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Affordable Thrifted Kids Room Decor Using an Old Canvas

Looking for affordable ideas to decorate a kids room? My thrifted kids room decor using a cheap Goodwill canvas and my Cricut is a great solution! You’ll love the modern look of this piece. This post is sponsored by Cricut; all opinions are my own.

Thrifted kids room decor using an old canvas and a Cricut!

This is not the first canvas makeover project I’ve done—I love making over canvases 🙂 Check out my DIY nursery art using an old canvas and a tapestry. I also made a giant oversized “canvas” using a tapestry, which is a kind of similar project to this one.

But today? Today we’re working with this starfish. This starfish that a version was probably in every rental beach condo you stayed in in the 90s. I thought it would be the perfect candidate for my thrifted kids room decor project—and it was! I decided to make my version of a Scandi-style bunny art piece. This type of art is so cute for kids spaces.

This take a simple style of nursery/kids room is all over the internet, including tons of versions of the “peeking bunny.” So I definitely didn’t make up the concept of the peeking bunny—lots of folks have done it before me. I simply adapted it for an old canvas using my Cricut and elements from Design Space. So let’s jump in.

canvas picture of a starfish

Here’s what I used:

And here’s how I made my thrifted kids room decor!

Step 1: Paint the thrifted canvas

First I went over to our local Goodwill to find something that would make a good base. I went directly to the art section and started looking through the canvases. Our Goodwills always have a decent selection of canvases that are in good shape.

I like to reuse old canvases if I can. Why buy a new blank canvas when you can just give an old one a face lift? I usually look for something that’s the right size, and then I inspect the condition. Are any areas on the canvas frayed? Does anything need re-stapled? Are there any imperfections that can’t be concealed with paint?

I found a great 18″ by 18″ canvas that was in nearly perfect condition. It was a canvas painting of a starfish and had a turquoise, yellow, and green color scheme. Not my style, but it has great bones! So I took it home for just a few bucks and broke out the paint.

I didn’t want it to be stark white, so I mixed a light gray acrylic paint with some white acrylic paint. You can use any kind of acrylic paint you want to use—I used DecoArt acrylics I had on hand. A small roller helped me get a few coats on quickly. I needed two coats since the paint was a lighter color.

paint in a cup
painting over an old canvas picture of a starfish
woman with a small paint roller
painting over an old canvas picture of a starfish
painted canvas
Paint pyramids helped to prevent the painted canvas from sticking to the newspaper as it dried.

Step 2: Cut the pieces

While the paint was drying, I got to work cutting pieces on my Cricut. I used black iron-on vinyl for the bunny shape and two different kinds of glitter iron-on vinyl—black and lavender— for the eyes, nose, and circles. You might wonder why I used iron-on instead of regular vinyl—here’s why.

Regular vinyl doesn’t stick super well to canvas. Painting the canvas helps the vinyl adhere better to the canvas, but it still isn’t a great bond. Permanent adhesive vinyl will work, but I wanted a permanent bond. (Definitely don’t use the removable vinyl for canvas.)

Permanent adhesive vinyl also has a shiny finish, and I really wanted a matte finish for the bunny shape. So iron-on was the perfect choice—the black iron-on has a lovely finish on it, and it contrasts really well with the flashy glitter iron-on.

I used a 12 inches by 24 inches mat because my canvas was 18 inches x 18 inches and I’d sized the bunny shape to be about 11.5 inches (the widest shape you can cut) by a little over 13 inches. And since the max size you can cut on the regular Cricut mats is about 11.5 inches by 11.5 inches, I had to use a larger mat.

cutting black iron-on vinyl on a Cricut Explore Air 2
cutting black iron-on vinyl on a Cricut Explore Air 2

Step 3: Apply the bunny cutout to the canvas

I weeded the bunny shape and placed it on the canvas. The sticky portion of the iron-on liner doesn’t stick great to canvas, so that was a little frustrating. Some heat-resistant tape would probably help, but I didn’t have any. I just held it very carefully while I used my EasyPress along the bottom of the canvas to the bunny in place.

Applying the bunny shape was harder than I thought it’d be. Since the canvas has a frame along the perimeter, applying heat in that area can be tricky. I ended up applying heat along the bottom where the frame was first. Then I put a towel on a nightstand and laid the canvas down over that.

I did this so that when I applied heat using the EasyPress, the canvas wouldn’t dip down—it would be on an even surface. I also flipped the canvas over and applied heat from the back. For the EasyPress settings, I ended up using 300 degrees Fahrenheit and applying heat for about 30 seconds from the front and 15-30 seconds from the back.

Since the Cricut Heat Guide website didn’t have a setting for applying iron-on vinyl to stretched canvas, I took the recommended settings for 100% cotton canvas and adapted them from there. To avoid applying too much heat, I checked the adhesion level after about every 5 seconds or so.

shape of a bunny in vinyl on a canvas to make thrifted kids room decor

Want more Cricut projects for kids? Check out my DIY dollhouse miniatures, personalized toddler-sized apron, a door knob hanger, and DIY rainbow wall decals.

Step 4: Apply the eyelashes, nose, and dots

Make sure to save the large application liner from the bunny shape in step 3, because it’s time to start layering some vinyl! (I have a whole post about how to layer iron-on vinyl if you’re new to the process.)

adding glitter circle iron-on pieces onto a canvas to make thrifted kids room decor
adding glitter circle iron-on pieces onto a canvas to make thrifted kids room decor
adding glitter circle iron-on pieces onto a canvas to make thrifted kids room decor
adding glitter circle iron-on pieces onto a canvas to make thrifted kids room decor
peeling the liner away from an iron-on piece on canvas
adding glitter circle iron-on pieces onto a canvas to make thrifted kids room decor

And that’s my finished thrifted kids room decor using an old Goodwill canvas!

Isn’t it adorable? I love being able to update something thrifted that is totally not my style and turn it into a gorgeous piece for my home. I hope this post inspires you to make over some thrifted home decor for your space!

thrifted kids room decor with a modern bunny
thrifted kids room decor with a modern bunny
thrifted kids room decor with a modern bunny
thrifted kids room decor with a modern bunny

Pin my thrifted kids room decor using an old canvas!

thrifted modern kids decor using an old canvas pinnable graphic with text overlay
thrifted modern kids decor using an old canvas pinnable graphic with text overlay
thrifted modern kids decor using an old canvas pinnable graphic with text overlay


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