Posters are an easy and budget-friendly way to add art to your child’s bedroom. Framing posters with simple black, white or gold frames can create a more polished look – but since I love the look of art on canvas, and already had most of the supplies on hand, I chose this option. I also liked the idea of creating canvas art for my kids while keeping it budget-friendly so that when their tastes change, as they often do, I haven’t spent too much. Personally, I don’t like the look of posters tacked to the wall but if you do, no judgement. Whatever works.
All that said, I’m not reinventing the wheel here and know this has been done before but here’s my take on the poster on canvas DIY anyway. (My kids have since outgrown the posters they originally chose but because I didn’t spend a lot, selling the poster art shown below on Craigslist and replacing it with something that suits their current tastes works for me.)
DIY Personalized Poster Canvas Art
What You'll Need
- 1 poster
I purchased the Harry Potter and Lana Del Rey posters for this project off Amazon
- 1 artists canvas
Gallery quality or the dollar store version. Whatever your budget permits
- 1 large or medium sized paint brush
- Plastic wallpaper smoother or other flat instrument
Even an old credit card can work in a pinch! Warning: make sure the applicator is plastic, NOT metal, or you could tear your poster
- Acrylic paint in a colour that compliments your poster, such as black or gold
- Artists gel medium in matte or gloss
I prefer the Golden brand for it's quality and consistency. I use this medium for my abstract art so it's always on hand!
If it’s necessary to cut the poster to size, lay it down with the back side up. Then place your canvas on top of the poster, using a pencil to trace around the edge of the canvas. Cut the poster slightly inside these lines.
Paint the edges of your canvas any colour to act as a frame for your poster. Black and gold look sharp, but if you want to save yourself time and effort, leaving the edge of your canvas as is works too. Although, even when I want a white edge, I still opt to paint the sides of my canvas with white acrylic paint to give it a more finished look. Let the paint dry before proceeding to the next step.
Next, spread a thin layer of gel medium with a paint brush on half the canvas, roll your poster up, and carefully line up the edge of your poster with the edge of your canvas. I find working slowly, by only covering half the canvas with the gel medium, and unrolling the poster carefully makes for the simplest, most even application.
Once you’ve unrolled your poster to the middle of the canvas, apply another thin layer of medium to the bottom portion of the canvas and continue the process of slowly unrolling your poster. The slower you go, the more perfect the application. Also, don’t apply too much medium or you will risk tearing your poster.
After the poster is completely applied to your canvas, use a wallpaper spatula or other flat instrument to carefully smooth out any bumps or wrinkles. Although, for the Harry Potter poster, I opted to leave some of the wrinkles on the surface of the poster as I thought they added some drama. For the Lana Del Rey poster, I went with a smoother finish.
Once the poster has dried in place for a couple hours, apply a generous coat of medium directly on the poster itself. Work your way down, spreading it evenly over the poster, making sure to cover all exposed paper. Don’t leave any spot untouched by the medium as it will set the poster and protect it from dust and dirt. You can also add depth by carefully adding more medium, and following the lines of the poster to add texture in the appropriate areas. Again, work carefully so as not to compromise the poster paper.
Let dry overnight before hanging. Or for a more casual look, lean the poster against the wall as shown above.
The dresser pictured is from EQ3. All decor items are from HomeSense. Similar items available here: