Thursday, January 3, 2013

Affordable DIY Art #1

I don’t know about you, but I am constantly wanting to change and rearrange what is hanging on my walls. Well actually I am constantly wanting to change and rearrange pretty much everything in my apartment, but that’s a story for another day. In order to satisfy my attention deficit design personality on a budget, I have DIY’ed the majority of the art in my apartment. While this may sound difficult, I assure you it is not. I have the hand eye coordination of a hippo with approximately 15 years of experience picking daisies in right field to back it up. In other words, if I can do it anyone can do it.

I will eventually get through all of the DIY art I have made, but I am going to dedicate a post to each one so as not to overwhelm you.

"Listening to you talk about your DIY art is exhausting."

We will start with the first DIY art I ever made, since I enjoy doing things in chronological order. I refer to this piece as "fabric-wrapped canvas" - the first installation in what will posthumously be referred to as my "beige period".

I made this canvas the year I finished undergrad and moved into my first off-canvas off-campus apartment. The original version still hangs on my walls today, but I have definitely considered changing out the fabric more than a few times. Fortunately for me, as long as you buy cheap-ish fabric, it is easy and affordable to update this art at any time. I used this Marimekko fabric from Ikea (which was a leftover sample my mom had), but you can also find cheap fabrics at Spoonflower,, or the sale bins of any local fabric store (Joann, Hancock, Calico Corners, etc.). Just make sure you get something with a big repeat if you are doing a large canvas. Small-scale patterns will be too overwhelming on a bigger piece.

Here are some examples of fabrics that I think would work well. Click on the titles below the pictures for links to purchase.




Britten Nummer


Vintage Blossom

And here are the highly-complex instructions.

DIY Fabric-Wrapped Canvas

Materials Required:
1 blank canvas of any size (find these at Michael's or any art supply store)
Enough fabric to cover the canvas
Staple gun

1. Arrange fabric on canvas with a slight overlap on each of the four sides
2. Use staple gun to secure fabric to wood frame of canvas on all four sides, wrapping the corners like you would wrap a present

That's it! Two measly steps. I will be back soon with instructions on how to create the abstract piece below, which I painted over the holiday break for around $20. So. Freakin. Easy.

Side note: I apologize for the heinously lit pictures of my 2 pieces of art. I took them in the evening sans natural lighting. I promise the real things are much better looking! Por ejemplo, here is a better pic of the abstract art as displayed on my mantle in the daytime.

Have you made any DIY art recently? Bought anything exciting to adorn your walls?


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