DIY Photo Canvas :: A Craft for the Craft-Challenged



DIY Photo Canvas

It’s the digital age, and our phones are loaded with thousands of photos. While we may throw a filter over a select few and throw them up on our Instagram profile, the reality is that most of our photos just sit in digital never-never land. I love to have pictures of my adorable children hanging all over my house. But a printed photo canvas is expensive, and when I find that perfect groupon deal, I find myself overwhelmed when trying to decide which photo to order.

I have the perfect solution. A simple, DIY photo canvas. Now before you get all, “UUUUGGGHH, I hate DIY!” on me, let me also add, this is a perfect project for all us who have NO crafting skill. Plus, the supplies are inexpensive. It’s SO cheap and easy, it’s seriously the perfect DIY for the craft-challenged.

Here’s how to make your very own photo canvases:

What you’ll need: DIY Photo Canvas

  • Printed photos from your favorite photo printer (Matte or glossy will work, but I prefer to use matte).
  • Canvases of coordinating sizes to the pictures you’ve printed (I buy the super cheap ones when they go on sale at Hobby Lobby or Michaels, and you could use the same process on other mediums, such as wood blocks or small ornaments.).
  • Black craft paint
  • Mod podge (Mod podge is a crafter-wanna-be’s best friend. It’s a glorified glue that dries clear, unless you buy a variety that does otherwise. You can use it on just about any kind of paper to adhere it to basically any medium you’d like, and viola, you made something. It’s pretty incredible stuff. Don’t be scared of it. Just don’t.)
  • Foam paint brushes (x2)
  • 20 minutes of kid-free time (this will be the most difficult thing to find)

What you’ll do:

1. Paint your canvases black. Yes, the entire canvas. This step is optional, but creates a clean, cohesive look in the end. Let the paint dry.

2. Using a new paintbrush, cover the surface canvas with a layer of modge podge. This will be the glue that holds the photo in place.

3. Lay your photo, face down, on your clean work surface. Carefully line up the edges of your canvas with the edge of the photograph. Place the canvas on top of the photograph (so that the back of the photo adheres to the front of the canvas), and press firmly on the canvas frame to secure it. Using your finger, press along the back inside of the canvas to smooth out any bubbles and adhere. Basically, you are gluing the photo to the canvas.

DIY Photo Canvas

4. Flip the canvas over so the pictures is facing up. Use the foam brush to paint a layer of mod podge over the entire surface of the canvas, photo and all. Try not to leave any huge globs of mod podge as those may not dry completely clear. (That being said, the grains of your paintbrush strokes will add to the authentic look of the canvas, so don’t worry about those). Make sure to paint the mod podge around the edges of the photo and onto the edges of the canvas as well.

5. Go over your mod podge layer in the opposite direction (so you’ve essentially painted a layer from left to right as well as a layer up and down). Freak out for a second as you wonder if your picture is ruined with all that white gunk painted all over it.

6. Wait for the mod podge to dry. This could take 1-2 hours, depending on how thick you slathered it on. When it dries, it will be clear and the photo will be “one” with the canvas!

And that’s it! You’ve created your very own photo canvas in twenty minutes time, and for less than a cup of coffee. Be proud of your newfound craftiness!

DIY Photo Canvas


DIY Photo canvas


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