ballpoint pen on canvas

🎨 Top 7 sorority canvas & craft letter tracing techniques!  🎨

Q: What are some tips for painting canvases? Every time I try the letters turn out bad, or it looks sloppy… Any ideas?

A: You must TRACE the lettering instead of trying to freehand it. Letters can make a perfectly painted canvas look messy if they are not traced neatly. That’s the problem you are running into. There are several different tracing techniques that can be used on canvases, coolers and other crafted gifts.

✰ Using attractive fonts from your computer is the first step. If you don’t already have fonts you like, use a source like this:

http://www.google.com/fonts/

✰ First paint your decorative canvas with the pattern or solid color you desire. Lettering will be the finishing touch on top of your painted design. To get the letter size you need, you may need to print several pieces of paper from your computer, or even one letter per page for large canvases. Use a ruler to space your letters evenly if needed. 

🎨   TOP 7 Ways to Paint Sorority Quotes & Letters on Canvas:  🎨

✰ Chocopaper/Carbon Paper Tracing Technique: 

  • From your computer ~ print your font on paper in the correct size for your canvas. This may take more than one sheet of paper, depending on the font size.
  • Gently tape the font paper to the painted canvas with painter’s tape. 
  • Slip a piece of Chocopaper/carbon paper between the font paper and the canvas.  
  • Place a book under your canvas to keep the surface firm and to keep it from stretching. 
  • Trace the letters with a ball point pen. 
  • Remove the font paper and the transfer paper and there will be a light outline of your lettering left on the canvas. Fill in with acrylic paints. 

✰ Tissue/Tracing Paper Technique:

  • From your computer ~ print your font on paper in the correct size for your canvas.
  • Place issue paper, or other translucent paper, over the font print-out and trace the letters with a pencil.
  • Place the tissue paper on the painted canvas and secure it with a few pieces of painter’s tape. Trace the letters with a fine to medium point Sharpie (not a thick Sharpie). The ink will bleed through and create the lines. 
  • Once the outline is traced, remove the tissue and paint the lettering in your desired colors. 

✰ Acrylic Letter Technique: 

  • Purchase removable acrylic letters at the craft store. 
  • Place onto the painted canvas and trace around the edges of each letter. 
  • Peel off the acrylic letters and paint within the traced lines.

✰ DIY a Stencil Technique:  

  • Most stenciled letters look like stencils. But you can make a more attractive stencil from your favorite computer font. 
  • From your computer ~ print your font on paper in the correct size for your canvas. A bolder, straight-edged style works best. 
  • Cut out the letters, creating your own stencil. 
  • Lightly tape the stencil over your painted canvas and trace the inside of the letters.
  • Peel off the stencil and paint within the lettering lines. 

✰ Chalk Technique: 

  • From your computer ~ print your font on paper in the correct size for your canvas.
  • Cover the back of your paper with white chalk by rubbing the side of a piece of chalk over the surface. 
  • Turn the paper over to the printed font side and lightly tape it to your painted canvas. 
  • Place a book under the canvas to keep it firm. 
  • With a ballpoint pen trace over the words. 
  • Remove the paper and there should be a chalk outline of your wording. Fill in the letters with paint. 

✰ Pencil Technique: 

  • From your computer ~ print your font on paper in the correct size for your canvas.
  • Turn the paper over and cover the back of each letter with pencil marks. 
  • Lay the paper font side up/pencil side down onto the painted canvas. But a book behind the canvas center to avoid stretching. 
  • Trace the font lettering with a ballpoint pen. The backside pencil lead will leave a tracing on your canvas. 
  • Remove the paper and fill in your letters with acrylic paint. 
  • If there are any stray pencil lead smudges, you can remove them with a baby wipe once all the paint is dry. 

✰ Mod Podge Technique: 

  • From your computer ~ print your font on paper in the correct size for your canvas. 
  • Precisely cut out your letters and Mod Podge them on to your painted canvas. 
  • Once dry, paint over your lettering with acrylic paints. The paper letters stay in place and serve as your template. 
  • This technique is best when using bolder, straight-edged letters that are easier to cut out. If using a curly script font, cut carefully with an x-acto knife. 
  • Mod Podging and painting over letters, images, or logos is also a favorite technique for cooler painting. 
  • Variation: cut out letters in decorative paper and Mod Podge them onto your painted canvas for a collage look. You don’t need to paint over these letters. 

✰ “NEAT” canvas lettering inspiration: 

The Signs as art mediums

Aries: acrylic ink on yupo paper

Taurus: spray paint on wood panel

Gemini: acrylic guache on masonite

Cancer: water-soluble oil paint on corn

Leo: india ink on 300lbs hot-press

Virgo: literal shitsmears on a two-canvas triptych 

Libra: fabric paint sharpies

Scorpio: blue ballpoint pen on human skin

Sagittarius: alcohol-based markers

Capricorn: monochromatic glitter

Aquarius: firealpaca

Pisces: the blood of virgins on linoleum