Monday, September 9, 2013

DIY Photo "Canvases"

I have pretty much decided that I have home decor ADD.  I cannot, for the life of me, concentrate on decorating one room at a time. I have been working on finishing the girls room, but the other day, the living room was calling my name.

I have loved my gallery wall over my sofa since I put it up, but it needed a change.  I felt like the frames were too dark,  and though I loved having all my favorite photographs up, there was just too much to look at, so the overall effect was lost.  Plus, we got a new, colorful, bright rug, and with the busy rug, the cluttered wall, and the array of toys that are constantly scattered across the den, it was just too much.

So one Sunday afternoon, I was staring at the wall from the other sofa, and I just stood up, and started taking all the frames down.  

Wow, that's a big wall.

I knew I wanted a statement, but wanted something focused and simple.  I didn't want the walls of the den to compete with the rug, but to compliment it.  A lot of people collect and decorate with art, but I like to decorate with memorable items: things I collect, gifts, and especially with photographs.  I knew I wanted to use photographs, and I knew I wanted them of my babies. :)
I had looked on pinterest, and found a few examples of what I thought I wanted:
So three big canvases was going to be it.  I knew, though, that just buying three photo canvases was going to cost a fortune.  I checked Groupon, and Living Social and deal sites like that for canvas deals, but even if I were to buy the deal, to get realllllly, really big canvases like I wanted, it was still going to cost at least $100, and that was still more than I was wanting to spend.
So, I started looking up DIY tutorials and found this awesome one from Trendy Thrifting, for the three long canvases in the second photo above.  And after three weeks of looking at that big, blank, beige wall, I painted it, and took my little buddy to Home Depot with me to gather supplies for our project!
I wish I had taken pictures of the process, but I can share with you what you need to do it yourself, and how I did it!  You can also follow along in the post from Trendy Thrifting, but I did a few things slightly different.
What I Used:

 Photo Prints- I ordered engineering prints from Staples for about $3 each.  I ordered 2' x 3' photos, and the engineering prints only come in black and white and come on lightweight blueprint paper.  I took the pictures on my Canon DSLR, but you don't need a fancy camera at all!  Since you're going to blow them up pretty large, a cell phone picture may become pixilated, so use a photo at least from a digital camera for the best results.
Foam Insulation Paneling- I went to Home Depot, and couldn't find the large sheets of insulation that are referred to in the tutorial I followed, but I think I found something even better!  I found squares of foam insulation, 2' x 2' square.  Since my photos were 2' x 3' and were vertical, I knew that all I'd have to do is trim the bottoms off the pictures, and they would fit right on!  Perfect!
Spray Adhesive- I bought Loctite Spray Adhesive at Home Depot; the one recommended in the tutorial.  There is one specifically made for foam, and that's the one I got.  It worked perfectly.
Exacto Knife, scissors, or Rotary Blade
Spray Paint- I already had turquoise spray paint on hand, and that was exactly the color I needed.
How I Did It:

I started the project by spray painting the sides of the foam panels.  I had no interest in cutting down the boards so I could wrap my pictures around the boards, so I decided to spray paint the sides of the boards and just cut the pictures to fit the boards.  But I didn't want the pinky/gray boards showing on the sides, so I needed to paint them.  Spray paint was very easy, and dried quickly.
After the paint dried, I laid each of my pictures on top of the board, to get the placement just as I liked.  I folded the pictures along the edges of the board to get a good crease in the paper, then removed the pictures, and used my scissors to trim in down to make it fit perfectly.
Next, I took the board and pictures right back outside, and used the spray adhesive to lay them down.  First, I laid one of the pictures down on the board, just as I liked it.  I lifted up about a third of the picture, sprayed the adhesive onto the board, and slowly pressed the picture down, pressing and smoothing as I went.  I sprayed and laid down the picture until it is adhered to the board.
I also trimmed a bit of photo overhang off the panel with an exacto knite, so everything looks clean.
And seriously, that's it!  I hung the canvases from my wall with Scotch Wall Strips (just like a big roll of foam tape), so no new nailholes!

It was such an easy project that really didn't even take that long, and I only spent $30 TOTAL!  The results are just what I was going for, too, simple but demanding attention.

I love the pop of color on the sides, and think it brings everything together.  I looooooove my new DIY canvases. and hope you'll take a stab at trying to make some of your own. :)

Please let me know if you have any questions, and I'd love to see your canvases!

And for anyone wondering, I just couldn't bear putting all of my favorite photos away, so I made a gallery wall going up the stars!

Thank you for checking out my latest DIY today, and I hope it inspires you to DIY something for inexpensive, but with great impact!

Pin It

Follow on Bloglovin


  1. Wow. I love it. I need to do this when we move into our new place in the spring. How much did you spend overall?

    1. Thank you! I spent right at $30 total!!! I already had spray paint, but that would've only been another $3-4. They were seriously so easy, inexpensive, and I LOVE how they look. :)

  2. They look fabulous! Amazing job!!!

    Love your blog!

  3. I'm in love with those!!! When we move into our house (when it's finally built!) I want to do that in our living room. Awesome!!!


Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...