DIY canvas Christmas trees

Hello friends! As you can tell, I am really not on the ball this year because I haven’t yet posted any of my Christmas projects and now Christmas is only three days away. I know! Where did the time go? I honestly have no idea, but I do know that this month has been crazy for me and it has taken me what seems like forever to finish my decorating and shopping. I can now say that I am finally done; just in time for Christmas.

Even though life has been so hectic, I did manage to work on one project recently. I made two of these canvas Christmas trees as a decoration for the top of our flat screen TV console in our family room. There is only about 8 inches of space on either side of our TV so these trees are the perfect as they are tall and slim. An added bonus is that they are “husband friendly” because they won’t get in the way when they are watching TV or using the remote control.

Here’s how you can make your own:

 

 

Supplies needed to make one tree:

-1 cardboard paper tree form or you can make your own with Bristol board. (I used a 16″ tall tree form)

-pre-primed artist’s canvas on a roll

-1-2 packages of script tissue paper from Michaels or tissue paper in a pattern of your choice

-Mod Podge satin finish

-fake snow texture such as Snow Tex or Martha Stewart’s White Texture Effect (optional)

-white fine glitter (optional)

-white craft paint or Gesso (optional)

-plastic spatula if adding fake snow texture (optional)

-pinking shears and regular scissors

-glue gun and approximately 10 glue sticks

-disposable cups for mixing

-sponge paint brushes

-a long ruler or wooden yardstick

-an erasable pencil or chalk

-1″ green painter’s tape (optional)

-2 wide candlesticks for display (optional)

-papertowel

 

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For this project, I used this script tissue paper that I found at Michaels in the scrapbook paper aisle. It was only $2.99 for a pack of 5 pieces of 12″X12″ tissue. You will need at least one pack of tissue paper to complete one tree. The amount you will end up needing really depends on how large your tree form is and how wide you make your strips. If in doubt, buy two packs so that you have a little extra on hand.

 

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Here you can see the pre-primed canvas that I used to make my trees. It is primed only on one side with raw canvas on the back. My local art store sells this canvas on a huge roll by the foot so I ended up buying a piece 2 feet by 60″ for only $12.00. After making my trees I had a little bit left over for some future projects. If you can’t find this canvas at your local store then you should be able to find it online either on Ebay or Amazon.

 

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Directions:

First, dilute some Mod Podge with a small amount of water in a disposable cup. You want it to be a little runnier than usual but not dripping. Next, decoupage a sheet of the script tissue paper to the primed side of your canvas by adding a layer of Mod Podge and then carefully placing the tissue paper face-up on top of the wet glue. Use your hand to smooth out the tissue and make sure it is fully stuck down everywhere. Also, don’t waste your time trying to remove the wrinkles in the tissue because they won’t even show when your tree is eventually assembled.

Keep adding sheets of tissue paper across your canvas, decoupaging as you go. Try to keep your tissue paper straight with each additional sheet added. Once you have finished decoupaging then apply a coat of the Mod Podge over top of everything to seal it. Leave your canvas to dry completely before moving on.

 

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This next step is optional.

I decided to age my canvas because the script tissue paper is cream in color and my Christmas decorations are white. If you like the color as is, then move on to the next step. If not, you can age your own canvas by applying a very diluted coat of white gesso or white craft paint to the top with a sponge brush. Dilute your paint with enough water so that it is runny (almost like skim milk). Work on one small section at a time. Paint on the mixture then use a damp paper towel and rub it away immediately. You still want to be able to see the text still when you are done. (Photo above shows aged canvas on the left, original on the right).

After your canvas is dry, apply one to two coats of diluted Mod Podge to seal it. Leave it to dry completely.

 

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Now turn over your canvas onto the back side (the fabric side). Use your yardstick to square the bottom of your canvas and then cut the entire length of the bottom of your canvas with your pinking shears.

Next use your yardstick to measure out and draw lines 2.5″ apart. I made myself a 2.5 inch wide strip of cardboard from a pasta box and used that to draw the lines on each end of the canvas and then used my yardstick to connect the lines. Preferably use a disappearing sewing felt pen to draw the lines. I used a pencil and erased the markings afterwards but you could still see the marks when I was done.

 

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Making sure you have the text facing in the right direction, cut on the top of your drawn lines with your pinking shears so that the bottom of each of your strips of fabric has a pinked edge. I messed up on my first strip as I cut the wrong end of the fabric and my text ended up upside down. Oops! I used this strip for the bottom of the tree where it was less noticeable and then made sure I cut the rest of my strips the correct way.

