make your own canvas!

by kimbowest on November 9, 2011

in high school, i was the art teachers T.A. (teacher’s assistant)
(I spent a lot of time in my art room in high school…)

and one of my assignments was prepping the canvas by painting it with gesso.

and it sucked.
25 canvases…and they weren’t small.

so when i saw that krylon had gesso spray paint..i totally had to give it a try!

I took some white material (it was actually dark out curtain material left over from my daughter’s room)

and spray painted it..

maybe i should of ironed?   naaaaaah.

then i took this awesome vinyl cut out from ten 23 designs

and laid it onto a black spot i painted…
then painted around the edges to seal it in..

(i acutally had it up on my wall…but it wasn’t exactly what i wanted!)

so i used it as stencil instead…
i then went totally paint happy


my inpirations was this awesome picture from pinterest

i used loads of awesome paint by americana…on my very professional artist paint try (i.e. i can’t believe it’s not butter lid)

when i was happy with the behind…i peeled up my vinyl…

and then..since i wanted it to pop off the wall like a real canvas….

but lack the word working tools/talent to make a real frame for it…

i wrapped it around a large piece of styrofoam….

and gorilla glued it all around…

then gorilla glued on a disc hanger….

then i hung it up! and i totally love it!
you can always come by my blog and visit me 24/7

{ 26 comments… read them below or add one }

Lisa @ A Room with A View November 9, 2011 at 7:33 am

Such a fabulous piece. I love diy art and the colors here are stunning! Thank you for sharing!

Kristen@Turning a House into a Home November 9, 2011 at 8:02 am

I love it! The background is beautiful! I also have been using styrofoam in my projects…it’s such a lightweight and ready material.


Cindy Morris November 9, 2011 at 9:57 am

That is gorgeous! So much better than the original. I’m gonna have to try the gesso spray paint. I love the idea!!

Sarah November 9, 2011 at 10:00 am

Wow this is beautiful! You did such a nice job on this! I wouldn’t be able to make art look this good, great color choices! You’re amazing! :)

jen November 9, 2011 at 10:45 am

i LOVE it! great colors, just great. I want one real bad.

Sandie Stowe November 9, 2011 at 1:34 pm

Just gorgeous!!! I love it!

Elizabeth November 9, 2011 at 2:21 pm

I totally love it too! Amazing!! :)

kara November 9, 2011 at 4:06 pm

AWESOME!!!! Totally love it! I would have never guessed you used styrofoam! GENIUS! Cant wait to try this :)

Neadeen Masters November 9, 2011 at 5:19 pm

Such a creative idea and adorable result. Love the birds and the background treatment is excellent. Lovely range of colors. Well done.

Amy of WhisperWood Cottage November 9, 2011 at 9:29 pm

Awesome, Kimbo!

Deidre~ November 10, 2011 at 7:21 am

This “IS” outrageously awesome!!! Brilliant idea!! Im SO gonna try this one! Thank you:)

Carrie @ My Favorite Finds November 10, 2011 at 10:05 am

I just posted my photo on canvas project today. Don’t you love using canvas for almost everything?! I use it almost as much as I use hot glue :) . This is gorgeous. I so love it!

Laura @Ms Smartie Pants November 11, 2011 at 12:49 am

Very nice! I saw someone use a pizza box as a canvas, another great idea!

Claire Jain November 11, 2011 at 4:29 pm

That is way cool!

JOAN November 12, 2011 at 1:01 pm

Super cool tutorial!! Thanks for sharing ;)

Jenilee December 29, 2011 at 5:50 pm

I think I’m confused. (Your finished product is FABULOUS, btw.) Were the birds grey to begin with? In the picture it looks like you put the birds down on the fabric, painted black AROUND them, but you ended up with black little birdies. If you used them as a stencil and painted black around them, how did they end up black? I’m confused. I don’t know what gesso paint is either… what does it do?

kimbowest January 1, 2012 at 9:46 pm

the stencil came gray…i orginally painted a big black spot bigger than the birds and when it dried i placed the vinyl birds on top and sealed in the edges by painting black around so no other color sneaked under…and gesso is just a like a paint that seals fabric to make it like a canvas so the real paint doesn’t soak through!

Shauna January 20, 2012 at 10:47 pm

SHUT UP!!! I can’t believe it’s actually do-able…………………. You are a god!! Now I need to make this! I saw that same pic and fell in love!! Going to make myself one now!! Thanks so much!!

Hanni January 29, 2012 at 12:58 pm

So cute little birds. Your tutorial is clear. I pinned it my must do list.

Monique April 3, 2012 at 5:09 pm

Te Gek gewoon. Dit ga ik ook doen. Prachtige kleuren voor de achtergrond alleen die is al een grote inspiratiebron voor mij net als voor jou dat andere doel dat was. Of ik vogels ga gebruiken weet ik nog niet maar de techniek laat zich voor vanalles gebruiken. Super gewoon. Bedankt.

Awesome. This I have to make. Beautiful colors for the background thats an inspiration on its own just like the other picture for u was. If ‘m gonna have birds i don’t know but the technique can be used for al kind of images, it’s a great way of making a original canvas. Thanks for sharing, just love it!

Maria April 17, 2012 at 9:02 am

I too am confused on the black spot, sealing edges step. How did you go from the black spot with the birds on top and sealed edges to the gray birds in the frame on white? Is what we are looking at in the frame the reverse side of the canvas? I am getting ready to do a similar project with my daughter for her room so I really want to understand this. I apologize, I am just having trouble wrapping my brain around that transformation.

Phyllis May 25, 2012 at 5:39 am

My sister paints & always gripes about the price of canavas. I am definitely going to tell her about this easy & inexpensive DIY.Thanks!

Kim Heiden Kayser June 8, 2012 at 10:39 pm

Thanks so much for sharing your idea! It’s soo creative and I love the birds!

Katie C. November 17, 2012 at 10:41 pm

This is brilliant and so clever! I love bird motifs so I may have to try this myself :) Well done!

Christine December 4, 2012 at 8:18 pm

Birds and Willows trees……..Sooooo speaking to me right now. Thanks for sharing. Love the humor.

cindy September 20, 2013 at 2:21 pm

I am so confused! How did the birds go from gray to black? Did you paint them black?
Did you spray the white material (leftover curtain) with Gesso spray? Then did you paint it and then placed the black birds on the cloth to use as a canvas?

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