Wednesday, April 10, 2013

Photo Canvas Tutorial

Canvas art has become really popular in the crafting/home décor world!  And why not?  With a blank canvas, you can create absolutely anything you'd like!
From Millan.Net

I love the new My Creations 6"x6" Canvas Displays.  I wanted to create something for my home and with all the easy step by step instructions you can find online, I decided to jump right in and make my own!

This was so easy to make, I'm thinking of doing a wall collage of each of my boys.  Let me walk you through the process.
These are the supplies you'll need.

I got the canvas gel medium at Michael's in the art department.  (Bring along a coupon!)   And what about your photo?  This tutorial doesn't use an actual photo.  Rather, you'll want to print your photo on plain copy paper.  ***Be sure to use a laser printer!***  If you use an ink jet printer, your photo will run and bleed and give it a really watercolor, artsy-fartsy look.  Ask me how I know that. From Millan.Net
So I didn't actually take photos while I was making it, simply because after the, ahem, ink jet incident I wasn't too sure how this would turn out!  But I'll give you step by step details, and if anyone needs it, I'd be happy to make another one and take photos of that!
  1. I sized my photo in Photoshop and made it black and white.  I also mirrored it so it would come out the right way when it was done.  (Then I had to email it to Engineer to print at work on their laser printers!)  I made the photo just under 6"x6", but when I trimmed the paper I gave myself a big enough border around the photo to handle it when it came time to place it on the canvas.
  2. Take your gel medium and foam brush and give the canvas a good coat.  Not too thick, but enough to see it.
  3. Take the paper with the photo and spritz it with water.  Really.  Don't soak it, but get it nice and wet.  (This is why you need to use a laser printer!)
  4. Making sure the canvas is in the right direction, lay the paper photo side down onto your canvas.  Yes, onto the wet gel medium.
  5. Smooth out any bubbles.  Use a credit card, fingers, or I used my stoneware scrappers from Pampered Chef!  Just be sure you don't tear the paper.  I also flipped mine over and smoothed a bit from the back side.
  6. Now...wait.  I'm not a patient crafter, so placed mine under the ceiling fan in the family room and turned it on high. From Millan.Net
  7. It should be good and dry now, right?  Well when it is, take your spray bottle and soak it. You heard me right...get it good and wet!  Like water-running-off-making-puddles wet! From Millan.Net
  8. When you have it soaked to the bones, then it's time to gently peel the paper off.  The photo stays on the cool is that?!?
  9. Once you get the paper peeled, the tedious part starts.  Being ever so gentle, start rubbing the paper fibers off the photo.  Use a circular motion with little pressure.  Too much pressure and you'll rub the photo off.  As the canvas dries, you'll be able to see the fibers better.  Just spray again and work in sections until you have them all off.  Be extra careful around faces and details you want to keep.  (I did rub a little harder in some spots to take the photo off on purpose, just to give it an aged look.)
  10. When you have it done to your liking, let it dry.  Again. From Millan.Net
  11. Cover the entire canvas with the gel medium to seal it and let it dry.  And you're done!!
 Here is a close up of the canvas:
The gel leaves brush strokes, like a finished canvas.
I hope you'll share with me any canvas photos you make!  If anything wasn't clear in the directions, just let me know and I'll whip up another post with photos! 

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