Get Inspired Before the Big Race with this Running Inspiration Canvas

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A few months ago, I saw something that I thought my sister would like. I wanted the same thing….only very different.   I added it to my project board and couldn’t wait until I had the time to start working on it.  You see, my sister is crazy.  She actually runs for fun.  She joins these races and even has her kids involved.  I remember when I use to enjoy running.  That was 3 kids ago.  Anyways, she has battled through a bunch of injuries over the last few years and it is really hard on her.  She likes to be active and is kind of laid up right now.  I’m hoping that the physical therapy fixes her injury so she can get back to the things she loves.  Okay, I know you are waiting to find out what it is that I made her, so read on.

DIY Racing Inspiration Sign

My sister currently has her race numbers tucked away somewhere but she hangs her medals on a cork board in the kitchen.  I wanted to make her a spot to not only keep her numbers and medals from running races, but also to inspire her.  Plus, ever since I bought my Silhouette, I want to make everything!  Her birthday happens to be on Thanksgiving this year so in just a few days I finally get to give it to her.  Since it’s her birthday gift, I made her a matching water bottle and added in some delicious goodnessknows® snack squares.DIY Racing Inspiration Sign

While this isn’t a difficult project, it does take some patience.  Not only am I going to tell you how to make your own racing inspiration board, I’ll share my fail too because I still think it is so pretty.


  • 12 x 12 canvas
  • Spray paint
  • 12 x 12 vinyl
  • Cutting machine
  • Crochet hook
  • Transfer paper or contact paper
  • Squeegee {optional}
  • 2 small hooks
  • 1 large hook
  • Power drill {optional}

Note:  This can also be made using a 12 x 12 piece of scrapbook paper.


The first step is to design your image.  This took me quite awhile to decide on the fonts I wanted and what inspirational words I wanted to include.  Then I had to arrange them just right.  I left it open on my computer for a few days while I did this part and I love how it turned out.  I am bummed though.  When I first thought of the idea, I had a list of words rolling around my head.  When it came right down to it though, I forgot about one of my words – athlete.

DIY Racing Inspiration Sign

Once you have your image designed, go ahead and print it out on vinyl or just a sheet of paper if you want to go that route.  As you can see, my design is blank in one corner, so I cut that part off to reuse for something else another day.


DIY Racing Inspiration SignNow for the tough part that requires your patience {and a snack, so hopefully you also have a box of snacks sitting on your art table.  I love the goodnessknows® Cranberry, Almond, Dark Chocolate flavor that are available in the 18 packs.  You can try them yourself at the in store demos at Sam’s Club on December 5th and 18th.  I love them because they are made with real fruit, dark chocolate and whole nuts AND are in perfect bite size portions}.  Alright, done with your snack?  Grab your crochet hook, your printed vinyl design and get started.  Pull up all of the vinyl around the letters leaving only the letters on your page.


DIY Racing Inspiration SignNow, cut a piece of transfer paper or contact paper to fit your design.  Using your hand or a squeegee type of tool, press down firmly over the entire design.  Now, peel up the back of the vinyl slowly, making sure that every letter transfers as well.

DIY Racing Inspiration Sign

On my first try at this project, I decided to spray paint the canvas a bright pink first.  I let that sit for a few days while I worked on the design and got it to this last step.  You can do this as well, but it didn’t work for me and I’m not entirely sure if painting the canvas first caused my problems or not, so paint at your own risk.  


Next I carefully laid the design on the transfer paper onto the blank canvas.  I say carefully because my design went edge to edge so I needed to be sure that it was on straight and not over to one side too much.  Once you have it in place, go ahead and use the squeegee to press down firmly.  Since there is only wood around the edges of the canvas, I put my other hand underneath in some spots that looked like they needed more pressure.

DIY Racing Inspiration Sign

Once you have that step done, take it outside and spray paint the entire canvas, sides and front.  Spray paint a thin layer and let it dry.  Then another layer and let it dry.  Repeat until you have it covered as desired.

DIY Racing Inspiration Sign

Once completely dry, you will now carefully peel up the letters one at a time using the crochet tool.  PATIENCE is key.  This is almost the last step so you don’t want to rush it now.  My advice – stop and have a snack part way through this step.  It can be tedious.

DIY Racing Inspiration SignDIY Racing Inspiration Sign

Now, you are just about finished.  The next thing to do is screw in the hooks.  I measured 7 inches between the 2 small hooks and centered them above the blank area on my canvas.

DIY Racing Inspiration Sign

Last step is to screw in the larger hook. DIY Racing Inspiration Sign


Hang your racing numbers and medals and enjoy your words of inspiration.

DIY Racing Inspiration Sign

To make the matching water bottle, I followed the same steps above, stopping after I had them all on transfer paper.  Then I cut them up into each individual word and taping them around the bottle until I had the look I wanted.  Then one by one I peeled off the transfer paper and attached them to the water bottle.

DIY Racing Inspiration Sign

I am seriously SO excited to give this to my sister and I really hope she loves it.  I boxed up the canvas, the water bottle and some goodnessknows® Cranberry, Almond, Dark Chocolate bars so my sister is all set to get back to her running game as soon as the doctors give her the go ahead.  From goodness to greatness, she is amazing no matter what.



Won’t this be a perfect inspirational project to make for your favorite runner?  How do you inspire the people around you?


1 Comment

  • I love this!! This is such a thoughtful gift andI bet your sister absolutely loved it! Your sister is very lucky to to have such a kind and crafty sister!!

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