Friday, November 30, 2012

Do it Yourself Canvas

Having a young and constantly changing family, I wanted to do something with some recent family pictures that wouldn't cost a fortune.  Pintrest has several ideas of DIY canvas prints.  After looking at several I attempted following 2 .  I will compare them at the end if you are interested in how I felt they turned out.  I included a couple other blog DIY tutorials in case you want to attempt them.
Girl in the Air did a 4 foot by 3 foot canvas.
A Beautiful Mess did a canvas that turns out more distressed.
This Thrifty House did multiple pictures that are very similar to what I did.
Literally Inspired is the other blog I attempted.
I purchased the Styrofoam from a local "home do it center" for $5 and I got more then enough.  I will keep it and use it for the next few years when I update our family pictures.
I purchased the black canvas from "Hobby Lobby" and used one of their weekly 40% off coupons.
It cost under $5.
Everything else I had already on hand.
1.  To start I took the prints that I wanted to turn into canvas and traced the outline on the Styrofoam.
2.  I then used a craft knife to cut the Styrofoam. 
I found that holding it vertical, (pictured above) stabilized on the bottom, made for a cleaner cut then a horizontal cut (pictured below) which turned out more jagged. 
Probably because I could put the entire blade through the Styrofoam and use a small sawing action but when horizontal the blade couldn't cut cleanly through the entire part with the sawing action and without the sawing action/using just a drag of the blade would tear out little chunks of the Styrofoam.
3.  I then laid the cut pieces of Styrofoam on the canvas and cut leaving 2-3 inches of extra material. 
4. Staple the material to the Styrofoam.
Using a medium duty staple gun I stapled 2 sides (opposites) of the canvas to the Styrofoam 
spacing the staples a few inches apart ensuring the keep the material tight and free of wrinkles when stapling the second side. 
5.  To staple the last few sides I cut the material directly in line with the corner 
then folded in the side already stapled (staple it, it will lay better when folding the last piece) 
Fold up the unstapled side. 
cut or tuck the corner then proceed to staple along the entire side.   
The doubled layers of material was a tough section for my medium duty stapler to go into so I attempted a couple of spots until I felt the staple was holding well. 
6. Tape over the material.
I think this will help keep the staples in place and also adds a second adherence for the fabric on the Styrofoam. 
You can probably use any color of duct tape.  I used black to match the material color.
I would recommend cutting the duct tape because it makes a cleaner edge and sticks better.
7. Iron the canvas making sure to get the edges.  This really helps.  I skipped it initially, but then went back and ironed them.  The heat also seemed to help the canvas stick to the Styrofoam, making a cleaner look and sharper corners.
8.  Adhere the picture.
I used Mod Podge and a sponge brush.
Covering the entire area where my picture would be.  I also covered the outside edges on personal preference because it gave a shinier look to the black canvas. 
After laying the picture on the Mod Podge covered canvas, I rubbed the entire picture with a soft cloth making sure there were no bubbles.
9.  Optional step but I wanted to make sure it didn't bubble: 
I flipped the canvas over onto a cut ziplock bag on newspaper (as a protection for my table in case any glue oozed out the edges (which none did...but I didn't want to risk it).
Then stacked magazines (or books, just something heavy) on top until the glue was dry.
I think it would only take an hour or so, but I didn't actually time it. 

I then attached a "Command" picture hanging strip to the back.
I felt comfortable only putting one strip on since the Styrofoam canvas was light.
This is a store bought art canvas that I painted black on the edges before attaching a picture the same way as I did to the Styrofoam. 
Both types of canvas's (Styrofoam and store bought) were quite easy.
PRO's for the Styrofoam:
-You can cut any shape you want, i.e. 8x10, 5x5.  Traditional or non traditional sizes.  You can even make very large size prints if you but a larger piece of Styrofoam.
-Very cost effective
-Super light and easy to hang
-Edges may not be as clean as a store bought canvas (Ironing will really help this though)
-You need more 'equiptment' to cut and assemble.
PRO's for the Store bought canvas:
-Quick and Easy
-Sturdier feel
-Requires very little to assemble
None really.  It is slightly more expensive then the Styrofoam canvas, but both are much cheaper then a store canvas print.
Also I would recommend not Mod Podging the top of the picture. It is a personal preference but I didn't like the streaks it left (pictured below)
I made one store bought canvas print and 10 Styrofoam canvas (varying in size from 11x14 to 4x4)
Here are 2 of my finished canvas's.
I took a little black paint and 'edged' the pictures just to help the white of the side edge of the picture not stand out so much.
Can you tell the difference from the store canvas and the Styrofoam one?
Store bought art canvas on the left.
Hope this helps you decide which method to go with.

1 comment:

  1. I love how you give your details in this tutorial. It is clear and easy to follow. I definitely think I could do this too. Thanks for sharing this.

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