Last week, I showed you how I decoupaged the bejeezus out of a canvas for a new wall hanging. Now that you’ve all recovered from my dazzling brilliance, let’s move on, as promised, to another project to upcycle an old canvas you have no use for. This is inspired by a neat tutorial that I found on Pinterest.
Sometimes a painting is just old or ugly. Sometimes it is a canvas project that sounded better on pinterest than it ended up being. *cough*melted dripping crayons*cough* Sometimes they’re just paintings that looked amazing in your last house that don’t fit your new one. Or it looked great in your mom’s house or sitting in the thrift store and you were FOR SURE going to find somewhere to hang it. Or you’re just a crafter without a cause and you saw the $1 tag and the canvas and didn’t care about that pesky layer of happy trees painted on it.
Fear not, my lovelies. I will free you from the limitations of the canvas. For about $2 and the end remains of whatever spray paint you used on your son’s pinewood derby car, you can have a masterpiece like this. Behold!
It’s cool. It has a little funky feel. It has a picture of my grandparents being freaking adorable. You can’t not love it. Well, you can but you really shouldn’t.
I used one of a series of paintings of calla lilies that I had in my last house. Oddly, the first artwork I purchased for this house was also calla lilies. Sometimes I can reuse or repurpose and sometimes I just have to buy the same thing over again. I roll like an inconsistent stone.
Old painting. Must be on canvas or wood. Maybe a really sturdy paper would hold up to this abuse but likely not.
Scrap paint. I have a collection of random amounts of spray paint so I had some choice. The painting was primarily orange and yellow and the room it was destined for is yellow and orange AND I love contrast so naturally I went with blue. If you’re making a seasonal plaque, think seasonal colors. I used spray paint, but any paint in sufficient qualities would work.
A saying. Best place to find sayings is at the craft store where they sell the already made plaques. I’m the lady at the store with her cell phone camera taking pictures of sayings I don’t want to forget. Perhaps you’ve met me. Perhaps you are me.
Sticker letters. If you have a cricut, I hate you. Um, I mean, yay you! Do your thang. And do you mind if I borrow it? Anyway, if you do not have a cricut, just peruse the scrapbook aisles. Make sure you have an idea of what size letter you want. If you’re not good with spatial relations, there ain’t no shame in using a ruler to give yourself an idea. Or if you like to wing it with the stickers you found on clearance 4 months ago (oooh! ooooh! Pick me!), make it so.
Cliff notes version:
Full, detailed version:
Gently clean the painting. You do not want your finished product to have painted on dust. Trust me. I have a woodshop. I’m always covered in sawdust. I don’t want my creations to be as well. I just use a damp rag. Kind of move the painting around in the light to look for any oil spots. Too many little people paws on it will cause issues.
I’m going to say this is optional because I’m too lazy to do it but theory dictates you will get better results if you do it. Use some sandpaper and rough up the painting’s seal, if it has a seal. In theory, your spray paint will adhere better and be less likely to chip off if you do this. Use of the plaque will help you decide if you need this step. As will your laziness. I will say that when I roughed up the edges of my finished project (I’ll get to that step in a minute), the paint came up easily. This plaque is inside and will do nothing more than sit there and look pretty so chipping paint isn’t a huge risk. If you’re going to use your plaque for, say, archery practice, you’ll want to sand it first.
Apply your stickers (or your fancy wancy cricut letters) to the painting. It’s helpful if you put them in the order you want the saying to read. So, rather than “mialyf,” you’ll want to order them like “family.” Sorry if that seems basic to you but I usually do art projects with children and you’d be surprised how many times this detail is overlooked.
You can draw lines or whatever else helps you put the letters on straight. I just put them on. I’m not really good with so-called “prep.” It just takes up time I could be using fixing the mistakes I made by not preparing properly.
Paint. Cover that sucker. If it is stretched canvas or otherwise has sides, remember to paint the edges as well. Unless you don’t want to. Then don’t. Just tape them so they don’t get splatter on them. Paint or leave plain. Just don’t be sloppy. It’s unbecoming.
It took 2 coats of spray paint on mine. I imagine really even coverage with latex paint would require 3 rolls. I do not recommend brushing it on unless you’re cool with the character of brush strokes. Oil based paint would likely only need 2 coats, but it’s the devil so stay away from that shit.
Pull off your stickers after the painting is dry to the touch. Unless you like painted hands, fingerprints on your finished product, and/or smear marks. Then by all means, have at it! Here at Three Blind Wives, we’re all about finding your own way to mess up your project.
Another optional step and, once again, it involves sandpaper. If you want a distressed look, you can run over the edges of the painting with sandpaper. If you skipped step 2, it should come up pretty easily. If you didn’t skip step 2, you should probably not do this project until I get around to the tutorial on distressing. Or you could just Google “how to distress” and find the four thousand other tutorials. My method involves rubbing a candle on wood, which is shockingly less sexy than it sounds.
I added a little flare to my plaque by mounting* a picture off to the side. You could staple gun some fake flowers. Or add a premade wood cutout. Or you could own a scroll saw and cut out the wood cutout yourself. I bet you own a cricut too, don’t you? Whatever you do, make it your own.
*why is it that I always hear my husband laughing when I write the word “mounting” even when he’s not here?