DIY canvas project

Thanks to my Pinterest addiction, I started this project last weekend. I have always coveted the canvas prints that add some dimension to a photo, but just couldn’t bring myself to pay that price. Well, when I spied this baby on Pinterst, I knew that I would be able to have a canvas with our favorite family photo. So here is my own attempt at making a canvas.
Now, before you start scrolling down, let me preface this with a little warning. I am a work in process on the DIY front. I love some DIY, but when I try and tackle a project, it never seems to turn out quite like I expect it to. Whether you blame it on misleading pics in the original tutorial, lack of access to the same resources, or just plain lack of ability on my part, it still seems that I am slowly but surely getting better at it.

Here is what I started with:

1 blank 8×10 canvas
1 8×10 photo (mine was just printed on paper)
1 sponge applicator
1 container of Mod Podge (mine is homemade – find the tutorial on that here)
acrylic paint in black

I began by trimming my picture down to fit up the edges of the canvas. I actually flipped the canvas upside down on top of the picture and used a pencil to trace where to cut. I brushed some mod podge onto the canvas with the sponge applicator and carefully laid the picture on top. It sticks pretty quick so I would take your time lining it up before you actually let it touch the canvas. I wanted it to dry on well before I proceeded so I flipped it upside down and used some cans of food to weigh it down hoping it would help it seal all the way around. I used the cellophane that the canvas came wrapped in under it to keep the modpodge from getting on the table and sticking.

Once it was dry I flipped it over to see what I had.

It adhered very well! So the next step was to do something about the sides of the canvas so that it would all look like one big piece, not a glued on photo. In the tutorial I was using for this, she used scrapbook paper on the edges. I didn’t really have anything on hand that I wanted to use, so I just painted the sides black with the acrylic paint using the sponge applicator again. I also sponged a little over the edges to cover the photo slightly and give a shaded in effect. Here is what I had at that point…

I let that sit to dry for about 20 minutes before I moved on. I didn’t want black acrylic paint to mix in with the mod podge if it was still wet. I took the sponge applicator and lightly brushed the mod podge over the entire surface of the photo. Here is where I ran into some trouble. In the tutorial I was using, the mod podge went on almost like paint, but mine was beading up like water. My first thought was that I hadn’t mixed it correctly and had used more water than I should have. So I pulled out another container of glue and added glue to it, probably about half of that bottle. I shook that up really well and tried again. Once I had put the first coat on I lightly dabbed it with a paper towel to avoid the modpodge from drying spotty. So I didn’t try that second coat until that was dry. I had the same results with the second coat. At this point I took a break from it to figure out what I might be doing wrong, if anything. My conclusion? No clue why it wasn’t looking the same. But once the second coat dried I realized that the effect I was getting was ok. I did notice that the photo wasn’t sticking on the edges all the way around so I had this odd little effect that showed white underneath…

I simply took a small paintbrush and painted underneath a little with the black acrylic paint. Then I covered that with a little more modpodge so it wouldn’t be so matte from the paint. The acrylic paint that I was using was extremely matte finish, almost chalky.

So I let that dry and left it alone for a few days… then went back to it to see if I like the finished product.

The verdict? I like it. It’s not exactly what I had pictured, and maybe I should buy a bottle of mod podge just to compare the DIY version to, but I think it turned out quite well. Here it is on my picture wall(not its home, and that wall isn’t complete, but I wanted to see it on a wall).


So what do you think? Would this pass for a photo canvas? Has anyone else done anything fun with a photo lately? Or finally tackled a Pinterest project?

***Update: I found this blog post on Pinterest and it makes sense to me. I thought I should pass on the info to all of you so that you could make a more informed decision about making your own mod podge. I did purchase some mod podge and I found it to be easier to work with, give a nice finish, and dry faster. I will hang onto my homemade stuff to use when I can, but if I am making something to keep forever and ever….I will use the real stuff. Maybe years from now I can see if my crafts yellow…maybe not. Hope this helps someone out!

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5 thoughts on “DIY canvas project

  1. I thought of you today when I was in A.C. Moore getting somethings for my son’s birthday. Canvas’s were on sale AND I saw Mod Podge which I had never heard of before this! I was quite tempted to buy the stuff and go for it, but this week will be an extremely busy one, and I am a perfectionist… so I’ll give myself ample time to try it, but I’m excited to see if I can do this.. thanks for this cool suggestion!

    • I just received some coupons for Micheal’s in our area, so I am going to pick up some Mod Podge and give the store bought stuff a try. I will definitely post if the homemade stuff is just as good! It’s about a tenth of the price! Good luck!

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