 

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Place a piece of one inch painters tape at the top of your first strip to make a guide for cutting. Using your pinking shears, cut approximately a 1.5″ vertical straight line up to your tape without cutting into your tape. Then cut your next line about 1.5″ over. I just eyeballed my cutting and did not measure. Move along your entire strip of fabric making sure that each end of your cut is pinked.

 

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Next, cut your previously cut sections in half to make approximately 1/2″-3/4″ strips.

 

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Now use a pencil or a chopstick to roll the bottom of your strip upwards to make it curl. I rolled mine about half-way up to the bottom of the green tape. NOTE: Canvas has a mind of its own and sometimes curls unevenly. This just adds character in my opinion.

Remove the painter’s tape from your fabric to be used on the next strip. Continue cutting and rolling all of your strips so they are ready to add to your tree form.

 

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Using your glue gun attach your first strip of fabric (on the uncut portion only) to the tree form approximately 1.5″ up from the bottom. Make sure you have your text right side up (this one was my mistake-yours should be the right way up).  Match up the top of your fringe to the bottom of your tree form as shown. Try to keep your strip of fabric as straight as possible as you glue it around the tree. As you come to the area where each end of your strip will meet, use your scissors to cut off the excess fabric and then secure the ends with hot glue.

Next, fill in any gaps at the top of your strip with more hot glue for added durability before moving on.

 

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Continue adding strips of fabric to your tree with your glue gun. As you move up the tree it often helps to cut small slits in the top of the fabric to help it better form to the tree.

For each continuing strip of fabric, move up approximately 1″ above the previous one so there is a separation between the layers but no so much that you can see the cardboard base showing through. Save some of the smaller fabric scraps for the top levels of the tree. Also, I made sure to start my strip of fabric on the same side of the tree for each layer so that the seams were less noticeable.

When you get closer to the top of your tree it can get a little tricky to add the strips of fabric without a lot of overlap. This is where adding more slits comes in handy to help the ribbon mold better to the tree.

 

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To hide any noticeable gaps such as the very top of the tree you can coat it with a layer of fake snow texture such as Snow Tex or MS’ White Texture Effect. Use your plastic spatula to apply it as needed and then leave it to dry for at least 30 minutes.

To add even more glamour to your tree you can apply glitter randomly to the branches of your tree with Mod Podge. I used Martha Stewart’s glitter (fine white) but you can use whatever color fits with your decor. It is hard to see the glitter in the above photo but my trees have a beautiful sparkle to them when the light hits them.

 

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That’s all there is to making these sweet little trees!  The most time consuming part of this project is cutting the strips of fabric with the pinking shears but once you get through that part the rest of the project moves fairly quickly.

I think my tree turned out pretty cute, what do you think? I love that they cost so little to make and that I will have them for years to come.

You can display your trees as is or you will find that the cone form usually fits over most wide candlestick holders. I ended up using these amazing FÖRTJUST candy bowls that I found at Ikea for the base of my tree.

FÖRTJUST bowl with lid Source: Ikea.ca   FÖRTJUST bowl with lid

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I love the vertical element that these trees bring to my decor. From afar they look like they are made of paper but up close most people are surprised to find out they are in fact made of canvas.

 

Have you ever had a chance to use pre-primed canvas for projects before? Maybe you didn’t even know it existed. I have used it for a couple of projects so far and I think it is my new best friend. It’s awesome!

 

Keep an eye out on my blog for more projects using pre-primed canvas coming in the near future. As well, I know I am really late but I hope to share some more of my Christmas decor with you tomorrow.

 

Happy Holidays,

 

 

 

 

Other tutorials you might like:

How to Guide: Transfer Photos to Canvas

Large Picture Frame to Chalkboard – Reveal and Tutorial

French Quatrefoil Step Stool – Makeover and Tutorial

 

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 Parties I’ve Linked Up To:

~ Embracing Change – Creative Inspirations Linky Party ~

 

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DIY chalk paint: hall table & hardware makeover

My tried and true method when refinishing furniture involves a little bit of preparation and then a whole lot of sanding. I can end up sanding a piece of furniture 8-10 times by the time I am done with it because I like to sand in between every coat. Yes, it is crazy time consuming, but for all of my hard work I am rewarded with a durable, professional looking finish that I am totally happy with.

I have a recent problem that I think I may have found a possible solution for. Lately I have had to move my painting projects into my laundry room in the basement because it is too cold outside to paint. My only issue with refinishing furniture inside is all of the dust it creates. I have enough dust flying around my 70′s era home already; I don’t need to add any more to the mix!

