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DIY Text Painting

Here is a detailed how-to for the text painting I made last week for the guest half bathroom.  I used parchment paper to transfer my text and desired font onto my canvas, which is a neat little trick!

Easy DIY Art

How to Make DIY Text Art:

I taped off the first colour blocked section.  I painted it a pale blue/turquoise, using a large paintbrush and acrylic paint.  

How to colour block
Don’t mind the dim lighting in my “studio” a.k.a. messiest basement ever.

I waited three hours for the paint to dry, then taped off another section and painted it.  I waited for three hours and finally painted the final cream block of colour.  For all three colours I used a dry paintbrush and brushed away from the tape to help avoid bleeding.

Then I had a colour blocked painting:

Colour blocked canvas

While I waited for the paint to dry (as tempting as it was to watch), I worked on the letters.  I printed out the letters I wanted on my computer, using a large font, and taped them together with spacing that looked “right”.

Transfering text to a canvas

I laid parchment paper over the word and carefully traced the perimeter of the letters.  You can also purchase artist’s tracing paper, but parchment paper was convenient and I found it worked just as well.  And thanks to Costco, I have oodles of it.

How to trace something

Alternatives to tracing paper

Then I flipped the parchment paper over and followed the outline of the tracing I had done.  I placed paper under the parchment paper because the graphite transferred.

How to transfer a design or letters using parchment paper

I flipped the parchment again and followed traced the letters with my pencil again.  The tracing I did on the back side deposited graphite on the canvas.  Neat trick, right?

How do you use tracing paper
Yup, that is a Dora the Explorer pencil.

DIY text painting

I filled in the lines using a very small, angled paintbrush.  I prefer this method because it created a hand drawn look (but much neater than my hands could do unassisted) and not a stenciled look.  But this project would work with letter stencils too.

Easy hand lettered art idea
Half-way done.  More paint needed to make the letters opaque.

Easy art you can make with kids

Here is my colour inspiration: an ad I filed away just because the colour combo was so inspiring. 

My inspiration.
Bathroom with quirky art

Grey white and mint bathroom // Marble counters



  1. Dora
    June 6, 2011 / 1:05 pm

    This is such an amazing idea 🙂 Thank you for sharing.I love the way it looks in the bathroom 🙂

  2. Anna White
    June 6, 2011 / 1:12 pm

    Oh Tanya…this is just so clever cookie! Good Skills turned our perfect! x

  3. Stephanie
    June 6, 2011 / 4:30 pm

    I love it. It's cute. And kinda funny :p

  4. cdnmich
    June 6, 2011 / 5:26 pm

    What a great idea! It looks perfect in your bathroom.

  5. Rosa @ Flutter Flutter
    June 6, 2011 / 8:29 pm

    Art and type are always a good combo! Nice!

  6. Red Door Home
    June 6, 2011 / 11:17 pm

    Very clever and creative. I love the scale of the painting in the bathroom. It fills up the space wonderfully!

  7. barbara@hodge:podge
    June 7, 2011 / 1:33 am

    This is so amazing! Love the tongue in cheek word – not sure of that is what you meant! Fabulous!

  8. StarletStarlet
    June 7, 2011 / 8:30 pm

    WORD!!!!Thanks for the tip on painting away from the tape to avoid bleeding. Will def do that!

  9. Amy
    June 10, 2011 / 12:11 am

    That looks great Tanya! Just the inspiration I needed to get started on some DIY around here.

  10. Emreen
    June 30, 2011 / 3:05 am

    You are so creative… Another beautiful work…

  11. Jae
    December 3, 2011 / 5:22 pm

    Inspiring! Really neat. Makes me want to put my own spin on it.

  12. OneWord
    June 19, 2012 / 4:12 pm

    Very Very cute! i love the color combo! Thanks for sharing!

  13. Heidi @ Decor & More
    June 23, 2012 / 1:47 pm

    Love this. found you at Kelly's and so glad I did. 🙂

  14. Linda @ it all started with paint
    June 23, 2012 / 3:27 pm

    I found you at Kelly's and I'm so very much in love with this painting!*sigh*:)Oh, and I've pinned it too!

  15. Christa aka The BabbyMama
    December 10, 2012 / 7:21 pm

    Yay! I finally know how I'm going to do the EAT in my kitchen – it's been bugging me but the pencil transfer idea is brilliant.

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