Monday, September 20, 2010

DIY Canvas Art {tweet tweet}

This post is a tutorial on how to make your own painted canvas wall art:

Tutorial: DIY painted canvas wall art

So do you remember THIS POST from last month? Well, I have finally gotten around to finishing that project! Here are the 'deets'... (do you believe that I am a 20-something yr. old when I use cool abbreviations like that?? Yeah, didn't think so. Drat!)

As mentioned in THIS POST, our whole house is painted neutrally (read "BLAH") and the walls are just dying to be dressed up a little until we can afford to paint every surface in here. One of the worst offenders is in our master bedroom. We have these gorgeous cathedral type slanty ceilings and I love all the open space. But it is A LOT of manilla vanilla going on in there!

So I laid sat down on the bed and tried to figure out what I could do to add some interest to the room without actually having to paint the walls. After I woke up from my nap {I wish!} a few minutes, I realized that the two biggest walls in the room were..




Well, gee... no wonder it looks so blase in here. There is nothing -- and I mean NOTHING! -- (except maybe some dust) over our bed OR on the opposite wall over the dresser.

Wow, that just looks pathetic
(guess I could have at least dressed up the bed for you a bit, huh? LOL. Sorry! We just aren't fancy bedding people. Maybe I should think about that...)
So I started scoping out for something that was stylish, big enough to make an impact in the humongo space over our bed AND wouldn't break the bank either (c'mon, this is ME, after all!). But I couldn't find anything that met all three of those categories. I mean, I wanted to find something really cheap but didn't want to settle for a plain old poster (as evidenced above, I am NOT a young 20-something anymore!).

I want ~{ART}~.

So that is when I started thinking about making some art. Why not? I'm fairly talented. Some might even say "She's got skillz"! Besides, one of my aunts is a professional artist. And one of my cousins is a professional potter. Another one of my cousins is a software artist. Surely some of that family talent had rubbed off on me and I could pull off some simple art on canvas.

{Don't call me Shirley!!}

The Heela would be so proud right now! heehee

So anyway, I decided to keep it just that... simple. I know birds and silhouettes are all the rage right now, so I set out my plan. First I found an image I liked online of a finch silhouette. Then I headed out to Michaels and purchased 3 (20 x 20) canvases (on sale for 50% off!), some paint and a 3-pack of blank stencil "paper" sheets (not sure what that stuff is called - but it is the official plastic-looking stuff that stencils are made out of).

{And, yes, I made separate trips so I could use 40% off coupons on everything}

Next I painted the canvases in Burnt Umber. I used a foam roller that I already had since I wanted a nice smooth finish (no paintbrush lines). It took just under one (small) bottle of paint to cover each 20 x 20 canvas with 3 coats of paint. I wanted the brown to be really rich and dark and since I was starting with a white canvas, I needed 3 coats to get the look I was going for.

Two quick tips when painting...

1 - In between coats (or even overnight), wrap your roller/brush in plastic wrap and it won't dry out on you.

2 - Put push pins in the back side of whatever you are painting (i.e., a canvas or a cabinet door) and you won't have to wait to turn it over to paint the other side or worry about the paint sticking to the newspaper/ground.

While the paint was drying, I traced over my printed out bird onto one of the stencil sheets using a sharpie and then I cut out the shape with an exacto knife.

Next I placed the stencil over the (dry) canvas and used a pencil to trace the shape of the bird onto the center of the canvas. Then I took my small paintbrush and {{very carefully}} painted in the pencil outline of the bird with Metallic Peridot (2 coats).

{tweet tweet}

The brown is really closer to this color - very dark and rich!

On a second canvas I flipped the bird the opposite direction so they could face each other. And on the third canvas I painted a fleur de lis (using the same technique to create the stencil) to add some French flair.

I love the sheen of the metallic paint - I think it adds some subtle "dimension"

And... VOILA!

As always, here is the Before and After:



3 Custom artwork canvases for less than $40 total. Not bad!

What do you think?

This project submitted to the CSI "Painted with a Brush" Project Challenge

This project was featured by It's So Very Cheri, Mural Maker & More and House of Hepworths! Thanks ladies!!

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  1. What a great idea!!! I love DIY art!! My tastes change so I really don't like investing a lot of money. Thanks for coming over to my blog and leaving such a nice comment....and subscribing!!! OMG you are my first!!! Anyway, I spend so much time looking through the blogs, that I need to start doing some projects of my own, and posting them. Anyway, thanks again. lovelovelove this project!!

  2. looks awesome! two of my favorite motifs- birds and fleur de lis! :)

  3. I love it!!! Awesome job! You gave me an idea for my fall decor in my dining room.

  4. These are GREAT! We've lived here for 4 years and it still looks like we just moved it- there is NOTHING on the walls. I need to get to work. Thanks for the inspiration!

  5. Very Cute!! I love that it's so simple, too. Easy to change out if you ever get the urge. Great job!

  6. Wow...that is such a cool idea!!! I have seven children and wouldn't it be awesome to have all their sillouettes on something like that? They're ages 11 to 1 year. Hmmm...wheels turning....=0

  7. Those are great! What a good idea!

  8. Those are awesome!! You did a great job!

  9. nice work... I love the colors you chose.

  10. This is really cute! You did such a great job with the painting of the birds...they look awesome!

    Love the pick me up on the wall :-). Great job!

  11. I think you did an awesome job. I love the birds and the fleur de lis. Simple, but oh-so stylish!

    Would love for you to stop by and link up to Passion for Paint!

  12. LOVE this!! I am going to try it out myself. Thanks for the great tutorial!!

  13. Awesome! It turned out great. What a thrifty way to make some personalized art for your room! I have lots of canvas sitting around, so I'll have to give this at try! Thanks for sharing!

  14. Thanks so much for linking up to Passion for Paint! Hope you'll stop by again some weekend!

  15. Love it! My daughter was wondering how to do canvas art for her sons room, now she knows! Thanks!

  16. I featured you!

    ~Allison @ House of Hepworths

  17. very nice! my husband would love the fleur de lis because he is a huge New Orleans Saint's fan.

  18. I love this idea. I've been working with some canvas art of my own lately. Yours are beautiful. They look professional!

  19. Hi, nice blog & good post. You have beautifully maintained it,Its really helpful for me, hope u have a wonderful day & awaiting for more new post. Keep Blogging!

  20. Great idea, I happen to have some canvases I was going to repurpose, might have to try this out.

  21. Thanks for stopping by my blog! I am so happy I stopped by yours because I cant tell you how many years I have been looking for a solution to my canvas's sticking to my newspaper, hello pushpins!!

    Thanks so much for thr tip!

  22. Oh! I saw something like this on Martha last year! I put it away in my brain... but alas, there was no pintrest then, so I am pinning this now!!


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