We’ve got a new DIY coastal decor idea for a craft project while you’re hanging out at home!
It’ll add relaxing vibes to your home and give you hours of creative zen time! The finished product that literally says “relax” will be a wonderful addition to help make your home your sanctuary.
It’s a DIY canvas art project — complete with free printable letters — that combines scrapbook paper, Mod Podge glue, and some simple stress-free painting.
The beachy whitewashed wood and blue fish scale patterns worked great for the beach/coastal/lake vibe, but you can customize this to whatever colors and patterns you wish.
We made ours for a nautical guest bedroom, inviting guests to feel relaxed on their visit:
We went at the project leisurely, spreading out the process over a weekend in between other tasks (although you could certainly do it in a day).
Oh, and with our free printable letters, there’s no need for a fancy cutting machine like a Cricut or Silhouette if you’re willing to spend some time to cut out the letters with plain ol’ scissors.
So, let’s get craftin’ and relaxin’!
- 5 canvases 12″ x 12″ – look for the value packs for a better price
- 12″ x 12″ scrapbook paper in the design of your choice:
- at least 5 sheets for the backgrounds (we alternated between two patterns – 3 sheets of wood planks and 2 of fish scales)
- at least 3 sheets for the letters (we used 2 sheets of dark blue for the R, L, and X, and 1 sheet of light tan for the E and A)
- Part of the fun of this project is in mixing & matching different patterns & colors! Take your time to decide which colors & patterns you’ll use for each letter & background and the paint color for the canvas edges 🙂
- printable letters
- Mod Podge glue (we used the kind for paper in matte)
- craft paint to match your color scheme
- large paint brush (we used a 4″ one)
- small paint brush
- ruler or tape measure (not shown)
- work space to paint and glue on (we used packing paper)
- optional: brayer or roller for rolling over the paper to help avoid wrinkles (we didn’t use one, but it can be helpful)
- optional if you want to hang the canvases: tape measure, level, pencil, command strips or nails/other hanging hook
How we made it:
*Note: This craft project is a process, as you’ll be cutting, measuring, painting, gluing, and gluing some more on 5 different canvases. Have fun and don’t rush the results!
1. Set up a work area that you’ll be able to paint on. (We used some paper that came as packaging in a box.)
When you’re ready, paint the edges of all 5 canvases in the color you want:
We painted slightly on the front of the canvas (see completed ones in background above) so that there wouldn’t be any gaps in case the paper wasn’t perfectly lined up with the canvas.
To do all 4 edges, you can hold the inner rim or have someone help and hold the center for you.
There’s no stressing needed about making mistakes — just simple, stress-free painting here!
2. While the paint is drying, print out the printable letters and cut them out. (To cut the middle of the “R” and the “A”, you can make a slit or hole with the scissors, and then continue to cut starting at the opening.)
3. Trace the letters onto the back of the scrapbook paper that you want to use for the letters. (Be sure to put the letter onto the paper front side down or backwards so that the pattern will be on the correct side.)
Then, cut out the letters from the scrapbook paper:
4. When the canvases are dry, line up the scrapbook paper onto the canvas and make a line with the pencil to mark any area that needs to be trimmed. (Our scrapbook paper came in a pad that had a hole in the top, yours may or may not need trimming.)
5. Use the large brush to paint the Mod Podge on the canvas. You may want to use a paint stick or old spoon to help place the glue on the brush.
Then, place the scrapbook paper onto the canvas as straight as possible to avoid having to move it. Smooth out any wrinkles, and press any edges down. Check out this video for helping to avoid wrinkles:
Use the small brush to add any additional glue (Mod Podge) that might be needed on the corners & edges, and smooth/press/hold.
Repeat for the other 4 canvases 🙂
6. With the large brush, apply Mod Podge over the scrapbook paper and around the edges of each canvas.
7. When the paper is dry, use a ruler or tape measure to center the letters – 2.5″ should be on either side. With the pencil, make a tiny mark on the corners of the letter to be your placement guide.
Then, use the small brush to apply Mod Podge onto the back of the letter, and place the letter onto the canvas using your pencil marks as a guide. Apply more glue to any corners or areas that need it, smooth out any wrinkles, and hold down to secure.
8. Apply a final coat of Mod Podge over the top of the letter across the entire canvas. With your brush, smooth out any glue that may have seeped over the edges.
To hang the finished canvases, we spaced them out 2 inches apart from each other. (We used a level placed on top of the canvas to make sure each was straight.)
We hope you enjoy making your own and we’d love to see what you create! (Tag us on Instagram @livingporpoisefully.) It’s so fun to share the creativity & positivity!
Have fun and don’t forget to RELAX 🙂
Disclaimer: All activities on this blog are intended to be performed with adult supervision. Appropriate and reasonable caution should be used when activities call for the use of materials that could potentially be harmful, such as scissors, or items that could present a choking risk (small items), or a drowning risk (water activities), and with introducing a new food/ingredient to a child (allergies). Observe caution and safety at all times. The author and blog disclaim liability for any damage, mishap, or injury that may occur from engaging in any of these activities on this blog.