Introduction: Vinyl Stencil Canvas Print

About: Aaron Maurer is currently serving as STEM Lead for the Mississippi Bend AEA and the Founder of a non profit called 212 STEAM Labs, Inc. Prior to this he served as an Instructional Coach for Bettendorf Middle S…

This project I loved because we are able to take what we are teaching students in our learning spaces, makerspaces, and tools class and use at home. This is a sign my wife wanted so we decided to post it so people can see how the skills being taught in school can apply to our regular lives.

Step 1: Gather Your Materials

You will need the following:

  • canvas that you want to paint and design for your space
  • acrylic paint
  • small roller
  • vinyl to create stencil
  • vinyl cutting machine
  • vinyl picking tools
  • transfer paper
  • ruler
  • pencil

Step 2: Measure Your Canvas

Be sure to measure your canvas. I have found that sometimes they are bit shorter in dimensions that what is posted on the cover. Before you cut your vinyl you want to make sure your visual will fit properly.

Step 3: Cut Your Vinyl Design

Gather your design. You can buy just about anything online or make your own. For this print we had to take our design into a few parts.

Part 1: the main message in a different font

Part 2: the word home divided in half

Part 3: the H in home as it was taller than what my machine can cut. We traced our word Home into two parts so we could rotate the H a different direction so we could cut it at the 14 inches that we needed to keep the font in proper format.

The key here is to trace with a bit of overlap on the "H" and "ome" This makes it much easier to line up the vinyl to make it look smooth.

If anyone needs help with using the vinyl process please let me know and I can help.

Once ready go ahead and cut the vinyl out.

Step 4: Pick Your Vinyl

Once your vinyl is cut go ahead and remove all the excess vinyl. We are using the words as the stencil. In our example we want the words to be white(no paint) so we will be layering the vinyl to the canvas and painting all around it.

You can do the opposite where you could pick the letters out and paint the words instead. It is your print so decide how you want to go about it.

Just remember that if you are going to paint the words or image and you don't want white as the background you need to paint the entire canvas first before painting the words. It will make your life easier.

Step 5: Move Vinyl to Transfer Paper

Once you have picked your vinyl it is time to transfer it to the transfer paper. Smooth it out and use the squares and lines to keep everything aligned properly. We don't want crooked letters.

Step 6: Find Your Center

Our print was a bit challenging in that the center did not "feel" like the center. We used the image on our phone to figure out where the center would be for the image. If you mark the center by connecting the dot where the two lines cross that is your center for both your words/images as well as for the canvas.

Step 7: Make It Straight

We used our 90 degree ruler to ensure that we were lining up the vinyl to be straight. once we marked the center of our print to the center of the canvas we made sure the transfer paper aligned to the edge of the ruler. This keeps everything nice and straight. This is why transfering the vinyl to the straight edges of the squares is so vital.

Step 8: Paint!

Once you have the vinyl on the canvas it is time to paint. The tricky part here is that the vinyl does not stick to the canvas very well. Be cautious and take your time. This part was challenging but if you go slow you will be fine.

We used a small roller and rolled the paint onto the canvas.

You will need at least two coats of paint as when it dries you will see spots.

Step 9: Pick the Vinyl Off

Once you have the paint applied the way you, then it is time to remove the vinyl. Go slow, take your time and make it look good.

Step 10: Hang It Up!

This was a big 3ft x 3ft canvas and were able to use the 3M hanging velcro strips to get this up on the wall.

It looks great and something you would see on Etsy. The best part was that it was cheap to make and maybe one day we open up an Etsy shop.

I would love to see what you make!