Thursday, August 30, 2012

Crafting bug bites again!

Dear Readers,
Between giving birth, having a baby that would only nap on top of me, and the crazy hecticness (yeah, I know that's not a real word) of summer, I became a major slacker in the crafting department. My poor Pinterest account even sat lonely and ignored for a few months. Just thinking about all the homemade bath salts and things involving mason jars I missed out on in all that time makes me want to cry (ha!)

But no fear, dear readers, I'm back! Crafty Kristin is making her triumphant return with not one but two easy project ideas.

I've been trying to find ways of actually doing something with the 10 million pictures I have of Elliot just sitting on my computer. I love the photo canvases you can have made through places like Shutterfly, but we just can't afford them right now. So I decided to make my own:

Both of these projects are super easy, cheap, and fast (totally doable during a long naptime, now that E will actually sleep on his own!)

What you need:

  • White canvases in whatever size(s) you want; I got the two 10X10 canvases last Black Friday when they were on sale at Joann Fabrics for like $2.00 a piece. The 12 mini 4X4 canvases are from Amazon and were something like $17 shipped for all 12. 
  • Plain white tissue paper; I got mine in the gift wrap aisle at Target for $1.99 for a big pack.
  • Mod Podge; I used the glossy coat kind but matte would look really nice as well.
  • Large paint brush
  • Scissors
  • Home printer
  • Regular 8.5X11 printer paper
  • Scotch tape
  • Black acrylic paint (optional)
The first step is to get your pictures ready for printing. I use iPhoto to crop/resize my pictures to the size I am going to print. For the mini canvases I used all instagram pictures because I liked that they were already squares.

To print the pictures on tissue paper, you have to get kind of tricky. First, print your picture out on normal printer paper so you can see where and how its going to be lined up on the paper. Then take a new piece of printer paper and tape a piece of tissue paper around where the picture will be printed. You need to make sure the corners are really secure so it won't get jammed in the printer. Then just print like normal and cut around the taped corners to get your tissue paper print. 

If you want to do quote canvases, you can use to create your picture for printing. There might be easier ways, but what I do is find a 'white background' image/JPG using google images, then go to picmonkey and choose 'edit a picture' and upload the white square. Then you can add text in whatever fonts and colors you want. Works great!

Okay, so once you have all your pictures and/or quotes printed out on tissue paper, you are ready for the fun part--mod podge! Apply a nice thin layer over the entire front surface of the canvas, making sure to get the edges as well. I suggest using a pretty wide brush--the less distinct brush stroke marks, the better.

Working quickly (mod podge dries really fast!), carefully lay your tissue paper picture on top of the canvas. Make sure you have it lined up well because once the delicate tissue paper hits the mod podge, you really can't move it without messing the whole thing up. Once the paper is in place, I use the palm of my hand to press down, then use my fingers to carefully push down any little bubbles and get the edges all smoothed down. It's okay (actually preferred in my opinion!) if it doesn't turn out perfectly--the little bubble marks and brush stroke lines make these look really cool and unique.

Let the canvas dry completely, then add 2-3 thin coats of mod podge over the top, being careful that each coat is totally dry before applying the next one. When you're done, you shouldn't be able to see any paper edges on your canvases--it will look like the pictures are printed right on there, super neat!

For my 10X10 canvases I used black acrylic paint around and slightly on top of the pictures because I wanted them to match the black frame they were going up next to:

I hate to brag, but I'm really happy with how these turned out. I can't wait to stock up on more canvases and cover my walls with even more of my adorable boy--I have just a few photos left on my computer :)

Happy crafting!



Jessica said...

yea can't wait to try this!

CourtneyAnna said...

Awesome job! I am going to have to try this! We just got 9 month pics back! :-)

Emily said...

Love it. I tried your similar idea of photos on coasters last Christmas and I found that the mod podge (I actually used glue and water instead of the actual mod podge) kind of wiped off some of the black ink from my tissue paper making whites in the picture more grey. Any ideas how to fix this? Love this and would love to do something similar with the ridiculous amount of pictures I have of Kaia. Thanks for a great idea.

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