Thursday, March 15, 2012

DIY Canvas Sign

I'm sure a lot of people have refused to jump on the Pinterest band wagon simply because it is another social networking fad.  And, although I was hesitant to join for that very reason, I'm so glad I decided to steer clear of the twitter sensation and becoming a Pinterest(er) instead.  My husband, who is currently in grad school studying Psychology, told me recently that creating things is a sign of mental health.  So, thanks Babe. Does this mean you won't mind if I clutter your office with stickers and glue guns and that dreaded sewing machine I'm still afraid to touch?
Since discovering Pinterest (follow me here) last fall, I've attempted a dozen or so new projects- in honor of Young House Love and the great Pinterest Challenge they put on each season.  They encourage their readers to move on from "oohing and ahhhing" at projects and to actually "DO" them. Some of my DIY projects have been a great success while others have just been so/so.  When we moved into our new house last month, I immediately knew I needed to create something that would cover the strange, empty, there-should-have-been-another-cabinet-there spot in our kitchen.

Pinterest has been booming with all sorts of "family rules" and DIY canvas signs.  I've been eyeing them for months.  At points I even researched several that I like on Etsy and my finger may have wavered over the purchase button once or twice.  I just never could bring myself to pay the $60+ price tag that often comes with them.

So, I finally got brave enough to try one on my own.  During a recent trip to Trader Joes, my cousin found this Virginia Woolf quote and I fell in love with it.  Never mind the fact that in real life Virginia Woolf committed suicide by filling her dress pockets with rocks and jumping into a river. Clearly, she didn't get the food she was talking about when she quotes this.

Regardless, I'm a strong believer in  feeding the people I love ridiculously delicious food. I'm usually only satisfied if they go away swooning.  So, I set out to put this quote on canvas.  My inspiration and instruction ideas came from Nothingbutbonfires and BrassyApple.

1. I started off by trying different stickers out on a piece of paper.  I searched high and low and finally found the ones I wanted at Michaels.  *Note, they were NOT in the normal sticker aisle.  
I wanted to make sure that that it would work to peel them off and that the color wouldn't bleed through.  The black sticker was too sticky and broke off as I tried to peel it.  The red sticker peeled perfectly but left a little bit of paint that had bled through.  I decided to take my chances and go with the red stickers and planned to paint over any color with white.  
3. Next, I cut boxes around each letter so that I could display them on the canvas to get an idea of where they would each be placed.
4.When each of the letters were placed, I used a ruler to draw straight lines with a pencil so that there wouldn't be any slanting.  I re-placed the stickers on to see how they would work with the new lines.
5.Once I was certain I had each of the letters/words where I wanted them, I began to peel and stick them on.  It was much easier to see if the lines were crooked once the letters were peeled and stuck on. I enlisted the help of JB to help fix my lines.  At this point, I was starting to see triple of every letter.  
6. Once each of the letters was securely on the canvas, we moved on to the spray paint.  The idea to spray paint inside of a box (also from Pinterest) was so that the paint wouldn't spray out onto the floor, walls, etc.
This is what happens when you arm me with toxic spray paint at late hours of the night. 
7.The next morning I sprayed the sides and bottom of the canvas.  That afternoon, I peeled the stickers off and we got this:

I'm absolutely thrilled with how it turned out.  Below, is a side view of our canvas hanging.  Please excuse my bombshell of a kitchen.  I took this immediately after attempting my own version of "The Cupcake Wars".
I am pretty thrilled with how this canvas turned out.  Although it was a time consuming project, it was well worth it.  In total this project cost me $20 compared to the $60-$80 I would have paid to have someone else make one for me.  It also feels great to have something hanging in our home that we put our own time and energy into to make "ours".  Maybe I'll try my own family rules board next...


  1. We got a 'Family Rules' canvas from TJ Maxx for only $15 dollars last summer! I don't know if they would still have it. Just thought I would throw that out there in case you don't want to attempt it :) Although I think you should add this sign you made to your Etsy store!

  2. I have seen those Kristen, I've been tempted to buy one but we sat down and came up with our own rules and would really like a customized one.

  3. Looks great! Hey, would you be up for helping me sand and spray paint a little table some time?

  4. Absolutely lily! I have a stepstool I've been wanting to do myself... we could work on them together?

  5. Ohhh... I know that craft-crazed look well! LOL! Great job.