DIY: How to Paint Text on Canvas



If you are a frequent Michael’s shopper, you know their canvas items go on sale frequently. Every time they do, I try to grab a couple because they are cheap and you make some great gifts with them. You can even do signs for your own home.

However, I like words on my signs and a I don’t have the prettiest handwriting. ๐Ÿ™

So I go with the next best step, computer font!

There are tons of routes to transfer font printed from a computer to your canvas, but I like to go with the cheapest.

What you will need:

Your Printed Text
A piece of Chalk

Once you have printed your text, I cut it down so I am not messing with a full sheet of paper.

After cutting it down, color the back side of the paper (the non-printed side) with the chalk.

Next lay it down, chalk side down, onto your canvas. Hold it in place and trace over the printed text with a pencil.

Lift the paper up and ta-da, there is your pretty text. Now you will want a fine paintbrush to paint in your letters. When I was doing this sign, the paint brush I had at the time had surely seen better days. Note that I have since replaced the paint brush!


Don’t be alarmed, about the extra chalk dust.

Once you have painted in your text, most of the chalk dust will be gone. If there is any leftover, go ahead and touch it up with the color your canvas is painted. For this sign, I touched up in black.

And you are done. You can do all sorts of things with canvas signs. Why buy a sign with your favorite quotes or personalized names signs when you can do your own for pennies on dollar? Plus, there is no better feeling than knowing YOU did it! ๐Ÿ™‚

This canvas here was attached to a chalkboard we made for my mother this year for Christmas! Best part, this chalkboard and frame were built from recycled pieces of wood we had at the home!


One of my favorite things to do is capture some of your young children’s quotes on canvas. Will be great for when they get older and you are start forgetting their how sweet and innocent they used to be.

Here are a few others I have done, 2 of my kid’s quotes and a bible verse for a friend.



Don’t forget to pin this on Pinterest. While you are there, make sure you are following us! We are working on a family craft on canvas now so be watching for that post soon! ๐Ÿ™‚

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  • I have searched literally dozens of pinterest tutorials trying to figure out a simple way to get text onto DIY canvas sans the hassle of stencils….one even said to put tissue paper through your printer!! this is so simple, I cant belive it, I will def be making several canvas’ this weekend with this method!!!

  • Thank you so much for this idea!! Especially with using chalk, brilliant!! I’m helping my husband with decorating his office and would like to make a bunch of quote paintings for him. You’ve just helped me make my job easier. Blessings to you! ๐Ÿ™‚

  • Awesome relieved sigh! Great idea! Thank u!!

  • Iโ€™ve used graphite paper or colored the back of the paper with a pencil the same way you used the chalk. The use of chalk is so much easier and less expensive than the graphite paper. Brilliant! Now Iโ€™m not dreading do the wording on the signs to give as gifts.
    Do you have any creative ideas on how to finish off the sides of the canvas?
    Thank you!

  • Okay well didn’t work for me I’ve been trying to figure this out how to get text on canvas and I have a bunch of chalk here and put the Char follower the bad set it on the canvas trace the words and pick it up and today nothing was there where did I go wrong

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