The Secret to Sticking Vinyl on A Canvas

It's no secret that I love my Silhouette machine. It's fun to see the different projects that I can create but I must confess, I'm falling on a steeper learning curve when I use my machine than I probably should. I'm glad I have friends like Melissa at Silhouette School to help bail me out {where was she when I was making these invitations that ended up costing me $115 EACH!}, but sometimes I need to come up with my own solutions. Several years ago, I had a friend ask me to make some canvases for an event. I told her I would but then when it came time to adhere the vinyl to the canvas, I couldn't for the life of me get it to stick. I spent far more hours on it than I should have only to come to the conclusion that it couldn't be done. BUT IT CAN! Why did it take me years to figure it out??? Friends, if you are like me and need a solution to help your vinyl to stick a canvas, I found one. Read on. It will save you!

silhouette, cameo, cutting vinyl, handmade sign, wedding DIY

The Secret to Sticking 651 Vinyl on A Canvas

silhouette, cameo, cutting vinyl, handmade sign, wedding DIY, adhesive vinyl, adhesive spray

Recently, a family friend's son got married. It was such a fun event and I was happy to help when I could. The bride asked if I could make a welcome sign that her sister would then paint. At first, I broke out in a cold sweat thinking about how well my last sign making experience went {a total fail!} and started to do some research.

Why won't 651 vinyl stick to my canvas or wood?

Turns out vinyl needs a solid surface to stick to. 

A canvas isn't smooth, it has a weird texture. Same thing with wood. Last year when I was making this corn hole game I had a little issue with the vinyl sticking to the wood. I remedied that by sealing it with a polycrylic coat.  I learned from making the corn hole game that vinyl needs a sealer underneath to help adhere to.

I was a little nervous about using a sealer since the canvas would then get painted on. I didn't want any reason for the paint not to stick and for the signs to not look how the bride wanted them. So here's what I did.

I started by printing off the vinyl and weeding it. For more tips on how to cut vinyl, check out this tutorial.I used transfer paper and yes, that is a cooking spatula to rub down the vinyl and get the letters to stick to my transfer paper.

Once the letters were sticking to my transfer paper, I carefully pulled the paper back making sure all the text stuck to the paper. I hate losing the dots on the "i's"!

What is the secret for getting vinyl to stick on a canvas?

Now here my friends is the magic weapon. The secret to sticking vinyl on canvas is...


spray adhesive!

I took my canvas outside and used spray adhesive on the whole canvas. After I sprayed it, I came inside and placed my vinyl on top. I put a book underneath my canvas so I could really press down in the middle and get those letters to stick. The whole canvas was dry in under an hour and paint could still be applied to it and holy of holy's the vinyl stuck! It can be done!

I think it was a beautiful addition to the wedding and it was such a sweet personal touch that didn't cost too much money.

silhouette, cameo, cutting vinyl, handmade sign, wedding DIY

Don't miss the tutorial for this large wood framed sign. 

You won't believe the before! Or maybe you will...imagine a black and red pear picture circa 1999 donated to Goodwill. 

Now go forth and stick vinyl to all of the things! I know I will be!

disclaimer: this post may have affiliate links. By clicking on them and purchasing through them, I may receive a small commission. These small purchases help me to continue to keep writing content and creating at Rachel Teodoro. Thank you!


Unknown said...

It is beautiful!!

Tracy said...

Your sign is beautiful and would have been a wonderful addition to the wedding. I did a canvas before and did exactly what you did and my canvas is still tacky to this day and it has been 2 years. I did a light coat. How long did you wait till you put the vinyl on after the adhesive spray?

rachelteodoro said...

Interesting Tracy...I wonder if the spray adhesive was too thick? This dried up right away. I added the vinyl a few minutes after I sprayed the adhesive. Check your directions on the can of adhesive and see what they say. There may be some advice.

Unknown said...

Do you think that mod podge would work the same way as the spray adhesive?

rachelteodoro said...

Spray adhesive works because it gives the vinyl a surface to adhere to. I would imagine that modge podge would do the same thing. Give it a try and let me know!

Susan said...

Thank you so much Rachel ! Working on a peel and stick canvas backdrop for the weekend and this really helped ! I am also loving that font . Can you share the name of the font you used ? I would love to download it.

Melanie said...

Thanks so much...I'm working on teacher appreciation gifts & painted my first canvas with acrylic. It stuck but was quite a challenge. I will give the spray adhesive a try!!

Anonymous said...

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rachelteodoro said...

Share away! Just follow the content use guidelines you see at the top of my site.

Unknown said...

won't the transfer tape stick to the canvas?

rachelteodoro said...

The transfer tape does not stick to the canvas. Good question. You can peel it right off.

Naomi | How To Heat Press said...

I've not actually used this spray before, and I've done a lot of vinyl projects in my time! I will have to get some and see the what difference it makes.

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