Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Make your own canvas photos

I just love the look of big canvas photographs. I dream of one day having all the walls in my house covered in my photographs, all done on canvas. Well looking around at the prices of even the smallest canvas photo and my dream fades away.
I took some fun pictures of me, the hubby and kiddos just before Christmas. They are Brady Bunch style, everyone looking at someone else. Cute really. Haven't gotten around to framing them yet.. really wanted them on canvas..... Anywho, one day while spending some quality time in blogland I came across a post at The Sassy Pepper blog (how cute is that name?). I had no idea you could Mod Podge a photograph to a canvas! Oh how exciting! The look is close enough to the real thing that I am quite happy with the results, as well as my savings. I bought 4 -8x10 stretched canvases at Michaels for $12. I am sure I could have gotten them cheaper, but I couldn't find a coupon, and I was super impatient. A big bottle of Mod Podge for $8... still sick that I didn't have a coupon or use patience to wait for one. The Mod Podge will last a long time though and I can use it on many more things. I took the photographs, so they were free as well as the prints!  I won a photo contest over at Not Quite June Cleaver and the prize was a Snapfish gift certificate.
You can follow The Sassy Pepper's instructions, but I did things slightly different so here is my version.

 I used Matte Mod Podge. Not sure what the results would be with another type. I don't think I would like the Glossy as the end product wouldn't look like I wanted it to. They do make an Artists Brush kind but I couldn't find it. This works well for me.

Please note the spelling. This is Mod Podge. Its not pronounced Modge Podge. I think a lot of people pronounce it that way and for some reason it really annoys me... and now I feel better.Thank you for listening.

Gather your supplies 

First, I painted the edges and a bit of the top of the canvas with black paint. Decorative paper on the sides is cute, but for this application I didn't want the sides to visually stand out. 
Once this is dry add a layer of Mod Podge to the entire top of the canvas and let it dry. This will seal it and give the picture something to grip to.

Trim your photo a tiny bit around each edge. You can leave it as is, but it hangs over the edge slightly and I didn't care for the look. 
Next, add a layer of Mod Podge to the back of your photo then place on the prepared canvas. Use a rag that you don't mind getting the Podge on and smooth the surface of the photo. Dont worry if you get some Mod Podge on the front of the photo. It wont ruin it.  I then turned the canvas over and smoothed it out from the back. Sorry, I didn't take pictures of this.


Add a layer of Mod Podge to the entire top and edges of the photograph (will be milky until dry). Trust me it will be fine. Unless you have used a picture you printed at home. If thats the case, stop now and go order yourself some professionally printed photos. Home printed inks will not hold up to the moisture and the colors will smear. I like my photos printed Matte. I tested this first on a glossy photo and I don't think I like the way it looked. 

Use a paper towel to pounce or blot the surface of the wet Mod Podge. This is my very own idea :). I wanted mine to have texture and look as much like it was printed on canvas as possible. I used a Bounty Paper towel or you can use a napkin. Be careful if you use a cheap napkin. It may not hold up and end up sticking to your Mod Podge.
Let this dry and then add another layer of Podge and then pounce with paper towel again. I did this 3 times total. No reason, I just thought that sounded like a good amount. You can probably get away with only one layer.

 Here is a close up of the textured surface after 3 layers of Mod Podge and paper towel pouncing. Looks pretty close to a canvas print.

And here is my final product!
I am soooo pleased with this. Cant wait to do more!

It cost roughly $4 each. I saved $120 to $200 ! Woo Hoo!
You could also do this with calendar pages, pretty wrapping paper, fabric... so many fun projects you can do!


Katie said...

Liz this is waaaay cool! Thank you for sharing!

My Name is Kirsten Not Kristen said...

I've searched and searched for a guide on how to do this. I am sooooooo glad I found your tutorial. Whew!

Miss Kitty said...

This is such a great idea! I had to stop and ask myself how I say "Mod Podge" and I realize that I am guilty of pronouncing it the wrong way.

Lizzy @My Mind..My Life said...

Haha! I really think most people do mispronounce it. Thanks for your kind comment - Lizzy

Deb Plapp said...

Wow, those really turned out nice! I just ordered some canvas prints from this online shop. I only had to pay $14.95 for shipping (I chose the 8x10 size). But I like your idea better. Did you have your photos enlarged and printed at a store such as Walgreen's? Or did you just take a regular size photo to a copy store and enlarge and print it yourself? The black paint on the edges was a great idea. They look very professional. Oh, and thanks for the Mod Podge pronunciation. I was saying Modge instead of Mod. I think...

Lizzy @My Mind..My Life said...

Thanks Deb! I actually had these printed from an online company. Snapfish.com
I like them ok, but usually use MPix.com
I am not sure if a copy store enlargement would work well, unless it was copied on photo paper, because the colors may bleed when you Mod Podge it.

Anonymous said...

I've seen this done before but I LOVE your idea to "pounce" it with a paper towel!! I think the texture makes all the difference! These are great!

Anonymous said...

I'm so very glad I found your site and tutorial about mounting pictures using Mod Podge and art canvases. Your idea about pouncing after applying each layer of Mod Podge just makes this project perfect! Thank you so very much!

Anonymous said...

I just wrote how perfect I think your project is. I wish I could "pin" it on Pinterest and share it with others too. I think it's that good.

Anonymous said...

I wanted a photo on canvas, with the photo edges wrapped around the canvas frame. I had one done on faux canvas through a dept. store photo shop, because I wasn't sure I really wanted to tackle trying to wrap the corners. I already purchased canvas to put the picture on, and decided to get brave and purchase a poster of another picture from them, and tried your plan. They did a great job on the purchased one, but I wasted money because the second one came out as nice....and was cheaper of course. Hard to tell the difference on the front. The painted edges look great too. Thanks for your easy instructions. I'm guessing I will be trying this process again with other pictures.

Stephanie Williams said...

I just ordered at 10x13 from snapfish and had it so I could pick up at Walgreens. Would this work on a canvas?

Lizzy Ford said...

Hey Stephanie, that would most definitely work.

Kent Hundley said...

I think it look really good when you applied 3 layer coating of mod podge in there. The result is just amazing to look at.

Discount Canvas Prints

Anonymous said...

Have you had trouble with the canvas warping on projects you completed a while ago? I have recently noticed warping on the canvas with pictures I have mounted 1-2 years ago.

Lizzy Ford said...

No, anonymous, I haven't had any trouble with warping.

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