Friday, 30 January 2015

I Love You Canvas DIY

Ahh, Valentine's Day. The day of love, excessive PDAs, and overpriced meals at over-crowded restaurants. Out of all the holidays, Valentine's Day is probably my least favorite...but, I do still celebrate every year.

L & I moved into a new apartment just before all of the hub bub of the Christmas holidays, and we are still trying to get totally settled. One of the best things about the new place is that we scored an awesome electric fireplace with a perfect mantle that is just constantly begging to be decorated!! I agonized over how to arrange everything just perfectly for Christmas, but in the end it looked so awesome that I decided I needed to keep it decorated for every season and holiday. Of course, never having had a mantle to decorate before, this means a lot of seasonly DIYs for me this year...and I couldn't be more stoked!

All of the pretty Valentine's Day decorations started coming out in stores almost immediately after Christmas; I put off even looking at them for weeks because I didn't want to have to accept that Christmas was over. But when I did finally start looking, I was shocked at how much people were charging...$20 for a wreath I could make myself for under $5?! I thought I was going to pass out! So, naturally I decided I would make my Valentine's decor, starting with this precious "I love U" banner print.

What I used for this project:
9" x 12" stretched canvas
Martha Stewart satin finish paint in Lake Fog
Clear gloss varnish
Frog Tape chevron painter's tape
White card stock
Black and red chevron Washi tape
Burlap scrapbook paper
Square paper punch
Stamps and ink pads (black and pink)

To start, I painted my canvas with three coats of Martha Stewart multi-surface satin finish paint in Lake Fog. Once the paint is totally dry, tape off your canvas in horizontal stripes; I used a chevron painter's tape because it so nicely matched with the washi tape I chose, but regular straight tape would work just as well. Once you're all taped up, paint on two coats of gloss varnish to the exposed stripes; you can skip this step if you wish, but I think it gives the finished print a nice bit of depth.

While the varnish was drying, I made my little bunting flags. I had some left over strips of white card stock that I put to use; I used it to back my flags in order to give them a little bit of structure. I laid down strips of washi tape (that I got on clearance at Michael's!), about 3" long; I cut off the excess card stock, and used my square punch to cut out small triangles from the bottom of each strip to make the flag. For the burlap flags, I cut a strip of burlap scrapbook paper (about 2" x 8") and glued it to the white card stock using Aleene's Stop Fraying fabric glue; you can use whatever glue you have on hand, but I find this one gives a good sturdy finish, and it prevents those super annoying fabric strings from popping out everywhere.

Once the glue dried on the burlap flags, I stamped on my Valentine's Day sentiment. I used a pigment ink for my stamps, but because of the texture of the burlap, there were lots of spaces in the finished product; if you like the look of that (and I am sure there are people who will), feel free to leave the stamped image as is. I personally wanted a more finished look, so I filled in the spaces using Sharpies that matched my ink colours.

After doing all of this, all of the pieces to the project were complete...I just had to put them together to actually make something! I glued a piece of baker's twine to my canvas in a zig-zag pattern from top to bottom (anchoring the twine to the back of the canvas), and hot glued my flags to the twine. Simple as that! I decided to frame up the whole thing, to give it a more finished look, and to make sure that it stays looking just as gorgeous for many years to come; framing is absolutely not necessary, just do whatever you think looks best!

What do you guys think? What is your favorite way to prepare for Valentine's Day?

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