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Easy DIY Word Canvas Art Project

Are you looking for an easy project for kids of all ages to make? This simple word canvas craft project is such a great gift idea. Update those blank canvases the next time you need something for Mother’s Day, Valentine’s Day, or Father’s Day.

Easy canvas idea for kids pointing to painted canvas with words and arrow pointed to black and white canvas with arrow and text saying for adults.

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Not only is this an easy art idea for kids, but it can be customized for adults as well. Make sure you read the whole post to see how you can take the same craft idea and change it no matter which family member is creating it.

Why Let Kids Create

  • Can be personalized with your favorite saying or quote.
  • Won’t be a classic cookie-cutter craft. Each child can create their own masterpiece and have fun doing it.
  • Painting, handling the small wooden letters and even sorting the letters help develop fine motor skills.

Tips For Paint Colors

Make sure you provide your little ones with colors that mix well together. The colors that are next to each other on the color wheel will work well. You can also add white paint to any color scheme to get a variety of tints.

2 Primary Colors Also Work

If you want a little fun video to show your kids about color mixing before you start, go ahead and check this color mixing video out!

Recommended Supplies

  • Wooden Letters
  • Canvas or Canvasboard
  • Acrylic Craft Paint
  • Paintbrushes
  • Glue-All
  • Toothpicks
  • Paper Plate
  • Water Container
wooden letters in plastic bag, blue craft acrylic paint and bottle of glue on canvas.

How To Make Kids Word Canvas Project

Before You Begin

Make choosing the words and finding the letters fun. Picking out the wooden letters is an activity in itself. We love when we can turn any craft project into another type of learning activity.

Even if for now they think you spell love, W-U-V. I need to remember to cherish the moments and thought my husband would also appreciate the WUV!

Step 1: Pick Out Saying

Pick out the saying that you want to be on your canvas. We decided to spell, “I WUV DAD”. Partially because I couldn’t find another E and also because that is how my little kiddos say, “Love”.

two preschoolers picking out wooden letters on brown table.

Step 2: Paint The Letters

Paint the letters using the main colors (not white). You want there to be some contrast between the words and the background.

little boy painting small wooden letters with blue paint on teal table.

I liked the idea that our canvas art is all similar colors.  However, you could always use one set of colors for the letters and one set for the background. 

Step 3: Let Wooden Letters Dry

Once the wooden letters are painted, set them aside.

kids hand holding wooden letter with paint on a "d" on a teal table.

Step 4: Paint Tints Of Colors

Give each child a squirt of white paint next to “his or her” color. Naturally, my kids mixed the paints as they worked together to paint the canvas.

preschooler's hand holding paint brush painting blues, purples and reds on canvas.

Step 5: Glue Letters On Canvas Once Dry

Allow all parts to dry. Once canvas and letters are dry, carefully use glue to collage the pieces to create the final DIY word canvas. 

hand holding Elmer's Glue-All and putting glue on wooden letter.

Step 6: Display Somewhere Special

You can frame, prop or check out one of our cool art display ideas.

purple and red painted canvas by kids with wooden letters on it that say I wuv dad.

Optional Final Step

Seal Canvas With Mod Podge

I did not do this, but that is because my husband proudly took this word canvas art to his office before I could. You could use a clear spray or different types of mod podge (I love this one).

This product will help add a cool shine or cohesiveness to the art project.

If you use washable paint a spray may work better as you could possibly smear what your child created.

Seal With Spray

Even a clear gloss spray paint would add a little more extra protection. In addition, it would hide any extra glue that may have slipped out from under the wooden letters onto the canvas.

How To Do This As An Adult Craft

Instead of using acrylic craft paint, glue the letters directly to the canvas. Use spray paint to cover the canvas completely for simple and cheap word art.

black painted canvas craft with wooden letters glued on.

Craft FAQs

Should you use acrylic or tempera paint with young children?

Acrylic paint is more permanent and will stick to the canvas better. However, that also means it could stain clothing and be harder to clean up. Washable tempera paint is a safer bet, but some areas may chip off over time.

What is a gallery-wrapped canvas?

We love gallery-wrapped canvases because the staples are hidden in the back and the edges are deeper. Simply paint the entire canvas including the edges and there is no need to frame it! They are more expensive though so that might persuade you otherwise. Pay attention to sales where you can sometimes get them for 60% off at Michaels and other craft stores.

Can I use a different surface besides canvas?

Canvas boards would be a good cheaper alternative.

What type of glue is best?

