Wednesday, October 6, 2010

canvas + freezer paper + paint = craft show banner

In December, I’ll need signage for Spool + Sparrow for a holiday craft show. I have my little wood-burned sign, but it’s not sufficiently large or easy to read from a distance. So I decided to go with the ever popular inexpensive-to-make and easy-to-transport canvas banner. I’m happy with the result. Freezer paper as a stencil is so darned handy. Can't believe I had never tried it before. So here’s what I did:



box-cutter or other uber-sharp cutting tool

freezer paper

painters tape

lettering in chosen font to create stencil

fabric paint & brush

grommets & grommet setter

Step 1

Print out business name in the desired size. I could only fit 2 letters on each page. The overall width of my canvas for the banner is about 60”.

Step 2

Tape the letters down on your cutting surface (self-healing mats are the best) just as you want them to appear on the final banner.

Step 3

Tape one long piece of freezer paper (shiny side down) over the top. The freezer paper will eventually be used as your stencil.

Step 4

Use cutting tool to carefully cut out all of your letters. It is important to keep the now fully detached center pieces from some letters - in my case, the middle of the letters “o”, “a” and “p”.

Step 5

Remove all the tape and discard the photo copy paper as it is no longer needed. Lay out your canvas and tape your freezer paper stencil onto it, shiny side down. Double-check your placement as you don’t want your shop name to be crooked. Well, unless you DO want it crooked.

Step 6

Iron your freezer paper stencil onto your canvas. Works beautifully in only a couple of seconds with a medium or hot iron. Keeps any paint from creeping under the stencil and will peel away easily later.

Step 7

Paint away. I used the same ink I use when printing with wood blocks. Heat-set if possible or keep in mind that you’ll not want to get it wet if you are unable to heat-set.

Step 8

Let it dry. I waited a couple of hours. Then - the best part - peel off the freezer paper.

Step 9

place grommets, or other hanging hardware - in corners.

Step 10

Trim and/or hem your canvas if necessary. A natural edge is great too. I don’t think canvas is very fray prone.

Et voila!


  1. Thank you for this super easy, picture rich tutorial. I have to see all the steps. Plus, I could totally understand your descriptions.