Watercolor State Canvas Art

We have another awesome guest blogger this week, Amy from One Artsy Mama! Honesty is her goal, focusing on Honestly Doable, Honestly Edible, Honestly Teachable, and Honestly Wearable inspiration (something for everyone)! Stay in touch with Amy by visiting her awesome blogFacebookTwitter and Pinterest.

One Artsy Mama   Create. Share. Love. Inspire

Hi, friends!  I’m Amy, aka One Artsy Mama, and I’m thrilled to be here at Crafts Unleashed today to share a very special canvas art project with you!  Our family absolutely loves Myrtle Beach, South Carolina.  Ten years ago, hubby’s company sent him there for a work trip that we extended into a vacation, and we immediately fell in love.  Since then, we’ve added our five year old “Little Crafter” to the family and he loves the beach just as much as we do.  Each year, we look forward to our vacation there, and it’s a place that holds a lot of special memories for us.  It’s where we all rode in a helicopter and parasailed for the first time.  We’ve celebrated our anniversary, New Years, and my 30th birthday in Myrtle Beach.  So, I thought it was only fitting to create a piece of canvas art decor for our home here in Maryland that would remind us of the other special place in our hearts.

DIY-Canvas-Art-State-Crafts-UnleashedHere’s how I made my watercolor canvas art, and you can too!

Supplies needed to make your own watercolor canvas art:supply2

Step 1: Create a stencil of your state outline to fit your canvas.

I happen to have an electronic cutting machine, so I simply saved an outline of a South Carolina map to my computer, opened it in my software, traced it, and had my machine cut it out of adhesive vinyl.  If you don’t have the means to do this electronically, you can print out an outline of the map you want, trace it onto vinyl or stencil material and cut it out by hand with scissors.  Either way, you’re creating a stencil the shape of your state.

consumercrafts3Step 2: Adhere the outline stencil to your canvas.  Add a heart if you’d like!

I wanted to put a heart right where the city of Myrtle Beach would be, so I stuck it on my canvas like a sticker.  That way, when I painted over it, that heart shape would remain white.

craftsunleashed1Step 3: Choose your colors and add them to your palette.

I was super excited about this canvas art project because I was trying out my first ever “big girl” watercolor kit!  This one comes with 12 paint colors in tubes, assorted brushes, a palette and palette knife, an eraser, an aqua-flow brush, and more.  I decided that since I wanted this to remind me of the beach, I wanted to use various shades of blue, green, and white.

consumercrafts2Step 4: Fill in the area inside your stencil with watercolors.

This is the fun part!  Add a little bit of water, then start mixing your colors to get various different shades and make them all melt into one another!  Have fun with it!  You can’t really go wrong, especially if you stay with colors that blend well, like my blues and greens.  If you’re working with orange and purple, there’s potential for some yuckiness, but if you stay with colors that are similar to each other and work with darker and lighter shades of them, you’ll be just fine.

consumercrafts4Step 5: Remove the stencil.

While the paint is still wet, peel off the stencil.  If your paint happened to sneak into a spot it wasn’t supposed to, you can touch it up with white paint after the colored paint is dry.

consumercrafts6That’s all there is to it!  I love having a unique, original piece of canvas art representing one of our favorite places. And it’s especially nice to look at now, when there are two feet of snow on the ground, to remind myself summer really will come!

DIY-Canvas-Art-State-Crafts-Unleashed-2You can personalize this canvas art project for any state, or even any shape you want!  You could create stencils for letters, animals, hearts…anything!  The sky’s the limit!  What will YOU create today?

 Thank you again to Amy for this awesome watercolor canvas art tutorial!




  1. Patsy Behrendt says

    I am so pleased that you love Myrtle Beach! I have lived here since 1975 and it still holds a magical charm. I came here as a high school senior for fun and I was enchanted. That was in 1968 and a few years later, I moved here and later married a wonderful man. Glad you are coming back and that your family loves the beach also.

    • Judi Middleton says

      Hi, Marilyn~
      I am just curious as to where in Ohio you live. I don’t know any “crafters” in our area. I’m near Mansfield, halfway between Columbus and Cleveland. Enjoyed looking at your blog.
      Judi Middleton

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