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DIY Canvas Photos Project

February 2, 2012

I am not by nature a creative person and when I discovered Pinterest several months ago, I was in awe of all the wonderfully creative moms that are out there.  I have pinned over 700 things now but one of the first things I found was a DIY photo canvas.  I’ve been wanting to do a photo canvas for quite a while but never wanted to plunk down $50+ for an 8×10 so I loved the idea of being able to do it on my own.

As per my normal though, I can’t just try something on a small scale–I decided to do 20 of these canvas photos to form a gallery of family snapshots.  The whole project took quite a while, but mostly that was due to an unforeseen delay that I’ll tell you about soon.  I will say, that for a non-artistic, non-crafty person like myself, this project was simple to complete and I am quite pleased with how it turned out.

So how did I do it?  Well let me walk you through step by step:

1.  Gather your materials–canvas in the desired size, photo in the same size, ModPodge, square tool, trimming tool, acrylic craft paint and coordinating scrapbook paper (not shown).  I would highly recommend a matte finish for your ModPodge (mine was satin finish and has a bit too much glare when viewed in bright light.  I would also recommend measuring your canvas before sizing and printing your photo(s).  I assumed that 6×6 canvas was truly 6×6–it is better for the photo to be a tiny bit smaller than the actual canvas for the best results.

2.  Trim your scrapbook paper to fit each of the 4 sides of your canvas.  You can skip this step if you are planning to paint the edges instead of using paper.  Because my canvas was a 1 1/2 deep I decided to use paper and trim with paint.  To be honest I trusted myself more with scissors than paint–less room for error.  Next trim your photo (again to be a fraction smaller than the actual canvas size).  ModPodge the paper one first and then the photo itself.  Set aside and let dry.
3.  Once dry, which really doesn’t take too long you are ready to coat the entire canvas.  I’ll be honest–it’s a bit scary putting ModPodge over the top of your precious photos especially because it’s milky white going on, but everything I read assured me that the end product would look great.  For my project I decided to do 2 coats of ModPodge although I’m certain that one coat would be just fine.
4.  The final step it to finish the edges with coordinating acrylic paint.  I used a circular shaped sponge applicator to blot the paint around the corners and edges of the paper and the photograph to cover the white canvas showing through.

Initially. I purchased 2 packs of 6×6 canvas (4 in each) to make sure I could get the desired results before buying all 20.  Unfortunately, Michael’s ran out of the 6×6 canvas before I could purchase the remaining 12 and continued to be out of stock for over 6 weeks.  I checked back at least a half a dozen times, checked another store on the other side of town, checked at Hobby Lobby–no one had them!  When I had nearly given up hope and was about to purchase them online for 3x the price, they finally got them in my local store and I purchased the remaining 12.  I was able to complete the project in the evenings over the next couple of days.  I would estimate in all that the whole thing took between 12-15 hours of time–so was it worth it?  Let’s do the math!

  • 20 – 6×6 canvas @ $14.99 per 4pk = $74.95
  • 2 bottles (8oz) of ModPodge @ $4.99 each = $9.98
  • 5 Sheets of Scrapbook Paper @ .99 each = $4.95
  • 20 6×6 Photos printed @ 1.29 each = $25.80
  • 1 bottle of Acrylic paint @ $2.99 each = $2.99

Total Project Cost = $118.67 – That’s less than $6 per canvas!!!

For me, it was definitely worth the time and effort! – I absolutely LOVE how it looks in my living room & I would have never spent retail price for the same gallery.  Let me know if you decide to do your own DIY photo canvas (whether it’s 1 or 20) and share your results–I’d love to see your creations!


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2 Comments leave one →
  1. tracey carlson permalink
    March 5, 2012 7:18 pm

    where did you buy the 6 x 6 canvas

    • March 5, 2012 8:34 pm

      Tracey, I bought them at Michael’s in packs of 4, but during the project they ran out so I would double check before you print your photos.

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