So what’s a furniture-painting-lovin’-clutter-clearing girl to do? How about trying out some DIY chalk paint?

For a long time now, I have wanted to give Annie Sloan Chalk Paint a try. I have drooled over many beautiful chalk paint transformations all around Blogland. I do have a local supplier of ASCP and one day I would like to try out the “real deal” to compare it with the DIY version, but for this project I decided that I wanted to give homemade chalk paint a try first. I have loads of paint in the basement that I need to use up so this was a win-win situation for me.

 

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I’ve had this little hall table for a long, long time. I originally bought it from a local furniture store and spent way more money on it than I would like to admit. Oops! This was way back before I realized that I could find used furniture for next to nothing and then give it my own special touch with some paint and new hardware.

 

I really liked the style of this table but the finish and hardware were in need of updating. So here’s what I did:

 

I first gave my table a good cleaning and then painted it with two coats of DIY chalk paint. I did not sand or prime at all before painting. The paint recipe that I used originally came from Dear Emmeline. I modified her recipe slightly which I have shared below.

 

My Modified Homemade Chalk Paint Recipe:

1) Mix together 1/4 cup of baking soda and 2 tablespoons of water until it has a smooth consistency.

2) Add mixture to approximately 1 cup of eggshell latex paint. Stir well. Add water as needed if the paint becomes too thick.

 

 

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The first coat of my homemade chalk paint covered really well. One coat would have been enough because I planned to give my table an aged finish anyway. Once my paint dried though I couldn’t help but notice how gritty the finish was. I never have had this problem with latex paint alone. I could not leave it this way and put another coat of paint over top so I had to give it a good sanding before moving on.

One thing I noticed is that this finish distresses really easily. For this table though I only wanted a bit of distressing so I decided to give it another coat of paint to cover up what I had done.

 

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The second coat of paint easily covered up all of my previous distressing. This time I was lighter handed with the sandpaper and I found that the majority of the grittiness was removed except for in the recessed areas of the piece. Those areas required much more work to get them smooth.

After sanding, I gave my entire table a coat of medium gray glaze using the dry brush method. Then I distressed all of the raised areas on the table using 220 grit sandpaper.

 

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Something was still missing! Bring on more glaze!

This time I made up a glaze using a mixture of dark gray craft paint, black craft paint and glazing medium and then I applied it to the carved areas of my table. I wiped of the excess with a damp cloth. Much better don’t you think?

If  you look really closely you can still see some of the gritty texture here and there in the recessed areas but no one besides me is going to notice it unless they put their eyeball up really close to my table. Ha!

 

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Next I gave my table a quick sanding with 400 grit sandpaper and removed the dust with a tack cloth before moving on. The finish on my table now felt so amazingly smooth to the touch. Loved this!

For protection, I gave my table three coats of Minwax Polyacrylic topcoat in satin.

 

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I am so happy with the way my table turned out! I will definitely be trying out this paint again!

 

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Honestly, my only issue with this paint was the grittiness of the first couple of coats. I still needed to sand some to get rid of the bumps. I think next time I use a less ornate piece of furniture so I don’t need to be as nitpicky.

One of the best parts of using this paint is that it cost me nothing to make. I already had all of the supplies in my basement and pantry. Another thing that I noticed is that when sanding there seemed to be less dust produced with this paint. It mostly fell to the ground instead of floating around in the air. Clean up this time around was much easier for me.

 

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I also replaced the hardware on this table as the original wooden knobs were too small for my liking. I stopped at my favorite hardware store Lee Valley and picked out these solid brass ring pulls in an antique brass finish.

 

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When I brought them home and put them on my table they were just too bright and shiny for me! To tone them down I decided to give them my aged finish.

You can use this finish to age any cabinet hardware needing a makeover. As you know, replacing hardware can be expensive. Instead give it a new look for next to nothing.

Here’s how:

 

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Step 1: If you’re using old hardware, make sure that it is free of any grease or grime by washing it in soapy water. Rinse it well and leave to dry. Lightly sand all surfaces of your hardware with 400 grit sandpaper. Add a small amount of creamy-gray (or the color of your choice) DIY chalk paint (see recipe above) to a clean rag. Work the paint into the crevices but leave parts of the original finish showing through.

Step 2: Again lightly sand your hardware smooth with 400 grit sandpaper. Remove any dust. Add a small amount of Spanish Copper Rub n’ Buff to your fingertip or a clean rag. Rub a light layer over the raised areas of your hardware leaving some of the creamy-gray layer exposed. Protect your hardware with 2 coats of matte Mod Podge (light usage) or two to three coats of clear topcoat spray (for use on furniture).

