Jan 31, 2012 - Crafts, From Scratch    6 Comments

Gasoline Signs on Fabric

A friend of my husbands offered a free plastic car bed on Facebook around Christmas.  Justin took him up on the offer and picked it up.  Our little guy was so excited to get out of his crib and be in a big boy bed, especially since it was a car (check out his Cowboy Nursery HERE)!  For me, it became a challenge.  How in the world was I going to make a giant blue plastic car bed look good in Rockie’s room.  Well, I’m still working on it, I’ll let you know when that is all worked out.

Race Car Bedroom

To start, I knew I needed some art work.  I shopped on line and found little that was right.  I love the vintage signs but the ones I’m interested are way too expensive.  The small metal reproductions available at Hobby Lobby and such are cute, but too tiny.  I decided to make my own.

Race Car Bedroom Decor



  • any heavy fabric
  • gesso
  • printed image
  • carbon transfer paper
  • paint
  • paint pen
  • 4 silver thumb tacks
  • 4 washers
You can use any heavy fabric for this, so don’t get sucked into buying fancy canvas from an art supplier.  I had this army green duck fabric in my storage room.  I measured the space where the painting would hang and chalked out the size for the final dimensions 20″X24″ (I had sewn a finished edge on the top for a different project, but kept that edge for the top of the paintings, the others were left raw).  It had been wadded up, so I ran an iron over it.  Then, with a foam brush covered the entire surface with gesso.  Gesso is an acrylic primer that allows the paint to sit on top of the fabric.  It dries quickly and can even be painted when wet (I bought this bucket 15 years ago for an oil painting class I took in college, unless you plan on doing a LOT of canvases you don’t need very much).  The final picture here shows the wrinkles came back, no worries, with all of the paint to be added, they flatten out.

Boy Car Bedroom DIY Accessories


Print out your design and tape it together.  Tape the top of the paper to the fabric to keep it in place.  Place carbon transfer paper under design.  With a pen or pencil trace the design, moving the transfer paper as you go.  Fill in the design with paint.  If you have fine lines, you can use a paint pen.  That is how I got the black lines around the lettering and in the wings to be precise.  to hang it, place the thumb tack through the washer in all four corners for an industrial workbench look.

Boys Car Bedroom DIY Art Accessories


I had planned on making a dinosaur room for Rockie, so in homage to that little dream, I made a Sinclair sign.

Boys Car Room DIY Accessories

So, the takeaway is if you need art and can’t find what you are looking for, make it yourself.  This project was super easy, quick, and because I had most of the supplies, mine only cost $2.00 each.

Little Boy Race Car Themed Bedroom

Here are images for a few more I’m going to make.

Graphic Art Car Bedroom Graphic Art Car Bedroom

 Linked Up: Funky Junk, Home Stories A2Z, Domestically Speaking, House of Hepworths



  • These are fab, BUT you’re missing a very important gasoline company: 76! Come on now. And the word “gesso” makes me laugh.

    • You’re right Julie, I’ve been debating adding the 70′s vibe. We’ll see.

  • Love it!!! We had one of those race car beds too (free as well) and dang it, it took up a lot of room.. oh well. Back to your signs, they are fabulous – you’ve done a great job!

  • Seriously great idea! They turned out awesome!

  • Your signs turned out amazing! At first I thought you had painted them on some tin or wood, but they look fabulous on canvas! I love finding others through blogs that love to paint and create their own art as much as I do!
    New follower, would love for you to stop by and perhaps follow me as well!

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