Photo canvases are a bit of a newish trend. They are beautiful, and if you can catch them on sale then they’re a decent deal, but if you want to do a dozen to fill up a wall… well let’s just say that the total would be close to that of my 1st car.
There are tons of tutorials all over the interwebs on how to do it with gel medium, but I didn’t have any of that… and you know I’m a use what you have girl. So, what I had was DecoArt Decoupage. And I had to try to see if it would work – and it did! Wanna make one? Well alrighty, then!
Before you get your hands dirty, you’ll need a canvas (I used a 10×10) your print out (make sure that you print it in reverse), Decoupage, a brush, an old gift card or brayer, a wet cloth, and digital finish spray. Another tip: If you are using a black & white photo, set your printer to only use black ink – you’ll get much better results.
First you need to put a thin layer of decoupage onto your canvas. You don’t want the layer too thick, just a good solid coat. Place images onto the canvas print side down, while the medium is still wet.
My piece took 2 pages, one with the photo, then a separate strip that was all grey, with the words “one year” at the end. This was Brady’s 1 year old photo, so it worked. You could also do a wedding date, favorite song lyric, name, the sky’s the limit! Once your paper is down, take your card or brayer and smush it all down into the glue. Just make sure that everything is flat.
Now you have two options: Set it aside and let it dry or take a blow dryer to it. (I’m an impatient girl.)
Once your canvas is dry, take a fairly wet cloth and lay it on top of the paper. Now comes the tricky part. When the paper is wet, take your finger and start to rub up the back of the paper. Don’t work in one spot too long, just work a bit here, then move to another spot for a bit – it’s and ADD crafter’s dream…
Some spots will peel up like old wall paper. Once you get that layer off, you’ll need to gingerly rub off the fuzzy layer underneath, while leaving the ink intact. Start on the edges because it takes some work to get it just right. Some bits will peel up no matter how careful you are. Just know that this will look distressed – so don’t stress over it. Enjoy the imperfections!
After you have all the fuzzy off, you can slightly rewet the print with your wet cloth. You will be able to see where you might need to take off a little more to get the best results. Your finished piece will pretty much look like it does when wet. When you’re happy with it, then let it dry (or use the blow dryer again.)
All dry, it will look milky and kinda weird, but don’t fret. Just spray on 3-4 coats of digital sealer or other sealant made for paper. Do NOT use the Decoupage again. You will not get good result. You can use a clear paint or sealer, but digital finish is the very best option. Let it dry (I did let time take it’s course on this step.)
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Disclaimer: DecoArt supplied me with Decoupage for this project