 

I love to use Rub n’ Buff. To check out some of my other makeovers using Rub n’ Buff, click on the links below.

Give Brass an Aged Patina

My Latest Rub n’ Buff Transformations

How to Transfer Images to Wicker & Hardware Makeover

Thrifty Dresser Transformation & Hardware Makeover

 

 

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This past week I have been slowly starting to decorate my house for the holidays so my table received a little bit of holiday cheer too.

 

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What furniture makeovers have you done lately? Have you ever tried DIY chalk paint? What did you think of it?

 

On the flip side, I hope to share some of my holiday decorating with you soon. Stay tuned!

 

Until next time,

 

 

 

 

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Parties I’ve Linked Up To:

~ Funky Junk Interiors – SNS Linky Party ~ Tatertots and Jello – Weekend Wrapup Party ~ Be Different Act Normal – Show and Tell Saturday ~ Under the Table and Dreaming – The Sunday Showcase Party ~ Homemaker on a Dime – Creative Bloggers Party ~ Sumo’s Sweet Stuff – Market Yourself Monday ~ DIY Showoff – DIY Project Parade ~ Miss Mustard Seed – Furniture Feature Friday ~

 

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My latest Rub n’ Buff transformations

I’ve had these ornate candlesticks for a while now. I originally found them at one of my local antique malls for only $12.00 for the pair. I not only loved their style but I also adore anything with crystals so I just had to get them! I find that since it is so dark here in the winter, crystals add a wonderful sparkle and light to my home, which is a necessity for me.

 

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When I purchased these candlesticks they were actually a dull silver in color and I found them a little too plain for me. Last summer I decided to pretty them up with a couple of coats of Krylon Oil Rubbed Bronze spray paint.  As you can see, they actually looked quite nice in that color but I still thought they needed something more to help show off their details. It was Rub n’ Buff to the rescue!

If you are a regular visitor to my blog you may have seen my previous tutorial on how to use Rub n’ Buff to give brass an aged patina. I had used Spanish Copper Rub n’ Buff to tone down the brightly-colored brass on my vintage globe and give it a time-worn looking finish.

Rub n’ Buff is actually one of my favorite products for transforming something from boring to fabulous in less than 10 minutes with only a cloth or a fingertip. No other supplies needed! Another reason why I love it so much is because it can applied to many different surfaces such as metal, wood or even plastic without having to prime or sand.  Check out all of the gorgeous colors to choose from too!

  Rub n' Buff Color Chart

Although Spanish Copper is my favorite color to use so far, I had been dying to try out my recently purchased tube of Patina Rub n’ Buff on my candlesticks.

 

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Here’s a close-up of one of my candlesticks after using the Patina Rub n’ Buff.  I love how all of the details just “pop” now!

 

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This photo shows the ‘before’ and the ‘after’ so you can really see the difference. Depending on the lighting, ‘Patina’ rub n’ buff can read as a lighter turquoise blue like the photo below or more of a deeper blue as shown above.

In these photos, I also had to include my vintage picture that you can see in behind my candlesticks. Its frame was also updated with Rub n’ Buff and you can read more about it further down in my post.

 

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It only took me about 10 minutes to apply the Rub n’ Buff on to the raised areas on my candlesticks and then buff them to a beautiful shine. What a quick and easy transformation!

 

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As you can see I used very little of my tube on this project. This $6.00 tube of Rub n’ Buff goes a very long way. There’s enough there for many more projects in the future!

 

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Here are my candlesticks with their jewelry added back on. Just the way I like them!

It’s strange that in this photo it looks like each candlestick is a different color. I can tell you that in real life they are exactly the same color. They received the same finish so they have to be. I’m blaming this one on the weird lighting in my living room.

 

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This is my favorite photo because it shows the aged finish close up. Where I have applied the Rub n’ Buff a little heavier in spots; lighter, highlighted areas were created. This helps to add more depth to the finish and bring out the details even more.

 

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Of course I had to also show you a close-up of the “bling” too!

 

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While I had my Rub n’ Buff out, I found this picture (below) that I wanted to makeover. It always seems to happen that way. I end up walking around my house looking for other potential “victims”. This stuff is so addicting once you start using it. You’ll want to Rub n’ Buff everything too!

