Monday, May 21, 2012

DIY Cheap-o "Canvas"

So a while ago, I tried this project for my friend's birthday, and it turned out SO WELL.  She loved it, but I didn't take any pictures :(  So I finally got my act together and took some pics when I made a few more.  I love how these turn out, very inexpensive, and fairly easy.  I'll be doing plenty more of these!

First you need to order a large photo.  Your finished product will be the size of the photo.  I ordered poster prints from snapfish because they always seem to have some kind of good sale.  I ordered 11x14's this time and paid about 3.99 each, maybe a little less.  I've heard you can get enlargements nice and big like that at Costco if you're into fancy membership stuff like that :)  I wanted something bigger than 8x10's for a  little more pop.  Snapfish also has an option to pick up in Walgreens and a few other locations if you're in a hurry, but snapfish products are always on my doorstep 2 days after I order them.

Then you'll need to get a piece of wood.  You can go to Home Depot and get them to cut you a piece the size you need.  But since husband forbids me to go to home improvement stores and get things he can "make" or "do" for me, I begged him to hook me up with some boards.  He bought a big sheet and cut up lots of pieces for me so I'm stocked for future gifts.  I had him cut the pieces exactly 11x14 as well.

Then I sanded the heck out of them.  Husband was very brave and handed me the power sander for this part.  He gave me a quick lesson and let me go to town...umm...power tools = a.m.a.z.i.n.g.  I wish I had a power tool for putting on my makeup in the morning.  Makeup is so annoying sometimes.  I digress.  Get those edges sanded really well and go over the surfaces so the mod podge will adhere well.
I primed the one side and the edges of each board first.  

Then, a coat or two of paint.  I picked a really light gray.  I bought a sample at Home Depot for about $3 and it's lasted me for 4 of these projects...still have about half of it left!  Leftover house paint will work well, too.

Note: if you're a desperate addict and can't complete tasks without an iced coffee by your side, just make sure you pick up the coffee and drink it...not the paint...or the mod podge, for that matter.

When your boards are completely dry, now it's time to mod podge.  Don't be nervous if you've never used it.  The basics are to be generous, but spread it out in an even application.  Use a foam brush and move in one direction.  Get a little extra around the edges so it sticks well.  You'll need to move fairly quickly before it gets tacky.  And get your cat out of the way.

So mod podge the non-painted side of your board, also the back of the picture, and then press the picture carefully to the board.  Use your forearm to smooth it out and flat (no bubbles).  Make sure the edges are lined up nicely.  Let 'er dry!  I'd give it at least a good 20 hour if you've got other things to do.

Now for the scary part.  You need to mod podge over the top of the photo.  Yep, just smear it right on!  Be very generous, but even it all out with that foam brush in one direction.  You'll want to do this part wherever you're least likely to experience floating dust, debris, cat hair, and mosquitos.  When the application looks even and covers ALL of the photo (even the very edges), you wait.

Really.  Trust me.  IT WILL DRY CLEAR.  I've mod podged many times, but there always comes a point where I freak out that it's not going to dry all the way.  When you reach this point, walk away, have a margarita, and come back a few hours later.  IT WILL ALL WORK OUT.

And wa-lah!  The finished product!  Love it!  The canvasy-texture just makes the photo really unique and special.

These are pictures of my older brother, my sister-in-law, my adorable nephew, and their puppy.  I did the family black and white one for my brother's office, the color shot of the 3 of them for my sister-in-law...

and this precious one for my mother for mother's day.  It's proudly propped on her mantle.  Can't wait for the new baby to arrive in July so I can complete the set!

The kitty was kind enough to help with the gift wrapping.  She's nice like that.

I think I need to join mod podgers anonymous.  Who's with me??


  1. I love this! I recently found modge podge and am crazy about it.

    1. oh it's a slippery slippery slope to addiction, my friend. be forewarned.

  2. these are awesome! i am definitley not a crafter but you might have convinced me to try them - thanks for sharing :)

    1. I don't consider myself a crafter at all--I pretty much only try things if I'm fairly confident I'll like the end product without toooooo much patience required! Thanks so much for stopping by!

  3. Love this! You don't have to tell me twice, I might read it again to take notes, but seriously this is the MOST awesome thing I've come across in a while. Love DIY projects that are on a budget...I have some pics on my desktop I've been wanting to get printed and your recommendation hits the spot! Thanks for this...Woo hoo! Just so you know, I'm a tad dorky, and love it!



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