Easy Tips on How to Get Vinyl to Stick to Canvas

If you are wondering if adhesive vinyl can be used on canvas, wonder no more.

Heat transfer vinyl has always been the vinyl of choice when using canvas, but sometimes heat transfer vinyl is not readily available, and what you have on hand are adhesive vinyls.

And there's nothing more frustrating than trying to apply vinyl on canvas - and failing. And unfortunately, it doesn't always stick, but there are a few tricks that can help get successful results.

Let me share those tips with you here so you can get it done right!

Getting started

First off, best to have all the materials prepared before starting this project so that you have everything you need within reach as this endeavor can be tricky more so if you are doing this for the first time. Place all the materials in a clean flat smooth surface.


  1. Stretched Dry Canvas  

You can purchase stretched canvas from any dollar store or hobby store like Michaels. They come in many sizes so make a mental note on what canvas size you need. The regular size and easily available canvas size is usually 11x14 inches, but there other canvas sizes as well.


Vinyl to Stick to Canvas


  1. Adhesive vinyl

Depending on your design, you can choose from a wide array of permanent adhesive vinyl here. Here are sample colors available:

adhesive vinyl


Vinyl to Stick to Canvas


adhesive vinyl
adhesive Vinyl to Stick to Canvas
  1. Weeding Pens

Weeding pens are a must for every crafters and hobbyists. They are sleek, lightweight, and easy to use.  These pen efficiently removes even the finest designs and small letters from your projects.

Its smart shape makes it easy to hold and work with for long hours without strain or fatigue. The eye-catching designs will certainly complement your artistic flair.

This pen effortlessly picks up vinyl scraps and bits while keeping your vinyl art looking smooth and clutter-free.

weeding vinyl

vinyl weeding pen
  1. Squeegee

Squeegees are used in applying transfer paper to vinyl and is very important in removing air bubbles in your design projects.



  1. Transfer Tape or Transfer Paper

Transfer tape  or transfer paper is a flexible film that allows the sticker to stick to the surface more easily. It also lets you know exactly where you are placing your sticker.

vinyl transfer paper
  1. Spray adhesive

This is a quick-drying glue that can be applied onto surfaces. There are many types of this glue, and each is designed for a different purpose.

The advantage of this adhesive is its versatility. There are readily available in craft stores and online store platforms.

These adhesives come in cans with a spray nozzle (similar to spray paint), making them a good choice for even distribution over your project. They work well in large projects where you can easily position and stick your vinyl designs.

multipurpose adhesive

  1. Cardboard or card stock

Prepare any cardboard or cardstock, even used ones will suffice. This will add a firm backing to your canvas once the vinyl is applied.

Tip # 1:

Prepare your design using your chosen permanent adhesive vinyl color using your prefered cutting machine. There are two popular and easy to use cutter plotters available, Silhouette vinyl cutter and Cricut vinyl cutter, both have similar functions and features.

It is advised to create designs with thicker elements and fonts, because the thicker surface area of the vinyl will adhere better to the canvas.

If you have premade designs, best to make adjustments to make the elements and fonts thicker. Your cutting machine website application will have the tools to create these refinements and design adjustments.

Tip # 2:

Weed the design using your weeding pen and apply vinyl design to your transfer tape. Set aside. Collect any excess vinyl that you can still use for other projects.

Tip # 3:

Prep your stretched canvas

  1. When putting vinyl on canvas, a hard backing is sometimes needed to ensure the vinyl will lay flat. If you flip your canvas over and put something like a stack of printer paper, cardboard or cardstock underneath it, this provides a hard temporary backing that allows you to firmly press the vinyl onto the hard surface.
  2. Spray a light coat of adhesive all over the front of your canvas, enough to cover the entire canvas.

Don't use too much; just enough to make the vinyl adhere. It will feel sticky when it's wet, but it won't be sticky once it is completely dry.

Tip #4:

Firmly place and position the transfer tape with the vinyl design on to the canvas. With your squeegee, burnish the vinyl onto the canvas.

Do not be afraid to use firm hard strokes since the canvas is supported by the cardboard backing.

Tip #5:

Peel the transfer tape gently Best to start from the upper corner and proceed diagonally so that the vinyl does not adhere to the transfer tape.

Frequently asked questions

What type of adhesive vinyl can I use?

The only limitation in creating wonderful designs is our imagination. There are so many adhesive vinyl colors and color combinations available to create a one of a kind customized project.

1. Opal Vinyls

vinyls come in a variety of eye catching and captivating colors. The chrome finish feature of this vinyl will surely make your design elements pop out. A designer’s wish fulfilled. You can apply this vinyl on canvas.

opal vinyl
opal vinyl
opal vinyl

2. Reflective Vinyls

Reflective vinyls come in 5 amazing shades, perfect for all occasion designs that require reflective design element functionality. You can apply this vinyl on canvas.