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This vintage picture was one of my finds from the The Elizabeth’s Antique Collectible Show & Sale this past spring. There was just something about the image that drew me in. The handwriting below the drawing says “Munich” as in Munich, Germany. I’m really not sure how old it is but I thought it would be a nice one-of-a-kind piece of art to add to my collection.

 

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I didn’t really care for the color of the original gold frame though so I applied one coat of Spanish Copper Rub n’ Buff to darken it. I wanted my frame to look like brass that had gone through years of oxidation.

 

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After applying the Spanish Copper, I left my frame to dry for a few minutes and then I used a soft cloth to buff off any of the excess. Next I added a tiny amount of the Patina color on to my cloth and used it to apply highlights to the raised edges of the frame here and there. In person it looks a lot like the finish on an old tarnished penny. So pretty!

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Have you used Rub n’ Buff before? If you have what are your favorite colors to use?

What do you have around your home that could use some Rub n’ Buff ?

I’d love to hear from you!

 

Until next time,

 

 

 

 Parties I’ve Linked Up To:

~ Domestically Speaking – Power of the Paint Party ~ The Trendy Treehouse – Create and Share ~ The Thrifty Home – Penny Pinching Party ~ Saavy Southern Style – Wow Us Wednesdays ~ Embracing Change – Creative Inspirations Linky Party ~ House of Hepworths – Hookin’ Up With HoH ~ The Shabby Creek Cottage – Transformation Thursday ~ I Gotta Create – Wildly Original Linky Party ~ The Brambleberry Cottage – Time Travel Thursday ~

 

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Poster-sized art canvas & do inkjet image transfers really work?

Since sharing my How To Guide for Transferring Photos to Canvas many months ago,  I have received quite a few comments and e-mails asking if the transfer method that I use would also work with images printed from an inkjet printer. Honestly, it’s been hard for me to respond with a definitive answer as I only ever use laser printouts and photocopies for my transfers. I have had such amazing results when using laser images, so why mess with a good thing?

Well, my curiosity got the best of me when I purchased an inexpensive inkjet printer for my office about a month ago. Why not use my new printer to try out an inkjet transfer or two? Then I would know for myself whether or not inkjet transfers actually work and I could share my results with you.

Below, you will see the French art canvas that I ended up making using my inkjet printer. Now I have my proof that inkjet image transfers really do work!

 

Read on to find out how I made this piece of art and how you can make your own too.

 

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I have written this tutorial specifically for transferring images to canvas using an inkjet printer but that doesn’t mean that you can’t make this piece of art using images from a laser printer. You totally can!  To use a laser printer, just follow the steps below until you get to my photo with the white star on it that reads “Inkjet Transfer Tutorial”. Then click on over to my laser transfer tutorial HERE to finish off your canvas.

Whether you use an inkjet printer or a laser printer, I would suggest that you print out a small test image from your printer first and then try transferring it onto a piece of cardboard before moving on to the large-sized canvas in this tutorial. This way you can make sure that the image from your printer will transfer properly and that you are also comfortable with the transfer process.

 

Supplies You’ll Need:

  • an inkjet printer containing regular 20 lb. photocopy paper (not glossy paper)
  • a 16″x20″ artist’s canvas (fits image template below)
  • a wooden frame to fit (optional)
  • the Lovely French Label image from The Graphics Fairy HERE or my modified image below
  • Golden Soft Gel Medium (I used semi-gloss)
  • matte Mod Podge or Krylon’s Matte Spray Sealer
  • white acrylic gesso
  • acrylic paints in the colors of your choice. I used DecorArt’s Americana “Driftwood” and Americana “Neutral Grey
  • fine grit sandpaper (I used 400 grit)
  • an assortment of paint brushes
  • ruler, pencil, and scissors
  • painter’s tape (I used Frog Tape)
  • plastic plate/tray for paint
  • rubber brayer or flat spreader
  • paper towels and rags
  • disposable latex gloves
  • plastic drop cloth to protect your workspace

 

I found my this gorgeous French label image on The Graphics Fairy’s blog that I thought would be perfect for this project.  I loved the look of this image but I wanted the colors to be a little more subtle so I used the Eye Dropper and Flood Fill tools in my Photo Impact program to change its colors.

Below you will find my modified image for your use. It has been saved as a “mirror image” so that when you print it out and transfer it to canvas, the text will be facing the proper direction. The only thing that I ask is that if you use or share my modified image that you provide a link back to this tutorial. Thanks so much!

 

Milk Painted Lamp (Original Graphic from The Graphics Fairy)

Right Click Photo to Save Full-Sized Graphic

 

In order to print out your image so that it will fit your 16″X20″ canvas, you will need to print it out in Poster mode. This means that your image will be scaled to fit your canvas by printing it onto four separate letter-sized pieces of paper which you will then piece together to make one large image.

