Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Repurposing a Canvas

Just a few minutes ago, I hung this in my bathroom:

This morning, it looked like this:

Yup. Art project gone wrong.

I did this canvas a few years ago specifically to hang in my lovely pink and green and Hello Kitty (what am I? Eight?) bathroom. It was during a period of time when altered art was really big in scrapbooking, and I was really big into scrapbooking. Lesson learned - I am not a shabby chic kind of girl. My forte is more in the clean, linear look I suppose. I did this, and while I didn't totally hate it at the time, I kind of do now.

There is no room in our lives for things we do not love, so it had to be dealt with!

I had an idea for a canvas that I had seen somewhere. The original was huge, with about eight different things on it, and in a clumsy, blocky font. I had my "I can SO make that!" moment and filed it away in my head for later. First, I needed to get my hands on a canvas.

I could have easily just given the old one to Goodwill and gone out to buy a new one for this project, but that wouldn't be very green of me, now would it? It made a little bit of extra work, but it ended up okay. First, I lightly wet the canvas and let it sit for a minute so the water could penetrate the papers I had adhered to the front.

I used my handy little Pampered Chef scraper (which will forever more be relegated to the craft room after this) to scrape off as much as possible. The pieces of paper with text on them came off easily using this method, but the flower made of mulberry paper was proving to be a bit more stubborn. Time to break out the big guns.

I poured a little of this on the canvas, waited a minute, then scraped some more. It took a couple of applications but I finally got all that pink mulberry off of there! If you try this, I advise you to do it somewhere that will not be harmed by the acetone.

One of the perks of living where it is 106 degrees already is that stuff dries really really fast when you put it outside. All it took was five minutes in the shade and my canvas was ready for a coat of Gesso. After it was painted, back outside it went to dry.

While I was waiting, I figured I should probably decide what my canvas should say. I also picked out a paint color for the letters. It's called Meadow.

I brought my canvas inside once dry and gave it a coat of my green paint. After the paint had dried to the point where it was tacky, I dragged my brush through it again (without paint) to add texture and expose a little bit of unpainted canvas. Back outside it went to finish drying.

Now, for the letters themselves I used my Silhouette to cut them out of cardstock because I wanted them to be a certain size, height, and width. The Silhouette makes it easy to do that. You could always use letter stickers. I hear you can get vinyl ones that work really well for this at the hardware store. If you do use the Silhouette and cardstock, you'll need to put repositionable adhesive on the back. This is very important, because you'll be peeling off the letters later.

Place the letters on your dry canvas how you want them. One of the perks of the Silhouette is that you can use the negative space as a placement guide to make sure you get them on there in a straight line!

After your letters are in place, take the canvas outside and spray paint it. That's right, just give it a good spray! I used a semi-gloss paint because that's what I had, and I figured it would work best in the bathroom anyway. I think it would have looked better in matte though, so I'll have to remember that if I do this again.

After the spray paint is dry, carefully peel off your letters. It's really important to be sure they're firmly stuck in place BEFORE you spray paint them, because if you don't, you'll have a lot of touching up to do later.

Since it is 105 degrees here today, the heat made my letters curl up and I had to touch a lot of them up. Just take the smallest paint brush you can find, and your base color, and carefully go over the letters. I actually ended up switching from the brush in the picture to an even smaller one that was originally purchased to spot tone photographs. If you've taken darkroom photography, you know to which teeny brush I'm referring.

Finally, you hang it up! Now, you have a big old visual reminder of your bedtime routine so hopefully you will stick to it. Right.

In other news...

My friend Suzy went to Paris, and she brought me back presents. Who doesn't love presents? I've had friends who have gone to Europe and Paris before and they never brought me back anything. I'm still not really used to people thinking of me; it's kind of a strange thing to get used to but I think I'll manage!

She stayed here - could you not just DIE? Isn't it gorgeous? She brought me back the lotion from her room and we both were surprised it wasn't fancier somehow. I mean, come on, it's VERSAILLES. The little vial with the gold nuggets was from the hotel too, but as it is not labeled, no one has any clue what it is. She just thought I would like the packaging, and she was correct! I'm thinking of making it a little Wonderland-esque "EAT ME" tag, or perhaps a walnut ink aged label with a skull and crossbones for shits and giggles.

The mascara was not from the hotel, but Dior from Paris? Yes, please. I'm a longstanding fan of the Diorshow, but this will be my first foray into the Blackout version. I'm looking forward to it!

Finally, la piece de resistance, as it were:

Awesome.

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9 Comments:

Blogger Hooptee said...

Love love love the wall hanging! I've seen similar things that also had small photos and I too always think- I can do that. They sell for $100!!!
Yay tokens from France

3:35 AM  
Blogger Katy said...

What thoughtful souvenirs!

6:39 AM  
Blogger kellybelly said...

LOVE the canvas! You are so talented!

8:54 AM  
Blogger Heather said...

I wouldn't have thought to spray over the letters!! I probably would have spent like 47 hours trying to paint green over black. Cute!

1:08 PM  
Blogger Miss Anne said...

in l♥ve with your canvas.
ty for the how to's too!
:)

those pressies sure are lovely too!

xoxo

1:12 PM  
Blogger Cassie said...

I love the canvas! Can I copy? :)

3:03 PM  
Blogger Miss M! said...

As long as you're not profiting financially from(aka selling) my ideas, copy away!

5:17 PM  
Blogger Danea Burleson said...

You, are too cool for words my friend!

8:36 AM  
Blogger Samara Link said...

The canvas and the tank top = very impressive.

5:19 PM  

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