DIY Asian-inspired Wall Art

Asian inspired art tutorial

I was struck with an idea for making easy wall art using vinyl cut outs. I’ve seen tutorials for these before, but usually they feature words or simple patterns rather than pictures like this. So I guess this isn’t a wholly original idea, but what is? (A bit of postmodern theory for your Sunday.)

Much to my surprise, the method worked out very well and was quite affordable. I used a canvas and paints I already had and only had to buy a can of gold spray paint and some vinyl for shelving, both from Lowe’s.

You could really use any image you like for this — pumpkin carving stencils or coloring pages could probably be adapted for this easily! — and certainly any colors.


  • square canvas (I used 12″x12″, but you can use any size)
  • acrylic paints
  • printed stencil
  • exacto knife
  • peel & stick vinyl
  • gold spray paint


1. Print the stencil.  Download the template and resize it to the size of your canvas, then print it out to serve as a stencil for cutting out the vinyl. (It’s ok if you have to size up — pixelation doesn’t matter.) If your canvas is bigger than your printer paper, you may have to print several pieces and tape them together. (I modified this picture of a fish to create my template.)

Fish Art Tutorial Template

2. Paint your canvas. I used acrylic paints in teal and purple to create a swirly water effect, then splattered a little orange paint on top. Let the paint dry completely before you move on to the next step.

Fish Art Tutorial Supplies

3. Cut out your vinyl. First, lay your canvas on your vinyl and cut around it using an exacto knife to make a square the same size as the canvas. Next, cut out all the white sections of the template and set them in place on the canvas or on the table (but don’t stick them on yet). Remember that we want to cover up all the parts of the painting that we don’t want to be painted gold. As you can see, I simplified the image from my template when cutting it out, putting in fewer scales and adding fin detail. Partly because I’m lazy, and partly because all those scales just weren’t necessary.

Fish Art Tutorial Vinyl Cut Out

4. Stick the vinyl to your canvas. This is like putting together a puzzle! Try to even out the spacing between the different parts and get the corners where they should go. Press the vinyl down and make sure the edges are tight to prevent spray paint from bleeding through. Trim off any excess to make sure the edges are clear. This will allow for a nice gold border on the sides.

Fish Art Tutorial Vinyl Cut Out

5. Spray with gold spray paint. Make sure to evenly coat the top and sides.

Fish Art Tutorial after spray paint

6. Peel off the vinyl. Let the spray paint sit for about 5 minutes, then carefully peel off while the paint is still tacky.

Fish Art Tutorial

7. Enjoy your art! Once the paint has dried completely, hang your canvas on the wall — preferably in a sunny spot so that it really shines!

Fish art tutorial

My husband got home from his golf game today and raved about the art I made! I’m glad he likes it!

If you try this out, let me know! I’d love to see what other people come up with.

Asian inspired art tutorial

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