I designed this mosaic turtle project to fit into my coastal decor. I wanted it to be lightweight, inexpensive and a way to use up fabric scraps. Follow below to see how you can make one!
Need more beach crafts in your life? We have just the collection for you, check out our list of 55+ Beach Crafts for Adults and Kids!
I have a soft spot for mosaics. I’ve always loved them, but you really have to be careful when decorating with mosaic designs. You can really only have one per room, two tends to really be pushing it, or things start to look way too busy. Mosaics have the ability to start a conversation. They are so interesting to look at and can truly become the focal point of a room.
True mosaics, made with tile and grout, are costly to make and are very heavy. Hanging a tile and grout mosaic on the wall isn’t very feasible. That’s when I decided I would use fabric scraps and decoupage.
As always, a full printable supply list and instructions are at the end of this post.
I used Americana Decoup-Page in Satin finish. Mod Podge works great too, but I wouldn’t recommend using a homemade decoupage on this project. Homemade decoupage has a tendency to yellow over time.
This is not the first time I’ve mentioned that I’m switching my décor over to a more coastal feel. I love the calming colors of the coast; blues and greens make me happy. Two years ago I was finally able to visit Florida, my first time ever…
For a long, long time I’ve wanted to go to Florida, specifically The Keys. When I was in high school everyone went to Florida for spring break, except for me. My parents were divorced and we simply couldn’t afford a lavish family vacation like the kids I went to school with. So each year they would all return tan and rested and I vowed that one day I would be able to mark Florida off of my Bucket List.Quoted from my food blog, Amanda’s Cookin’.
We stayed with my awesome friend, Jodi, she opened her home to us. This picture is in her backyard:
This is one of my favorite pictures from the trip. My kids walking in the ocean.
If you’ve ever driven down to Key Largo toward The Keys you know that basically it’s ocean on both sides and a bit of land and that’s about it. So if you happen upon an empty parking space, it’s best you grab it!Quoted from my food blog Amanda’s Cookin’
I drew a lot of inspiration from that trip. It’s impossible for me to let go of the feeling I had while I was there. In fact, do you remember this painting?
During that trip I was inspired by a piece of art Jodi had hanging in her guest bath.
For this mosaic turtle, I had a design in mind, I just needed to create the pattern.
NOTE: The printable pattern is marked with the letters M, B and L. These letters represent the shade of fabric to use. M = medium, B = bright, and L = light.
Because my canvas was much larger than one piece of paper, I taped four together and drew my pattern on that.
Hope you like it and it gives you some inspiration!
If you like coastal decor and beach crafts, check out all of my beach craft ideas here. Otherwise, I’ve picked out a few of my favorites below for you to peruse :)
This project was originally published here on May 31, 2014
Filed Under: Beach Crafts, Crafts for Seniors, Home Decor Projects, Recycled Crafts for AdultsTagged With: adult, adult craft ideas, adult crafts, adults, beach, canvas, crafts for adults, mosaic, ocean, recycle, recycle crafts, recycled, recycled crafts, turtle, wall art
In our Facebook Group, the question comes up a lot about the best way to bring shine and a nice glossy finish back to the dried paintings. Acrylic paints can dry rather dull and darker than when wet, but adding back a glossy finish and brightening up those colors again is easy!
For your convenience, here are store links to items we mentioned in this article.
Glossy, inexpensive glossy finish.
An older form of finish that contains alkyd resin, oil, and solvents.
Minwax Polycrylic Protective Finish
Glossy finish that self-levels and smooths out like a resin.
Water-Based Helmsman Spar Urethane
Glossy finish that won't amber over time.
Comes in matte, satin, semi-gloss and gloss
You may have heard varnish used as a generic term for any finish, but traditional varnish describes an older form of finish that contains alkyd resin, oil, and solvents. When applied to surfaces indoors or out, varnish cures into a thin and glossy film with a faint yellow or amber tint, similar to the finish achieved with oil-based polyurethane.
So although we might talk about ‘varnishing’ our paintings to protect them, we aren’t actually using a real varnish to do that. A varnish would be oil based and typically has a slightly yellow tint – not good for our paintings!
You will be looking for something that has these features in order to top-coat an acrylic painting:
The Polycrylic protective finish checks all the boxes for me when it comes to protecting my artworks. It’s easy to use, you can really put it on nice and thick and there are never any brush strokes. It self-levels so it spreads and smooths out a little like a resin. It’s glossy, and it’s not too expensive. I can easily wash out my brush after and it never hardens.
There were questions raised in the Facebook group about whether it would yellow so I wrote to MinWax and asked them all about it, and which of their product range would be best for protecting acrylic paintings. They said:
“the only products we offer that will be suitable for use over paint would be the Polycrylic or the Water-Based Helmsman Spar Urethane. Neither of these coatings will amber over time, which is typical with other polyurethane type products. To apply this product, however, you will need to allow the paint to fully cure (at least 30 days) first. This will prevent the solvents in our products from reacting with those still remaining in a still-curing paint coating, avoiding the color running, discoloring or hazing. Apply your clear finish per label directions. You should have pleasing results for your project. “
That was interesting advice about allowing the acrylic paint to fully cure before applying the top coat and I think that would be good advice to follow whatever top coat you decide to use. I usually leave it about 10 days and so far (fingers crossed) I’ve never had any issues with this finish.
