Monday, May 6, 2013

DIY Family Rules Canvas

I've been working on rearranging and decorating our playroom for a while now (see posts here and here!), and have added another element that I totally love!
I have been wanting to create a print or an art piece displaying our "Family Rules" for some time now.  Just an outline of some statements that identify what our family is about, what we value, and things that we all need to remind ourselves of each and every day.  I originally wanted to display it in the kitchen, but I have run out of wall space!  So after I rearranged the playroom and created the Reading Nook, I had one particular wall in the center of our room that protrudes (it's actually the back of our living room fireplace), that was begging for something.  I decided to make it a bright statement wall and display our family rules there!  And it is just the perfect place for it.
I wanted to use all the bright colors that I used in the Reading Nook gallery wall, which was really inspired by the bright Ikea rug that we have in the center of the room.
My very favorite rug ever!  From Ikea
I wanted to keep the Family Rules Canvas bright and colorful, and incorporate lots of different  patterns.  I made a list of all of the "rules" that we think are important in our family, and got to work!
I had seen some of these made on canvases and on wooden boards with scrapbook paper, but I have a LARGE collection of fabric and lots of fabric scraps thanks to Goat & Lulu, and wanted to utilize that fabric instead of scrapbook paper.  I read a couple of tutorials (I was particularly inspired by the one Lindsey from The Pleated Poppy makes) and looked at several that I had seen on Etsy, and I started collecting my supplies.
-30"x40" canvas from Hobby Lobby.  You don't have to do it this big; I think a 24"x36" canvas would be fine, but I wanted this reallllllly big.  The big canvases are pretty expensive, so I definitely used my Hobby Lobby app and flashed a 40% off coupon from my phone at the register.  The canvases were, like, the only thing in the entire store not already on sale.
 -Lots of fabric scraps.  I wanted a different color for each line, so I cut (17) 3"x32" strips of fabric.  Of course, though, you may cut more or less strips based on how many lines you have.  Plus, I wanted the top line (Where "Luton Family Rules" is written) to be a little thicker.  You could certainly use only a few fabrics and cut multiples of each color, but I had so much hanging around that I didn't need to buy any, and wanted to use up a bunch.
-Mod Podge.  I used the matte Mod Podge, but if you only have the glossy hanging around, that would work fine too.
Paintbrush or Sponge
So I started by lining up all the fabric strips along the canvas to get everything spaced well, and how I wanted it set up.  I wanted to wrap the canvas with the fabric pieces, and that's why I cut them 32" for the 30" wide canvas. 
Once I had everything lined up, I started the Mod Podging.  I went one strip at a time, and liberally applied the Mod Podge to the canvas itself, then laid the strip down in place, then applied the Mod Podge liberally on top of the fabric.  Smooth it out with your brush or sponge, and spread out the excess.  Once you get the strip where you like it, move onto the next.  For this big of a canvas, this part took quite a while.  I'd recommend using maybe a 2-3" wide paintbrush for this part so it'll go a little faster!
Once you have all your fabric strips in place, apply another liberal coat (seriously, pile it on) of the Mod Podge on top of the fabric to seal everything in place.  I also waited until this point to glue down the sides of the canvas where the fabric wrapped around.  I wanted to make sure the pieces on the front were good and in place before I started rotating the canvas to glue down the sides. 
Once the Mod Podge had dried (it really dries pretty quickly, but make sure it's good and dry before you start writing), I began writing our rules on!  If you have a Silhouette or Cricut machine, it would be awesome to use for this part.  You could just cut your rules out with vinyl, apply them, and voila!  You'd be done and your canvas will be beautiful and complete!  But, I have neither machine, and didn't want to use stencils, so I just bucked up and free-handed it using a fat Sharpie!  The thing about using a Sharpie, though, is that you do have to make sure you've applied enough Mod Podge, that it's good and dry, and that your fabric is sealed, otherwise you run the risk of your marker bleeding.  I varied the handwriting styles that I used to try to add some character and interest, and I really like how it turned out!  Once your rules are written out, YOU'RE DONE!
The pictures are a little hard to read, so here are our rules:
(Some are inspired by other family rules I've seen and others are original!)
Family Comes First-Always Be There
Always Tell the Truth
Dream Big-Work Hard-Do Your Best
Remember Who You Are and What You Represent
No Fussing & No Whining
Obey Your Parents
Always Support Each Other
Say Yes Ma'am, No Ma'am, Please & Thank You, Yes Sir, No Sir
Be Sweet and Share
Pick Up After Yourself
Snuggle, Hug, and Kiss Often
Be Creative at All Times
Have Fun-Be Silly-Laugh Together
Be Respectful-Be Grateful
Always Say I Love You
Say Your Prayers and Thank God for Our Family
There are so many more that I wanted to add (I had a great brainstorming session!) but I could only fit so many on the canvas!

Then I decided, after I hung the canvas up, that I knew I wanted to paint this wall!  So, yes, I went for TURQUOISE!
I also decided that one of my "summer projects" is going to be to bite the bullet and paint the rest playroom, and I'm going to do it a very light sky blue.  I thought the turquoise would be nice for the statement wall for now with our basic beige-y walls, but will really pop against a lighter blue once the rest of the playroom gets repainted.  PLUS, we have SOOOO much pink in the playroom, the blue is hopefully adding another dose of "boy" to the space!  Poor Ben will have so much pink in his life with two big sisters, so now at least, he'll have a little blue in their shared play space!
And, why not, I used some of the leftover fabric scraps to make a little reversible bunting to go over the canvas.  I had a paper bunting hung up here before, but it was looking a little worn.  So, I thought, if I'm going to update this wall, I might as well update all of it!
I hope you like our Family Rules Canvas!  I am loving it, and love to refer to it when I'm playing with the kids on the floor.  And I have heard Brantley reminding Grayson of some of the rules too, so it must be working!  It's a great learning tool, an important part of the fabric of our family, and also a super cute art piece for the playroom! 
I hope you'll be inspired to create a Family Rules Canvas of your own!
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