Sunday, September 2, 2012

Engineer Print DIY Canvas


I have been on the canvas print train since it left the station…until I started researching prices.  I was turned off quickly when I say $60-$80 a piece.  I would not mind paying that one time but I wanted to get a canvas of the family and family pictures should be taken once a year (in my opinion) and I really do not want to pay that kind of money every year to update my family portrait on the wall.  I began looking for some inspiration on Pinterest and found two different tutorials. 

The first:

From Here

And the second:

From Here

I put my own spin on the project and this is what I came up with.


Your supplies:

Spray adhesive spray

Black paint

Sponge brushes

Box blade knife

Foam board

Engineer print of your photo

foam board

Before I get started on how I completed my version of this project I feel like I must first advise which “foam board” is better, at least in my opinion.  Hubby and I originally got the foam board pictured on the left.  Notice that the foam is made from a composite of small foam beads, while the foam board on the right side is solid foam.  That is KEY to making this project clean and more canvasy (made up my own word) like.  The beaded foam does not make a clean cut and leaves a horrible mess, plus even after you paint it you will be able to see the little beads.  The solid foam is a lot cleaner cut and looks more like a canvas after it has been painted.

First thing I did was log on the Staples website and attempt to order my print.  Because the wall we were looking to hand the picture on is not big enough to get the 4 foot by 3 foot we opted to go with the medium size print which was 24 inches by 36 inches.  The website was not very user friendly and I was scared I would mess up the print so I just saved the image to a jump drive and took it into the store.  I was worried we would have to wait on it to print, but it only took 15 minutes.  The print was only $3! 


After getting the supplies I needed, and making another trip back to Home Depot for better foam, I proceeded with my project by spraying the foam with the adhesive spray.  Oh BTW, the foam boards come in eight foot pieces, I believe they are eight foot.  They will have to be cut to fit inside an SUV.  I asked the man at Home Depot to cut mine the size I needed for the picture and it came out to be four pieces of foam out of the one foam board, SCORE!  That means I will get four pictures out of a $10 piece of foam board.


After spraying the board with the adhesive spray, I carefully laid the print on the foam board.  I used a credit card to smooth the edges and bubbles out of the paper. The adhesive spray dried almost instantly.


After the glue was good and dry, I used the box blade knife to trim the excess off the edges. The sides were my biggest concern because there was about six inches too much on each side.  The top and bottom of the picture were less than inches off so I left those alone because I knew I would be painting the edges and would make the paint uneven to help mask the imperfections.


Then it was painting time.  I actually did not “paint” the boarder but I “sponged” it.  I wanted it to have a roughed, imperfect, and uneven feel.


I took the sponge brush and slanted it as I blotted the entire boarder of the picture.  On the corners I came into the picture a little more to give it a rounded look.

IMG_5592 copy

You can kind of see the rounded corner of paint in this picture.  How you decide to sponge, or if you decide to not sponge at all, is totally a preference.  I used this picture as our practice because I want to make a family portrait one each year, but I’m hoping to make that one in color and I will not be painting the boarder…I’m still trying to figure out what I will do instead.

After you are done sponging the boarders, let it dry.  Waiting on it to dry was the hardest part!  We decided to use the 3M Command stripes to hang it on the wall.  I know that one of the blogs shows using wire to hang theirs. 

Lastly, we measured the wall to ensure we hung it centered then pulled the backs off our little stripes and popped that bad boy on the wall.  And that’s it!   It was seriously SO easy and turned out pretty amazing in my opinion.


I’m in love with the results.


I cannot wait to make the family portrait one.


There are some imperfections but  that is because this type of print is typically used for blue prints and does not need the details or clarity that you generally want from a picture.  However, the imperfections are what I like most about the project.


It really fills the wall better than what we had hanging before.


I believe it is about a half inch thick.  From the sides you can see the black paint and there is no indication of a foam board.  I’m loving the project and so happy with the outcome.  It was super easy, and super quick to do…in fact I completed this project in a short one hour nap (that included taking all the pictures!)

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