Bible Verse Subway Art Canvas Tutorial


We are STILL WAITING to hear from social services regarding the two foster kids we’ve been matched with. I’m not sure what to make of it…maybe it’s because they’re with a relative and not a foster family, so things are moving slower? Or maybe they’ve placed them with someone else and didn’t tell our agency? For whatever reason, it’s taking longer than our first two placements did, but I’m trying to patient!

In the meantime, I’m finishing up some ‘around the house’ stuff that I need to get done before the new kids arrive. After we lost Midge, I knew I wouldn’t be able to be alone in a quiet house all day while the kids were at school without going crazy. I also knew that we weren’t going to accept any long term placements before Easter because of our Hawaii trip. So I made a list of all the BIG jobs around the house that never get done with little ones underfoot. Cleaning closets out completely, reorganizing storage, that kind of thing. I’d been wanting to make a canvas for my mantle for a while and finally did it!




  • canvas (blank, or with a saying/image that you want to paint over)
  • acrylic paint the color you want the words to be
  • spray paint the same color as the background of the canvas (or if your canvas is blank, the spray paint will be the main background color you want your finished product to be.)
  • letter cutouts and/or letter stickers in lots of fonts and sizes (you want a variety of these to give it some interest!)
  • small tape runner (like you’d use for scrapbooking) or double sided tape
  • small paintbrush for touch ups

I bought a few canvases on sale, knowing that I would be painting over them. I picked them based on their size and background colors, and I liked that the sides of the black ones were burlap! First step: Paint over the image/words/blank canvas. You want to use the paint color that you want your WORDS to be. Cheap acrylic paint is great for this. It took a few coats of paint to cover the words that were already there.



Here are all three canvases (not sure what I’m doing with the other two yet, but I wanted to paint them all at once.) The words on the cream colored one that used to be the dog sign will be in that mossy green. The words on the other two will be cream.



Now it’s time to use your leftover letter stickers/cardstock letter punchouts from your scrapbook stash. If you don’t have any, head to the craft store with your coupons and find some different font sizes that you like. I bought some and used some I already had. This is the most time consuming part of the process. Once the paint is completely dry, lay out your letters carefully on the canvas. I had to use a tape runner (double sided tape) to get most of the letters (even the stickers!) to stick to the acrylic paint I just applied. They don’t have to be stuck down super tight if you like a fuzzier look to the finished product. If you want the words to be crisp in the finished product, spend more time sticking the letters down now. Be sure to vary the fonts and the sizes and be creative with the placement as you go. But make sure it’s still readable! When I did this, I liked the way the colors look so much that I almost decided to stop here!



Now spray paint over these letters, using the color of the background (in this case, black.) Your letter stickers that you just applied will function as a mask, so that in the end they will be the color you just painted (in this case, cream) and the background will be the color that you’re spray painting. Be sure to spray evenly in several light coats, from straight above the canvas. I did it on my garage floor. If you spray from the sides at all, your spray paint is more likely to get under your letters. Here’s what it looked like after that.



See how some of the letters were peeling up a bit in the picture above? That’s why the edges of my letters aren’t crisp. Some are fuzzier than others. Once the spray paint dries, carefully peel up the letters.



The larger letters looked fine with the fuzzy edges, but as you can see, the smaller letters needed a lot of work in order to be legible. I took a small paintbrush and the same cream color of acrylic paint, and touched up all the edges that made it too difficult to read. I like the weathered/aged look, so I left a lot of it fuzzy, but just painted where really necessary for reading. You can see below that the “d” in guide and the smaller letters needed some touching up, or they really drew your eye to them.



After the touchups…here’s the finished product on our mantle! I handpainted the verse reference (Isaiah 58:11) when I was all done. Now I have two more blank canvases to play with when the mood strikes!


If these new kiddos don’t come soon, my house may be covered with these canvases!




One thought on “Bible Verse Subway Art Canvas Tutorial

  1. Absolutely love this idea — thanks for the step by step tutorial too. Praying for your family, present and future!

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