Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Make your own art for under $10 and 10 minutes

Have you ever known exactly what you want but can't seem to find it anywhere?  Thus is the story of my quest to find a piece of art for our bedroom wall.

Our bedroom colors are mostly soft neutrals with one exception.  Last summer, I found the most adorable accent pillow with embroidered birds and flowers.  I fell so head over heels for it that I decided to make it the inspiration for the rest of the room's decor: I have two little silver birds perched on our nightstand.  Sheet sets for the bed are in various colors found in the pillow's design.  All that was missing was something for the wall.

I'd scoped out pictures and prints for months, but everything was too... meh.  They either looked cheap or generic or way too girly or just totally wrong.  Do you know how much ugly artwork there is out there?  Way too much, if you ask me.

Unimpressed with what I'd seen, I got the idea to find a printed fabric that I loved and stretch it out over a canvas to make my own art.  One Saturday night I was browsing at JoAnn Fabrics -- yes, Saturday night -- and I found it!  The perfect print!  Just what I'd imagined but couldn't design myself:

In two color schemes, one decidedly more appropriate for the neutral bedroom.  After a very fortunate run-in with a fellow customer who knew French and informed me that Le Jardin meant "the garden", I bought a yard of each.  I don't have a plan for the more brighter print yet.  TBD.

Anyway, this little project of mine was unbelievably fast and easy to make!  Once you find fabric and a canvas (or frame, or heck, a piece of cardboard or box lid) in the desired shape and size you like, here's the rundown:

Step 1 - Iron fabric on the back side.

Step 2 - Spread out the fabric on a flat surface (the floor is just fine) and center the canvas on the fabric face down.

Step 3 - Starting at one edge, staple (using a regular desk stapler) the fabric to the inside of the canvas frame.  Continue to check the alignment of the pattern along the lines of the frame, being careful not to over or under stretch the fabric.  After completing the first side, fold the fabric at the corner like you would when wrapping a Christmas present, staple, and continue on remaining sides and corners until completed.

Step 4 - Proudly hang new artwork and marvel at its beauty and simplicity.  

So easy and simple but so perfect!  I have a few squares of green fabric to possibly wrap around smaller canvases to flank the big one.  Before I do that, I first want to get accustomed to this new addition.  This new addition that cost less than a You-Pick-Two lunch at Panera and took about the same amount of time to prepare (under 10 minutes).

Yes, really!

1 yard of fabric = $5.99
Canvas = free (already had it)
Staples & nail = free (already had 'em)
Art project of my dreams = Priceless :)

You can and should totally do this yourself!  Get to it!  If I can do it, anyone can.

Two years ago: Tomato gratin


  1. I just bought this fabric today. I love it!!! I realize this blog post is old but I had to post a comment anyway: )

    1. The very same fabric? I'm so happy that you were able to find it! Happy crafting :)