Friday, March 11, 2011

canvas mod podge tutorial

how have i not posted this yet? i know lots of people asked for this tutorial, and i just never posted it. sorry about that. here goes....



this project is extremely simple and a bit complex at the same time. mostly, you just need to prepare and make sure everything is to your liking before you go ahead with the wet and sticky mod podge. 

all you'll need is: 1 plain wrapped canvas, 1 foam paintbrush (the wider the better, i say), mod podge, a bowl for the mod podge, and paper cut to your liking. i also like to have some wipes on hand as my fingers get really sticky and i like to occasionally clean them off throughout the process. but definitely not necessary.
for my backgrounds, i like 4-5 different patterns of paper, all in the same color family. different textures work great too. for the actual picture, i still like to keep it simple, keeping in similar color families or patterns. that said, i often use the scraps i have on hand so that rule doesn't always apply. just play around with the papers to make sure you like them in advance.

step 1...
cut the background pieces into smallish squares and rectangles. nothing fancy, random is best.

step 2...
arrange the pieces on the canvas to your liking. remember, if you don't like how it looks, NOW is the time to change it as nothing is permanent!

step 3...
pour the mod podge into the bowl and start sticking. i work from the outside in. i often move the pieces, all arranged, next to the canvas, so i can put them on in the right order without getting everything messy. you can be generous with the mod podge. paint the back, then stick it on and paint the front. be sure to get all the air bubbles out and if you're working with a lightweight paper, don't take too much time, the paper will get wet and start to tear. just work quickly!

step 4...
when all the pieces are in place, paint the entire canvas with a coat of mod podge, making sure that the brush strokes are all in the same direction and there are no air bubbles. let dry. (i usually wait overnight.)
step 5...
arrange the animal (or other image) to your liking. as before, change whatever you don't like now, before you stick it on permanently. (trick: i often use things from my house as stencils for circles and other shapes that need to be accurate, e.g., spice bottles and bowls or glasses are great for circles).

step 6...
start sticking. remember to work from the bottom up. for this bird, i did the tail feathers, the legs and the beak first, the body next, and finally the wing and the eye. 

step 7...
paint the entire canvas with another layer of mod podge. don't skimp. and try to keep the brush strokes in the same direction. press out any air bubbles from the animal and then let dry completely. a full day should do the trick. it could be dry to the touch, but still tacky, so it really is worth it to take the time to let it dry completely. 

voile! i nailed metal hanging strips to the back of mine for them to be displayed on a wall, but you can display however you'd like.

7 comments:

JourneyBeyondSurvival said...

Eggsellent. Good job! I love these as they're so colorful, yet so simple I feel like I could complete it with my sanity intact. Unlike most of my hobbies from my previous life.

Cheryl and William said...

Maren- you truly do have such an artistic touch. These truly are some of the most ADORABLE pieces of kids bedroom decor I have ever seen! You DEFINITELY should sell these- I would buy them for sure! And so many of your other handmade items. Your tutorial makes it seem so easy but I know that it is your cute style that makes it over the top adorable :-)

Matt and Lindsay Bauman said...

Maren! You never cease to amaze me. These are absolutely adorable. You're so talented. Thanks for sharing I always like to find little projects to do while Bailey is napping. So cute!!

The MacDonald Family said...

These are amazing!!! I'm serious, you need to sell these! I'd buy for sure. Thanks for sharing, you make it look easy, I might actually attempt it although I have a feeling it's not going to come out quite as awesome. :)

Shari said...

Hi Maren,

You don't know me but I found your blog through your cousin (Rachel Uffens), my wonderful friend and neighbor across the street. I'd never seen your blog before last night but I was bored and started blog stalking and I saw that you had posted this tutorial and I got SO excited! I LOVE what you've made and I actually ran out to Michael's and bought the paper and canvas (I had the Mod Podge and the foam brushes). Thank you SOOOOO much for posting this and giving me a project that I can maybe attempt without messing up too bad! Your family is beautiful and I love reading about little Leah. You are an amazing woman! You are welcome to check out my blog anytime at all!

xo ~Shari Hoffman

ed and kelli said...

why have i never seen the elephant??

Ashley DeMille said...

I am totally going to copy that! Thanks for the great idea!