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How to Stick Vinyl on Canvas

Adhesive vinyl sticks best to smooth, non-porous surfaces like metal, glass, ceramic, and tile. When it comes to canvas, which is a porous fabric, the vinyl isn’t going to want to stick very well.

How to Get Vinyl to Stick to Canvas So Fontsy Tutorial


In this post, we'll share the tricks to get around that and make your vinyl sticks to canvas.





First, cut and weed your desired designs in permanent adhesive vinyl.

You'll find the designs used in these projects in the Whimsical Crafter's SVG Bundle.

Then, transfer the vinyl to transfer tape.

Special tip: remove the vinyl backing and then replace it with translucent parchment paper. The vinyl will release very easily from the parchment and it's see through which helps to line it up on the canvas. 

Then, set aside the vinyl decal because it's now time to prep your canvas. You'll need to treat the canvas first in order for the vinyl to stick to it. There are a couple options:


1. Acrylic Paint



You can paint your canvas prior to vinyl application. Use smooth strokes to achieve even paint application. Feel free to get as artistic as you want!

2. Clear Sealer

If you prefer the look of a bare canvas, opt to treat your canvas with a clear sealer or topcoat.


A spray top coat is especially easy to apply. Just make sure you get full, even coverage.

You could even use Mod Podge to seal your canvas before applying vinyl. Mod Podge is easy to find and easy to apply with a foam brush. Make sure to apply it with full, even coverage.


Let canvas dry completely.

Next, place something underneath the canvas inside the frame. This can be anything firm, like books or a folded-up towel. This will give you something to press against when initially sticking down the vinyl.



The hinge method is an especially effective method for applying a vinyl decal. However, at this point, it's not recommended to apply a lot of pressure to put the vinyl onto the canvas. Too much pressure at this point could stretch out the canvas.

Next, you'll flip the canvas over and burnish from the back side. With the support of your worksurface underneath, you can apply the firm pressure necessary to burnish the vinyl and canvas together.

Flip the canvas back over, then remove the transfer tape by rolling it back upon itself.

Flip the canvas back over again, and burnish it once more from the back.


Find the SVG designs used in these canvas projects in the Whimsical Crafter's SVG Bundle.


And you can check out the full tutorial video below:





Tina Smith

- February 23, 2022

I noticed in your demonstration you used translucent parchment paper. Where do I find that? I assume it’s not the same as vellum. Thank you for all your wonderful tips and educating tutorials!!!

Karen Bajus

- February 21, 2022

Love the presentation on applying vinyl to canvas. I appreciate all of the helpful tips and information. Thank you

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