Saturday, February 7, 2015

Flower Power: Stenciled Canvas Wall Art

I may have said before that while we've lived here for 2 and a half years now, we still have some wall space that is bare and in need of attention! While killing some time last weekend, Rich and I stopped at the craft store so I could pick up some project supplies, knowing a storm and also likely a snow day were in my near future.

While wandering, we came upon a stencil I really liked, a chrysanthemum- type design. The package included one outline of the outside of the flower, one detailed stencil with the petals, and one flower shape, so you could make a layered look. We picked out some light aqua and teal paint, and also some foam stencil brushes, which kind of look like a gumdrop shape foam piece on a stick.

Since I bought 4 canvasses, I wanted to make two mostly teal and two mostly aqua flowers for our wall. I was a bit hesitant about the project, since I was kind of winging it, but I am so, so pleased with the outcome!

Like other projects I've written about, this is totally customizable to fit whatever look you're going for. Well, I guess within the stencils you can find? Unless you want to freehand paint, in which case I guess you don't need my help in the least!

Anyway, if you want to make your own stenciled canvas, here's what I did:

I used painters' tape to tape the flower outline stencil centered on the canvas, and then painted the whole inside. I used acrylic craft paint- the kind you can buy for about $1.00 and in a million different colors.

I did both flowers in the darker color, then washed the stencil, and then did both in the lighter color.

I started at the edges, making sure to dot the brush straight down onto the canvas, to try to eliminate paint seeping under the edge.

Even though the brush wasn't wet, the paint bubbled a lot with that dotting motion, so I kind of had to spread it out once I covered the area, which helped the texture a lot.

I made sure to let them dry thoroughly before moving on, which didn't take long. Next, I laid the detailed flower stencil over the outline, lining up the edges. Because this stencil is made of semi-translucent material, you can see the edges to line it up.


See what I mean? It was pretty easy to line it up. Since some paint did get on the edges as I worked, I sometimes needed to wash the stencil before using it on a different canvas, but also I could sometimes leave enough unpainted edge to still see through. The paint was super easy to wash off, so it wasn't a big deal.

Because the canvas is textured, there was some show through of the bottom layer color in places. I just painted over the less opaque parts once I finished the first coat and see where the issues were.

In some spots, the paint did ooze under the stencil edge a bit, even when I was using my fingers to try to press it down onto the canvas as I worked around the flower. I took a tiny paint brush and some of the base color paint and touched up as needed with no issues.

The paint does still look a bit light in the problem spot here, but it was still wet. It dried well.

The next step was to switch colors, and put dark on top of light. I had some coverage issues with this too, but again, it was easy to add more paint where I needed it.

All of the canvasses required a bit, but not much touch up, and it made a big difference! If you are going for a more imperfect or unfinished, rustic look, you can certainly leave it as is. I knew that I would hone in on the uneven spots, so I was glad to find that fixing those little smudged spots was so easy and worked so well.

While we haven't chosen which spot we'll hang them in yet, we have a few ideas. All in all, this was such a fun and surprisingly easy snow day project! If you try stenciling, let me know! I'd love to see what you do!

Materials Breakdown:

- 4 canvasses (these are 10x10")

- Stencil of your choice (both the whole shape outline and the detailed version are needed

- Stencil brushes

- 2 colors of acrylic paint

- Painters tape

- Plate for paint

Cost Breakdown:  As always, I used coupons from my email, the craft store's app coupons, and my teacher's ID to lower the cost as much as possible.  Check for those coupons! 

- Canvasses: Originally $8 each, I paid $3.50 each

- 2 colors of acrylic paint: $1.00 each

- Foam stencil brushes: $1.00 for a pack of two smaller and two larger brushes

- Stencils: Originally $8.99, half off coupon made it $4.50

I used tape that we already had, so that was no additional cost. 

Total Project Cost: $21.50 

About $20 for a new set of unique wall art pieces is pretty reasonable!  Canvasses can always be painted over and repainted, too, so if I decide to change them up, I wouldn't have that cost again.  Also, now I won't have to buy new stencil brushes for future projects, and can certainly reuse the stencil on a tea towel, throw pillow, or to make a gift! 

What have you been doing to stay busy while being snowed in in this wild weather? Let me know below! 

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