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Miniature canvas panels are small and just the right size to add to your layouts. Customize them to your heart’s content, then add them to your layout’s design to add a little dimension.


Let’s build a layout, from start to finish that allows us to add in layers with a custom made miniature canvas or two.




1 4×4 canvas panel

1 3×3 canvas panel


Modeling paste or gesso

Tissue paper and/or book papers/sewing patterns

Gel medium(optional)

Sewing Machine( optional)

Coloring mediums such as alcohol ink, mist, paint, sparkling H2O’s

Basic scrapbook supplies


Liquid adhesive

1 small piece of acrylic, plastic or transparency


Step One Your background can be one solid piece or you can choose to tear strips of tissue paper,book papers or patterned paper.  Determine a rough idea of where you would like to position the photos and the mini canvases. This will help give you an idea of how to build your background. If you need to, take a photo of the rough design to help you remember where to place everything later on.


Use the gel medium or adhesive to add the torn strips to your background. If you choose to, you can stitch some random designs for added texture. Just make sure the paper is dry before you stitch.


Step Two While the background is drying, you can go ahead and add the beginning part of your design to the small canvases. You will also need 1 small piece of transparency. If you don’t have a transparency, you can use a piece of plastic from packaging, just as I did. Use a stencil to add designs with gesso, modeling paste or gel medium.


You can add color using mists, paint, alcohol inks or any other medium that you would like.


Step Three Liquid adhesive works best for adhering the mini canvases to your layout. You will also need to elevate some of your photos to the same level as the canvas. Adhere pieces of chipboard, foam or even a piece of cork. Anything that you have on hand and that will support the photo will work. You may need two or more layers depending upon the material you are using. The idea is to have a structure that is level with the mini canvas. When adding glue to the mini canvas, try to keep it in center. This will allow you to slide die cuts or patterned paper underneath as you layer.


Step Four Add the photos and layer in your design elements. In some cases you can slide die cuts under the canvas or the photos.


In other instances you can layer embellishments or journal strips over the top of the photos and canvases.

The type of layered structure you have built with the supports, the photos and the canvases allow for embellishments to hang off in an interesting way. You might notice the layering is more pronounced here than in a traditional layout.


PJ’s and Paperdolls by Christy Strickler Supplies Letters: Pink Paislee; Alcohol Ink: Ranger; Gel Medium: Liquitex; Die Cut: Crate Paper; Chipboard: K and Company; Glitter Glue: Stickles; Pens: Bic Mark-it, Signo; Paint: Luminarte; Stencil: FrogDog Studio Other: Tissue Paper, clear plastic, sewing pattern; most supplies from the Frog Dog Studio June Kit

Alternative Supply Recommendations:
This posts contains affiliate links when possible. Please shop your stash first, but should you find you need something, consider supporting MSE.

Also look for sewing patterns in thrift stores or garage sales.

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