Reflective Vinyls
Reflective Vinyls


3. Shimmer Vinyls

These vinyls are made of weather-resistant vinyl and sturdy backing, the material can be easily cut and weeded without a mess.  You can apply this vinyl on canvas. With its beautiful colors and shimmery tones, this vinyl is a cost-saving solution for your art projects.

Shimmer Vinyls
Shimmer Vinyls
Shimmer Vinyls

4. Mirror Chrome Vinyls

Mirror chrome vinyls is a new type of vinyl that’s perfect for any craft project! Our Mirror Chrome Vinyl reflects light, making it stand out from other types of vinyl. It features a soft material that will conform to all shapes, angles, and contours.

You can also use this vinyl to make impressive decals or mug art or even use with canvas With 10 different colors available in rolls suitable for most craft cutters or plotters, we guarantee you tons of creative freedom!

Mirror Chrome Vinyls
Mirror Chrome Vinyls
Mirror Chrome Vinyls


5. Satin Brush Vinyls

Satin brush vinyls shiny chrome-like finish will allow you to mimic the deep space of stars glittering in the night sky. These vinyl is available in clear or silver and can be used on different surfaces (you can apply this vinyl on canvas) to create an eye-catching glow with holographic vinyls.

 Satin Brush Vinyls
 Satin Brush Vinyls
 Satin Brush Vinyls

6. Glitter Brush Vinyls

Our Glitter Brush Vinyl is perfect if you love all things bright, shiny and fun! With many different glittery designs to choose from, you can make your favorite crafts stand out from the crowd.

Choose from a wide array of multicolored designs that will surely bring hours of crafting joy to any hobbyist. You can apply this vinyl on canvas.

Glitter Brush Vinyls
Glitter Brush Vinyls
Glitter Brush Vinyls

7. Textured Metallic Vinyls

Give your art projects a touch of upscale style with our 
Textured Metallic Vinyl Roll. This shiny, textured vinyl has a metallic-leaf effect with a glossy finish.You can apply this vinyl on canvas.

Textured Metallic Vinyls
Textured Metallic Vinyls
Textured Metallic Vinyls

8. Holographic Vinyl

Holographic vinyls gives off a metallic sheen, and has a unique iridescent  characteristic,  showing luminous colors that seem to change when seen from different angles.

This vinyl is a wonderful option when you want to have a more dramatic effect with your project, since the metallic sheen will surely catch everyone’s attention. This vinyl can be used on canvas.

Holographic Vinyl
Holographic Vinyl
Holographic Vinyl

Can I use mod podge or modge podge instead of spray adhesive?

In the absence of spray adhesive, yes, you can, but bear in mind a thin and even coating of mod podge or modge podge needs to be applied all over the canvas, and you run the risk of not being able to apply it evenly in all areas of the canvas. Whereas a spray adhesive affords you convenience and ease. So best to have an extra can should you be doing similar projects in the future. Or simply ensure that your mod podge is applied correctly.

Can I apply vinyl on painted canvas?

If your project requires the use of mixed media (paint and vinyl), yes, you may apply vinyl on painted canvas. Make sure that the canvas is completely dry before applying the vinyl. Best to have the painted canvas dry overnight. Simply follow the steps above in applying vinyl on canvas.

The applied paint allows vinyl to stick to canvas better, and may not require hard burnishing for the vinyl to stick.

This unique combination of paint and vinyl to your DIY art creations will surely add color to your creative endeavors, and can also make wonderful all occasion gifts as well.

vinyl on canvas


vinyl on canvas

vinyl on canvas

What type of paint can I use for this project?

You may use acrylic paint with your color of choice for this project. Acrylic paint can be purchased at your favorite dollar or craft store. You simply apply a thin and even layer of paint onto your canvas, and allow to dry completely. This will also get vinyl to stick to the canvas easily.

Is it possible to do a stencil technique using this method?

Yes, the vinyl will act as the stencil once applied on the canvas, after which you can paint over the vinyl and peel the vinyl to reveal your painted artwork.

It’s amazing to see the many projects you can create with vinyl, canvas and paint.

To summarize, you can do the following DIY projects with the aforementioned materials.

  • Vinyl on canvas
  • Painted canvas then proceed to vinyl application
  • Vinyl application proceed to painting on the canvas then removing the vinyl


These simple DIY project ideas will surely keep you busy and entertained as you create beautiful designs to line the walls of your home or to be shared as all occasion gifts to family and friends.

Check out the wonderful assortment of vinyls at our website to get you started and inspired in your crafting, and even painting journey.

Happy crafting!

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