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I was thumbing absent-mindedly through Pinterest one night when I stumbled across a super easy DIY tutorial on creating a photo canvas. Hmmmmm. Various photo sites offer photo canvases for an extraordinary price, which is why I’ve never ordered one. According to one site, all I need is a black and white photo printed on every day copy paper (check), Mod Podge (check), foam brush (check), and 8×10 canvas (check). Basically, cover the canvas with a layer of Mod Podge, center picture on canvas, and sweep Mod Podge OVER the picture.


SIMPLE COPY PAPER METHOD: See the bubbles! One crafter said, “Don’t worry. The bubbles will disappear as the Mod Podge dries.” Liars! The bubbles DID NOT disappear.

Sounds easy, right? So, how in the world did I mess up on my first try? I highly suspect I needed to let the photo dry once I centered it on the canvas instead of working with the edges. When I fiddled around with the edges, big fat air bubbles popped up in the middle of the picture. Boo! When I realized I couldn’t squeeze out the bubbles, I admitted defeat and peeled the picture off the canvas, which wasn’t easy since the Mod Podge was starting to dry. Back to the drawing board — or Pinterest.


THE 8×10 PHOTO PRINT: With a coupon, I ordered three 8×10 photo prints of my nephews and niece on a tire swing my dad’s backyard. The total cost of three prints was a little less than $10.

After another night of researching different methods, I decided to test different methods and allow the dumb picture to dry first before tackling the edges. What method didn’t work for me? The one involving simple every day copy paper. I tried THREE times with normal paper, and each time didn’t work for me at all. Bubbles, bubbles, bubbles! I just could not avoid bubbles with the plain copy paper method. Argh! The poor canvas looked terrible with paper remnants stuck to it, but it still held up like a champ.


THE 8X10 BLACK-AND-WHITE PROJECT: To hide the rough edges of the picture, I swept black paint around the edges of the canvas, bleeding a little onto the photo.

So I gave up on that method and ordered three 8×10 photo prints, hoping the heavier paper won’t cause too many bubbles. I swept Mod Podge over the surface of a 8×10 canvas (the same canvas used from the three previous attempts) and centered the black-and-white photo print on it. Either the 8×10 canvas is a teeny bit smaller or the 8×10 photo print is a teeny bit bigger because the print overlapped the canvas a few centimeters. Poop.


GETTING THE CANVAS LOOK: Some crafters will lay a second stretched canvas across the top of the first one to create the canvas look, but then the second canvas will either have to be cleaned from the Mod Podge residue or be used for a canvas print.

Once the glue dried, I attempted to cut the excess photo print, but the non-surgical knife didn’t give me smooth clean cuts. *breathe* No worries. I am not about to give up on this project! So, I painted the canvas edges black, sweeping a little onto the photo edges and giving a more “blended” look. The paint hid the picture’s rough edges. Once the paint dried, I smoothed out more Mod Podge on the picture and carefully blotted the area with a paper towel, giving the picture a “canvas” look. Beautiful!


Some crafters used a second stretched canvas, but I prefer the paper towel method. Easy cleanup. With the black-and-white canvas drying, I worked on the other two canvas prints. I cut the two prints a teeny bit smaller than the stretched canvas and painted the canvas edges and a small border black. Once the paint was dry, I covered the canvas with Mod Podge, centered the picture on the canvas, and let it dry a bit before smearing more Mod Podge over the photo.


Technically, the two colored canvases look fine, but for some reason, I love the black-and-white picture to canvas more. The black-and-white canvas looks more authentic while the other two canvases look like I centered and glued a picture to a canvas (technically, that is the method). For a more blended look, maybe black-and-white pictures are the best to use? Maybe the prints were too heavy? I don’t have all the answers but I’ll definitely try this project again. In the end, I am really happy with the end results — the canvas prints look really cute.

Categories: Jennifer Elliott

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9 replies »

  1. I like the first picture even though the method didn’t work out. The process looks easy but yet the result is beautiful. Great job.

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