What Type of Canvas to Buy for Your Project

We get the question all the time “What type of canvas to buy”, when it comes to finding the right canvas fabric for your next project, it can be challenging. For some who have never used canvas in a project before, this first introduction into the world of canvas is daunting.  At Canvas ETC, we hope to simplify the guesswork and break down the basics of what type of canvas to buy for your project.

What type of canvas to buy


  1. Canvas for Painting
  2. Canvas for Bags
  3. Mixed Media Art Projects
  4. Home Decor
  5. Canvas for Tents & Canopies
  6. Drop Cloth

Canvas for Painting


The most obvious choice for a painting art project is canvas. Artist canvas rolls are sold by the yard. We carry a variety of weights and styles. You choose from primed gesso canvas or unprimed selections. Gesso is a binder often mixed with gypsum, pigment or chalk. They are used to prepare canvas for painting along with other substrates like wood panels. Meanwhile, if you want a more saturated look in your canvas painting, we suggest going for the unprimed fabric. 

Canvas is versatile for painting. With our large rolls, you can cut and frame your canvas into any size you need! From tiny paintings to large, wide-format pieces, it does the trick. Canvas is famously popular with artists because it’s lightweight and easy to transport. 

Canvas for Bags

Whether you want pre-made bags like those available from Canvas ETC, or want to make your own, canvas is a popular fabric for tote bags. Tote bags are used a lot by small artisans that make custom bags with embroidery or paintings. Do you like to create custom tote bags? Our bags and by-the-yard rolls work well for beach bags, boat bangs and any other trendy application.

If you’re a painter, canvas bags are an excellent accessory. You can store all your tools and supplies. Bags are machine washable and extremely durable. 

Mixed Media Art Projects

what type of canvas to buy for your next project canvas etc
Still Life With Chair Caning, Picasso

Mixed media art is something everyone can do. The thing about mixed media art is that you need to use more than one type of material. Collages are one example of mixed media art. Pablo Picasso’s Still Life with Chair Caning was the first modern artwork considered mixed media. He used paper, cloth, rope and paint. Influences of cubism and Dada made this type of art more popular. Other famous mixed media artists include Joseph Cornell, Henri Matisse, and Ellsworth Kelly.  

Popular supplies for these types of projects include:

  • Canvas
  • Vintage paper and magazines
  • Scissors
  • Paint
  • Wood
  • Decoupage
  • Gessos

Check our inventory of canvas for your next mixed-media art project.

Home Decor

Many of our customers use drop cloth for art and household projects such as farmhouse and shabby chic design. You can use canvas fabric to cover pillows, as window dressings, upholstery and even for bedding! Banners, flags and bunting for marketing your business or to celebrate an event can be created from leftover drop cloth. The possibilities are limitless. If you like a rustic, natural aesthetic, canvas is the right fabric for your next home decor project.


Pro-tip: Drop cloth can wrinkle when shipped. A steamer or iron will get them out. Just be mindful that this natural fabric has wrinkles – that’s a part of its charm! 

Canvas for Tents


The best traditional tents are made from canvas. You can use waxed canvas or choose to go with an untreated canvas depending on your use. Besides tents, canvas can be used for teepees (tipis) and yurts. Sunfoger is a commonly used fabric for tent projects. It’s dipped with a non-toxic treatment that strengthens the fabric. Sunforger isn’t just perfect for tents. Create outdoor cushions, tote bags, and wall tapestries from cotton duck. 

Drop Cloth

Drop cloth is a practical necessity for anyone doing a painting project or working on their home. Canvas drop cloth is made from cotton duck. As opposed to plastic drop cloth, canvas drop cloth is washable and reusable. On your next project, just lay out the drop cloth and get to work. For work with actual debris, take the drop cloth to the trash and shake off the waste. For paint projects, toss your drop cloth in the wash and hang dry. The canvas folds easily for storage until you need it again.

Work with Canvas ETC on Your Next Fabric Project

Canvas ETC is your supplier for canvas fabric. Shop our wide selection today! And remember, if you have any questions, one of our fabric experts is ready to guide you to the right product. Call 404-514-7166 or fill out our web form