A few months ago I did a post called How to: Easy Stamp Wall Art and I recently did a similar project but with a little twist. The items we are looking at today are the two pieces on either side of the painting.


You will need:

  • at least one canvas
  • watercolor paints in your choice of color
  • a medium-sized paint brush
  • small scissors and/or Xacto knife
  • cutting board (optional)
  • printer (optional)

1. I began this project by choosing two phrases, one for each canvas. Since my living room is a nautical theme, I went with two sea-faring phrases. I typed them out on Illustrator and printed it as a PDF. You could also do this with Word or Open Office, but make sure you choose a big font with few details so it will be easier to cut out later. I used a font called Stencil Std Bold (you can download it here).

TIP: It’s better to go with a stencil-style, because your letters still have to keep their middle bits when you cut them out of the template. Otherwise, letters like A and O are going to look weird. And whichever font you go with, make sure it’s printed nice and big on your paper. If you want, you can draw your word/phrase instead.

If you like, you can print off the PDF I used for this project by clicking here.

stencil22. Once your word/phrase is printed, start cutting. I used some small thread scissors for cutting out the bigger, easier letters in Ahoy! and then I used the Xacto knife and cutting board for Shiver Me Timbers because the details became smaller.

Just be careful. Because as you may or may not know: knives and scissors are sharp.

3. Place your stencil in the middle of your canvas. I went with straight, neat and in the middle… but as we all know, art is usually not about straight, neat and in the middle. Go ahead! Put it at an angle. GO CRAZY. Just put a tiny piece of tape on each corner when you choose your location.

4. Paint over your stencil in a combination of strokes and straight-down sponge motions.


5. Once you’ve filled in the letters and you’re happy with it, carefully lift the tape and very carefully lift your stencil off. Put that aside and continue on to the next canvas/phrase if you’re doing a second. You might notice your letters are letters bled a bit, or maybe even morphed into the letter beside it. And that’s OK! This is not meant to be perfect-looking.


6. Let it dry for a few hours. Add more painty prettiness around it if you like, or stay white and clean like I did. Hang as you like and enjoy!


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Jillianne Hamilton is an author, crafter, hobby addict, history enthusiast and graphic designer in Charlottetown, PEI on Canada's beautiful east coast. Her debut novel, Molly Miranda: Thief for Hire, was shortlisted for the Prince Edward Island Book Award in 2016. Her fourth book, The Lazy Historian's Guide to the Wives of Henry VIII, will be published in 2018.


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Hi, I'm Jill! I'm an author, a Lazy Historian, a web/graphic designer, a bookworm and a hobby addict. I live in Charlottetown on Canada's beautiful east coast. Learn more.

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