Wednesday, September 18, 2013

Nesting Anyone? How about DIY canvas paintings

So I'm getting rather pregnant. I probably should be packing my hospital bag... or finding a stroller... but of course those things don't have a chop saw in the process, so this is much more fun! I wanted to make these super cute paintings for the nursery (or as Chris and I have come to a peace-treaty of calling it the man-let cave). I came up with the idea a while ago, when I made a nursery board.
I decided to save myself some money and make/stretch my own canvases, instead of buying them. Especially since I wanted box framed (thicker) so that they would look awesome up on the wall without frames. I made them 2'x2', which turned out a lot bigger on the wall than I expected. A few 1x2's and some scrap 2x4's for the corners and I had me some frames.
A few screws in each corner and those suckers were solid. Only problem? They didn't exactly sit flat on the  wall. I shamefully didn't take pictures of how I fixed that problem, mainly because I was ashamed. Chris was surprised to find all 4 frames taking a nice soak in our bath tub, with dumbells keeping them sunk, one fine Sunday afternoon. After a good soak, I laid them on the flat garage floor with a flat large board sitting on top of them and loaded it up with lots of heavy things. Then let the heat of the Vegas day do the rest of the work. Tah-dah! Flat frames.
Stretching canvas is easy, nothing to be scared of. I've done it before with our 2nd year anniversary present.
Usually you'd use gesso to prime the canvas, but since these are more crafty type paintings and less masterpiece-ish I just used cheap white acrylic paint. And went to town drawing the animal silhouettes.
The grids make it super easy to get all the shapes and proportions right. It was really fun. I just use vine charcoal, and a little fixative when I'm done laying it out.
I painted the colors first, then went back with white paint to touch up and fill the animals in. It actually took A LOT longer than I was anticipating. I think just because the paintings were so big! 
And here they are hanging on the wall. I imagined them in a group with 2 on top and 2 on bottom (like the nursery board I made). But since I made the paintings so big, they wouldn't really fit like that. But I actually really like them taking up a whole wall. It really dresses up the room and makes it very fun!


  1. Did you hand draw those? They look amazing!

  2. Why thank you! I did hand draw them, but it's not too hard when you've got the grid going on.