until we upgrade our bed to a king. So, to disguise the fact that we don’t have a proper headboard, I wanted to hang something in that spot instead. That’s when I discovered this DIY. Why would I pay a small fortune for large custom wood sign when I can make my own reversed canvas. What is a reversed canvas? A reversed canvas is when a stretched canvas is transformed into something gorgeous and rustic. This DIY version is a fun, easy and cheap way to personalize your space! No joke, I have one in just about every room of our home. I usually fill my frames with the canvas material or large photos, but recently discovered this awesome shiplap version. A reversed canvas makes for a great shower gifts too! Let’s get to it, shall we?
Pin Reversed Canvas DIY for Later
Materials for Reversed Canvas DIY
- Brown Paint (to stain frame)
- Popsicle Sticks – for shiplap background
- Paint to Decorate Canvas
Instructions to Make DIY Reversed Canvas
Remove Canvas from Wood Frame
There are several ways to remove canvas from the wooden frame, so I usually go with whatever tool is closest😊. The canvas can be cut with an x-acto knife by cutting along the outer side of the staples or the staples can be removed with a flat head screwdriver, staple puller, or another prying tool. If you plan to use the canvas material for your background, you will want to be extra careful not to rip during this step.
Mix Paint and Water to make Stain
Remove the canvas away from your working space to avoid any unwanted stains. To mix the stain, use acrylic paint and water. Actual stain can be used, but not necessary and will require a longer drying time. To make the frame color similar to mine, use a 3:1 ratio (3 parts brown and 1 part black). Gradually mix in some water to thin out your mixture.
Test the color and consistency of your stain by painting the back of the frame and then adjust accordingly. I like being able to see the grain of wood, so I make my stain fairly thin. This step requires some experimenting, but don’t stress. If it’s too light, add another layer of “stain” or darken your mixture with more black. If it’s too dark, try rubbing it off with a paper towel. Play around with it!
Stain Wood Frame
Using a paintbrush, paint the stain onto the wood frame in the direction of the grain. Don’t forget to paint the your inner and outer edges of the frame and be sure to watch for drips. I usually skip staining the back unless I am giving the sign as a gift. If you choose to stain the back, be sure to do so once the front is dry. You can use blow dryer or the sun to speed up dry time.
Background (2 Options)
Option 1: Shiplap
Shout out to Simple Made Pretty for this nifty idea. To create the shiplap look, lay enough popsicle sticks side by side to cover the opening of your frame. Then glue a few popsicle sticks going the opposite direction to connect the popsicles sticks and create the shiplap background. Once the background is in one piece, you can paint it. You can paint it whichever color you want, or leave it as is. As you can see, I went with white. Once the paint is dry, glue the shiplap background to the back of your frame.
Option 2: Canvas
If you want to reuse the canvas material for your background, take this time to trim off the folded edges. Then glue the material to the back of the frame by gluing a small dot on the top and bottom of the frame. Then add a dot of glue to the sides while making sure the canvas is stretched and there are no wrinkles. Once the canvas is flat and taut, add more glue to corners for reinforcement, and then trim off any excess canvas.
Add Design to Canvas
Using a pencil, sketch out your wording or art onto the canvas and go over with paint. Use a smaller brush and light pressure when painting your design to allow less room for error. You can also practice on paper to get more comfortable with your technique. Check out my Lettering post for more help!
Share your DIY Reversed Canvas
Once it’s dry, you are ready to display your piece! Great job!
Free Decorating Guide
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