A blank canvas. For some artists and crafters a blank canvas is a dream; a fresh slate full of possibilities just waiting to be discovered. For some, though, a blank canvas induces fear and uncertainty. Well, fear no more. Today I’m going to talk to you about how versatile and easy it can be to use canvases in your arts and craft projects.
A stretched canvas is simply canvas fabric that has been stretched and mounted to its frame and then covered in gesso. Gesso is an acrylic paint primer and primes the canvas for any material that you use on it. When you purchase your stretched canvas, it’s ready for you to create whatever you can imagine.
I recently created this scrapbook layout using a 16×20 canvas.
You can read the full tutorial here. This project started with a good quality canvas from Consumer Crafts. In creating this project I used acrylic paint on the canvas and the canvas accepted the paint really well. Paint is one of the most traditional ways to use a canvas. In addition to using paint on canvas, you can use mod podge to glue papers of any kind to your canvas. You can use ink on canvas and stamp or emboss on your canvas. Canvases come in a various shapes and sizes and I’ve created a variety of projects using them. Here are some of my favorite ideas for canvas projects:
- print a large photo at least 1-2 inches larger than your canvas. Use Krylon spray adhesive to mount your photo to the canvas and be sure to adhere it to the edges of the canvas, too. Now you’ve created a stretched canvas photo at a fraction of the cost of a professional stretched canvas print.
- Use spray adhesive or Mod Podge to cover a stretched canvas with your favorite patterned paper or fabric. Create 3 or 5 of these and hang on a wall for an instant splash of color.
- Give your child a blank canvas and acrylic paint or finger paints and let them paint whatever their heart desires. Even toddlers can create custom gifts of art for loved ones (just be sure to use non-toxic paints with little ones). Another great kid project is to have them make handprints on the canvas.
- Use your Cricut and contact paper (sticky backed shelf liner) and create custom subway art that is such a hot trend right now. Cut out letters with your Cricut and the contact paper to spell words of your choice. Paint your entire canvas the color you want your letters/words to be. Once your canvas is dry, stick your letters to your canvas and then paint your canvas the color that you want your background to be. Once dry, remove your letters with a craft knife and you’ve got a custom piece of art.
- If you want to paint a “picture” but don’t think you have the skills, use templates and stencils with a regular lead pencil and draw your shapes and pictures onto the canvas using your stencil as a guide. Once you’ve drawn your picture, just color inside the lines.
You can do just about anything on stretched canvas that you can do on paper. Don’t be afraid of “messing up”. If you hate what you’ve created, all you need to do is get another canvas or paint Gesso over your canvas and you’ve got a clean slate once again! I hope these ideas get your imagination flowing and shows you the versatility of canvases. Now go get a canvas and get creative!Google+