Sunday, May 11, 2014

DIY Canvas Quote Art Project

The buzzwords in the post title notwithstanding, we should start this off with a confession: I didn't get Jon a proper present for Christmas and I didn't ship anything over for his birthday last week.  (I did send him lots of chocolate hearts and a card for Valentine's Day in a red box all wrapped up with a bow, if that counts for anything!)  But honestly, there's no point in giving him something tangible while we're in geographical flux.  Either I'd buy a gift that would live in the US, unused for months, or one that I'd spend a fortune posting to him that he'll then have to figure out how to pack when he moves over.  Jon would be the first person to say that neither scenario is worth the hassle!

I did want to do something for his birthday, though, and I decided that crafting him a little present that I could enjoy in his absence would serve perfectly.  Jon's a cynical romantic - he's great at sweet gestures and has no problem with being loving publicly, but he really enjoys his sentimentality with a soup├žon of misanthropy.

Nicole pinned this quotable canvas a while ago and I loved the idea of making one for Jon that matched his optimistic skepticism.  It didn't look like a difficult or expensive project and I could customize the piece with whatever words I wanted, which made it ideal for a gift that's only nominally for someone else.  So, armed with a George Bernard Shaw quote that I knew Jon would like, my list of letters (which, by the way, I transcribed incorrectly, leaving me woefully short of Ws and very grateful for my extra Ms), and a vague idea of what I imagined the finish product would look like, I hied myself to the craft store and... voila!

blank painter's canvas
wooden letters
wood glue
spray paint
small foam brush

1. Arrange your quote as desired below or next to the canvas, being careful to stay within the dimensions allowed, to get an idea of how many words will fit per line.
2. Using the ruler and the pencil, draw evenly spaced lines on the canvas to ensure your words don't get acrobatic (unless, of course, you want them to).
3. Glue the wooden letters on the canvas as neatly as possible and let dry for at least 12 hours.
4. Take your canvas outside, place it on newspapers to protect the ground, and spray paint it in a steady stream from every angle, making sure to get inside and around the wooden letters; let dry for at least 12 hours.
5. If you need to do paint touch-ups, spray the spray paint into a disposable bowl and use the foam brush sparingly in the necessary spots.  Let dry for at least an hour.
6. Hang on the wall and admire!

(By the way, I loved the idea of having a white canvas but I thought it would be less forgiving of any mistakes I might make, so I decided to go with gray.  In hindsight, I wish I had chosen a lighter gray, but oh well!  You can see little splodges of glue along the sides of some letters where I used too much and it squished out against the canvas, so just be aware of that danger if you make your own.  And I got lucky with my canvas - I just guessed at the size and the whole sentence did fit, though I'd pictured more blank space around the quote.  All in all, the cost of this whole project was about $30.  And if you want to do this DIY but you have more faith in your artistic skills than I had in mine, check out Kelly's masterpiece!)

 photo 866de425-8336-4c63-9efd-1c4dd8bf0e62_zpsafe0d56b.jpg


  1. I really like how you kept it all grey, not different colored letters, and sounds easy which is also great!

  2. Love how this turned out! What a fun idea.

  3. This is delightful! Love the quote, love your work.

  4. Very cool, I think it turned out great!!

  5. The style (type/font) of the letters you used is great. Do you mind if I ask where you purchased them?

  6. Michael's! they only had two or three font/style options for letters at that size, and the one I picked was the most basic.

  7. I bought a two-pack of canvases so now I sort of want to make another :P

  8. haha I'm still doing baby steps when it comes to crafting!

  9. Thanks! I'll have to make a trip out there. I really like the look of the monochromatic canvas. It reminds me of quotes that are engraved in so many buildings and monuments here in the District.

  10. Love this! I'm pinning it immediately. :)


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