Cutout art is a fun and easy way to use your Cricut or other cutting machines to create customer DIY home decor pieces.
Technically, there are lots of different types of cut out art. I would consider the layer 3D mandalas that are super popular right now also cutout art but what most people refer to is a single layer design where the negative of the image is cut out to create a design with the silhouette of the remainder of the image.
These are actually my practice runs on cardstock but you can create a more permanent piece using canvas.
The cardstock cutout art actually works as well but depending on what cardstock you use will last various amounts of time. Cardstock tends to fade and/or warp with the elements so it also depends on your environment.
If you just want something for a season, I’d say go with the cardstock and rotate your art for different holidays and occasions.
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Materials for Cut out Canvas Art
Canvas frames – If you do want to use canvas, I would get one of these blank stretch canvas sets. They have a built-in frame and are super affordable.
Template – this set of tropical theme cutout designs are free in both SVG and printable PDF formats in my resource library if you are interested in practicing with the examples in this tutorial.
Tutorial for making cutout art
Removing the canvas from the frame
The back of most stretched canvas frames have a set of staples. If you have some pliers and want to remove the staples, that probably works best.
Otherwise, you can also cut the canvas off with a knife:
For more details on how remove and deal with these frames, check out my tutorial on Reverse Canvas Art.
Cutting canvas with the Cricut
If you are using the regular fine point blade, I would recommend a fresh standard grip mat.
I know everyone is going to say to use a strong grip mat but the canvas is coated and I find some of the pieces get picked off by the mat if you use something too sticky.
To supplement the standard mat, I would tape down the edges with some masking or painters tape:
(full disclosure, this is just a demo photo, I forgot to take a picture as I was making the real project)
If you have a Cricut Maker and rotary blade, I would highly recommend using that instead of the fine point blade. The denim setting works great for canvas.
The Canvas cutting settings works for the fine point blade otherwise.
A few other tips for cutout canvas art
If you want a cleaner cut to be visible, I would consider mirroring the design and cutting your material with the side that is going to be seen facing the mat. I find this creates cleaner edges and corners for the visible side.
You can also paint your canvas after the cutting. I wouldn’t recommend painting beforehand as the paint will rub off on the mat.
For heavier cardstock, I would paint first, let the paper dry completely and then cut.