Sunday, May 9, 2010

happy mother's day!

happy mother's day to all you mommies out there. keep up the good work at the hardest job around!

about a week ago, we got a new ballard catalog and my mom pointed out a couple of prints that she liked. (click any picture in this post for a larger version)


super cute, but those bad boys are $119 each (at 16"x20")! a teensy bit out of our price range. i want to show you how i made my own version (12"x12") for less than $15.

on thursday night, having no mother's day present yet, it occurred to me: i could probably make something similar to those prints with stuff i have around the house!

supplies you'll need:

12x12 canvas
plain white cardstock
color printer
spray adhesive
file, sandpaper, whatever to distress edges of canvas
mod podge or elmer's/generic white glue
foam brush
dirt (yes, from your yard!)

1. so, using photoshop and vintage images (from, i created my egg image. i used the eggs, a creamy old paper looking background and some text brushes to simulate the text on the originals.

2. i printed the final image and an image of my mom and i when i was about a year old onto cardstock. (this gives a more faded, vintagey look than photo paper, and i like it.). then i used my cutter to cut the excess paper off the images.

3. if you printed your images on an inkjet printer, you will need to spray them with spray adhesive and let them dry. otherwise, they'll bleed when you move to the decoupage step.

4. while your spray adhesive is drying, you can prep your canvas. i didn't have any gesso, so i sprayed the canvas with a high adhesion primer, then 3 or so coats of krylon spray paint in satin ivory i think. it's a creamy color and i know it was satin.

5. after your paint is reasonably dry, you can apply your cutouts. spray the backs with spray adhesive, giving them a good coat (and following the manufacturer's directions of course) and then apply them to your canvas. (you should figure out where you want them to go before you put the adhesive on.) i would recommend at this point flipping the canvas over and weighing down to ensure good, even adhesion. don't forget to weigh down the center of the canvas, too. let this set for as long as the manufacturer recommends.

6. now for the fun stuff! first distress the edges of your canvas with your file, sand paper, concrete driveway, whatever you've got! you don't want to ruin it, you just want to rough it up and make it look worn.

7. now take your dirt and play. i find a wetter consistency worked better for the very edges of the canvas, but just play. if you get something too dark, use a damp rag to wipe up the excess. don't forget the sides of the canvas!

8. now you can give the canvas a good decoupage. wet your foam brush and squeeze out most of the water. you want the brush damp, but not wet. now load it up with your medium (mod podge, elmer's white glue, generic white glue) and start spreading a nice thick coat of glue all over the canvas, including the sides (so every thing looks uniform). (don't worry, it will dry clear!!)

9. repeat step number 8 a few times until your photos are well secured and protected. if you like, you can add more dirt in between coats. if you add the dirt while the decoupage medium is still somewhat tacky, you'll get better adhesion and again, a damp rag will help if you overdo it.

10. let it dry thoroughly, give it to your mom, and watch her cry with joy! at least, that's what my mom did. :)

final product:


this is where my mom has it displayed right now until she finds it a permanent home. isn't it cute how she put the bird in front of it?


i'd estimate the project costs as:

$10 or so for the canvas, maybe less. but use a coupon or wait until a store has them for 50% off.
$.25-$.50 for your printing costs
<$.10 for your paper
$1 for a generic bottle of glue, and you won't need it all.
$.25 for a foam brush (cheaper if you buy in bulk, and for goodness sake, rinse them out and reuse!!)
<$.25 for the spray adhesive you'll need
<$.50 for the paint you'll use
<$.75 for the primer you'll need
your dirt should be free ;)

for a grand total of...$13.35. for a pretty close replica of a $120 piece of art. that you can totally customize to your tastes, your colors, etc. pretty sweet.

whatever you do, don't be intimidated by this project. this was my first decoupage experience, and i found it to be easy and fairly forgiving. just play and have fun. even a "mistake" that i made, my mom and dad thought was cool!

please share your results if you try!!

i shared this project at somewhat simple's mother's day strut your stuff. check out all the entries for some great examples of wonderful mother's day gifts!

SYS Mothers Day

i shared this project at blue cricket design's show and tell for 5/12. check out all the beautiful entries!

Show and Tell ORANGE

i shared this project at somewhat simple's stut your stuff thursday for 5/13. be sure to stop by and look at all the entries. there's always such a varied selection of items, and they are all beautiful!


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