5 Little Monsters: Adding Iron On to a Painted Canvas

Adding Iron On to a Painted Canvas

 -Product for this post provided by Cricut, all ideas and opinions are my own. This post may contain affiliate links.-

I have made a lot of different types of canvases using my Cricut, including hot mess canvases and reverse canvases. For this projects I wanted to keep it a little more simple. Just putting vinyl on a canvas that I had painted. No deconstructing of the canvas or multiple layers.

But one of the things I see asked frequently is what kind of vinyl to use on canvas. Should you use iron on or adhesive? The truth is it kind of depends on the project you are making, for example in a hot mess canvas you are putting the vinyl down, painting over it, and then peeling it off. In this case obviously removable adhesive vinyl is what you are going to want to use. 

In most other cases however, I prefer using iron on instead of adhesive vinyl. It can be hard to get vinyl to stick to canvas. It is a little easier if the canvas is painted first, or coat it with a layer of Mod Podge if you don't want to paint it. The paint gives it a better surface to stick too, but it is still not the easiest. Iron on presses onto the canvas really well and is so much easier in my opinion. But, that doesn't mean there aren't some tricks you should know to make it easier. 

One of the things that can make working with a wrapped canvas hard is that there is nothing in the middle. If you try to press something there is nothing behind to press against. The way to work around this is to put something in that middle space to fill it. I typically use something like a small hand towel, or even a shirt or something folded up small to fit inside of the back between the frame pieces. You can even use a book to give you a harder surface. 

The other thing that I have found to be helpful is to do a cool peel. This means you press the iron onto your canvas and then let it cool down completely before peeling off the transfer sheet. 

For this canvas I painted a simple mountain design in a variety of blue and gray shades, and then I added a quote from Lord of the Rings in white iron on. I couldn't decide what quote to put on the canvas, so I asked my husband for ideas and as a huge Lord of the Rings fan this was his suggestion. I think it would also work well for any kind of adventure quote, or something about doing hard things. There are lots of different ways you could go with it. 

How to Add Iron On to a Painted Canvas

You will need:


Begin by painting your canvas. You can obviously paint anything you like, I chose to paint mountains. I started at the top with the lightest color, then added darker colors as I went down. 

Let your painting dry completely before trying to add any vinyl onto it. 

Choose or create the design that you want to put on your canvas. I chose a quote from Lord of the Rings. You can find the Design Space file below.

Not All Those Who Wander Are Lost Design Space File

Cut the design out of iron on, don't forget to mirror your design. 

Fold the towel to fit inside the frame underneath of the canvas. This will give you a surface to press on. Set your canvas and towel on your pressing mat and place the iron on in the spot where you want to press it. 

Press the iron on onto the canvas. I used my EasyPress at 315 degrees for 30 seconds. 

Let the iron on cool, then peel off the transfer sheet. I have always had it stick great when following this process, but if it starts to peel up as you remove the transfer sheet just repeat the pressing steps again. 

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