 

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Here’s how to print out a poster-sized image using Microsoft Paint.

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First, open up your saved image from this tutorial into your Paint program. Then click on File—>Print—>then Page setup.

 

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Click on Portrait, center it both horizontally and vertically and also fit the image to 2 by 2 pages (this will give you 4 separate printouts). Also, make sure you have selected letter size paper on the top right. Then click on OK to save your settings.

 

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To preview how your print out will look, click File—>Print—>Print Preview.

 

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Click on Next Page and you will see that your image has been split into 4 separate parts. Before printing, check to make sure that you have selected color for your printer. You may also want to set your printer to Best Quality printing.

Next print out your image. Leave your printouts to dry for a few minutes before moving on to the next step.

 

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Carefully cut off the “inner” edges of your printouts exactly on the edge so that when you put them all together they will line up properly (see photo below). I like to use my handy, dandy Fiskars paper trimmer (I can’t cut a straight line no matter how hard I try), but you could also use a pencil, a ruler and an Exacto knife if you don’t have a paper trimmer.

 

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Assemble your printouts on the floor face-up. Try to match up the design as closely as possible. Use a low tack painters tape such as Frog tape (as shown above) to help hold the pages in place well enough so that you are able to flip your image over onto its back side without anything shifting out-of-place.

Then flip your image over and use small pieces of tape to tape your image so that it is sturdy enough to be turned over again without shifting  (see 2nd photo below for an example). TIP: Don’t over tape because you will need to remove all of the tape during the transferring step.

Check the front side of your image again to make sure that everything is still lined up correctly and then carefully remove the tape from the front of your image. Leave the tape on the back side of the paper.

Next, use a pencil and ruler to mark off a 1/4″ border of white space all the way around your image and then cut off the excess with your trimmer or exacto knife. Be sure to erase any pencil marks on your image or they will show up on your finished picture.

 

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Paint your canvas with a fairly dry brush using the steps above. Let the canvas dry in between coats. When I say paint “randomly and vertically” I mean that you will be brushing on the paint vertically on the canvas and randomly (here and there). You want to end up with a striated look (different shades of painted lines running vertically through the canvas).

Also, if you don’t have on hand the colors I have mentioned. No sweat! Just use what you have. This paint finish works best with similar colors that have different tones to them, (light, medium and dark) so that there is a subtle contrast showing between the striations.

 

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Transferring such a large image to a canvas can be a little awkward because the large-sized paper can flop all over the place. I am going to share with you the best way that I have found to easily line up an image onto canvas. This step requires a few more minutes of preparation but it will give you great results and help avoid a lot of potential frustration.

The first thing you will want to do is to center your image face-up on the top of your painted canvas. Measure from the black edge of the outside border of your graphic to the outer edge of your canvas. Do this on all four edges to make sure your graphic is even all the way around and completely centered on your canvas.

Next, add a strip of painter’s tape to each side of your image leaving up to a 1/4″ of space between your image and the painter’s tape. Try to keep your border as straight as possible. (see above photo). Basically what you are doing in this step is making a frame of tape around your image so that you can easily line it up inside this taped frame. The frame helps to keep your image straight and prevents gel medium from getting all over the rest of your canvas.

 

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Usually when I do my canvas transfers, I add my gel medium to the printed side of my image and then place it face-down on my canvas. Because this image is so large, what works best is to add the gel medium directly on to the canvas and then place the image face-down on top of it.

Using a large paintbrush, coat your canvas with an even coat of gel medium. You need to work quickly because the gel medium needs to be wet for the transfer to work. If it starts to dry in one area, quickly go over it again with your wet paintbrush.

Line up your image face-down over top of the painter’s tape frame that you made on your canvas. Quickly place your image down onto the wet gel medium and use your hand to smooth out the wrinkles. IMPORTANT: Once your image has been placed down onto your canvas it cannot be moved.

Next, use your brayer to roll back and forth over the back of your image, smoothing it out. Go over your entire canvas 2-3 times in both directions.

Wipe off any excess gel medium immediately with a damp cloth or paper towel and carefully peel off the painter’s tape frame around your image and any tape on the back of your image. Leave your transfer to set for a few minutes.

 

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NOTE: If you are transferring a laser printed image please refer to my laser transfer tutorial HERE. The steps that follow are for inkjet transfers only.

