I have a two story family room. I quite like it but, it has two giant blank walls on the upper story. During the summer I hang a SURF banner and at Christmas time a NOEL banner. Those banners out stay their welcome and linger for months because I haven’t had a replacement for my Fall, Winter and Spring decor. Well not anymore. I just finished a giant un-stretched diy canvas art and I love it.
I was originally inspired by the ever fabulous Pottery Barn:
I may add the wood to the bottom and the top of mine as well, but for now, I had to put this up so I could take my NOEL down…yes, in February!
I started out by purchasing a drop cloth from Harbor Freight for around $15 (cheap and thin, perfect for this job). I cut it to the dimensions that would best fill the space. Then I drew a faint line with a pencil about 3 inches from all four sides.
I took some gesso (found at an art supply store) and did a light coat inside the lines. The gesso makes it so the paint does not go through the fabric. It also gave it a funky artsy feel, especially since I was running out and it left the canvas splotchy. Once the gesso dried, I used thumb tacks to pin it to a wall in my craft room.
Picking out WHAT I was going to pain on the canvas was the hardest part. I wanted something natural and now. Something to go with the rest of my decor but also something graphic almost like a botanical print, but not so fussy. I landed on arrows. And after an exhaustive search on the internet I found a cute collection on Etsy HERE. I paid the $5.50 download fee and printed the image on a piece of white paper. Then a quick trip to my local FedEx/Kinkos store I paid about a buck to have it printed on an overhead projector transparency.
With a sharp pencil I traced the image from the projector on to my canvas. In the photo above you might notice that the arrows don’t reach all the way across the canvas. No worries, I just did the feathers and tips on each end and then stretched the center sections to fit.
Then, with a variety of paint pens that I purchased from the hobby store, I traced over the pencil lines. The paint didn’t lay down flat since the gesso was a bit rough. I found that the thicker the paint pen, the smoother the process went. I opted for the Elmer’s Painters pens with a medium tip and a DecoColor pen with a fat thick tip to fill in any large black sections.
It took a few hours due to the size of the piece, but I think it was worth it. I hung it from a drapery rod and rings with clips. And yes, it is a bit wrinkled, but time will fix that.
The detail shows the sketch like detail of the wall hanging. It gives just the right crisp black and white, yet messy feel I was after.
I love how it fills up the space without feeling heavy.
And as always, this project could be adjusted to fit your taste and style. For me, the arrows fit perfect with my Natural Neutral Pallet Mantle. Price for this project? $15 for the canvas, $7 in pens, $1 for the transparency $5.50 for the image, gesso was free. Total $28.50. Not bad for such a huge piece of art.
Click the image below to see how I made my SURF Banner:
Click the image below to see how I made my Grain Sack NOEL banner:
Click the images below for other murals I’ve painted using an overhead projector: