Thursday, March 15, 2012

Canvas Photo Art Made from a Cracker Box

I have seen several blog posts recently that showed you how to decoupage a picture onto a canvas so as to avoid spending a bunch of money having the Walgreens photo department or whatever do it for you. What I haven't seen posted is making making a canvas-like photo from an old box! I am not sure where the inspiration for this one came from. I love to decoupage anything, so that must be part of it.

So I will admit that completing this project took me more than a little trial and error. All the better for you to learn from my mistakes! I have had it in mind for a while to frame a few of our wedding/engagement photos, because I haven't done much with them even though our three year anniversary is coming up in September. A quick note on whether to get your photo printed at a photo center: I thought about doing so, but I was impatient, and since I have a new printer and I had made the photo black and white, I decided the quality would be fine and that regular paper would be easier to decoupage onto the sides of the box. Plus, since I printed it out and threw it away about ten times while I figured this out, I was really glad I didn't. What you need for this project:

-a box, like a cereal or cracker box depending on how big you want your "canvas" to be
-Elmers glue or Modge Podge
-Paint brush
-Printed photo (more on this below)
-Some yarn if you want to make a hanger for the back
-Scotch tape

I started with this picture, and gave it a black "mat" in Photoshop. I made the picture itself about 1/2 an inch shorter than my box on each side, which was 5 1/2x6". I had started trying to size the photo exactly to the box, but had no luck getting that just right.

Next, I cut around the entire mat. I knew it was going to be a little big, but wanted to err on the side of caution. I cut it too small a few times and nobody likes to print things out over and over again. Next, I took my ruler and marked lightly in pencil what 5 1/2" and 6" should look on the corresponding sides so I could line up where the mat ended and the sides began.

To make my canvas, I carefully opened the top and bottom of the box, and cut out new sides that were about 3/4" thick, like so. Trim the edges so they all line up neatly, and then tape the corners together so it forms a canvas shape. Make sure to tape with the shiny printed side in.

Then I lined up my marks with the sides of the box and folded them over, sort of like a package. Make sure the black space around the top and bottom of your mat is even.

I had a little overlap on each side, so I wrapped the leftover over the edges of the box so I knew how much to cut off. I just pulled the paper and cut around my folded "mark."

To stick my photo on, I started spreading my glue over the top and sides, then carefully replaced my folded paper and smoothed it out so it wouldn't be lumpy. Once it's smooth, spread some glue inside the flap of your folders corners and make sure those get glued down smoothly. To finish, spread a thin layer of glue over the top and sides of the picture. This will make it shiny and give it brush marks like a canvas might have.  Let dry overnight.

If you're me, you might decide to decoupage over the shiny part of your box the first time around. Don't do this:
Mmm crackers behind our picture!
Here is my real complete canvas. It is hanging in my hallway because it doesn't have a real home yet.

If you want to make a hanger, cut a piece of yarn and hot glue it tightly to each side, like so, and then tape each end securely down the side so it doesn't pop out.

Loving this (basically free) project! I think I am going to make a group of three to hang on our currently theme-less second bedroom/office wall. The beauty of this one is you could change it out frequently with no guilt. Yay recycling!

1 comment:

  1. Basically free is always good :) Great creative little project