"" Rendition Road: Quick Distressed Canvases

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Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Quick Distressed Canvases

Here is a project that's made it's way around blog land many times over. 
It's quick, it's simple, and it's customizable. 
All that's required is a canvas, a picture, and some mod podge.
For your picture you can use an enlarged copy or an enlarged photograph.
The method is slightly different depending on what you choose.
I chose to use an enlarged copy on regular printer paper and do a reverse transfer.
I will start by telling you; I chose to just do a print off at home & tape four pieces of paper together. 
If you're going for a more 'polished' look, you may want to take your picture to a copy place and have them enlarge it for you to avoid any lines or creases.

Since I was going for a more 'distressed' look, I just did it like this. 
I  gave my canvas a coating of ivory paint & while it dried
I  printed, trimmed, and taped my pieces together. 

Once everything was trimmed & taped the way I liked, I used a foam brush and applied a layer of mod podge to the canvas.
No special instructions here...just a normal layer.
I used the matte mod podge since I was going for the distressed look.
I place the picture upside down on the canvas...carefully.
You don't want to be moving the paper around since it will smudge the color.
{I kind of lined mine up before the mod podge went on so I would have an idea where to place it.}
I placed it straight down on the canvas and used an old towel to smooth it out.
If any mod podge leaks out from the edges, just gently wipe it away with a paper towel.
Once I had it nice and smooth, I used my cricut 'scraper' or whatever it's called, to smooth out any bubbles or creases.
Then just let it dry
Overnight is best....or you can use a blow dryer if you're impatient.
I don't have any photos of the above steps but they're pretty self explanatory.
Once you're positive it's nice & dry get your water bottle and give it a light misting.
Once you can see the paper soak up the water, you can begin rubbing gently until the paper starts rolling off the canvas.
 Continue to move around the canvas using this method until you have removed all the paper.
Hit it with a blow dryer to make sure you got it all....if you see a haze over the photo, you need to rub some more paper off.
If you have deep colors in your photo you may notice it coming off on your hands....don't worry, in a few washes it will wear off.
Once I was sure I had all the paper removed, I painted the edges of the canvas with some black craft paint and kind of faded it into the edges of the photo.
Let it dry and seal it up!
You did it!
 You can see how they have that rustic, faded out look that I like so much.

I placed them both on the ledge in the stairwell with some other pictures of the boys and their endless roughhousing.
Now if you will turn your attention to the picture above of my oldest; you will see a fail moment.
I forgot to reverse the image before I printed it and Iowa on his shirt is backwards.
Since it was just for my house I left it like that.
 I think they turned out great!
 A super simple project that adds a bit of uniqueness to your photos.
Until next time!


  1. Replies
    1. It is such a fun, easy way to create a unique piece of art for your home. Good luck & feel free to send pictures when you make yours. Thanks for stopping by!

  2. They look great. It's a messy process, but the results are very nice.

    1. Thank you Rosemary! It is a bit messy & I have learned to keep bleach wipes nearby for my hands. I just love the finished look though & the way you can really customize them to make them your own. Thanks for stopping by.

  3. Love the results...gotta try this. Thanks for the tutorial. There are always a few of us left that haven't seen these things floating around blogland.

    1. Wow, sorry for the delay. I got totally swamped in real life & am just now getting back into my blog. I did wonder when I wrote this if it had been overdone or not so it's really nice to hear someone got some use & information from it. Thanks so much for visiting me!

  4. Wow!! Super fun!! Now what happened to the tape? Did you remove it or leave it on?


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