First, mod podge your background on to the canvas, unless you're using a painting or something that is already finished and ready to go. I applied a thin layer of mod podge under and on top of the pages, and waited for them to dry.
vinyl letter stickers. However, this is where I noticed I had a problem. There were a few bumps and ridges from the pages getting wet and then drying, so make sure you smooth everything out as best as you can or the paint will find it's way underneath the letters. Another alternative to mod podge is spray adhesive, which usually doesn't make the pages wrinkle (hindsight is 20/20).
I used a light coating of paint (similar) over the letters with a foam brush and worked the paint around to all of the edges. After it was completely covered I applied a second coat to make a darker red.