How to Add a Quote onto a Canvas

I have a tough time living in the present. Instead of enjoying the blessings of today, I find that I’m constantly looking forward to what tomorrow may bring. I’m anxious about the future. Whether it’s me getting excited for the upcoming weekend, or me looking forward to the day I can move home to Chicago to be closer to my family. I’m always daydreaming about what is to come.

Instead of living in the moment, soaking up every minute of right now…I’m fretting about the unknown that tomorrow brings.

The thing is I know this about myself. I’m actively, consciously trying to be better at it. But I need a daily reminder to help me remember to enjoy all of the wonderfulness that my life has right here, right now.

Today’s DIY project is exactly the reminder I need.Finished artwork- amazing quote transformed an old canvas

I’ve seen this project before in the blogosphere and I always thought it was pretty darn neat. But, I never really had a great quote that I wanted to use. Until now…

Finn & I have had many long chats about “living in the moment” and he struggles with it just like I do. He is actually the one that came up with this little quote. (who knew I was marrying such a poet!? His list of skills just keeps growing…)


Once I had the right quote, I had to find the perfect canvas to display it on.  I knew I wanted the canvas to be big enough to make an impact in our home, but I didn’t want to spend big bucks on a new large canvas.

That’s when New Uses came into play.  The perimeter of the store is lined with Canvases, picture frames, artwork…there are literally hundreds of pieces to choose from.

I found this canvas and knew it would be perfect for my project
After perusing the store, I scooped up this bad boy. It was exactly what I was looking for with the bulky frame, light muted paint colors, and large size. I couldn’t wait to bring it home and get to work.
The bulky frame and muted colors made this perfect for my project
My first step was to paint the frame. The muted green wasn’t bad at all, but I wanted my colored letters to pop, so I decided to go with an all white frame.
I popped out the canvas and got to work whitening the border up.
Ready to make over the canvas
Rustoleum primer and spray paint mask rubber gloves
All I needed was gloves, a mask, spray primer, and white spray paint.
I prepped the surface of the frame (wipe clean of any dirt & dust) and then did a light coat of the white primer. The next day I did a light coat of the semi-gloss white spray paint.
While the frame dried, I got to work on the canvas.
Scrapbook letters to create the quote
For this portion of the project, all you really need is sticky letters. I found mine in the scrapbooking section of Jo-ann fabric for $1.50 a sheet. I ended up having to go back to the store for more letters, simply because I kept running out of the letter “E”. (There are 12 “E”‘s in my quote!)
Mapping out my quote
I used a ruler and a pencil to make sure everything was spaced out evenly.
Place the letters on the canvas and get ready to paint
Next I peeled off the letters and stuck them to the canvas. At this point, Finn caught a sneak peek of the project. He said it looked like a kidnapper’s ransom note with the different fonts and colors. #thanksbuddy
The last step was to simply give it a few light coats of white spray paint.
Tip: Make sure your letters are sticking well onto the canvas. You don’t want any little areas to pop up and get paint underneath them.
Spray painted canvas white rustoleum spray paint
Carefuly peel the letters off the canvas
Carefully peel the letters off when your paint is fully dry.
Finished artwork on the bedroom dresser
So happy with how this turned out- and it was so easy!
I am totally in L-O-V-E with this piece. It is currently sitting on our dresser in our master bedroom. It serves as a great reminder to us every single morning to appreciate all that today offers.


The Year of Casey

Hey there!

I’m Casey Finn, the voice behind The DIY Playbook. I’m married to Finn & mom to Rory and Ellis. Together we’re creating our dream home in Chicago, one DIY project at a time.