The Polycrylic comes in matte, satin, semi-gloss and gloss. You can get it in a spray can (which I’ve never tried) or in various different sized cans. Recoating time is 2 hours and it’s fully dry in 24hrs. So if you are looking for a nice glossy and easy to use finish for your paintings, give Polycrylic a try. You can get it here:
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There I was, cleaning up my messy craft room in order to get it ready for photos. I found a canvas, and I spotted a blank wall, and I knew I needed to make something quick to fill the wall space and add another DIY element to my craft room. It was a super quick project without a lot of forethought, but I love how this Create Painted Canvas turned out!
If you have ever thought about using a stencil on a canvas, but wondered if it would work, this is for you! I wondered the same thing, and thought why not just try it – so I did.
As mentioned, this was VERY last minute, and I just started making it instead of taking pictures along the way – blogger fail! But I did come to my senses and start documenting when it came to the stenciling process.
First I painted some color swipes along the top and bottom. Let dry. Then I painted some white swipes. I used the white because I wanted the colors to stand out and not fade into one another. After the white dried, I layered another color. And then more white. And then another color. And on and on. I didn’t really have a plan 😉 For the last step I painted white over the middle of everything.
I used craft paints for the colors and the white is a wall paint. I really think it frames the whole project and makes it pretty perfect.
Next was the attempt to use a stencil. The canvas is really big, so I had to make my stencil in a couple of different sections. I used my Silhouette machine and then just some contact paper, like THIS. I love using contact paper for stencils – it’s super inexpensive, which is great since you’re just going to peel it off and throw it away. I used transfer tape to move it over to the canvas and get it adhered where I wanted it to be.
Next up, the SEAL LAYER – THIS is the secret trick to those crisp lines. I use this trick all. the. time. when working with wood signs, so I wanted to try it out with a canvas. And it worked!! You paint the base layer that is under your stencil (in my case, the white) OVER your stencil. The idea is that all stencils will bleed a little, but this way what bleeds will match the background. Then it will seal the crack. So the next layer, which will be color, won’t go under the stencil.
Let that dry. Then go ahead with your main color. Let dry. I did 2 coats.
Then it’s time for the grand reveal!! My favorite part!!
Voila!! there were a couple of spots that needed a little touch up, but I was way impressed with the overall crisp lines that resulted.
I love having this hang in my craft room – it’s pretty much perfect wall decor for that room! Want to see more of my craft room?? Check it out —> Craft Room Tour
Here’s a reference, a kiddo holding it, so you can get an idea of how huge it turned out – love it!
So fun, right?!
Part 1Selecting a Canvas and Applying Adhesive
Let any background painting dry completely. If you paint your canvas, check that it has dried fully before moving on to other steps. Look at your canvas to gauge dryness. If it is cool to the touch, it is still curing. How long the canvas takes to dry will depend upon the thickness of your paint application.
Lay your canvas on your work surface. Place your canvas flat on your work surface, a table is best, rather than on an easel. It’s easiest to work with gold leaf while standing over the canvas.
Wet a flat soft-bristled brush. Fill a container with plain tap water. Dip your brush into the container to thoroughly coat the bristles. Remove excess water by wiping each side of the brush against a clean paper towel until your brush is merely damp.
Part 2Applying the Gold Leaf
Close any windows and turn off any fans. Minimize airflow in the room where you’re working to prevent your gold leaf from floating up into the air. The leaf is very light, and a small draft can cause it to get away from you while you’re handling it.
Use a clean soft rag or cheesecloth to burnish the gold leaf. Lay a piece of wax paper over the entire gold leafed area of the canvas. Apply firm pressure with your cloth, rubbing the gold leaf against the canvas through the wax paper. This will help secure the gold leaf in place.
Part 3Sealing the Gold Leaf
Wait at least 3 days before sealing your gold leaf. Let your adhesive cure completely before attempting to apply sealant. For the best finish, it’s best to wait 3 days at a minimum.
Let the varnish dry fully before handling your canvas. Let your canvas dry in a well-ventilated area away from pets and children. When it is completely dry, hang your work of art or paint more on the canvas as desired. Now that your gold is sealed, it will not be degraded by adding other art materials.
Is it better to use acrylic or oil paint to paint over the gold leaf?
Either is fine, but if you use oil paint it will give your picture more texture than if you use acrylic.
Is it safe to do lines or designs on a detailed background? Will it damage the painting at all?
As long as the paint is dry and you are applying it gently, it most likely won't come off, but it depends on what kind of paint you are using.
How do I do this without gold leaf? Can I use gold paint?
