DIY Art & Home Decor / DIY Projects

DIY Wall Art (Using Inspirational Quotes!)

DIY art with quotes

DIY art with quotes
I was totally the girl who had drippingly sweet inspirational quotes like, “Reach for the moon. If you miss at least you’ll be among the stars.” hanging in my high school locker. So, it’s not a huge surprise that half of the art that hangs on my walls these days includes some sort of positive message. What can I say? Ninety-eight percent of the time, I roll with the glass-half-full philosophy. The other two percent of the time, something’s gotta keep me off the uppers.

Turns out I have an equally “inspired” group of friends. So for a craft night a little while ago, we decided to make some super simple wall art with quotes and phrases we personally found uplifting. (Speaking of inspiration, this post at A Beautiful Mess originally spawned the idea.) The host of craft night, Tatiana, came up with the brilliant idea to use fabric as the backdrop for the quotes, which I’ve since decided is the absolute best way to use that little piece of fabric with the A-mazing pattern that you just love, but simply have never known what to do with except for stash it in a box with other similar “treasures.” And since I have about 300 such scraps, I’m guessing you must have at least one or two that would work perfectly for this project.

This DIY Wall Art can be made in about the same amount of time it’s takes to whip up a box of macaroni and cheese, which made it a perfect project for a group of very chatty ladies.

Here’s what you need to wallpaper your life with positive affirmations:
-a canvas
-a fabric scrap slightly larger than your canvas (Or experiment with an old map, the pages from a book or any other texture that strikes your fancy!)
-acrylic paint
-a paintbrush
-adhesive alphabet stickers (We got ours in the art aisle of Michael’s.)
-staple gun (This is optional. You could also simply hot glue the fabric edges to the back of the canvas.)

*Also, please note that the our fabric isn’t stapled in some of these images because we didn’t have a staple gun at craft night. (Sorry to break it to the men reading this, but unfortunately most women don’t wear tool belts and sexy overalls to craft night.) In hindsight, I recommend fastening the fabric to your canvas before you get started with your masterpiece.

1. Find a quote, phrase or song lyric that makes your heart sing. There’s surprisingly little space on a canvas, so the shorter, the better. If you’d like to see what words inspire me, check out my “Amen” board on Pinterest. (No, it’s not about Jesus. Not that I have anything against the guy.)

2. Use your staple or hot glue gun to securely attach your fabric to the canvas. Take care to fold the edges over like you’re wrapping a present so they look neat and tidy when they’re hanging on your wall. Try combining a few fabrics if you’d like!

3. Use your alphabet stickers to lay out your quote. Press them firmly onto the fabric so paint can’t sneak underneath.

4. Time to get painty! Put a layer of paint over everything, including the letters. We found it easiest to also paint fabric on the side edges of the canvas.

5. Have a glass of wine and ponder life while your paint dries.

6. Time for the big reveal! Peel back your stickers to uncover the pop of alphabet-shaped color underneath. TIP: We found the letters could be reused a second time if they’re removed carefully. More inspiration bang for your buck! Tomorrow, I’ll show you how I used reused my letters to create a poster I absolutely adore.

7. What?! Done already? Yup, that’s it! You’ve just DIYed yourself to a seriously inspiring wall accessory.

If anyone has any great quote suggestions, please leave them in the comments below—the idealistic high school sophomore in me is always looking for the next inspiring little nugget!


Linked up here!


  • Joi
    March 3, 2012 at 9:43 pm

    I stumbled upon your coffee stirrer art project (which I LOVED!) and then came across this fabulous DIY. Looking forward to reading more of your posts!


    • Make and Do Girl
      March 5, 2012 at 9:46 am

      Thanks Joi! Glad to have you here.

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  • Ashley
    June 22, 2012 at 8:10 am

    Tried to do this today and the letters would not stick well. I pushed hard and everything! Ruined a beautiful canvas and fabric!

  • whitney
    July 14, 2012 at 8:24 am

    How was the zigzag pattern done?

    • [email protected]
      November 1, 2015 at 4:41 am

      The zig zag was part of the pattern on the fabric. Happy crafting!

  • Sarah B.
    July 15, 2012 at 8:21 am

    Omg, so cute! I’ll definitely be making these for my next Girls Night!

