Craft Time! Wooden letters on canvas… easy on the eyes AND the wallet!

I’m excited about this one, brace yourselves for a LOT of pics… but what a transformation for just about $10!

When my oldest daughter was born in 2004 I bought some wall letters for her room from Ebay.  They were only $5 a piece and it took like six weeks for them to arrive.. lol!

We didn’t have Kijiji and Craigslist back then (or if we did, I sure as hell didn’t know about it!) and I didn’t know anyone else who had letters on their kids’ walls.  (I’m SO cutting edge!) Of course now it’s in pretty much every child’s room.  That was part of the problem… it became super common and I began to find them boring.  They were plain white, with soft pink ribbon that I used to hang them with.  Nothing special.


I love the curly font and I didn’t want to get rid of them, but they needed an update.  First they were on her nursery wall in our loft, then on her bedroom wall in our townhouse.  Then when she was four we moved into the house we are in now – they were on her wall, then on the basement wall when THAT was her bedroom, and now she’s back upstairs and sharing a room with her brother.

These letters are pretty slutty – they get around!  LOL.

Since she has moved into Cal’s room, I really wanted to do something to put her stamp on it too.  The walls are a beautiful soft blue (Benjamin  Moore’s ‘Athabasca Blue’) and the room has chocolate brown accents.  Her cream coloured furniture is a nice contrast, while still matching the scheme.  Cal’s crib is a dark brown, as are the carpet and curtains.  The place definitely needed to be “girlied” up.  I initially planned to just hang the letters up there for her, but the more I thought about it the more I realized that they needed some freshening up, and it would be a great way to tie all the colours in together and add some femininity to her new space.

So, off to Wal-Mart I went!

I bought a pack of canvases.  Flat ones, which I had never seen before.  I was going to buy the regular raised kind, but they didn’t have them in stock so I just grabbed these.  Then I hit up their fabulous little fabric section and bought two packs of swatches (2 swatches per pack, perfect since her name consists of four letters), and some hot pink paint with a pearl finish.  I actually didn’t realize that the paint HAD a pearl finish until I was home, but I am SO glad – the letters really pop off the background thanks to the sheen.

Here is what I was working with:

– canvases (one per letter)
– acrylic paint (enough to cover all canvases, I only needed one small bottle)
– letters
– fabric (enough to cover each canvas with about 1-2 inches extra on all sides for wrapping)
– paint brush/foam brush
– Mod Podge
– scissors
– ribbon for hanging on the wall (but you can just as easily use nails or wall adhesive)
– glue gun and glue for adhering letters to canvas

First I removed the old pink ribbon from the letters and painted them.  This was not difficult, just ANNOYING.  If you look at all the curly bits, you will understand why!  I ended up giving them three coats, just for fun.  Then it was onto prepping the canvases.

My fabric came in four, pre cut swatches so first I lay my canvas RIGHT SIDE UP in the centre of each swatch.  I brushed a thin layer of the Mod Podge over the entire surface, and then flipped the canvas over and pressed in down onto the fabric, holding in down firmly for a minute and pressing on all areas of it to adhere it to the fabric.

Once that was done, I trimmed all my edges so that I was left with a couple of inches on all sides.  I cut the fabric from the corners inward, and then spread Mod Podge along each edge of the back of the canvas and began wrapping the pieces over and onto the back.

Here are all four pieces, ready for their letters to be added on:

Then I got out my beloved glue gun and used it to stick on the letters.  I am not too big on measuring stuff.. I’m an “eyeballer”.  Usually works in my favour, I’m pretty good at it.  So that’s all I did for letter placement.  I am so in love with the fabric!  It just ties everything together sooooo well.  The blue of the walls, the brown accents and the pink that is creeping into the room now that T is up there.

To get them ready for hanging, I simply cut four equally sized pieces of ribbon and used the glue gun to stick them on the back corners.  However, like I said you could just as easily hang a little hook or picture hanging claw thingy (technical term) on the back if you didn’t care to use the ribbon.  I just happened to have it handy and it matched too perfectly to not use!

The finished product!

So cute!!

What a difference!
Before & after:

The light in the pics isn’t allowing a good view of the contrast between the letters and the fabric, but the pearly paint really makes them shine and pop off the canvas.

Again, I eyeballed the height and placement on the wall, I really am a super awesome eyeballer.  Is that a career choice?  No one told me.  If it is, I missed my calling.  T is going to love it.  I have a real affinity for personalization, all my kids have their name letters above their bed and I think it really makes a space their own.  Considering that T is almost 9 and sharing a room with her little brother, she definitely deserves some special effort on my part to create a place that she loves and is comfortable in.  When baby Ella is a little older, maybe the girls can share.  Or hey!  Maybe we will move from this god-forsaken house that drives me so insane!  Either way, I am busting my ass to make it work for us for now, and room by room I am making is happen.

Speaking of my little Ella, I did letters for her room as well.  These were the standard wood Pottery Barn white letters.  I did a similar project here by wrapping fabric over canvas and hot gluing the letters on.  I added the little bows for some daintiness since they were looking pretty tailored and minimal.

Cuteness overload!

Such a simple and inexpensive way to bring a little fun and sunshine to a room.
Happy crafting!



  1. Chelsea says

    Did you iron your fabric first before you mod podged it to the canvas? I feel like if the lines from it being folded weren’t ironed out they would show up? Or did you flip it over smooth it out then hold it down?

    • says

      Hi Chelsea!
      Nope, no ironing on my end… I just smoothed it out and then once the adhesive was on I had enough time before it dried to smooth it out more.
      You could totally iron it first though – just to be safe!
      Let me know how it turns out if you try it – thanks for reading!

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