Friday, August 12, 2011

DIY art project

I have been wanting to update our living room for a while now, but I wasn't sure what to do.  One of the main things I was wanting to do was get some new art work for above the couch.  I had a few ideas in my head but I was too picky and couldn't find anything that I loved.  One day we were shopping at Flatirons mall, and we walked into this really fancy store, and I saw exactly what I wanted.  It was like 3 wooden canvases with bird and branch silhouettes.  It was perfect!!!...but it was $600!  That was a little out of my price range...actually a lot.  So Johnny and I decided that we could make it ourselves.  So as I distracted the store lady, Johnny pulled out his phone and took a pic of the art (which I'm sure is not allowed in a fancy store like that!)  Here is the pic of the art from the store.

So off we went to Home Depot to get the supplies for our new project.  Here are the step by step instructions on how to make a beautiful, wooden canvas art project!

Step 1- Take your crippled husband to Home Depot to pick up some wood! Hehe :)  
You need: 
-rectangle piece of plywood, and get a Home Depot person to cut it into thirds for you
-3 1x2 pieces of wood (the long ones on Johnny's shoulder in the second pic)
-wood glue
-wood stain (whichever color you prefer)
-picture hangers
-black paint
-little paintbrushes
-wipe on poly
-sand paper 
Step 2- Measure out your 1x2's so that they act like a frame for the back of your plywood pieces. Cut 'em up.

Step 4- Check on your kid and make sure she's out of the way! If you have a kid, that is.
Step 5- Glue the frame pieces to the back of your plywood pieces and then nail them down.  (Make sure your plywood pieces fit together like a puzzle with the grain of the wood and everything.)
Frames are on!
Step 6- Sand those babies down!  You want them to be smooth and pretty.
Step 7- If you have more than one option for stains, try them out on the back of one of your canvases.  We chose the lighter one of the two because then the bird silhouettes would show up better.

Step 7- Wipe on the stain with an old cloth.  We did two coats just to get a richer color. Let it dry!
Step 8- Once its dry, use a pencil to draw your design.  I used the bird design, but we also saw some other cool designs like a world map, and a tree.  The options are endless!
Step 9- Start painting those birdies!  This was my favorite part.  Then, let it dry.
Step 10- Now comes the fun part...NOT!  Once the black paint is dry, use some ultra fine grit sand paper and go over each canvas very lightly, just smoothing some of the little bumps.  Once thats done, wipe on some poly with a cloth.  Let it dry.
Now treat this step like lasagna...keep layering it on!  I think we probably did around 8 coats total.
Step 11- Hang those beauties up!  It might be a little challenging, because in our case the Home Depot guy didn't cut each piece exactly the same it just takes a little extra measuring, but no big deal. Its worth it, look at that art! Woo!


  1. Marcy, you are amazing! I love everything about this!! - Bridget

  2. Oh! I love it! I love this post too! The picture of Johnny is so great!