Wanna Make a Wannabe Canvas? You Can, We Did!

YIPPEE…my first BIG project for 2013 – and it’s FINISHED!

AND…no one fell off the ladder, or injured themselves, or damaged anything…TOTAL success!

My friend Christie Robbins and I fell in love with a Pinterest project. Committed to decorating my home this year with creativity (and small budget), I tackled the photo project, and am already thinking about the next one!

Our new home has many tall and narrow walls. The space above the front door has been a challenge for proportion, BUT not anymore!

What do you think?

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Awwww…we just LOVE our three grandangels, melt my heart! Oh wait…back to the project…

Would you believe me if I told you I invested less than $25 for the three (2 ft. x 3 ft.) prints to complete the project? It’s true! I REpurposed a curtain rod, burlap strips (for hanging / thank you Kim Vogel), had Mod Podge and brushes on hand – my investment was in the prints and the mounting boards.

The trick here to save money? ENGINEER PRINTS…had never heard of them myself until the Pinterest share. They are not high quality, and I believe black and white/sepia tones will work best. You can order engineer prints from most office supply stores (Office Depot, Staples..). I ordered mine online and they were ready in an hour. My 2 ft x 3 ft prints cost, drum roll please, $3.57 each. I can live with that!

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My “wanna be” canvas project required very few supplies…

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A quick trip to Home Depot (already had a gift card…thank you very much), and I purchased pre-cut birch wood. The sheets were 2 ft. x 4 ft., and the very nice Home Depot man cut them down for me (free!!!). I kept the end cuts for future projects…cost per wood backing was $4.00.

First step was to mount the (thin…be careful) engineer prints onto the backing. It would have been very beneficial to have a second set of hands, but I’m stubborn and wanted instant gratification…I did it alone. (note to self: next time – use your head…wait for that second set of hands!) I spread Mod Podge on the board, you must coat thoroughly. Then carefully, carefully, carefully worked the bubbles out…this is where a second set of hands would have been awesome, especially since the prints were so large. When I felt like they were adhered and dry (about 30 minutes), I did two top coats of Mod Podge, stroking in various directions to give it a “canvas” finish. Let dry thoroughly before next step.

To prepare for hanging, I drilled two holes near the top of each print, then ran a burlap strip through it. I simply tied two double knots in the front – and am thinking there are many options here…this was simply an idea of how to use what I had on hand (and I like burlap).

Now…here is where I could have NEVER finished without the help (actually he did it all himself, I just smiled alot as I handed him the tools he needed while on the top of that very TALL ladder) of my handsome husband.

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He measured, pre-marked the four rod supports, drilled & installed the hanging system. We ran the rod through the center image and rested it on the supports, then worked from each end (yes, he was on the top of that very TALL ladder again) to hang each of the boys’ prints.

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It’s going to be such a joy to see those little BIG eyes greeting us each morning.

I’ve already thought about a few ways I might adjust the next grouping…at the cost of this project, I will never feel guilty about changing them out (I will mount the next set on the backside…NO COST for the boards).

If you attempt this project, here are a few hints:

1. The engineer prints are thin, when laying them out, start in the center, work side to side and upward to eliminate as many bubbles as possible.

2. One Pinterest pinner used foam core board instead of wood as her backing. She edged the exterior of the board with black ribbon.

3. DO have a friend help you with this project. Instead of using Mod Podge for the tacking/glueing layer, I might consider spray adhesive next time.

Don’t be afraid…TRY THIS! Reality is…if you mess up a print that costs $3.57…so what? The next one can be ordered and ready within the same hour.

(Hope you’ll share your “canvas” image project when you’re done…I LOVE to see other peoples’ work..and if you have a better idea…you really MUST share)

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