How to Make Children’s Wall Art with Spray Paint and a Canvas…

Making fun wall decor for a child’s room is one of my favorite things to do because it’s so easy and fun! Sometimes the simpliest thing used in a unique or “whimsical” way can make wonderful decor for a child’s wall or room.  If I had to start over and pick a new career, I’m pretty sure I would be designing children spaces because anything goes and there is no better place to spark a child’s creativity than the space that surrounds them everyday.

This project started out as a Valentine project that I wanted to do for my daughter.  Initially I just made one canvas and I loved how it turned out that I just went to town and made a whole collection for the perfect little spot in her room:

The first canvas that I made and my Valentine’s project this fun heart canvas.  I simply stuck sticky kid’s foam letters around a heart that I drew on the canvas and then I primed and spray painted over the letters:

This is how it looked before and after I spray painted it:

This is not the first time I have spray painted sticker letters on canvas and in fact, I shared a similar project last year here:

It’s such a quick and easy way to create word/quote art or a textural/dimensional fun piece. Let me show you the before and afters of each canvas in this fun collection and then I will give the instructions following the pictures:

This next piece was done with foam glitter heart stickers:

Next I did a heart necklace that I made out of beads and a heart sticker:

My little girl is learning how to play jacks and I thought I would glue the jacks and ball to the canvas and give it a try. I really loved how fun it turned out:

This next canvas I made was with a stack of round doily’s that I glued to the canvas:

Lastly, I really wanted to use this plastic cupcake that was sentimental to us as it has been served at almost every tea party when my girl was itty bitty {sigh}… We went ahead and used a sharp knife to cut the cupcake in half, glued it to the canvas and primed it with four coats of primer and then spray painted it:

Not only was this project super easy and inexpensive but we really had fun with coming up with the ideas {my girl was a big help} and spray painting! There are so many possibilities with this technique. Imagine doing a collection for a little boys room with little cars, train tracks and a little train. This project could be done with a larger canvas as well. We are thrilled with how the finished collection looked on her wall.

So let’s jump right into the instructions:

1) I started with (six) 8 x 8 canvases that I purchased at my craft store.

2) For the projects made with foam sticker letters, I strategically placed the sticky letter (adhesive side) to my canvas:

3) For the projects made with objects, I used a small amount of hot glue to glue objects to the canvas. You have to be careful to try and hide the glue under the object because any exposed area of hot glue will really show through the spray paint:

For the jacks, I just glued a very small amount to only the prongs of the jacks touching the canvas.

4) Next, I primed over my designs with a really good spray primer. This is the most important part. In order for this project to work, a really good spray primer must be used to thoroughly cover the objects and to help hold the objects. I only use Rustoleum Professional Spray Primer because one coat of this equals about three coats of the cheaper stuff:

It doesn’t matter if you get grey or white primer because you will be spray painting a color over the primer.

5) I like to spray at least 2 coats of primer over sticker letters and 3-4 coats over objects allowing at least 2-3 hours for the primer to dry in between layers. I put a fan on the wet canvas to help it dry faster. I like to really coat the canvas so it seals the edges around the objects and letters to help hold.

6) After the primer is dry, I spray a light even coat of spray paint and let it completely dry and then I spray one last coat. In this case I used a Valspar paint in a light pink and a hot pink (berry). I only wanted two colors for our collection. I’m not a huge fan of Valspar paint but it was all I could find in town for the right colors of pink. I prefer Rustoleum products by far. My soft pink was a matte finish and the berry was a gloss:

7) The spray paint takes longer to dry than the primer. I let the piece completely dry overnight and then I painted strategic areas ton the objects with an enamel paint and then I hung it on the wall.

Again, there are SO many possibilities with this technique and pretty much anything goes! If you can glue it to the canvas and have it stay, basically anything can be primed with this professional primer!

I just love the whole collection but I think my favorite is the heart with the letters and the jacks. Which one is your favorite?

Check back later on this week, I think it’s time again for us to have some chocolate! I have a recipe for some yummy rasberry brownie truffles that I will be posting hopefully on Friday! Just in time for the weekend!

Have a wonderful week friends!


Sharing this post with these fabulous blogs here

Wow us Wednesdays!!

This entry was posted in Art, Children's Crafts, Children's Decor, Tutorials and tagged . Bookmark the permalink.

11 Responses to How to Make Children’s Wall Art with Spray Paint and a Canvas…

  1. I like this project. You’re right it could be adapted to more adult art pieces…maybe without the gloss …. I pinned this post as well. Good job.

  2. Amanda Eck says:

    Girl you never cease to amaze me!!! I love it!!

  3. Melissa says:

    I love these and I would like to give this a try… I don’t do these sorts of projects and I have one question – How do you paint the one object a different color with the spray paint without the paint getting on the main (base) color? Thanks for posting this… so cute!

    • Cyndy says:

      Thank you melissa! After the spray paint dries, I use testors enamel paint and a small water color like brush to highlight areas. Testors enamels come in tiny jars and are sold in the model paint section. Good luck and I would love to see a picture when you’re all done.

  4. Julie Charlesworth says:


    I think these are fab and would love to have a go. Can I just ask why you use enamel paint? Would acrylics (or any others) work just as well?
    Thanks and well done


  5. Tamara says:

    Great stuff, Cindy! I’m going to try my hand at the heart-shaped “I love you” letters. One question, if I wanted to leave the final project white (with I love you in red), does the spray primer leave a nice enough finish or would you recommend a white paint on top of the primer? Thanks!

  6. truman says:

    These canvas wall arts are looking very nice, this project is really turned out great. I appreciate your work, i want to say thanks for sharing this great post.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *