Transferring any font to canvas

September 23, 2012

This is a great way to add a unique touch to one of your projects! It took me a long time to find the right solution to this and I will show you what works.

Here are some things I tried that didn’t work.

The wet paper idea: The idea behind this is to print off your wording (mirrored) on a sheet of paper. Place the paper on the canvas where you want it. Take a sponge and dab water on the back of paper and lift slowly.

The problem: It smears. I tried to take a paint brush, dab towel, squirt bottle, and just about anything you can think of to this and it didn’t work. They all smeared. (It didn’t work on wood either)

Iron on idea: You get DIY iron on patches and print off the wording on the paper. Then iron the paper to the canvas, being careful not to melt anything. I tried two different kinds of iron on sheets and neither worked for me. The first one was a type that you iron on the front. I had never seen this before but it didn’t work at all. Nothing transferred and the only thing it got me was gook on the bottom of my iron. The second style worked a little better but still not up to my standards. It was an iron on the back kind. A little bit of the letters transferred but not all

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of them and I tried 3 or 4 times with the same result.

Cricut: I got tired of trying things and had a project that I needed to finish quickly seeing as it was a gift. So I went to my handy dandy Cricut. While this did work, it took a lot of time. I needed the letters to fit exactly together, so I had to work out the measurements of each word to make it look right. Afterwards, I started to put the vinyl letters on the canvas…. and they didn’t stick. What? Why? So I went to the crafters fixer upper – the mod podge. Yes, I mod podge’d the vinyl letters to the canvas, but it worked, and didn’t look that bad.

Ok now for what really works!

What you will need:

  • Wax paper
  • Printer
  • Canvas
  • Credit card or gift card
  • Black sharpie
  • Tape

I can’t remember where I found this idea (sorry) but if I find it again I will link the original here.

First find the font you want to use. If there is a certain style you are looking for but don’t have the font this site has lots of free ones as well as ones you can buy. I use them all the time. Cut out the wax paper to fit inside your printer. I actually cut mine a little shorter on the short side.

Update: You need to print on

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the slick side of the wax paper.

Sometime the wax paper will get jammed into the printer. I find doing it this way prevents it from happening so much.

Put your wax paper into the printer making sure it is inserted where it will be printed on the waxy or smooth side. Print the font mirrored. With most printers, you can change this in the option menu. If you can’t find it for some reason you can use WordArt. If you have Microsoft Word you can go to Insert menu, then WordArt, and I always pick style 1. Move it where you want to and change the height as needed. When you get the font, color, and style all set you can go to rotate and then flip horizontally. If you have questions about this just ask. After the wording is printed, place it gently on the canvas

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where you want it. Be very careful because the ink will come off and smear very easily. Ones you place it where it needs to be, tape it down to keep it from moving.

You can do this next step 2 different ways or both together. They both work just as well. Take the sharpie, with the cap on, and trace over each letter.

Or turn the canvas upside down and run a credit card or gift card over the back making sure to get into the sides if needed.

Pull the wax

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up and throw away. Even though most of the ink is on the canvas now

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there is still some on the wax paper and it will get on anything it touches. If you have two canvases that are using the same wording you can use the same wax paper twice just be careful.

Take your black sharpie and trace over the letters. (with the cap off )

I also tried prismacolor markers from Utrechart. They work just as good as the sharpies do but occasionally I can find them on sale. I also buy some of my canvas from them.

{ 15 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Fonda October 13, 2012 at 7:44 pm

I love that font, and thanks for the website i have been looking for some cool fonts, I was wondering which side of the wax paper works better ? have you tried both, I think i am going to try this one.


2 Amber October 16, 2012 at 7:04 pm

Oops! Sorry I forgot to let you know that. You need to stick the wax paper in the printer so that it prints on the slick side. Thanks Fonda!


3 JIll August 17, 2013 at 6:56 pm

Well, I just screwed up my computer as the wax paper did not go through, and I can’t get it all out! My boss got it out, but still….. when you think you are going to have an easy go of it, and it doesn’t go, it’s kind of disappointing.


4 Gowri July 23, 2014 at 1:22 pm

Thank you for sharing this , step by step… I just did this and it was very easy to follow and do it. Now i have my words on the canvas 🙂


5 Amber August 3, 2014 at 9:45 pm

That’s great, I am glad it was helpful for you!


6 Tracie Grodi June 4, 2015 at 3:22 pm

Hello 🙂

I’m trying to print now. Where do I find the rotate and flip horizontally? Thanks for your help 🙂



7 Tracie Grodi June 4, 2015 at 3:24 pm

Nevermind 🙂 I just googled it 🙂 Thank you and can’t wait to see how well this comes out 🙂


8 M b February 20, 2016 at 10:57 pm

So the ink on the wax paper from the printer goes right on the painted canvas? What was the tracing with black marker step??? Sorry, confused. I don’t want to use marker on my painting.


9 Alyshia Mooring June 25, 2016 at 10:59 am

Could you paint over the stencil as well?


10 Amanda July 19, 2016 at 3:56 pm

What is the name of the font you used? I’ve seen before but can’t remember the name


11 Paige July 22, 2016 at 11:10 am

I’m curious if you tried using an iron on low heat to transfer the text onto the canvas? I wonder if that would transfer the ink more completely than rubbing.


12 Jennifer August 7, 2016 at 12:55 pm

The wax paper kept getting stuck for me too. So I taped the top that feeds into the printer to a piece of paper. It pulled the wax paper in with the paper and kept the wax paper straight. I only taped one end because I didn’t want it to pull or wrinkled. Worked great. Thank you .


13 Sally September 10, 2016 at 1:23 pm

Do you spray a finishing coat on your canvas?


14 Nikki October 16, 2016 at 6:15 pm

Will this method work using a laserjet printer or can it only work with inkjet printers.


15 M January 20, 2017 at 9:46 am

Hi there,

Thank you for this. What should I do if the canvas is painted black as the ink wont show up on it? Thanks 🙂


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