If there are two things I love, it is getting something on the cheap and spending minimal effort to attain said thing. If they go hand in hand, even better!
We have nine-foot ceilings in our home which mean a lot of wall space to cover. I don’t exactly have a decorating budget so when I come across an idea that I can make my own, with little investment of both time and money, you can bet I’m going to give it a shot.
This is one of those kinds of projects. Here’s the breakdown:
- Canvas Panels (This link is for a 12 pack at nearly a buck apiece; you can’t beat that!)
- Engineering Prints (I’ll explain this in a minute.)
- Mod Podge Clear Acrylic Sealer Matte
- Trim (Whatever size/design you wish.)
- Nails (Size depends on your trim.)
- Paint (You only need this if you don’t buy pre-painted trim.)
STEP 1: Choose Prints
You will need to pick out a print that you like (or more, depending on your project). Head over to staples.com and type in “engineering prints” into their search bar. This will take you to the page you need where you will start by choosing the size you wish. (You will want your print to be larger than your canvas.)
Just a tip, according to the print preview, black and white tends to look better on engineering prints the larger the size. I haven’t tried color although some claim good success with color engineering prints.
Click on “Design Now” and then choose color or B & W. It will tell you engineering prints are not suitable for photos but mine turned out nice.
After that, fill in your specifications and choose whether you want them delivered or in-store pickup. The in-store option is fairly quick.
STEP 2: Preparing the Artwork
Once you have your print, decide if it will be vertical or horizontal then choose how you want it aligned on your canvas. Once you have it where you want it, trim the edges leaving a good two to three extra inches on each side.
Carefully cut out a square at each of the corners for easier wrapping of the print around the canvas.
Once that is done, take one side at a time and staple it to the frame of the canvas. Repeat this step on all sides, careful to keep the print wrinkle-free.
STEP 3: Seal Artwork
If you are happy with your piece, then you are ready to seal. There are some who use regular Mod Podge but I find it crinkles the paper too much. If you are going for a textured look then Mod Podge is the perfect medium! I actually made a very large art piece for my husband with Mod Podge and it looked awesome!
For this piece, however, I did not want a textured look so I opted for the spray instead.
Before spraying, you are going to want to place your piece outside like this:
Do not lay the canvas flat or build-up from the nozzle will drip on your picture. Ask me how I know. 😒
STEP 4: Build the Frame
This is probably the easiest part of the project. 🙂 We used white trim so I didn’t paint it, although I still might as it does not hold up well when you need to wipe it down.
I asked Steve to overlay the trim pieces instead of going with the traditional frame look and I love it how it turned out. He laid the side boards upside down along the canvas then tacked the top and bottom boards at the points where they cross with the side boards.
Make sure the nails you use are not too long or they will poke through. But you want them long enough to keep the boards together. Of course, you can always use glue instead of nails.
Now you are ready to pop your art into your frame. Super easy.
The canvas fits snug between two boards which allow you to swap out pictures easily.
For Christmas, you could even wrap the canvas in wrapping paper for an effortless decorating touch that doesn’t need storing afterward. 🙂
Here is the finished look.
Here are two pieces already hanging up.
And that’s it! Super easy and inexpensive to make. I think my favorite thing about this project is the sentimental value it adds to our home. (The pictures are architectural aspects of my childhood home.)
Are you going to give this a try? I’d love to see your pictures in the comments!