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  • Dani
    August 7, 2012 at 4:30 pm

    Love this idea! I so want to try this, but I am having trouble locating these vinyl letters. I haven’t tried in-store Michael’s yet but can’t find them on the website. I’ve looked on other websites to try to find them and I’ve only found two different fonts. I’m doing 4 quotes and I don’t want them to be the same fonts. Do you know where a good place to look is or a different brand? Thanks.

    • Dani
      August 7, 2012 at 4:33 pm

      Oh, and what size is your canvas?

  • Jessica
    August 19, 2012 at 3:10 am

    Love this project. I’m trying today with a slight twist. I’m going to try stencils so that you will see more fabric and less paint… I’ll have to get back to you about how it turns out. 🙂 and share pics with you!

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  • anna
    October 8, 2012 at 11:33 pm

    Nice and simple – just how I like a craft project!

    I am going to put “This is my happy place” on the wall so it is the first thing you see when you walk in the door. My husband and I used to talk about ‘going to our happy place’ and ever since having my daughter and moving into our first home as a family it has been my new ‘happy place’.

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  • Julie
    November 5, 2012 at 2:38 am

    This looks fun! woo!

  • Jenn
    November 30, 2012 at 6:14 pm

    Hey, just leaving a quote I love for you. “Love isn’t complicated, people are.” Hope you like it! 🙂

  • Brooke
    December 29, 2012 at 12:48 pm

    I’m making this for my reception! Thanks for the idea!

    • Make and Do Girl
      January 2, 2013 at 10:09 am

      Great idea, Brooke. Good luck!

  • Megan
    January 4, 2013 at 8:34 am

    I have done this myself as well, however, I went as far as to download cute fun fonts to my computer, print them out to the size I wanted on my canvas and then use and exacto knife and stencil adhesive to put them on the canvas and then paint. The stencil adhesive is moveable, so I could make three of the same saying using different fabric and paint if I wanted too! Just keep in mind that you’re cutting the letters out, so not too intense of a font!

  • Zoe
    February 3, 2013 at 8:12 pm

    I have always loved this quote my mom used to say this to me.Where there’s a will there’s a way, and i will find a way 🙂

    • Make and Do Girl
      February 5, 2013 at 9:34 am

      That’s a nice sentiment, Zoe. Sounds like your mom knew what she was was talking about.

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  • Rachel
    July 30, 2013 at 3:37 am

    Looks cool! What kind of paint did you use? Spray paint? I really like the ones where you can still kind of see the fabric behind it.

    • Make and Do Girl
      October 29, 2013 at 8:09 am

      Hey Rachel,

      I actually just used acrylic paint. Like the kind you can get for $.79. I like those semi-transparent areas too, feels a little “weathered” or something.

      Thanks for stopping by.


  • Kristina
    September 2, 2013 at 1:41 pm

    Thanks for sharing such a wonderful project! Here is a PDF with lots of wonderful (and appropriately short) inspirational quotes

    • Make and Do Girl
      October 29, 2013 at 8:04 am

      This is awesome! Thank so much for sharing your list of quotes. I love quotes and it’s hilarious that these all came from Yogi tea (which I also love!).


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  • Carol
    March 5, 2014 at 4:53 pm

    I found the self adhesive vinyl letters at Michael’s today. They were somewhere near the paints. I also saw them at A.C. Moore. And I think they can be found at Hobby Lobby and on The main thing to look for is the word “repositionable” on the packaging. You don’t want to get the permanent letters. They all carry packages of letters from 1″ to 3″. Hopefully I can try the project tomorrow!

    March 20, 2014 at 6:32 am

    BEAUTIFUL! I ran to try my hand in this project after seeing your beautiful wall art and as I was searching for the perfect quote I found a quote that says, ‘Some of my greatest blessings call me _________. Well the particular one had grandma on the dash. And I thought you can fill in as many names as you wish for different special people. Im sending you mine as soon as a I finish it.

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  • BearMayor
    October 11, 2017 at 11:45 am

    Hi there,

    I’m a little unclear about attaching the fabric to the canvas. Where do you glue it or staple it…? Do you wrap the fabric around the canvas and glue on the back? I’d wonder about getting it taut enough.



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