Friday, 12 August 2011

Easy Art

Council clean-up is one of my favourite things in my neighbourhood.  There are just mountains of junk lining the streets (I mean, really mountains - taller than me!) and on the Saturday evening before collection, people wander the streets rifling through them.  Some people seem very organised, some not so much.

An old cat bed gets taken... cat bed mysteriously makes its way back to our front verge a day later...  And a broken cricket bat has appeared... Along with a kid's play set!

I think I literally gasped aloud when I saw three gigantic canvases in front of someone's house.  One was so much taller than me that I couldn't physically move it down the street, but the other two I tripped and teetered my way back with...

I was going to make art!

But then I noticed that the uhh... "canvas" part wasn't really canvas, it was a gauze-like fabric that of course paint seeps through and, well... this was not going to work!

But I still had giant frames and very big very blank walls...

So, I made fabric canvases instead.  Super easy to do, only takes about an hour and - ta da! - instant wall art!

If you aren't as lucky as me to score some free frames, they are actually not that difficult to make.

Once you have a frame...

... Line up your print so that it's straight otherwise it looks a bit wonky once you hang it even though it's not (I didn't pay enough attention to that with the first one as you can see...)

Then I used tape to hold it in place...

... Hot glued all the way down the back, keeping the fabric taut... (you go through a LOT of hot glue on a canvas this size!)

You can tack in some nails for reinforcement on the corners and sides or if you have a staple gun just skip the glue and use a bunch of staples!

Then add a string to the back for hanging using screws....



  1. This looks awesome. I've been trying to do something like this but the fabric is really hard to stretch without it bunching up. Any tips? Either way, you did a great job!


  2. Thanks Bekah! The approach I took (and I haven't made canvases in a while or without a staple gun before...) was to basically align one top corner and stick some scotch tape to hold it in place. Then work along the top keeping it straight taping the fabric, then each of the sides, then lastly turn it on the side to get the bottom.

    Using the tape was good to get the tension right and means you can re-adjust and re-align if it's crooked. I also found it's easier to not have a lot of excess fabric along the back of the canvas, but from memory when using a staple gun you do want a little extra.

    Hope that helps... let me know how you go!

    PS love your blog - I'll be using your tutorial to quickly take-up my jeans soon!