How to Make a Tapestry Wall Hanging Canvas

Rather than framed art or photos, spruce up an empty corner with a canvas wall hanging instead, which brings warmth and texture to your walls. This nautical-inspired design lends a beachy cottage look to any space and can be customized according to color preference.

(Image: Lucy Akins)

Things You'll Need

  • Canvas or burlap measuring 2 1/2 feet by 4 1/2 feet

  • Painter's tape

  • Fabric paint

  • Palette or paper plate

  • Paintbrush

  • Template

  • Sandpaper, medium grit

  • Iron

  • Hot glue or fabric glue

  • 7/8-inch dowels, 2

  • 2 eye hooks

  • Twine or cotton rope to hang

Step 1

Lay the canvas out vertically and form a stripe of desired thickness by covering two portions of fabric at the bottom with painter's tape.

(Image: Lucy Akins)

Step 2

Pour some fabric paint onto a palette or paper plate. Dip the paintbrush into the paint and use a dabbing motion to paint inside the taped surface.


Dab the brush onto a paper towel first to remove some of the excess paint. It's better to use a dabbing motion to apply the paint instead of brushstrokes. Add as many stripes as you like.

(Image: Lucy Akins)

Step 3

Print this whale template and enlarge it to your desired size (it measured approximately 30 inches from head to tail in this project). Cut out the template, place it vertically on the canvas, and lightly sketch around it with a pencil.

(Image: Lucy Akins)

Step 4

Use a dabbing motion to paint inside of the whale, leaving the underbelly and eye unpainted.

(Image: Lucy Akins)

Step 5

Using the same brush, water down the paint slightly and continue to brush the rest of the whale, leaving a slight margin between the fin and the underbelly. The difference in color creates contrast and allows the fin to stand out. Allow the paint to dry thoroughly.

(Image: Lucy Akins)

Step 6

Scrunch up the fabric to give the whale texture and movement by creating wrinkles.

(Image: Lucy Akins)

Step 7

Create additional texture by distressing the fabric with sandpaper. This creates a worn out look to the canvas.

(Image: Lucy Akins)

Step 8

Iron the blank canvas around the whale.

(Image: Lucy Akins)

Step 9

Make a seam at the top of the canvas that is big enough for the dowel to fit through by folding the top edge of the canvas over and gluing it with fabric glue or hot glue. Repeat this process at the bottom of the canvas.

(Image: Lucy Akins)

Step 10

Slide a dowel through the top and bottom seams.

(Image: Lucy Akins)

Step 11

Screw an eye hook onto each end of the top dowel.

(Image: Lucy Akins)

Step 12

Thread twine or cotton rope through the eye hooks and tie to form a knot at each hook.

(Image: Lucy Akins)

Hang the finished tapestry on a wall and style with sea glass, rope and shells to create a maritime look.

(Image: Lucy Akins)