Wednesday, September 17, 2014

How-To: Create Quote Art without using vinyl letters

So you want to make a sign like this, but you don't have one of these:

There are two kinds of people in this world: Those who own a Cricut or similar machine, and those who don't.

I fall into the later category.

I love the look of these custom wall quotes that I keep seeing on Pinterest. Upon further investigation, I'm finding that most of them are done using vinyl letters made on a Cricut, Silhouette or other similar gadget.

But, except for those rare times when I'm feeling crafty and want to make a sign, a gadget like that would go unused in my home.

Some people have a steady hand and are great a free handing beautiful script. This is also not me. I can however, trace like a pro! And that's what I'm here to show you today.

How to Create Quote Art Without Using Vinyl Lettering

What you'll need for this project:

- Canvas
- acrylic craft paint of your choosing
- sponge brush
Transfer paper (sometimes called graphite paper or tracing paper)
- pencil and sharpener
- painters tape
- Sharpie marker with extra fine tip or twin Sharpie with both tips
- Paint pens in your choice of color

I found all of my supplies, with the exception of the transfer paper, at Walmart and spent less than $15 on everything. I have enough supplies to make several pieces so this is a great bargain project!

Transfer paper should be readily available online, as well as at Michaels, Hobby Lobby or Joann Fabrics even.

For this project, I used a 12x12 canvas that was purchased in a two pack. I painted my canvas with acrylic paint, using a sponge brush. You'll want to let the canvas dry completely before moving on. I waited a whole day.

While you are waiting for your canvas to dry, you can start looking up fun quotes that inspire you. I wanted to create a Home themed sign to go on my gallery wall, so I chose "Home is wherever I am with you."

I then went to one of my favorite websites: and looked for fonts I wanted for this project. I chose one called Tattoo Ink for HOME and Burton's Nightmare for the rest of the quote. Using these, I created large lettering for my sign in a document. You'll want to play around with your font sizes and may have to print once or twice to get the size you like. I used one whole page for the word HOME because I wanted it to be the biggest.

To create your pattern, simply print them in gray scale on the lowest quality print setting (you are just using this as a template so quality is not of importance).

Once you have your quote printed, you'll want to cut it out and arrange it on your frame. Use painters tape at the top of each piece to secure it to the canvas.

Place a piece of transfer paper between the paper and the canvas, making sure that the dark side of the transfer paper is facing the canvas.

The transfer paper I purchased had four different colors in it, so if you've used a dark color to prime your canvas you should still be able to get a good transfer with one of the colors. I used blue for this project.

Place a book in the void at the back of your canvas. This will support the canvas while you trace so you don't stretch or damage it.

Using your sharpened pencil, trace the outsides of your letters with a firm but not hard hand. It takes a bit of practice. You can lift your papers to make sure you are getting a good transfer, just make sure not to move the tape.

Once you have traced your entire quote with transfer paper, remove the pages and tape. What you have should look like this:

At this point you have a choice to make. If you are confident, you can go ahead and trace the letters with your paint pen. If you're like me and you want a bold outline to follow, use your Sharpie to trace everything first and then fill in with your paint pens.

It adds an extra step, but I liked the look of the sharp outline. I chose to also add the thistle at the bottom of my painting. I did this using all the same steps listed above.

And that's it! Hang your piece on the wall, stand back and admire your handy work!

Featured by:


DIY Projects Junkin' Joe

Shared with:



  1. I am so excited about this post. I to love the different quotes but don't have a machine. I am not a artsy person or crafty person either. Never have had the talent it takes. But reading your post I think I can do this. Your step by step instructions are clear and to the point. Enough so that even a novice like me could make a masterpiece. Thank you so much for sharing.

    1. Hi Linda! Thank you so much for your comment. I hope you give it a try and feel free to link back to us with your results!!

  2. Great tutorial! Thanks for sharing with SYC.

  3. A great idea and one even could do.


  4. Awesome tutorial! I do appreciate you sharing with Home and Garden Thursday,

  5. Thanks for showing how to make it. Love it. Have a great weekend.

  6. Lovely! As a military wife, I can totally relate to this say! Thanks for sharing at Submarine Sunday!

  7. That is just pretty! Seems very simple and the outcome is gorgeous!

  8. What a wonderful piece! I love these types of crafts, because you can personalize them any way that you want! Thank you so much for sharing on Meandering Mondays! Have a great week!

  9. Very nice for sharing this inspirational quote for hearth and Soul blog hop pinning and tweeting.

  10. I love using quotes when I am scrapbooking. Thanks for the lesson.