DIY Canvas Painting

I am probably one of the least artistic people ever, but I still wanted some cute art for my little guy’s nursery.

I started browsing Etsy and other online shops for a giraffe print to match the rest of his nursery, and realized everything was really expensive, especially for a 20″ x 34″ print. I love my little guy, but I didn’t really want to spend $200+ on a print that he likely will not be bringing to college!

Hence, I decided to embark on a DIY project! I must say, it was easier than I had anticipated, but if you are a perfectionist like myself, be forewarned that unless you have an extremely steady hand, your piece might not be perfect. It’s okay!

So, if you are interested in saving some money (not time!) here is what you will need.


  • Canvas
  • Print or image you want to transfer (or if you are more artistic you can free-hand your drawing)
  • Pencil
  • Acrylic paint(s)
  • Paint brushes

What you will need to do:

  • Find an image you like. I bought my image from The Paper Nut (Jeanie is wonderful and very helpful!). Scale it to your desired  size. Adobe Reader allows you to print one image onto multiple pages if you want a large canvas.
  • Once your image is printed you will need to turn your image over so that you are viewing the backside. Use your pencil to color over the lines. You will want your penciled lines to be thicker than the actual line. It might be helpful to tape your image up to a window so it is easier to see the lines because once you flip it over it can be difficult to see where the lines that you are trying to trace really are on the paper.

  • Once you’re done creating your thicker lines, turn your image back to right side up and position it where you want it on your canvas. I would recommend taping it on so it doesn’t move.

  • Now you will need to trace your image with your pencil again. This time a single line is fine, you don’t need a thick line. This creates a light pencil line on your canvas that you can then use as an outline for painting.
  • Paint your outlined image in the colors of your choice!


  • Once you paint over the outlined pencil line, you can no longer erase it, so if you want to be sure that a line doesn’t show, be sure not to paint over it. You can erase the pencil lines from the canvas if it isn’t sealed in acrylic paint.
  • If you are using multiple colors of acrylic paint, be sure to let each color dry before using the next.
  • If you are planning on doing a large canvas, recognize that it will take a good chunk of time to trace the images twice and then paint it. This took me somewhere between ten to 12 hours to complete! After all of that, I decided he WILL be bringing this painting to college with him.
  • It won’t be perfect, let it go, once it’s hung you really can’t see imperfections anyway.

7 Responses to DIY Canvas Painting

  1. Seems so easy and looks so cute! Way to go mama. Love the giraffes. :)

  2. I’ve been trying to get up the courage to create art for over my couch. You just made it easier. Thanks for this post.

    • Definitely go for it Linda!!! I was amazed at how easy it really was and you will be so proud of it once you finish, I promise! :)

  3. Adorable!! I love the giraffes!

  4. Pingback: 10 Bright & Colorful DIY Projects that Pop - Stacy Molter

  5. Pingback: 10 Bright & Colorful DIY Projects that Pop - Fancy Shanty

  6. Pingback: DIY – Giraffe Wall Art | Good Ideas For You

Leave a Reply to Linda Luke Cancel reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>