I’ve been wanting some large photo canvases for the wall above our TV for, I don’t know, ever. Practically since we moved in. It’s been close to four years since buying this home, and the big wall behind our TV has set blank all this time. I had a really tough time justifying spending something like $30 a PIECE on the canvases I wanted…when I wanted at least 8 of them.
My friend takes amazing pictures of our family, and it’s always bummed me out that I’ve never been able to appropriately display them. So one day, I decided I was going to figure out how to fake a photo canvas once and for all. I rummaged around the garage and found some large pieces of leftover MDF from our laundry riser project. I believe it’s 3/4″ thick MDF, and I asked Tim to cut me 8 12×12″ boards using this leftover wood. I knew I could get 12×12 prints at Costco for $2.99 a piece, and I really liked the idea of squares, so that’s why I chose this size. I cropped my photos into square shapes in iPhoto and sent them off to be printed.
Once I picked them up, I collected all my supplies: Mod Podge, black acrylic paint, some foam paint brushes and a whole lotta newspaper. This was a quick Saturday morning project and it really was so easy a caveman could do it.
I chose this acrylic paint, which I have no allegiance to whatsoever, it’s just what I could get from Hobby Lobby with my 40% off coupon, making it cheap (though I can’t remember how cheap, probably in the neighborhood of $2 or $3 and I only ended up using like 1/4 to 1/2 the bottle).
I painted all the edges of each board black to keep them from looking too much like wood boards (and also because my pictures are black and white).
I also painted up onto the front of each board in case they didn’t align perfectly with the pictures (they didn’t, and I think it would be impossible to make them).
Not a perfect science at all, obviously. Can be as messy as you want because this is all getting covered up.
Then I Mod Podged all over the front of these boards so that I could adhere the pictures next.
The pictures aren’t going to line up perfectly, but you get the idea. You have a few seconds to push the picture around before the Mod Podge makes it impossible.
Then I put a layer of Mod Podge on the front of each picture to finish it off.
The Mod Podge got goopy on the side and I almost missed a few spots, so if you make these, make sure to smooth out the globs on every side.
I put them all on plates/books/whatever I had lying around to dry for a few hours.
And when they were done, they looked nice and pretty and mostly streak-free!
My hubby put these “picture hangers” (he calls them; I don’t know if they have a more proper name) on the back of each one.
And then we used the toothpaste method to make hanging them SUPER easy (well, in comparison at least). And…voila! I am so much happier with the end result than I had pictured it in my head.
It’s the perfect bold look I was going for on this wall that sat empty year after year (also: SOB! Look at that teeny, tiny newborn cutie on the upper right!)
The cost breakdown looks like this:
$1.10 per board, at 8 boards: $8.80 (hubby says it’s $35 for a full 4×8′ sheet of 3/4″ thick MDF, and you could get 32 12×12 boards from that)
8 pictures at $2.99 each: $23.92
Mod Podge at roughly $5 or so for the bottle (I used most of the small bottle)
Acrylic paint at, let’s just say $3 a bottle for 1/2 the bottle: $1.50
A couple of foam brushes: $0.60 or so
8 picture hangers at about $0.09 each: (you can get 100 for $8.75 here): $0.70
The TOTAL cost would be about $41 for 8 photo canvases, or $5 a piece! It cost me about $25 because I already had the boards, the foam brushes, the picture hangers and I used 40 or 50% off coupons for the paint and Mod Podge.
When you consider that 12×12″ canvases run a minimum of $25 a PIECE, that would be about $200 at the minimum for 8 of these canvases, for a savings of about $160!