Saturday, March 2, 2013

DIY Gallery Art Wall

When completing the family room as my first room in my Dozen Designs Challenge, I struggled with adding personal artwork.

 To be honest, I am not a huge art person in general. It is hard for me to like something that is not symmetrical or all the same color family, etc. So when my husband asked for more family photos in the family room I hesitated...crazy, I know. But you see this would mean deciding on an arrangement on the only empty wall which is under the staircase-yikes, a slanted wall...this concept scares me :) And photos...hmmm, if they aren't black and white they aren't the same color- ahhhh! But, I got over it and set to work trying to pick something I liked.

I have seen several ideas similiar to this floating around Pinterest. I decided to give it a try. Here is how I created my canvas wall art.

Photos (I used 2 8 x 10s and 1 16x20)
Mod Podge in Matte finish
Artist Canvas (I bought my larger ones from Hobby Lobby using 40% off coupons, I had the 8 x 10 ones on hand from a previous project)
Cricut or way to create a stencil
Acrylic Paint
Sponge paint brushes
Spray Paint (I used Oil Rubbed Bronze and Cream)

For the photo canvases I followed this simple and quick tutorial from Girl Inspired. It was super easy. Before I attached my picture I used spray paint around the sides and front edges in Oil Rubbed Bronze. After attaching the picture I used her technique of taking black paint with a sponge and applying it to the edges. It all came together nicely. I did try attaching scrap book paper to the sides first instead of painting and it did not work well for, if you want to save time, paint the edges.

For the word art I followed the following steps:
1. I painted my canvas with two coats of spray paint. First a cream, followed by oil rubbed bronze. I wanted them to have a slightly worn look without a bright white showing through the paint.

 2. Next I typed the important family dates and the text I wanted into my Sure Cuts Alot program for my cricut. I used my 12 by 24 mat and cut out the dates in vinyl. And then...things got dicey...I laid the stencil on top of the canvas very delicately. I had a very difficult time removing the stencil from my mat without ruining it and it didn't want to stick to my canvas. The only upside to this headache was realizing my original plan to just cut it out of vinyl and attach it to the canvas wouldn't have I guess that is positive :)
Below you can see the stencil on top of the canvas. I just made sure I painted by pressing straight up and down with the sponge. This helped it stay in place and not smudge too bad.
 I painted the 2 dates at the top and bottom using a creamy white acrylic paint and the center date in blue. I let it dry, peeled off the stencil and touched up any necessary several areas. After I had one sign down, I decided to try a different technique on the second one. For the sign below I cut the stencil out of thick card stock. I wish I could say this was so much easier...but it wasn't. About the same result but with less sticking. So if fidgeting with vinyl makes you angry, this is the way to go :)

 I painted all the text white except for the word day, which was painted in blue. I then cut a little swirly object from scrapbook paper on my cricut and mod podged it on. I hung the canvases using command strips and picked a layout that had symmetry (of course).
 And thats it...for just a bit of time and money, I now have my own little gallery art wall.


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