If you’re like me, you have probably seen (and maybe drooled over) scriptures in beautiful fonts that maybe you’ve saved to your Pinterest account, but wish you could hang on your wall. Well, now you can. And I’m going to show you how in this tutorial.
What you’ll need:
A stretched canvas
A cutting machine (mine is a Silhouette® Curio)
A weeding tool
Paint in one or two colors
A stenciling brush
A favorite font (or two) — or —
A .pdf, .jpg, or .sfg file of the scripture you want to use
If you are using a font on your cutting machine, type in your chosen scripture. Don’t worry about the placement, because you can adjust it on your canvas once you’ve cut it out. I didn’t want to type the scripture in Silhouette, so I did it in Photoshop®. Below you can see how I’ve manipulated the type so that “One” is bigger than the rest and “the” is smaller. You can also do the manipulation on your cutting machine; I just like to use Photoshop because I can adjust letter spacing more precisely. Once you’ve decided how you want the words to work, it’s on to Step Two. Again, don’t worry about placement of the words.
If you have used a program besides your cutting machine software, you’ll need to save the file according to the file type your machine will read. I used Photoshop, so I saved mine as a .jpg. Import the file into your program and trace the image (or whatever your machine requires).
Cut the file in vinyl.
Now comes the tedious part. Carefully remove the words (or letters) with a weeding tool that allows you to get under the vinyl easily. I use a dental pick that I found at a hardware store sale. Be especially careful around thin strokes as they can easily break. Also, don’t let the vinyl stick to your fingers, either. Try to keep as light a touch as possible as you transfer the vinyl to the canvas.
This is the point at which you arrange the words in the way you find pleasing. If you lay the vinyl down gently, you can easily reposition it until you are happy with the layout. Compare my original .jpg with my final layout on the canvas. (I prepainted the canvas purple, believe it or not. It sure doesn’t look purple in this photo!)
Burnish the letters down well so that paint will not get underneath in the next step. A credit card is perfect for this task.
You may decide to use a single color of paint or more than one. I have decided on two colors that complement each other. Pour a small amount of paint in a shallow dish. Dip your stencil brush in the paint and pounce it on a paper towel to remove some of the paint. You want the brush to be damp but not wet. Pounce the paint over the letters, letting the brush get kind of dry before you load it again.
If you are using more than one color and you don’t want them to mix, let the first color completely dry before adding another one. You can pounce the paint just around the edges of the letters to create an outline or you can fill in the entire canvas. Each method returns an attractive result. In this example, I completely painted the canvas with the purple paint and let it dry before laying my words down. Then I pounced the light green paint over it, all around the letters so they would stand out in purple.
Once the paint has completely dried, carefully remove the vinyl letters from the canvas. If you are very careful, you can transfer them to the backing paper they came from or use a page protector sleeve to save them for another use. I generally end up destroying mine (oh, well!). Note that the font I used was really too thin. A thicker font would have given a better result, as in the He is Risen canvas.
Now you have your favorite scripture in white (or another color if you painted the canvas first) on the background you created with your brush.
To show you how it looks with only one color and white for the background, here is the canvas that I gifted my daughter-in-law with for hosting our Messianic Passover in her home.
You can frame the canvas if you like, but I enjoy mine standing on edge on a shelf or table or hanging unframed on the wall. They look great in a grouping with candles or other items on a fireplace mantle, too!