We love using Elmer’s Glue-All For all sorts of crafts. It can work on a variety of surfaces. Just be careful because it is not washable like the regular school glue.

Do you have to seal the canvas?

No, you can leave the painted canvas as is.

This DIY canvas word art project truly shows that art is for everyone!

Pin This Project To Pinterest

Related Craft Projects

Follow us on Pinterest, Youtube or Facebook for more DIY inspiration!

The DIY Project Challenge

When my kids first made this DIY canvas art for my husband, I didn’t realize I was already fitting this month’s theme for a DIY project challenge. Each month, my awesome DIY blogger friends get together and create projects based on a theme. The project must cost under $50!

For past challenges, I have redone a Midcentury Modern dresser, experimented with marbling paint techniques and created no-sew DIY storage boxes.

This month’s theme was to use wood and any other material to create a DIY project.

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Easy canvas idea for kids pointing to painted canvas with words and arrow pointed to black and white canvas with arrow and text saying for adults.

Make A Word Canvas Craft For Kids and Adults

Personlize this canvas craft idea with your favorite song, quote or saying. Children and adults can easily create their own masterpiece to display in your home.
Print Pin Rate
Course: DIY Art Projects for Kids
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Active Time: 30 minutes
Additional Time: 20 minutes
Total Time: 55 minutes
Author: Erin
Cost: under $10

Equipment

  • Paintbrushes
  • Adults: Spray Paint

Recommended Supplies

Instructions

  • Pick out the saying that you want to be on your canvas. We decided to spell, “I WUV DAD”. Partially because I couldn’t find another E and also because that is how my little kiddos say, “Love”.
    two preschoolers picking out wooden letters on brown table.
  • Paint the letters using the main colors (not white). You want there to be some contrast between the words and the background.
    little boy painting small wooden letters with blue paint on teal table.
  • Once the wooden letters are painted, set them aside. Give each child a squirt of white paint next to "his or her" color.
    Naturally, my kids mixed the paints as they worked together to paint the canvas.
    preschooler's hand holding paint brush painting blues, purples and reds on canvas.
  • Allow all parts to dry. Once canvas and letters are dry, carefully use glue to collage the pieces to create the final DIY word canvas. 
    hand holding Elmer's Glue-All and putting glue on wooden letter.
  • Let dry and give to that special family member.
    purple and red painted canvas by kids with wooden letters on it that say I wuv dad.
  • Optional: Use a clear coat or mod podge to seal the canvas.
    hand holding sparkle mod podge over diy painted computer case

Notes

  • When kids keep painting in the same area, gently rotate the canvas or paper so that they will work in a different area. Kids (especially younger ones), do not know when to stop, but it is because they are having so much FUN painting and making a masterpiece of a canvas!
  • For adults: Instead of using acrylic craft paint, glue the letters directly to the canvas. Use spray paint to cover the canvas completely for simple and cheap word art.
     
 
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Tutorial Rating




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Jennifer Van Haitsma

Friday 29th of May 2020

These are so cute! I would never have thought to do this. My kids would love it. They love painting!

Erin

Friday 29th of May 2020

Hi Jennifer! Thanks for the kind words. These are a super easy word canvas project to do. I just love that I was able to get a simple DIY artwork for our bathroom and then one that the kids were able to do for Father's Day!

Jenn Summers

Wednesday 7th of August 2019

Such a cute idea! I love that it is kid-friendly but can also be used to create an easy work of art for a great home decor piece! Great tutorial love it!

Erin

Thursday 8th of August 2019

Hi, Jenn. My kids loved making this for their dad! I also love that I have simple and easy artworks for my bathroom.

Supriya

Thursday 1st of August 2019

You are so very good at crafts and I lack that spark. I think I should give this a try

Erin

Friday 2nd of August 2019

Hi Supriya. You can TOTALLY do this DIY craft. It is a super easy craft for adults or kids! Good luck!

Ashley

Wednesday 31st of July 2019

I love this idea! It teaches spelling at the same time as creating art. I absolutely love it!

Sandi Schwartz

Wednesday 10th of July 2019

Hi Erin, this looks like a super fun project. Do you have any DIY project ideas for nature drawing or nature painting for kids? I just wrote a post about why nature art projects are such a great relaxation tool.

Erin

Wednesday 10th of July 2019

Hi Sandi! I do love art and nature projects as well. Right now I don't have a specific one my blog but have done nature-inspired art projects in the past. I will have to think about adding one soon!

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