You can see (above) that with inkjet transfers, the image comes immediately through the paper when you are rolling over it with a brayer. Unlike laser transfers, where all you can see is your white piece of paper with a faint image coming through.

And the missing spot above? This is where I carefully tried to remove the painter’s tape on a spot wet with gel medium. To my surprise, the inkjet ink had already transferred to the canvas after only being attached for 2 minutes.

 

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Next, to expose your image you will need to immediately peel off the paper while your transfer is still damp. Use the pad of your finger (preferably wearing gloves) to gently rub across one spot on your image. Then find an edge of paper that is lifting and peel it away. Continue over your entire canvas peeling off the paper while the transfer is still damp.

To remove any residual bits of paper you can use a soft rag to gently rub them away. Don’t do like me and use your hands to rub off the paper unless you want your hand to be stained purple like Barney. Oops!

My purple stained hand would not come clean despite thorough and repeated washings, but by the next day it finally faded away. I would suggest that you use gloves as inkjet toner ink is probably not the healthiest thing to absorb into your skin!

 

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Ha! I did not realize until after I had taken this photo of my purple-stained hand that I managed to create a little friend in the photo. My daughter said it looks like a dog. Me, I think it looks more like a giraffe.

 

My final tip for you is that whatever you do, DO NOT wet your canvas with water like you would when doing a laser image transfer. Inkjet printer ink will run if it gets overly wet which you can see in my final canvas and closeup in my photo below. Don’t do as I did! As long as you remove the paper backing from your image while it is still damp from the gel medium you should get a fairly clean image.

I should also mention that sometimes especially near the edges of your image, some of the image may rub off (see the bottom of my image below). This is the nature of inkjet transfers, which just adds to the aging of your canvas in my opinion.

Once you are happy with how your canvas looks, leave it to dry for at least an hour. When it is dry, your image will look hazy and you may see residual paper fibers. At this time you can use your gloved hand to lightly rub in a circular motion over top of your canvas which will help to remove any remaining fibers. Don’t worry about the residual paper fibers too much! Once you clear coat  your canvas almost all of the residual fibers will disappear and your image will be crisp and clear again.

To seal your canvas, spray it with 2-3 coats of clear sealer such as Krylon’s matte spray sealer (my favorite sealer) or coat it with a few layers of matte Mod Podge.

 

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I don’t know about you, but I have an abundance of wooden picture frames in my basement from years of thrifting. I ended up finding the perfect sized frame to fit my canvas. I love when that happens!

This frame was originally a dark teal which didn’t really go very well with my new canvas art that I made, so it too got a makeover. Sorry, I totally forgot to take a before photo of the frame to show you.

 

 

To age your own frame, first lightly sand it with 400 grit sandpaper to give your paint some tooth. Next, paint it with a coat of white gesso. Follow with a coat of a medium or dark gray craft paint. Leave it to dry, then add another coat of white gesso over top.

 

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Next distress your frame randomly with your 400 grit sandpaper exposing some of the original color and gray layer underneath.

To protect what you have done, either coat it with two coats of Mod Podge or a paste wax.

 

Your French art canvas is now done! You can sit back and proudly look at the beautiful large piece of art that you have made for your wall for very little time and money! Or you may be like me and have all of the supplies already on hand. In that case this art won’t cost you a penny to make!

 

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Now that I have done an inkjet transfer myself, which transfer method do I prefer?

If I were to choose my favorite method, I would have to say that laser transfers still win hands down. Inkjet transfers are a much quicker method of transferring but laser transfers give a much more vibrant, flawless image. Inkjet transfers will give you more of a subtle, aged image.

Have you tried both inkjet and laser image transfers before? Which do you prefer?

 

Until next time,

 

 

 

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Parties I’ve Linked Up To:

