High Style, Low Cost DIY Canvas Art Tutorial

September 11, 2014

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MUST PIN! You can make DIY Canvas Art with this detailed tutorial! #diycanvas

Hello lovely readers!  Many of you have asked me questions about the fabulous typography map that you see in our eat-in-kitchen area.  Yeah, I love it too.  Guess what?!   The typography map in my kitchen is a DIY canvas art project and I am about to share the full tutorial with you :)

I fell in L.O.V.E. with this beautiful map canvas sold by Great Big Canvas, but was absolutely not wiling to pay $105.00 for it.  There was just no way.  I knew I could figure out a way to do it for less.  And I did!

Source: Great Big Canvas

Source: Great Big Canvas

So I came up with a solution that I am excited to share with you all today.  I found a poster print, applied it to my own canvas AND GAVE IT REAL CANVAS TEXTURE for only $21.00!  I am in love with how it turned out.  This post contains some affiliate links.  You can read my full disclosure policy here.  

Materials Needed for DIY Canvas Art:

Steps to Create Your Own DIY Canvas Art:

1) Using your foam brush, paint the sides and inner edges of your canvas black.  Any black paint will do.  I used paint that I already had on hand.  Allow the paint to dry.

2) Using your foam brush, cover the top of your canvas with a layer of Mod Podge.

MUST PIN! You can make DIY Canvas Art with this detailed tutorial! #diycanvas

3) Place your poster print on top of the Mod Podge covered surface and flatten and smooth it with your hands to ensure that it adheres nicely without any bubbles.  Allow it to dry.

MUST PIN! You can make DIY Canvas Art with this detailed tutorial! #diycanvas

4) After it dries, you will have to cut off any portion of the poster print that is overhanging your canvas.  Even though both my canvas and poster print were described as 16 x 24 inches, my poster print was a tad larger than my canvas. No big deal.  Flip the canvas over and grab your utility knife and cutting board.  Using the edge of the canvas as your guide, cut off any portion of your poster print that is overhanging the edge of the canvas with your utility knife.

MUST PIN! You can make DIY Canvas Art with this detailed tutorial! #diycanvas

5) Next is the fun part, but you have to have a little faith that this is all going to work out.  You are going to coat your poster print with Mod Podge and then “stamp” that canvas texture right on to your print.  THIS TOTALLY MAKES THIS PROJECT so don’t panic and stop now.  Paint a thin layer of Mod Podge {matte finish} RIGHT OVER THE TOP OF YOUR POSTER PRINT.  Do not be nervous!  I promise, promise, promise you that it will dry clear and will look gorgeous.  Use long, even strokes to smooth your Mod Podge over your poster.  Be gentle with your paint brush.  Don’t coat the Mod Podge too thickly–if your poster print gets too wet, it could cause the ink to smear or the paper to tear.

MUST PIN! You can make DIY Canvas Art with this detailed tutorial! #diycanvas

6) Now, quickly grab a blank canvas and sandwich it ON TOP of your wet photo.  Press the two canvases together.  You want to press firmly enough that the texture will transfer to the canvas, but you don’t need to go overboard because if you press two hard, you could warp your canvas.  Now, peel the blank canvas off and you will be left with that authentic canvas texture.  You know, the texture that makes people spend $105.00 for.  But not YOU.  You are way too thrifty and smart for that!   If you are using a smaller canvas for your stamping {like I did} repeat the “stamping” process until your entire canvas is stamped.

NOTE: This is a quick step.  You want to “stamp” your canvas texture on AND remove the blank canvas while the Mod Podge is still wet.  If you complete this step and  your texture looks more like the Mod Podge was just smushed around, you may have used too much Mod Podge.  Stay calm.  Wipe some of the excess off with your foam brush, smooth out the strokes and try again.  Now, let the Mod Podge dry.

MUST PIN! You can make DIY Canvas Art with this detailed tutorial! #diycanvas

This is how that A.M.A.Z.I.N.G. texture will look once it is dry.  Can you believe it?!

MUST PIN! You can make DIY Canvas Art with this detailed tutorial! #diycanvas

Now you are ready to hang up your beautiful and thrifty DIY canvas art!  I hung mine in my kitchen, which recently received a makeover.  I just love it and especially love that I got exactly what I wanted for a fraction of the cost of the original canvas that inspired my project!

MUST PIN! You can make DIY Canvas Art with this detailed tutorial! #diycanvas

MUST PIN! You can make DIY Canvas Art with this detailed tutorial! #diycanvas

If you enjoyed this post, please pin it for later!

MUST PIN! You can make DIY Canvas Art with this detailed tutorial! #diycanvas

You may want to check out my recent kitchen transformation where this map canvas is hanging!  It’s a total transformation that I accomplished for less than $700 {including that gorgeous herringbone plank wall you see above, which we made for FREE from an old, ugly fence}.

