How To Write On Canvas With Sharpie – Tissue paper bleeding art is an easy and fun craft for all ages. It’s easy, cheap, and super cool!
I loved the fabric art technique so much that I made 3 projects. I will provide instructions on each as they are made slightly differently.
How To Write On Canvas With Sharpie
You know that tissue paper you use on gift bags? Well, you take those scraps of colored fabric, place them on a wet canvas, and like MAGIC, the dye transfers from the fabric to the canvas!
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Your canvas will have a cool watercolor-like design that is so easy to do and my favorite part, almost no cleanup!
This is also a great activity/craft to do with kids; instead of the quote, they can scribble any drawing they want or leave it as is.
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1. Tissue paper. I got mine from Michael’s brand (“Celebrate it!”). I tried the Dollarstore type but it didn’t bleed. If you shop online I’ve heard this particular brand works well.
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4. Black Sharpie. I recommend getting the Ultra Fine nib which really helps with tricky dating work. If you shop online it’s here.
1. Transferring words/drawings to canvas (or many other materials) without a fancy machine or stencil is very easy. On the BACK of your hard copy go over your design with a pencil, as in the images below.
2. Now flip the paper over and place the quote on your canvas where you want it to go. Take a sharp pencil and trace the letters/design – ONLY the outline.
4. Take your Sharpie and fill in the design on the canvas. A gold foil pen would be great too, haven’t tried it but want to one of these days!
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5. Once the Sharpie quote is dry, lightly wet the canvas with water (not too much water or the colors won’t be as vibrant).
Take your desired color fabric (I used dark pink, orange, yellow, and purple), tear them into random pieces, and place them on a wet canvas. Try not to overthink this part and place your fabric in random places. This was my favorite part of the project!
6. Allow the cloth to dry for a minimum of 5 minutes before removing. If you wait until they are completely dry, that would be ideal (the most vibrant color). I didn’t and waited 5 minutes and was still happy with the pastel result.
7. You can repeat step 5 again for a “layered” look, which is what I did on these two pieces. Again, try not to think too much and have fun with it!!
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1. Take your white oil-based Sharpie and color your stencil onto the canvas. It is important that you use the oil-based Sharpie, as the color of the tissue paper will resist the oil and the white color of the marker.
It can be hard to see the white Sharpie on the white canvas board, just do your best, it doesn’t have to be perfect.
To make sure the tissue paper is evenly wet, lightly wet the top of the tissue paper once on the canvas (with a brush or paper towel)
3. Let the tissue paper dry for at least 5 minutes (dry completely for the most vibrant color).
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4. Once the fabric is dry, remove the tissue paper and leave it with a fresh fabric that resists the art. The pattern/stencil work is now visible with your white Sharpie.
Have you tried this on hollow core wood doors? I bought an older house (1962) and made one of my bedrooms into a walk-in closet or walk-in closet, but it has these ugly white sliding doors for the old closet doors. I’ve been looking for a cool idea to “camouflage” them and I really like this technique.
I have not tried this technique on doors. One thing to keep in mind is that door paint has a glossy finish which can prevent the fabric ink from being absorbed by the wood. For this technique to work very well, the surface must be porous. You can test a small part of the door to see if it is needed. I hope it helps and gluck!
Where do you write and print the lyrics? Any website where you can type your quotes in your desired font and then print?
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I use an app called Canva (www.canva.com). There are tons of fonts you can use and you can download them for printing. I hope it helps!
Will this work if you have painted (with acrylic paint) a background color on your canvas or canvas board?
Hi Marta, I haven’t personally tried doing the tissue paper on top of the acrylic, but in theory it could work with a caveat (below). First, the acrylic paint should be light in color, as the color transferred from the tissue paper is very light and needs a pale background to see through. Also, acrylic paint may not be as porous as canvas and tissue paper color may fade or rub off more easily (again not tested, just be careful).
I have not tried doing this technique in wood. I don’t know how well the fabric ink would show up on the wood, especially if it’s a darker wood. Covering it with a coat of white paint first can help the colors pop more. I hope it helps. Summer brings a change in schedule and a great opportunity to bond with those great kids of yours. Want to catch up on what they’ve been up to lately? It doesn’t get any better than visiting an art or craft project.
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Add some laughs, thoughtful questions, and a snack at the end and you have a recipe for great conversation. Doesn’t that sound wonderful? Let’s make it happen.
Gather some supplies, some you may already have on hand, and invite the grown-ups to join you to kick off the summer with the coolest project. Make a painting with Sharpie and rubbing alcohol on canvas.
What makes it unusual? Well, leave your wish for your image to come out as you imagined. Because the goal of this technique is that you do not know what will happen!
It is good to explain to the adults before they start drawing, that the purpose of this project is to let the colors swirl with the alcohol. Sometimes kids need permission to not be too detailed in the drawing part of a project like this if they are artists at their age. I would hate for them to create a masterpiece and then stir it up with alcohol and not wait for it!
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The list of supplies is short: a canvas, permanent markers and alcohol. You may already have all of these things on hand.
We use 8×10” canvases because that is what I always have on hand. If you are working with large smalls, you may want to use a 5×7″ size. It takes some time to fill a canvas with an image when using permanent markers.
Permanent markers contain an alcohol-based dye (unlike water-based markers like Crayola markers). The alcohol soaks the permanent marker dye and lets it spin, that’s where the magic begins.
Permanent markers can be purchased in sets (or individually) and are more expensive than water-based markers. Of course, they should be kept away from little ones unless there is close supervision, but they work wonderfully for projects like this.
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It is advisable to put paper or an old tablecloth under this project to avoid the marker on the counter or table.
The first canvas depicted had a tie-dye look, circular colors radiating from the center. The second is a sunset. These are good ideas if one is needed, but that’s rarely a problem with kids. They seem to jump into the drawing with their bottomless imagination. That’s one of the beautiful things about crafts, they feed the imagination. Don’t you love that?
The canvas does not have to be perfectly covered. Some white space works fine. Also, the markers can be used one color over another for a two or three tone look. That’s an interesting feature of permanent markers.
It is important that the alcohol is 91% isopropyl alcohol. I didn’t know there was a difference in alcohols, but the first time I tried the project it didn’t lift the permanent marker colors and cause it to move. Talk about a disappointment! The big guys were good sports about it, but we’ll take one for the team and save you the trouble.
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We used an eye dropper to pour the alcohol onto the canvas which worked wonderfully. Another snafu we did was use a spoon and pour the alcohol on the tarp. Um, he got together and just made a mix of the design. This is why there are no pictures of finished products
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