Modge Podge Canvas Tutorial

Alright, today I'm sharing a tutorial for a modge-podged decorative canvas that I shared a few weeks ago at Craftionary, in case you missed out on seeing it there.

The canvas I made was inspired by a previous canvas I created last year (as seen below).  And that one was inspired by a little something I saw at Tai Pan Trading.

Bird Canvas Art

I didn't write a tutorial for that one, but I made it exactly as I made the one below.   So enjoy the tutorial and happy decorating!
Modge Podge Canvas

For this project you will need:

black spray paint
patterned paper
black ink
modge podge
foam brush

Step 1.  Spray paint your canvas black.

The middle of it doesn't matter so much since you will be covering it up, but make sure the sides are covered well.  I recycled a canvas from one of my previous wall art ventures.  It needed a makeover! 

Step 2.  Pick out your paper.  I chose colors from my living room, which is where it is now hanging :)

Step 3.  Draw or print your design for the center.  I drew my own design, but if you don't feel so inclined, there are loads of copyright free images on the web.

p.s. kindly disregard the orange scribbles- my son got to it while I wasn't looking!

Step 4.  Now it's time for cutting!

Lay your design  on top of your paper of choice and tape it down securely.  With an intricate design like this, I decided use a small exacto knife and cutting board.  But if scissors are all you have, I'm sure they would work fine too. 

Step 5. Lay out your paper and design on your canvas to make sure everything fits and make any adjustments.

Modge Podge Canvas

Step 6.  Now comes the hardest part... modge podging your paper to the canvas without creating wrinkles or bubbles.  Work with one piece at a time, applying modge podge liberally with a foam brush to the back of the paper and the canvas.  You have to work quickly because the modge podge dries fast.

Make sure the piece is lined up, then lay the top edge down smoothing the paper down as you work the paper down onto the canvas.

When you get to the branches and leaves, work with one section at a time.  I modge podged the whole thing at once and it stuck to the newspaper it was sitting on and ripped in a few places :(  Luckily I was able to modge podge it back together on the canvas :)

Update: 10/25/2011- Even if you are very careful laying your paper out flat, you will still get a few bubbles due to the fact that the modge podge makes the paper a little wet.  The bubbles will disappear as the paper dries.  So not to worry! Just let it dry!

Step 7.  Distress the edges with ink.

Dab a sponge in some ink and apply it to the edges of the paper covered canvas.  This gives it more of an antique feel.  Depending on the kind of ink you use, you may need to do this step last as some ink will smear when modge podge is applied on top of it.  Just to make sure, do a little test on a scrap before doing the real thing.  

Modge Podge Canvas

Step 8.  Outline your branches and leaves design with ink.  I used a paint brush and the same ink I used for the edges to do this, but a black pen should do the trick also.  Let this dry completely before moving on to the next step.

Step 9.  Do a final coat of modge podge and you're done!

Modge Podge Canvas


  1. Thank you for sharing. New to your blog from TCB link today.

  2. i love the end result! looks great!

  3. This is an awesome wall hanging..thanks for the step by it :)

  4. This is really pretty. I'm definitely pinning this. :)

  5. Love this, I will definately try it. Do you cover the entire picture with modge podge at the end? Sorry to ask dumb questions, but I have never worked with modge podge. Thanks for sharing such a lovely idea. Kathi

  6. This is a great idea. I would love if you would share it at my blog party this weekend. Hope you can join in!

  7. Beautiful! I love the colors that you went with. Great work!
    Visiting from The Shabby Nest. :-)

  8. Oh, this is such a great idea! I actaully have a canvas that really needs a facelift and you just nailed it! I'm now following you on LF...hope you'll come visit me too! Little Bit

  9. Beautiful....if you just glue the leaves first using a glue stick, let it dry for 15 minutes and then start with the MP you will not get any bubbles...try it out sometime


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