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DIY Canvas Pictures!

My  house. It lacks decorations. In a MAJOR way. So much so that I left up a few Christmas items just so there was something.

I’ve been dying to get our last family pictures (of our new family) up somewhere. I dreamed of canvas prints hung above my couch and adorning the wall above my headboard.

I pinched my pennies and prepared to make the ..gulp.. leap into buying canvas prints. (Have you SEEN the price for those things?)

But then, Pinterest wandered into my life.

There were tutorials GALORE of how to make your on canvas prints. I knew it wouldn’t be the same thing as a stretched canvas picture, but the cost savings was enough to convince me that those things didn’t really matter anymore.

A friend of mine suggested ordering prints in ‘linen’ texture and it was such a fantastic idea. I LOVE the extra texture on them. To be honest, I didn’t research prices as much as I should have. Nations Lab had a sale going on and I just BOUGHT! The quality (and shipping) was FANTASTIC!

I had the perfect day when it was stormy and SNOWY outside and Miles was at his dad’s so I dug in!

I chose 2 – 12×12’, 2 – 16×20’s and 1 big 24×30

First I had to trim just a littttle bit of the edges of all of the pictures, so they would fit just on the front of all of the canvases.

I painted all of the edges, a little bit of the back and a little bit on the front with a black gloss acrylic paint. Then waited for it to dry. (waiting is the WORST part!)ry.

When it was dry I painted a layer of Mod Podge onto the canvas, making sure to get all the way to the edges. I also painted the back of the prints. (I tried to skip putting the Mod Podge on the back, it doesn’t work. You HAVE to do that part)

I let them dry just a little (until tacky) then put the print on the front of the canvas.  Making sure to rub all the bubbles out. I would put the print on, then flip the canvas over so it was flat on the table and rub all the bubbles out that way. Repeat with all of the pictures and canvases.

I then painted a layer of Mod Podge over all the canvases and the edges.

This part is always so scary. When your beautiful picture is all milky, you start to panic. Don’t worry, it’ll dry perfectly clear. I made sure to keep all my brush strokes in the same direction.  At this point I wondered if the extra price for the linen texture was worth it.

While I very UNpatiently waited for them to dry and clear up.

After they were dry I used a circle sponge brush to put a little black glossy paint on the edges just to tie it all in.

What do you think???

Cost: (if I were to buy the canvas prints and not make them)
I compiled the LEAST expensive canvas prints from various websites. (this DOES NOT include shipping..)

12×12 $31.99 x 2 = $63.98
16×20 $44.99 x2= $89.98
24×30 72.99
TOTAL (i didnt spend..): $226.95

Cost to make all the canvases:
All Canvases: (purchased at Hobby Lobby on sale or with 40% off coupon) $30.99
Prints: (purchased 40% off at Nations Lab in LINEN texture) $52.88
Supplies: Mod Podge: $4.99, black paint $2.99, sponge brush set $2.99
MY TOTAL: $94.84

Now, $100 is still a helfy bit of change, but my canvases are BIG. If you were to stick with all 16×20’s your price would be less than half. I found a 2 pack of 16×20’s at Hobby Lobby for $7.99 on sale. The prints (even in linen texture) were $8.92 each. That would mean a 16×20 canvas would cost $13.00 to make. ($44.99 to buy!) SO AFFORDABLE!

**I swear I get NOTHING from Nations Lab but their sale is extended to the end of February. Go buy your prints now!!! I’m going to go buy more. They were fantastic quality and fast shipping!*


  1. Wow those turned out SO fantastic! I’m totally doing some when we get our next set of pictures taken. Way to go!!! Beautiful!

  2. Those turned out SO cute! (I know what you mean about the scary, milky modpodge!)

  3. Those turned out so beautifully! We did something similar at church but used wood blocks and non-Modge Podge stuff you paint over them that is supposed to specifically make them look all canvas-like. Well, if you put it on too thick, it’s not good. Too thin, not good either. AND the wood glue used to attach the photos has a tendency to bubble even after you’ve rolled all the bubbles out. Next time I’m trying your way!

  4. Hi! I’m so glad I found this! I purchased a 24×24″ canvas at a thrift store recently in FABULOUS condition. It’s 1.5″ thick and a purchased print vs an actual painting. So it’s perfect for any project. My plan is to modpodge a photo onto it, but I really wanted to add either a linen or pebble texture to it so it would look more like a canvas. I was afraid it wouldn’t stick well with the texture. So glad to know it will! I couldn’t really see the texture of the photos in your finished product pics… did that show well afterwards?

  5. my picture got wrinkles :(

  6. So you use a photo printed on photo paper, not on regular paper like with the wood blocks? Hmmm…I have modge podge, and canvas is on sale at Michaels….

  7. I think they are beautiful, I think I will paint edges of my canvas while I go out for modge podge and pics, I like you am inpatient to LOL! Can’t wait to see how mine turn out, I hope they are as lovely as yours.

  8. I just started mine!! For Father’s Day, can’t wait to see how it turns out!

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