I guess this is a thing now.
In a parenting Facebook group I’m a member of, I posted the results of a craft project I did with Penny. Lots of people really liked it and said they were stealing the idea. I said to go on ahead; I didn’t originate the idea and this isn’t even the first time I’ve done it.
Then I thought, hey, I took photos. I could post about this on my blog that I never post on anymore! Then if anybody asks me how I did it I can point them to this handy dandy post!
So first, you gather your materials:
- Contact paper
- Cutting tools
Some of the materials I used–scissors, canvas, contact paper, toddler hand. Not pictured: craft knife, cutting mat, paint, rest of toddler.
I used 8.5″×11″ canvases that I got on clearance at Michael’s. They were on clearance because the package was busted open and some of them were dirty–nothing a bit of primer couldn’t fix! The contact paper I used is vinyl shelf lining paper from Walmart. For cutting, depending on the intricacy of your design you may use scissors, a craft knife, or even one of those fancy cutting machines you hook up you a computer. If you use a craft knife I recommend using a cutting mat or board so you don’t mess up your work surface.
A note on paint: the first time we did this, we used finger paints. It worked well enough, but it still felt a little sticky after it dried (I’m assuming due to the chemical composition of the paint; after several months collecting dust and stuff it has lost the tacky feeling). Also, the finger paints, being runny, bled under the edges of the contact paper so it didn’t leave as crisp of an edge as acrylic paint. You can do what you want, but personally I’ll probably stick with acrylic from now on.
Results of finger paints (left) vs acrylic paints (right)
Now it’s time to cut out your shape(s). You need to determine if you want to paint the positive image (canvas mostly white with a colorful emblem) or the negative image (canvas mostly colorful with a white emblem, which is what I’ve done). Whatever method you use for cutting your stencil, make sure you double check things like letters and logos; if you’re drawing on the paper side instead of the vinyl side, for example, you’ll need to make sure you reverse the image you’re drawing so that when you stick the vinyl on it comes out the right way. If you’re wanting to paint the positive image only you’ll need to make sure that the piece of contact paper you’re using will cover your whole canvas.
Once your stencil is cut, place it on your canvas.
Much canvas. Such contact. Wow.
Make sure you press this down really well. The better it’s pressed down, the cleaner edges you’ll get.
Now is the fun part. Get to painting! We’ve done finger paints and acrylic as I’ve mentioned before. Brushes, fingers, feet–whatever gets the paint on the canvas!
These canvases won’t paint themselves!
Cover anything that you don’t want white, and pay close attention to covering the edges of your image–even if you don’t get 100% coverage on the canvas, getting those edges will make sure your image is clear.
Empty egg carton and bottle of rum not included in these instructions
Once it’s dry, remove the stencil and admire your artwork! Penny loves her new DC Super Hero Girls artwork in her big girl room, and there are tons of ways this technique could be used for any room!