Crafts are not really my thing. So when I moved into a 1970s raised rancher house with a big hole in the wall (was this ever stylish?) I needed a frugal DIY fix. I wasn’t about to patch or fill the big rectangular hole in my wall with drywall since I neither wanted a big blank wall nor needed the expense.

So after hitting the local artist supplies store, I found my fix in a simple ready-made cheap canvas. The project was easy. I bought three large blank canvases to fit into my 1970s wall pit, painted stripes and dots on one side using various paints, and then stapled some cool wallpaper on the stretched canvas backing. Presto! Instant art on canvas wall decor a la Martha Stewart!


It’s not a super frugal project, but it’s easy to do it yourself and visually pretty. I left some space between each canvas artwork since I like the look and I’m OK with the cheap canvas not being perfect. Most artist supplies stores will stretch and build a custom canvas though if a perfect fit is your preference.


Here’s what you need to do this DIY canvas art project:

DIY Canvas Art Materials:

  • Either: blank canvas, primed canvas, unprimed canvas, stretched canvas, or a painters canvas
  • Cool wallpaper
  • Masking or painter’s tape
  • Staple gun or glue
  • Paint (various colors)
  • Paint brushes, small roller
  • Pattern (optional)
  • Ruler
  • Pencil
  • Large spoon

DIY Canvas Art Instructions:

Here are the simple instructions for turning your blank canvas into beautiful art on canvas!

On Blank Canvas Side

  1. Paint the blank canvas with a background color using a roller or brush. Let dry.
  2. Apply strips of masking tape on the canvas to make stripes. Depending on your pattern, apply a mix of wide and thin stripes on the canvas by applying the tape stripes next to each other. If the canvas is large, use a ruler and pencil to mark stripe placement. Use a large spoon to apply pressure on the tape, this prevents the paint from leaking or bleeding through.
  3. Paint in the gaps using the masking tape as a stencil and let dry.
  4. Gently peel the masking tape off the canvas to reveal your stripes. Use a small brush to touch up stripe edges, if necessary.
  5. Paint other patterns on canvas (like dots) as desired. Presto! Instant art on canvas!



On Stretched Canvas Backing
Now it’s time to put wallpaper on canvas backing.

  1. Measure the stretched canvas backing and cut wallpaper to fit on the canvas backing. Be sure to cut the wallpaper pattern to line up and match if the canvas is wider than the wallpaper. This can happen with cheap canvases.
  2. Use glue or a staple gun to append wallpaper on canvas backing.
  3. Hang your new DIY canvas art!

A DIY canvas art project like this could also be done to create wall murals, to display wall decals, to hang inspiring quotations, or just enjoying painting oversized canvas art! If you ever get bored with your wallpaper on canvas or canvas artwork, just paint or wallpaper over it! Gotta love a project which is recyclable!

Another popular use for canvases is to create photo prints on canvas or photographs on canvas. For this you’ll need to contact a printer to get your photos properly printed.

Do you display canvas wall art? Found a frugal fix for an expensive home renovation project? Are you crafty?

More frugal DIY Art Projects