How to Make a Reverse Canvas

by Tanya McCarthy on January 23, 2020

Learning how to make a reverse canvas can be an intimidating task but today I am going to walk you through how to do just that. I have created a video tutorial but will also provide the walkthrough below. The first walkthrough is with Permanent Vinyl. The second is with Heat Transfer Vinyl.

Don't forget to Join my Facebook Group for Tips and Tricks and Subscribe to my YouTube Channel for the most up to date posts and videos.

With Permanent Vinyl

With Heat Transfer Vinyl

Here are the materials you will need. 

    • Exacto Knife or Box Cutter
    • Staple Gun and Staples
    • Pencil
    • Weeded and Transferred Design
    • Something hard to press the design (If Permanent Vinyl)
    • Iron or Heat Press (If HTV)
    • Canvas of your choice

Step 1: Remove the Canvas

Take your exacto knife and remove the canvas from the frame. To achieve this you want to cut above the staples on the back. Be mindful of the corners because they are overlapped, it will take a little more effort to remove them. When you're done peel the canvas away from the back. Then remove the extra canvas from below the staples. 

Step 2: Stain or Paint the Wood Frame (Optional)

This is a strictly optional step, but you can paint or stain the wooden frame after the canvas is removed. This will hide the staples that may be in the corners of the frames and gives the reverse canvas a more professional looking feeling. 

Step 3: Layout and Press your Design

Place the frame over the canvas and lightly outline the inside of the frame onto the canvas. This will help you place your design. Remove the frame and line your design up on the area. 

If you're working with vinyl you want to layout and press your design hard. This can be difficult because canvas has a lot of little bumps and ridges. You're going to need to put a LOT of pressure for the design to stick on the canvas. 

If you're painting, life becomes a lot easier as you can paint your canvas before creating the reverse canvas. 

If you're using HTV, place your design and press with your Iron or Easy Press.


Step 4: Reattach Canvas

Once your design is placed and lined up you're going to want to flip the frame and design over to reattach the canvas to the frame. I usually will bring the frame over the edge of the desk/table/surface I am working on and then quickly flip it. 

Once your medium is flipped, you're going to want to staple around the frame to reattach the canvas. Be sure you do not have any parts of the canvas that are not flat as the design will "bubble up" underneath the frame. 

Step 5: Remove additional canvas

Once you're done stapling the canvas you will remove the additional canvas from the back by performing the same action as above. Take your exacto knife and cut above the staples to remove the excess canvas. Then you're done!!!

Here are some other examples

Need help? Don't hesitate to drop a comment below! 

Don't forget to Join my Facebook Group for Tips and Tricks and Subscribe to my YouTube Channel for the most up to date posts and videos.


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