Mother’s Day DIY Canvas Painting

mother's day painting

For Mother’s Day this year, I wanted to make my mom a painting with a saying that I remembered seeing on a Lenny and Eva bracelet:  “Her children arise and call her blessed.”  Proverbs 31:28

I had the plan to make this for awhile, but I was having trouble figuring out how to do it.  Free-hand was not an option, because I write like a 5 year old.  I scoured the 3 main crafts stores for the right stencils with no luck.  When I would find a font I liked, I couldn’t find the right size.  I found a font that I liked in Word and thought about printing the words on cardstock and cutting out the letters to use as stencils, but I doubted my ability to cut neatly, considering I write like a 5 year old.  (I think I’ll try it that way next time anyway).

I emailed a friend of ours who is an art teacher and told him of my predicament and asked whether carbon paper would be my best option.  He said that would be messy and wasn’t necessary and that I could just trace the backside of the words printed on paper with a lead pencil, flip the paper right-side up and position it on the canvas how I wanted it, and then re-trace the front side of the words on the paper.  This would transfer the lead from the words that I traced on the backside to the canvas very lightly, and then I could just fill in the words with paint.  What?!  Genius.  I had no idea that would work.  You can tell I didn’t take a lot of art in school.

The supplies were simple – the size of canvas I wanted, paint, a couple of brushes (I just bought a 7 pack of various sizes), a pencil, the words printed on paper, some tape to hold the paper in place, design stencils (optional), and clear acrylic spray (optional).

I wanted to do a small test painting in case I screwed it all up, so I bought the size of canvas I wanted for the big painting (16×20) and also a 2-pack of small canvases (5×7 maybe?). The test painting turned out well, and I got better at painting inside the lines for the bigger one.mothers day painting small

I took a couple of in-progress photos for the big one after I painted the whole canvas with yellow and white paint.  I didn’t like the solid yellow, so I streaked some white through the paint.  I set the cut-out words on the canvas to determine the best spacing and added little pencil marks so I would know where they go when I was ready to trace.  I removed the words from the canvas and traced the backside of each word with a pencil and then placed the words back on the canvas right side up.  I taped down the words as I was working on them so they wouldn’t move around, and traced the right side of the words, transferring the pencil on the underside to the canvas.mothers day painting stencil

mothers day painting tracingOnce they were all transferred to the canvas, I was ready to carefully paint the inside of the words.  I’m not going to lie…painting the words took some time (again, because I write like a 5 year old).  I had to rotate the canvas for each letter to be painting at the right angle and make sure there wasn’t too much paint on the brush.  I used a thin fine brush for the words.  Larger words with less curves would have been MUCH easier.  I would literally do only 1 or 2 words a night.  After I was finished, I used the starburst stencil to add some extra color.

It turned out great and was SO worth it!  My mom loved it and even Boof approved!  I didn’t give it to my Mom until we were home for Father’s Day weekend because we were in Vegas for Summer’s wedding over Mother’s Day and I certainly wasn’t going to take it to her there.  Plus…honestly, it still wasn’t done, lol.

Have you ever painted words on canvas?  What method did you use (I want to do more!)mothers day painting and boof

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