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I recently created my first reverse canvas project as a gift for some friends, and liked it so much I decided to create my own for our home!  We have a table in the foyer that was all decorated for fall & Christmas, but I haven’t found anything good to put on the bottom left side so decided to create a sign to greet any guests.  Using a canvas, some wood stain and iron on vinyl, I had a custom sign for my entryway for the spring & summer in no time!

Welcome Reverse Canvas Sign

What you’ll need:

If you haven’t heard of a reverse canvas project before, the basic premise is to take the canvas off of the frame, paint / stain the frame, do something to the canvas and then reattach the canvas to the frame with the frame showing on the outside, instead of wrapped underneath like it started.

Start by taking the canvas off the frame.  Use your scissors and score the canvas on the back of the frame between the staples and the edge.  Then remove the strips of canvas (discard these) and keep the 1 big square.  Flatten it and put it to the side.

Now we’ll change the color of the frame.  Last time I painted the frames, so this time I wanted to stain them!  I had some stain from my embroidery hoop wreath and I liked the darker color it left so I put gloves on, and applied the stain to the front and sides of the frame. Put the frame to the side and let the stain dry.

The best part of these projects is you can do anything on the canvas that you removed.  I think I’ll do some sort of painting on the next one, but this time I wanted to so another iron on project.  Since it was going in the entry way facing the front door, I wanted my design to welcome guests, as well as be bright and colorful for this time of year.  We have lots of blues, greens & whites mixed with natural elements in our home, so I thought different shades of green would work nicely together and fit the other items on the console.

I inserted the Summer Wreath Leafy Branch image from the Design Space archives and changed the color to a shade of green.  Then I copied it twice and made both of those different shades of green.  I started arranging the branches to create a wreath and kept copying and alternating the colors so it had a multi colored feel with the layers.

Now I wanted to add “Welcome” to the middle of my sign.  I typed “welcome” out and chose a scripty font.  Then I separated the words to letters so I could arrange each letter so they connected and created 1 word.  When that’s done, select all the letters and weld them together to really create 1 image and move it to the middle of the wreath.  Re-size as needed.

Now cut all the pieces out on your heart transfer vinyl (htv, or iron on).  Make sure to mirror each mat and load the vinyl shiny side down so it cuts correctly.

Cut the “welcome” and each branch out separately and weed out the excess vinyl with the weeder tool.  Plug your EasyPress in and set it to 270 degrees and 40 seconds. To know what part of the canvas will be on the inside of the frame, you may want to place the frame on top of the canvas and lightly use a pencil to trace the inside rectangle.

Place the bottom layer of your wreath on your canvas where it’s aligned nicely and you know “welcome” will fit in the middle to get the general shape right.  Then remove all pieces but one, put your EasyPress on top and click the C to start the timer.  Repeat for each branch & layer.

Note: If you put all the pieces on the canvas at once and ironed them on, then some would overlap on top of the clear layer and you’d be ironing them onto the layer you pull away.. so do each one separately!  You will want to use some of the clear, used pieces on top of anything that is already ironed on to protect it from the direct heat.

Finally, put “welcome” in the middle and iron that onto the canvas as well.

The last step is to attach the canvas back to your frame.  First cut any excess canvas from around the frame – you don’t want any sticking out behind the back. It needs to be just smaller than the size of the frame and you can use some of the fold marks as a guide.

Last time I used staples which was kinda challenging, so this time I tried just using some thumb tacks. So much easier.

Now, step back and enjoy your new, custom sign!

The sign took up just the right amount of space on that shelf and works with the other items I had out as well (lot of greens).  I love that you can personalize this project to your space by changing the size of the canvas and colors of htv or design! Interested in making one? Find the project on Design Space here.

Yall know I love making projects using vinyl and iron on vinyl, so I’m excited to also introduce you to Craftey today, a community for my other fellow vinyl crafters!  There are a few projects in there that I want to recreate – like this bright DIY monogrammed tray.

Happy Spring crafting & decorating!

3 Thoughts on “Welcome Reverse Canvas Sign”

  • Beautiful sign! Have you tried this with a larger canvas? I’ve used the 16X20 before, but I’d like to try with a 24X48. Those usually have additional supports in the back and I’m worried that removing them to do a reverse canvas would leave the product unstable. Thoughts???

    • I haven’t tried one that large yet, but maybe you could put the support back in on the backside afterwards?

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