To do this without gold leaf, you can use gold paint, luster dust, glitter, and much more.
Ask a Question
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Have you been wondering how to get vinyl to stick to canvas? It can be tricky! In this post I will show you the tips and tricks I use to get vinyl to stick to canvas to create beautiful signs.
I just used these techniques last weekend while I was making a canvas for Easter. I applied the vinyl first and then painted the background. Here’s a little preview.
If you are interested in using my SVG design I have it available in my Resource Library. The details are available at the bottom of the post.
Let’s get to it and see how to get vinyl to stick to canvas.
Let’s talk about the vinyl first. Be sure to use Oracle 651 vinyl. This is a permanent adhesive vinyl and it really works the best for sticking to canvas or wood. Oracle 651 comes in a variety of colors, including glitter, so you will have lots of options with your design.
If you need more help with vinyl types, see my vinyl guide here.
Canvas is not a smooth surface. This is what makes it a bit of a challenge to get vinyl to stick to it. In order to combat that, we need to prep the surface of the canvas to make it smoother for vinyl adhesion.
There are three different methods you can use to do this.
The first way you can prep your canvas is by painting it. If you wanted to change the background color anyway, this is probably your best bet.
If you don’t want to paint, spray adhesive is your next option. Simply spray the entire surface of the canvas with your spray adhesive and let dry. After the adhesive is dry it will not feel sticky, but it adds a coating to the canvas to get that vinyl to stick better.
The third option is to use mod podge. Apply mod podge to your entire canvas and let dry.
I have tried all three, but mod podge is what I use most often. I always have it on hand, and I don’t have to go outside to spray anything.
Now that your canvas is prepped, we are ready to stick on the vinyl.
I do want to mention transfer paper really quick. I prefer to use clear contact paper to transfer my vinyl. Some of the transfer paper brands are entirely too sticky. The only exception to this is when you are using glitter vinyl, it needs a super sticky transfer paper.
Tip: Before you apply the contact paper to your vinyl, stick it to your clothes a few times to reduce the stickiness even more.
Before you put your vinyl design onto the canvas, grab a large hardback book.
One of the difficulties with getting the vinyl to stick is the canvas does not have a hard surface. We will be using a lot of pressure burnishing the vinyl. Placing a hard book under the canvas will give us the perfect firm surface we need.
Next, line up your design how you want it. Start at the center of your vinyl transfer and scrape out to the edges to prevent bubbles.
Now we really need to rub (also called burnishing) that vinyl onto the canvas. You can use your Cricut scraper, an old credit card, or even a tennis ball works really well (apply firm pressure while rolling it over your design)
After you’ve rubbed until you can’t rub anymore, it’s time to peel back the transfer paper.
Peel the paper back slowly at an angle. Your vinyl should be stuck without any problems!
Every once in a while you will get a pain in the butt area. Maybe our base wasn’t applied enough in that area, or we didn’t rub quite hard enough there.
If this happens to you, lay the transfer paper back down in that spot and rub really hard over that letter again. Most of the time it will stick after that.
There are some fonts that stick better than others. The thick fonts that have more surface area will be easier to transfer.
The really thin, often the script fonts can be more difficult.
The script on this project did pretty decent. There was one area that decided to be a pain though.
And that was the thin little ‘I’ in Risen. If you encounter a thin letter that wants to come up with the transfer paper no matter how many times you rub, try using your Cricut Weeding Hook.
Use the hook to hold down the letter while pulling the transfer paper away. Press down on the vinyl letter with your finger after the transfer paper is off. The letter will stick fine after that.
Ido not seal my vinyl letters because Oracle recommends that you do not. It can distort and damage the vinyl.
That said I know plenty of people who do apply mod podge or polyacrylic over the vinyl letters without any problems. Just know it’s not recommended by the manufacturer.
So you see getting vinyl to stick to canvas doesn’t have to be frustrating at all! Just remember to prep your canvas, and use a hard book so you can apply firm pressure while burnishing. And if you do run into stubborn areas, now you know the tricks to work past them.
Here’s the pic again of my finished product. The vinyl transferred beautifully and will remain that way for many years to come.
Do you want to use my design for your project? You totally can! I keep all of my SVG files, plus plans and printables in my Free Resource Library
To get exclusive access, simply fill out the form below.
WANT TO SAVE THIS FOR LATER? BE SURE TO PIN THIS VINYL ON CANVAS TIPS TO YOUR FAVORITE PINTEREST BOARD!
Chris Butler has helped thousands of crafters learn how to use their Cricut machine without feeling overwhelmed. She is a best selling author and an up and coming designer. For fun Chris enjoys designing SVG Files, hanging out with her family (preferably at the lake), traveling, and volunteering at her church. She is a wife and mom of two crazy fun kids.
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Ready to ring in fall? This beautiful fall canvas art is surprisingly easy to make, even the kiddos will love helping with this DIY craft project.
GojasNovember 06, 2019 6:53 AM
I believe, that you are not right.