~ Domestically Speaking – Power of the Paint Party ~  The Trendy Treehouse – Create and Share ~ The Thrifty Home – Penny Pinching Party ~ Savvy Southern Style – Wow Us Wednesdays ~ The Brambleberry Cottage – Time Travel Thursday ~ House of Hepworths – Hookin Up With HOH ~ Shabby Creek Cottage – Transformation Thursday ~ Liz Marie Blog – Link Up With Me Liz Marie ~ It’s a Hodge Podge Life – It’s a Hodge Podge Friday ~ My Romantic Home – Show and Tell Friday ~ Chic on a Shoestring Decorating – Flaunt It Friday ~ The Shabby Nest – Frugal Friday ~  What About Co – Show Off Friday ~ French Country Cottage – Feathered Nest Friday ~ Craftionary – Friday Fun Party ~ Keeping It Simple Crafts – Motivate Me Monday ~ Under the Table and Dreaming – Sunday Showcase Party ~ Homemaker on a Dime – Creative Blogger’s Party ~ Craft-o-Maniac – Craft-o-Maniac Monday ~ DIY Showoff – DIY Project Parade ~ The Graphics Fairy – Brag Monday ~ A Stroll Thru Life – Table Top Tuesday ~ Skip To My Lou – Made By You Monday ~ Sumo’s Sweet Stuff – Market Yourself Monday ~ Today’s Creative Blog – Get Your Craft On ~ Coastal Charm – Nifty Thrifty Tuesday ~ To a Pretty Life – All Star Block Party ~ Thrifty Decor Chick – October Before and After Party ~ Krafty Kat – Gettin’ Crafty With It ~ I Gotta Create – Wildly Original Linky Party ~ Fox Hollow Cottage – Power of the Pinterest Party ~

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“Oh la la”…my latest thrifty finds

Happy Saturday!

I have some great news! I have almost completely recovered from my recent bout of Bell’s Palsy. Thank you to those of you who left me your thoughts on my last post and said that you would keep me in your prayers. I appreciate it so much!

If you have no idea what I am talking about because you are new here or haven’t been to my blog recently, you can read about my little health scare that happened just over a week ago HERE.

Amazingly, my face (and my smile) has about 90% recovered in only three days! Even my doctor was surprised, so I guess I am a fast healer. I’m still really sore and tired, but one day at a time, right? I can tell you that I am excited to get back into blogging and I have a few projects coming up that I’ll be sharing with you soon. You can see a sneak peek of the first one below, behind all of the pillows. Stay tuned!

Even though I have been mostly resting the past couple of weeks, I have also made some time for a little “retail therapy” around town. I don’t know about you, but shopping always makes me feel better, even if it is only window shopping.

So scroll on down to see some of the things that I found while out this past week. Everything I purchased was either on clearance or was for a great price.

 

Don’t ask, but for some reason there seems to be a bit of a “french” theme going on this time…

 

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First, check out these amazing french scripted pillows that I found at Home Outfitters here in Canada. These pillows are currently on clearance for only $10.49 each! Yup, that’s it! I know, right?

I couldn’t help myself, so I had to buy four of them. Truth be told, I would have bought more but my Mom finally talked some sense into me. Thanks Mom!

 

 

These pillows only come in two styles (this one’s my favorite) so I decided to buy two of each pillow. They are of great quality and I love that they have a zipper closure so that the cover can be removed for cleaning, or like mine need, ironing!

I can’t wait to decorate with these. They are yummilicious! (Is that a word?)

 

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Home Outfitters has a big pillow clearance going on right now, so I also picked up a few other pillows while I was there like these nubby, chenille style ones for only $6.99 each.

These are very soft and I think that they will be perfect for my family room couch. I decided that I am going to use them as everyday pillows because for that price they can easily be recovered once my kids get their use out of them. If you have kids, you will know what I mean!

 

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Lastly, this beautiful french script butterfly pillow also came home with me. It too was only $10.49 at Home Outfitters. What a steal!

 

Good thing that there were only a few styles of pillows on clearance that caught my eye or I could have possibly lost my self control.  It seems that I have a little soft spot for pillows that I didn’t know about until now.

My suggestion to you is if you are from Canada, run, don’t walk to your nearest Home Outfitters (also check The Bay)! Once people get wind of these, they won’t last long.

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Finally, at Home Outfitters, I found this Moda French Script shower curtain on clearance regularly $44.00 on sale for $15.00. This will be the perfect little inexpensive update for my main bathroom!

 

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On with the shopping…last week my Mom and I made a stop at IKEA and came across these super cute hobnail-style sundae dishes. Aren’t they the sweetest? Sorry, but I don’t know the name of these because I forgot to take note of it before taking off the stickers for washing.

I picked up six of these at only $1.49 each.

 

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My kids and I are going be making some yummy sundaes in these, I can promise you! I can’t wait to bust out all of my crazy colored ice cream sprinkles. So much fun!

 

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Also at IKEA, I found this really nice Knubbig table lamp for only $16.99. I really like the soft glow that it gives off in my living room.

 

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Here’s my lamp all lit up this evening. So pretty!

 

(Just in case you are wondering, my previous tutorial to make the bird nest picture above can be found HERE.)

 

Well, that’s the end of the little round up of treasures that I found while out shopping this past week. What new things for your home have you found lately? I would love to hear about them.

 

Until next time,

 

 

 

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