Thursday, April 29, 2010

Tutorial UPDATE: Canvas Painting with the Cricut.

So when I posted my last tutorial, I mentioned that I was pretty sure that I was doing something wrong. I think I have figured out at least one thing. This new and improved tutorial will make painting on canvas using Cricut cut outs a lot easier. Read on to find out what's changed....

The supplies are still mostly the same but do you notice that the paper cutouts are missing?

Tada! This is the "secret ingredient". Good old contact paper that you can buy from Target or Walmart. I had struggled to get freezer paper to stick on canvas and then I had an Eureka! moment. I could use vinyl but why not the cheaper alternative?

So instead of cutting the images out on cardstock, I cut them out on contact paper and use them as my stencils for painting on the canvas. I cut the contact paper out at the following settings: Speed 3, Pressure 3, and Blade Depth 3.

The first steps remains mostly the same as the last tutorial. Basically, you want to give the canvas a good base coat. I think I did 3 layers of paint. You have to remember to let the paint dry in between layers.

When you are certain that the base layers are dried, it is time to lay down your stencil. You must make sure that the stencil sticks to the canvas as much as possible. I use a craft stick to rub down the contact paper. This is especially important with the edges. You really want as little paint to run under the stencil as possible. Don't be afraid of rubbing down the contact paper. It will stick to the canvas but it will not pull up the paint. If you are not sure if your contact paper is too sticky, try it on one of the painted sides. Rub it down hard, let it sit for a couple of minutes and then pull it off. If paint comes off with it, then you need to use a different roll or brand. I did not use vinyl for this but I don't see why it shouldn't work.

For this project, I am using the apple image from the Create-A-Critter cartridge. I cut it at 6.5". Before I started painting on the apple, I pencil in the edge of the stem so that I know where not to put red paint on.

 Go ahead and paint a few coats of red and green and then let it dry fully.

Once the paint has dried, you may lay down the new stencil for the body of the fruit and the leaves. Again, rub it down hard, especially at the edges. Do not remove the first stencil.

Paint in the stem, eyes, and mouth. Paint in the the blush too. Again, you might want to put down 2 coats of paint for this. Let the whole thing dry.

Finally, gently pull off the contact paper to see your complete artwork.


Now, be aware that there is a lot of texture on canvas and that paint will want to go where there is unevenness.

I was impatient and did not rub down the leaves stencil as much as I should and paint got under the contact paper. I used a sanding block to sand off bits of the green and then paint over that with more yellow.

I really like the end result. I hope that you will give this a try too.

You can download your apple stencil here:

 You will need Cricut Design Studio to open the file and to cut the images. CDS is wonky at times. For the apple's blush, I have used the hidden contour feature to hide one circle of each pair of blush. If the circles are not hidden when you open up your downloaded file, please hide them again as you do not want to cut out the extra circles. When you preview the file, it should look as exactly as pictured above.



  1. Thanks so much! That is sooo cool.

  2. Thanks for showing us that!!

  3. Great tutorial! You answered every question I was having. Thanks Melissa

  4. This is great!! I love that apple-it's so cute.

  5. I have a question for you, when you put the contact/stencil paper on your canvas do you leave it on until EVERYTHING is painted or do you pull it off and then put the next one on? I think I know the answer but thought I would ask anyway. I can't WAIT to try this out. I am thinking these will be wonderful baby shower gifts (if they come out).
    Thanks again for this wonderful idea.
    You can email me at: Pauline(at)(Tinkertoys)(dot)(net)
    Have a wonderful weekend. YES, ITS FRIDAY!!!

  6. Beautiful and sooo creative! I'll have to try this one day. I am so glad that I found your blog.

  7. Pauline, for this piece I actually left the first layer on just so that I can have a more accurate placement for the second layer. I removed both layers together after I am done painting the whole piece.

    Hope that answers your question.


  8. a little hint I learned when painting on my textured walls at home: when I wanted to tape off an area that I did NOT want paint on, it would always bleed. so I had a bright idea. I taped the area off, then SEALED it with the original color of paint. then the paint that seeped under was not going to show. For instance, I painted my wall blue, but on the edge, it was going to be white. So I put my tape up, painted WHITE on the edge of the tape, then painted as usual over that. The end result was a crisp line.

    I would imagine this would work here too, just when you put your stencil on, seal it with the color underneath.

    Clear as mud? LOL Hope this make sense. I just wanted to share my little tip with you, because it used to drive me batty not to have crisp and clean lines everywhere. LOL Thanks for your tutorial!

  9. WOW! That's brilliant! Thanks so much for the tip. Your instructions made a lot of sense and were not muddy at all. lol. I will have to give it a try. Thanks!

  10. Fab idea, I must give this a try it looks like a lot of fun! :-)

  11. So cute :) would this technique work on surfaces other than canvas? I was hoping to try on wood. Thanks!