DIY nautical inspired canvases

How to make DIY nautical canvases for cheapI’m so excited – for a few reasons. First of all, I’ve made some DIY nautical canvases with a tutorial to share. They are so easy and made with Mod Podge – so what’s not to love? Secondly, I’m a new Brand Ambassador for is actually where I found the cute little palace that I currently live in, so it’s a resource I have used successfully and love.

In my new role, we’re going to do a craft challenge each month. I love challenges! All the projects must be something that can be completed in an apartment with simple tools (and be small enough to be housed in an apartment). This monthly challenge is summer themed, and so I went with nautical. The first step in making my project was finding a palette. In fact, going with a “nautical” theme actually came from the title of the palette as opposed to the other way around. I spotted this on Spoonflower and fell head over heels:

modern nautical paletteAs you can see, it’s called “modern nautical” – and the rest is history. With one trip to the craft store, I had everything I needed to make my canvases:

IMG_2143Gather These Supplies

  • Scrapbook paper – colors of your choice
  • Mod Podge Gloss
  • Canvases – set of 4, 6″x6″
  • Nautical silhouette clip art – you’ll need to have these sized to your canvases
  • Paint in the colors of your choice
  • Stencil tape
  • Scissors
  • Craft knife

IMG_2144So it looks like I’m working in some weird warehouse, but this is actually my apartment floor (it’s concrete!). The first thing I did was make a plan – which canvases I was going to paint with which colors and which papers I was going to use.

I decided to use four silhouettes: a nautical flag, a ship steering wheel (is that what they are called?), an anchor and a life preserver. All you need to do to find the right clip art is search for “nautical silhouettes” online. Or if you know what you want, search for “anchor silhouette” (for example). There are a ton of free sources. Once you have decided what you want, print it out and make sure it’s going to fit inside the canvas. Set aside.

IMG_2149Paint your canvases using your paint and brush. Take a peek at the finished picture and you can see that I actually used three colors on my canvases: white, navy and light blue. Let them dry.

IMG_2150The next part takes a little bit of time, but it’s actually quite easy. Use your craft knife and scissors to carefully cut out your silhouettes from the scrapbook paper. Make sure they are taped down with stencil (or painter’s) tape.

IMG_2151Just cut slowly on the curves. Don’t be afraid – if I can cut out silhouettes, you can too! I’m kind of a sloppy detail person. Once your silhouettes are cut out, you simply Mod Podge them to the fronts of the canvases. Then you let them dry.

DIY nautical canvasesIt’s really that easy. And I completed it in the convenience of my lovely loft apartment. So don’t be afraid about doing this in your apartment or small space – you can.

How to make DIY nautical canvasesWhat do you think? I love them – the size, the silhouettes, the color palette . . .

I am looking forward to my next challenge! Until then, visit the Renter Resources page on their site. You can get information on apartment friendly DIY projects, decorating, entertaining, living on a budget, food & recipes and much more!

Disclosure: This post brought to you by All opinions are 100% mine.


  1. says

    I love the bold colors. My son’s room is going to be done in these colors…I am thinking of some silhouette canvases right now!!!!

  2. Sara/creativejewishmom says

    great job Amy, love them! Thanks for sharing on Craft Schooling Sunday a few good weeks back, and hope to see you again this week when the party resumes!


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