Know what’s nuts? We’re officially at the age where all of our friends are having kids. Scroll down our Facebook pages and it’s basically an endless stream of pregnant women standing sideways holding their bellies. It’s bananas. Apparently we all became adults and didn’t realize it. That fact really hits home this weekend when my brother and his wife have their first baby. And Auntie Leena really, really wanted to make something for the occasion.
Now, we already hit up the stores and did a little shopping for the niece, but nothing felt personal enough. We’ve been DIYing so much over the past year that we didn’t feel right about not physically making something. So this weekend, we threw a little something-something together to hang in the nursery and we like it.
This entire project is inspired by some song lyric art we found on Pinterest. We just put our own twist on it. (You can check out the original at A Beautiful Mess.)
Here’s what we picked up from a craft store for our project:
- 11×14 stretched canvas
- 3″ adhesive letters
- Glossy white spray paint
- Mod Podge
- Sponge applicator
- Patterned tissue paper
We went with a vintage-looking purple and white floral pattern because that’s the nursery’s color palette.
We did a test run to see how everything would look. Basically, you stick some adhesive letters to the paper, then spray paint the entire surface. After the paint dries, you carefully peel off the letters so reveal the pattern underneath. We chose the letters, C, O & P and stuck them to our paper:
We gave it a coat of spray paint:
And peeled up the letters after the paint dried:
The word COP was randomly chosen, but now that we think about it, it might not be a bad idea to whip up some COP art and keep it in the car. You know. In case we need to bribe our way out of a speeding ticket or something. Bat some eyelashes, put a canvas out from the glove box, do a little eyebrow waggling, give a wink. …we’d probably end up in jail.
Anyway, we were satisfied with the way the test run worked, so we went for it. First step: adhere the paper to the canvas using Mod Podge.
We were totally OK with wrinkles and air bubbles, because they’ll add some texture to the canvas. That being said, we didn’t want huge air bubbles, so we used the sponge applicator to smoosh the paper down against the canvas as much as we could. We also followed the instructions on the back of the Mod Podge bottle to a T. We did 3 coats of Mod Podge and gave it 15 minutes to dry in between.
Here’s what it looked like after 3 coats and an hour of dry time:
Air bubbles, creases and wrinkles are ok in our book.
So are brush strokes. We purposely ran the sponge applicator in different directions to get some extra texture in there.
Next step: throw some words out there. We decided to do the baby’s name repeated in a stacked row.
We used a triangle and a ruler to get everything lined up. The N’s were, by far, the toughest letters to lay down straight.
We curled the letters around the top and bottom ends of the canvas:
We ran out of O’s so we used some Q’s for the top and bottom. Shh! It’ll be our little secret.
Then we gave the canvas 4 thin, even coats of glossy white spray paint:
See how the flowers are still visible through the white spray paint? That’s completely by accident. The craft store we went to didn’t carry any of the normal spray paints we get (Valspar, Krylon, etc). They only carried this cheapie brand:
We yelled DO IT! before every coat.
The cheap spray paint turned out to be really horrible. It oversprayed so badly that our grass looks like this now:
And it went on so thin that it took 4 coats (aka the entire can of spray paint) and we could still see the floral pattern. We weren’t sure how we felt about it. Would there be enough contrast? Would the letters even really show up? Only one way to find out:
We waited for the spray paint to dry and then peeled up the letters. There was plenty of contrast. And, since we went with spray paint instead of acrylic, we got crisp, clean lines for the letters. So in the end, we really liked the way the flowers show through the whole canvas.
Here’s how the finished piece looks:
It’s pretty abstract looking until you get up close and see this:
We let the canvas dry overnight. The next day, we flipped it over to paper the back and add a picture hanger:
We gave it another 24 hours to really cure. Then we wrapped it up in tissue paper and put it with all the other baby presents that we didn’t think were personal enough to count. I’ll be delivering them tomorrow. And hopefully my sister-in-law will also be delivering tomorrow. Squee! Fingers crossed for a quick & easy trip to the hospital for her.
This entire project took, maybe, 4 hours from start to finish, minus the drying time. We love how the whole thing can be totally different just by swapping out the paper used for the background and the spray paint used for the foreground. And it doesn’t have to be a name. You could do song lyrics, a quote you like, a passage from a favorite book, whatever. The possibilities are endless.
We like the look so much that we plan on making one for our house, too. We love the idea of having a HUGE canvas with a really graphic, bold, neon background and a black foreground. We’ll post that when we get around to it. In the meantime, we have a bunch of other projects to share. We’ll be back soon — stay tuned!