Altered Canvas

by Kimberly Van Diepen

Alter a canvas with paint, photos and stamps and turn it into a wall hanging.


  • Stretched Canvas
  • Patterned Paper
  • Mod Podge™ Matte Finish
  • Acrylic Paint
  • Two Sponge Brushes
  • Paint Trays
  • Stamp set of choice
  • Horizontal Slit Punch
  • Cardstock
  • Embellishments
  • Photo (Any photo size will do. Photo must be professionally developed.)


  1. Step 1

    Choose 4 complimentary colors of acrylic paint.

    Add a little of each paint to your paint tray or styrofoam plate.

  2. Step 2

    Use long even strokes to paint the canvas with a foam brush. Make sure none of the canvas shows through your paint.

    Use the darker shade of paint around the edges for a nice contrast.

  3. Step 3

    Paint chipboard using the same acrylic paint colors. Let dry.

  4. Step 4

    Using a foam brush, lightly coat canvas with Mod Podge™ where you will place the patterned paper. Place your patterned paper over the Mod Podge™ area. Lightly press any air bubbles out using your fingers. Let dry.

    If you notice a lot of air bubbles you probably have TOO much Mod Podge™. Place a small amount of Mod Podge™ on your finger and press air out lightly.

  5. Step 5

    Lightly apply Mod Podge™ to the back of your pictures. Place pictures onto canvas and lightly press out bubbles. Apply Mod Podge™ over pictures. Let dry.

    Pictures will appear milky white. Make sure to use even strokes when applying Mod Podge™ for a finished look.

  6. Step 6

    Apply rub ons to neutral cardstock. Stamp image lightly over rub ons and adhere onto coordinating cardstock.

    Punch two slits using horizontal slit punch.

  7. Step 7

    Wrap ribbon around canvas and tie into square knot.

  8. Step 8

    Add embellishments to canvas.

  9. Step 9

    Chipboard was embellished by adding a large felt snowflake with a decorative brad.

    Punch hole into chipboard and hang from ribbon.

  10. Step 10

    Apply rub on to neutral cardstock and cut corners to make a paper banner. Stamp coordinating image.

    Adhere banner to canvas with glue dots.

  11. Your canvas is finished.


    Tips & Tricks:
    If you stamp onto your canvas use a pigment ink. Place a hard surface underneath the canvas so you can add pressure when stamping. Rub ons can be added before or after Mod Podge™.

Your Turn

You've seen the tutorial, now you try it! We've got a section of the gallery set aside for Altered Canvas. Try this technique, then upload your artwork to the gallery. Show us your creations!

***Please note - Internet Explorer/Edge is not a supported browser, and will not allow you to see the videos. Please use Chrome, Firefox or Safari to view our tutorial videos.

Questions and Comments

We'd love to get your feedback or questions. Leave your comment below.

Your altered canvas looks like a work of art. Thank you for sharing the idea. Sometime between now and the New Year I'm going to have to give this a try.

Tricia  |  Sun Nov 9, 2008 at 7:57 AM
This is a great idea! Would make a great gift for any occassion. TFS
Diane  |  Sun Nov 9, 2008 at 9:15 AM
Thanks so much for the tutorial. I have been wanting to make one of these so bad. One question, though. How can you make sure your photo is professionally printed?
edie3  |  Sun Nov 9, 2008 at 11:14 AM
Professional photo means walmart, target or walgreens. Basically nothing that comes off your home printer. The modge podge tends to "eat" your picture. smile
Kimberly Van Diepen  |  Sun Nov 9, 2008 at 12:33 PM
thanks for the quick reply, that answer is easy enough!
edie3  |  Sun Nov 9, 2008 at 1:07 PM
Are the brads through the canvas or just sitting on top of it? Would it matter either way?
Summer  |  Sun Nov 9, 2008 at 2:59 PM
Beautiful--what a great idea!
Carolyn King  |  Sun Nov 9, 2008 at 6:23 PM
Gorgeous Project..
~amy~ aka scs Craf-tee  |  Mon Nov 10, 2008 at 4:59 AM
I love this, thank you for the great idea and the presents for grandma's and grandpa's this year smile
Brandy Wolfgram  |  Mon Nov 10, 2008 at 5:06 AM
Very pretty! What a perfect holiday gift! Thanks!
Elizabeth Velazquez  |  Mon Nov 10, 2008 at 10:38 AM
I love this project. I've been hesitant to try canvas projects, but your instructions take the guesswork out of it! Thanks!
Vera  |  Wed Nov 12, 2008 at 12:41 PM
I am just now browsing & googling to find some ideas for an upcoming class on SU wall calendars and came across this of yours. It is beautiful, thank you for giving great directions and all too.
Still needing SU wall calendar ideas, so if you have any ideas, or know of any to look at. Send them my way if you can ok...

Have a Blessed and Healthy New Year!

Marlamae  |  Sun Dec 28, 2008 at 5:10 AM
what size of canvas did you use?
are the brads though the canvas
vickie  |  Fri Oct 23, 2009 at 7:06 AM
have wanted to make a canvas display but have been too afraid to give it a try - not anymore. great instructions/tips!
Gloria Galvan  |  Wed Apr 10, 2013 at 11:04 PM

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