This “He is Risen” canvas was a gift to my daughter-in-law on Passover this year.
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
This tutorial assumes you already know how to use your cutting machine and can import images or install fonts if you need to. (These links lead to Silhouette tutorials.)
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®. You can also manipulate the placement of words 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.
This shows the .jpg in Photoshop.
Here’s the text, imported into Silhouette, and traced, ready to be cut.
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.
When I made the “He is Risen” canvas, this is the tool I used for weeding. But today, I can’t find that tool! (Does anyone else misplace things as often as I do?) So I used an X-acto knife. Worked just as well!
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. At this point, I decided I wanted something to span the canvas between the words. So I went in to my Silhouette Library and found a fern I liked. I duplicated it and flipped the copy so they’d be mirror images. After cutting it in vinyl, I added it to the canvas.
This one isn’t exactly a scripture, but more an assignment of a godly attribute to a favorite teacher. The words in Hebrew say “Faithful Teacher.”
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 pounced a soft yellow color all over the canvas and over the type and the fern leaves I added to the middle. When it is dry, I will use metallic bronze to outline the letters, which will end up being white on a mottled background.
You may want to completely paint the canvas one color before you lay your vinyl down so that the letters will be a color.
Here you can see the yellow paint covering the vinyl.
Both colors have been added to the canvas.
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.
This is the finished canvas for my teacher.
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.
This is the finished “He is Risen” canvas.