Reverse Canvas with Heat Transfer Vinyl: A DIY Tutorial + FREE Hand-Lettered Cut File!

Craftey + Simply Alison Reverse Canvas - Main

Alison from Simply Alison back on the Craftey blog showing you how to create a reverse canvas from start to finish using our Color Chimp Heat Transfer Vinyl! For more project ideas and inspiration, be sure to check out the Craftey Community!

I recently moved into my first house. My husband and I completely flipped it and now we are at the point of decorating it and adding our personal touches. We are super into that farmhouse/rustic look. I knew I needed to try a reverse canvas since it has the look I’m going for. My bathroom walls are looking super lonely and bare so I took a quote that my mother used to say to me as a child and spruced up the bathroom! Let’s get started!


  • Color Chimp Luxe HTV in Black
  • If You Sprinkle Free SVG Cut File (you can download it here)
  • Canvas
  • Cricut or other cutting machine (I use a Cricut Explorer Air 2 in this tutorial)
  • 12x12 Cutting Mat
  • Pencil
  • X-Acto knife or box cutter
  • Wood Stain or paint (optional if you want your wood darker or a certain color)
  • Brush for the stain or paint (If you choose to add this)
  • Hot glue gun or light duty staple gun
  • Iron or Easy Press (I use an iron in this tutorial)

Craftey + Simply Alison Reverse Canvas - Supplies

Step 1

Craftey + Simply Alison Reverse Canvas - Step 1

Looking at your canvas from the back, take an X-Acto Knife or box cutter and cut the canvas around the frame. Cut on the right side of the staples, all the way around until your canvas is off of the frame. You’ll have to use a little more force around the corners since the canvas is folded there. You can pull the extra canvas that’s still on the frame off, but you don’t have to since this is the back of the frame and won’t be seen

Step 2

Craftey + Simply Alison Reverse Canvas - Step 2

Place the frame around the canvas and use a pencil to draw “guidelines” on the canvas. Set the canvas aside. We are going to cut it later. Just an FYI... learn from my mistake and make sure your canvas is clear out of the way. You wouldn’t want to get wood stain or paint on your pretty white canvas 🤦🏽‍♀️

Step 3

Craftey + Simply Alison Reverse Canvas - Stain 1

Paint or stain the wood frame (if you’ve chosen to do this).

Craftey + Simply Alison Reverse Canvas - Stain 2

Step 4

 Craftey + Simply Alison Reverse Canvas - DS 1

Insert the SVG into Design Space and resize. Make sure you resize your SVG to fit your canvas. My canvas is 12x12 but that also includes the frame! So I sized my SVG down to 7.8" x 7.7" since I don’t want my words to be cut off by the frame.

Step 5

Craftey + Simply Alison Reverse Canvas - DS 2In Design Space highlight all of the lettering and click attach. This will attach the lettering and keep it in place instead of trying to save room and being all jumbled.

Step 6

Craftey + Simply Alison Reverse Canvas - DS 3

I am using Color Chimp heat transfer vinyl again. If you decide to use heat transfer make sure you mirror the SVG and the shiny side of the HTV is facing down on your mat. Turn your Cricut dial to the ‘Iron-on’ setting. If you choose to use vinyl, set the dial to vinyl and DO NOT mirror the SVG.

Craftey + Simply Alison Reverse Canvas - Cutting

Step 7

Craftey + Simply Alison Reverse Canvas - Weeding

Cut and weed. Make sure to get all the pieces inside the e’s, a’s, r’s and o’s.

Step 8

Craftey + Simply Alison Reverse Canvas - Place Canvas

Now cut the canvas where we put the guidelines earlier. This doesn't have to be perfect. The frame will cover the edges.

Step 9

Craftey + Simply Alison Reverse Canvas - Iron

Heat up your Iron or Easy Press then place the lettering that we cut, in the center of the canvas. Use a Teflon sheet (could also use thin fabric) between the HTV and the Iron. Press the Color Chimp HTV with medium pressure for about 15-20 seconds. I move my iron around so I don’t burn the canvas. Pull up the plastic sheet a little and make sure the HTV adhered to the canvas. If it did not, just lay the plastic back down and add a little more pressure and heat. Pull the clear sheet off while it is still warm!

Craftey + Simply Alison Reverse Canvas - Peel

Step 10

Craftey + Simply Alison Reverse Canvas - Glue

Use a light duty staple gun or a hot glue gun to put the canvas on the back part of the frame.  Be sure the lettering is facing out!

You now have a cute clever bathroom sign with that farmhouse flair! After you finish the project, don’t forget to post on social media using the hashtags #SimplyCraftey and #GetCraftey and post on Craftey’s Finished Projects board so we can see what you make!

Craftey + Simply Alison Reverse Canvas - Complete

Be sure to head over to the Craftey shop to find the materials used in this project, including our Color Chimp Luxe HTV, If you're looking for more fun project ideas, tips, or free cut files, head over to our Community site and join in on the fun!

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