DIY Canvas Art

Art can be expensive, VERY expensive, but without it, walls look bare.  What to do? My answer: make your own! I’ve always loved sketching and painting, but you don’t have to have an ounce of artistic talent in your body to make beautiful art you can proudly hang on your walls.  All you need are some blank canvases and acrylic paint…oh, and maybe a paint brush or two (but don’t dismiss the idea of finger painting!)

We painted our master bedroom earlier this year and went with a charcoal grey, white and yellow colour scheme.  We don’t have a head board so I wanted to create some abstract geometric art to hang above the bed.  We got two big canvases out and used painter’s tape to outline the shapes.  Then we painted in the empty spaces in grey and yellow.  My husband got in on the action and we each painted a canvas. When the paint was dry, we removed the painter’s tape and voila: Art! I was very happy with the result and it only took about an hour to make!

Geometric Painting

For my friend’s 30th birthday I made this canvas for party decor (and as a bonus gift).

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We just recently finished our basement which will serve as a playroom for the next few years.  We had a very small budget so we purchased some inexpensive toy storage and used whatever other furniture we already had.

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As you can see, it’s relatively bright and cheerful (considering it’s in the basement!), but there was definitely a little something missing.  I had some extra canvases lying around so I decided to make some afternoon DIY art.

I looked up silhouettes for animals and sketched them out on paper, then cut out the shapes to create a template:

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Then I painted the canvases in four fun and vibrant colours.

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I used the cut out templates to trace a pencil line of the silhouette then painted it white.  I did 2 coats of the white to make sure the background colour didn’t show through.

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I find it really finishes the space! I also made a triangle garland using scrapbook paper in similar colours to help tie it all together.

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It really is that easy! Grab a canvas, some paint and a brush (or whatever else you want!) and start creating 🙂

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Throw Pillow Covers

Being on maternity leave means I spend the majority of my days at home; more specifically, in the family room and kitchen.  Unfortunately for my husband and our bank accounts, that means I have oodles of time to think of home decor and renovation ideas.  My current fixations are upgrading the laundry/mud room (which is in the works – stay tuned for that post) and adding colour to the kitchen and family rooms.  Both rooms share an open concept space and everything is brown. Boring, blah, brown.  We have dark brown cabinets in the kitchen (I’d LOVE light cabinets but that’s not in the budget), taupe walls, light brown tile in the kitchen, brown maple hardwood in the family room and the furniture is all brown or black.  VERY neutral.  And VERY boring.  So I’ve found some fabric to add colour to the windows and some colourful accessories for both spaces to help bring in pops of colour and liven the place up.

One great way to add colour that isn’t permanent (therefore not a huge commitment) is with throw pillows.  Enter my sewing machine!! I was excited to finally get to use some of the goodies my mother-in-law got me for Christmas (she gave me an awesome “sewing necessities” kit!). I found this awesome tutorial for very easy (read: beginner-friendly) throw pillow covers – also known as a pillow case.  It’s very simple: one piece of fabric for the front of the pillow and two pieces that overlap for the back to create the opening.  Bonus: this means it’s removable and washable.  Then it’s just a few simple stitches: hemming the edges of the pieces that will overlap, and then sewing the works of it together, good sides together.

I’d ordered these lovely fabrics from Hawthorne Threads with the intent of making throw pillows and other decorative elements for our master bedroom, but I decided to use the geometric yellow for the family room – it goes with the colour scheme we’ve chosen and I had the perfect amount of fabric for the pillows I already had on hand.

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I decided the geometric pattern and bright yellow of the middle fabric would be perfect to add some life to our family room.

After a quick run to Starbucks for a treat, I got set up on our kitchen table (because my craft room is another projectI’d like to tackle this year hehe), and went at it.

Excited to use my a new cutting pad, scissors and pins!

Excited to use my a new cutting pad, scissors and pins!

My pillows were 13×13 (in) so the dimensions I used for my fabric pieces were:

1 piece – 14×14

1 piece – 14×10

1 piece – 14×12

For some reason I couldn’t get the fabric perfectly flat with the iron but in the end that didn’t really matter. This project is so easy, I had time to cut, iron, pin and sew the works of it while the wee one napped. She’s a good napper this one! Not like her brother was. But of course, because no project of mine ever goes off without a hitch, when I’d finished sewing my second pillow, I turned it inside out only to realize I’d sewn the front piece wrong side in.  So, after kicking myself a few times, I got the seam ripper and started over.

It wasn't as bad as I thought it would be, but you can bet I'll double check before stitching from now on!

It wasn’t as bad as I thought it would be, but you can bet I’ll double check before stitching from now on!

Luckily it all came together in the end.  Considering this was by far my most rushed and sloppiest sewing job ever (for fear that I’d run out of nap time), I’m pretty pleased with how it turned out.

All done!

All done!

They look great and will help cheer me up during the cold winter days :)

They look great and will help cheer me up during the cold winter days 🙂

So there you have it, instant punch of colour! And a few lessons learned:

1) Don’t rush a sewing project;

2) ALWAYS check your pieces before you sew; and

3) When things go south:

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