May 26, 2017

DIY - Stenciled Canvas Art

When I moved into my new office, I realized I was constantly staring at a blank wall.
I am always slow to make decisions when it comes to accessories, so the wall stayed blank for almost a year.

I am NOT a fan of generic artwork, but the idea finally came to me one day to re-use some existing canvases I had previous purchased from Hobby Lobby.

But what should I paint?

Around the same time I was making these decisions, the company I bought my bedroom stencil from saw my work and decided to feature me on their blog. As a thank you, they offered me a stencil of my choice, and the pieces to my canvas art fell into place.

Here is what I painted and how I did it.

- (2) 24x36 Blank Canvases ($14 ea)
- Acrylic Paint: White, Yellow, Fuschia, and Charcoal (Or get a basic starter set on the cheap)
- Large Flat Paint Brush (or buy a different sized set)
- Plastic drop cloth (to cover surface you are painting on)
- Spare cup of water
- Paper plate or similar surface to mix paints
- Mandala Stencil (similar HERE)
- Small Roller Brush - (I used the one from this stencil set)

First, I ripped off the old "art" that was glued to the front of my Hobby Lobby canvases.
Of course, one came off in a snap, and the other I sat cursing for about an hour. This is why it would just be easier to start fresh with some news ones.

Then, once they were blank, I prepped them with a light sanding to remove any glue residue.

It's not perfect. I get it. But that really wasn't the look I was going for in general, so I think it works.

Next up is the background paint.
I was going for a rough, sort of rustic-looking sunset.
I basically just squirted the acrylic paint on in sections, thinned it out with water (a lot of water) and blended from light to dark. Don't do the reverse or you'll end up with a muddy mess.

While the background paint dried, I had a snack and opened up my mandala stencil.
This beauty comes as a "half"...not the whole circular stencil.
So you tape and paint one side, then rotate it 180 degrees and tape and paint the other half.
Turns out, having only the half works out really well when applying it to two different canvases.

I just happened to have some old enamel, high-gloss wall paint lying around, but you can purchase a similar paint here. I used a small roller from the stencil kit, taped the stencil down with some painters tape, and got to work.

Stenciling when the stencil is not spray-glued to the surface is going to make the project an imperfect process. Own your errors and you'll be a lot happier with the results.
If this was a very smooth surface, I easily would have opted to spray it into place with temporary glue.
But I'm also extremely impatient, so I accepted the fact that the paint bled a little and the lines weren't completely crisp. It's all good.

It fit with the whole old-world rustic theme I was going for anyways. :)

Once complete, I grabbed some velcro hanging strips and used the level in the stencil kit to mount my project to my office wall. I opted not to hammer nails into the wall because I figured my boss would flip out. These velcro strips also help for re-positioning if you happen to hang it a bit crooked to begin with.

So there you have it!
A beautiful, custom piece that is super easy to create!

Hope you find some inspiration in my work and create your own beauties!
Happy Memorial Day Weekend! XO


  1. I love this. When I have the funds to finish my home office this might be the perfect idea for artwork!!

  2. This looks great! I think I would like to do something like this for my office.