Thrifty Kitchen Makeover

You may also love seeing how I use this same technique to create my own DIY photo canvases.

DIY Canvas Tutorial by Designer Trapped in a Lawyer's Body {}

Thanks for checking out my tutorial.  I hope you will try it soon!  If you do, let me know how your project turns out!

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Thrifty Decor Chick



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  1. […] canvas, a little mod podge, some gold paint and a free printable I found on Pinterest. I followed these instructions for the project and I must say, it turned out quite […]

  2. Laurie says:

    Love this! I’m wondering if a piece of course burlap the same size as the canvas would work better to stamp in the texture. I’m not sure how I would press it in without being super messy.

  3. JJ Martin says:

    There must be a certain canvas and a certain type of poster print that needs to be used because I attempted this with supplies I already had from previous Pinterest Craft projects and it didn’t work at all :( . I used an 8X10 photo that I had printed and the flat canvas’s instead of a thick one, since I have an abundance of those already. Everything was going great until the stamping. I followed the directions perfectly and when I peeled apart the canvas’s there was nothing but stamped mod podge on the blank one lol.. I might try again with the thicker canvas’s, we’ll see. Great tutorial, though! I love that you added so many pictures, it definitely helps with the process :)

  4. Nona Wallert says:

    This project has been pinned!! Once completed I am going to use a Black Sharpie as a way to document the time line of the 32 years my husband and I have been together (and perhaps our children as well).

  5. Fabian says:

    Great work! I actually tried did myself and ruined 2 posters :/ first time attempting.

    I bought a 24×36 canvas from Michales and also Mod Podge Matte with a brush.

    After painting the ends black I then applied MOD. Once it was covered on the canvas I waited 5 mins then applied the poster. Once I applied the poster I noticed near the surrounding edges of the poster would start to look wavy with rinckles but the middle of the poster was smooth.

    I tried using a card to smooth out the surrounding waves but didn’t help. I then applied a lay of MOD on top of the poster. The “fun” part. Once I applied it the entire poster start to wrinkle like it was dropped in a puddle of water. Got frustrated and threw it away lol

    What am I doing wrong ? : /

    Thank you

    • Tasha A. says:

      Hi Fabian! After you apply the Mod Podge to the canvas, you need to put the poster on right away. Flip it so that it is laying poster side down and press down and smooth everything out–this should prevent wrinkles. THEN allow that to dry. Once the “bottom layer” is dry, apply the Mod Podge on top of the post and stamp it immediately. If you are getting a ton of wrinkling, I suspect you may be using too much Mod Podge. I hope that helps.

  6. Stephanie says:

    OH my GAH! I love you for this. (I scurred though!) Thank you so much for this – you may have justsaved me a ton of money. I’ll probably be back with some stupid question, but hopefully I’ll be back reporting success!!

  7. […] decor: DIY Canvas Art. Super cool tutorial for making a standard poster print look like an expensive canvas for under […]

  8. Deebi27 says:

    WoW, love the print…very creative! And the process…OMGEE so clear and so very much thank you!!!!

    • Tasha A. says:

      Thanks so much! Good luck in making your own!

    • Cheryl Canada says:

      Thank you for sharing. This is the first post I could really understand the how to’s. Love the second canvas for texture, awesome. Again, thank you for sharing.

  9. […] that’s kind of the fun part.  I hung this typography map that I am totally obsessed with {I made it myself!  You can find the tutorial here}.  Above it, I hung a street sign from Joe’s childhood backyard :)  It’s a nice, […]

  10. Robin says:

    This is pure genius! I am in love with this idea and can’t wait to try it myself.

  11. LOVE…LOVE…LOVE….pinned and I will be attempting this again….I had an epic failure with Golden textile medium…should have just stuck with good ole Mod Podge. THANKS for sharing!

  12. […] why didn’t I think of that” category. Tasha shares how she made her own art for cheap and got that canvas texture on it as […]

  13. […] Isn’t it friggin awesome?  I L.O.V.E. it and lots of you do, too! Here’s the scoop, I found my poster at a RANDOM store, but you can order it at and then created my own art canvas with it.  You can see the full tutorial of how I made it here. […]

  14. Kimberly G. says:

    I’m super excited to try this. Thanks for all the wonderful, thrifty tutorial. I’m going to make my canvas this weekend!

  15. WOW, I love this!! nice job. I really need to try this, how fun. I always admire those beautiful canvas prints but always walk away, how cool that I could now replicate it – cheaper! Thanks for this great tutorial!
    Have a great night.

    • Tasha A. says:

      Thanks so much, Tammy! I can’t wait to try it with other prints as well. Let me know if you try it! I’d love to know how yours turns out!

  16. Angel M says:

    I NEED this in my life!

  17. I love your canvas. Great job. Thank you for sharing this DIY.

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