I have a billion and one hobbies, or at least it seems that way. I have many talented artistic and musical family members and relatives so I like to think that it runs in our blood. I really hope that Baby G inherits and enjoys my crafty and musical abilities 🙂
Artist canvases can be really expensive to buy. Making your own is much cheaper and gives you unlimited size options. Many years ago, I used a 40% off coupon at Michael’s Craft Store and bought a huge roll of primed canvas that is over four feet wide and six yards long – that is going to make a LOT of canvases! Canvas stretcher bars are inexpensive and easy to use. You buy four of whatever size you choose, slide them together, and secure the joints with a staple gun. I spent less than $8 on the bars for my custom 14 x 16 canvas.
Once your frame is together, you simply need to cut and staple gun the canvas to the frame. Look at a ready-made canvas to see how to cut and fold the corners for a professional appearance. Stretch the canvas as tight as you can but don’t worry about getting it drum tight. There is a product called “Canvas Tite” that will help you out with that. Simply brush Canvas Tite on the back of your finished canvas, let it dry, and the canvas will shrink to a perfect tight fit – it doesn’t get any easier than that!
I chose colors that match my friend’s nursery and changed the airplane to a silhouette of a C-17 cargo plane which is what her husband flies. The background is the only thing I did freehand. The letters and the plane were printed out on paper and then traced onto the painted background using an art projector or carbon transfer paper. Once the outlines are lightly traced, it’s a matter of painting between the lines and adding detail.
When the painting was completely dry, I finished it with a coat of Krylon Kamar Varnish. This is a non-yellowing varnish for oil, acrylic, or watercolor art. It has a slight sheen to it but it isn’t glossy, and it dries quickly for lasting protection.
Dream BIG, baby girl!