I love pictures. I am always looking at them, saving them, printing them and wishing I could take better ones. After my little photo session with Macie and her little dress, I decided it was time to spice up our walls with some new pictures.
Keeping in mind that I took close to sixty-five pictures of Macie, I think getting three or four good ones was SUCCESS!! It was time to find something to do with the good pictures. It couldn't be just anything either, I mean a picture of this kid being still is like gold... pure gold.
I have always loved the idea of pictures on canvases but well, I'm cheap and I've never wanted to shell out the bucks for a canvas so when I saw this - it was again, pure gold.
Okay, here's the rundown on this little project!
#1 - Print out the pictures that you are going to use on regular plain paper. Don't use fancy photo paper. Don't use a real picture. I went over to our local office supply store and got some pictures printed on 11x17 paper for a big ol' buck.
#2 - Michael's was having a sale on canvases so I got a 2-pack of 11x14 and the most expensive piece of this little project, the Gel Medium. You can get it with a coupon and it's about $11.
#3 - Cover the canvas with the Gel Medium. You don't need to glop it on, but don't make it so thin you can't see it.
#3a (Yeah, I don't have a picture - sorry!) Take the picture you are going to use and spritz it with water. Don't soak it, but make sure it's wet. Now, stick the paper wet picture side down onto your canvas.
#4 - Find something to push all the air bubbles out. You can use a credit card, your hand, or in my case, our camp pot scraper. It worked great, I worked it from the center of the canvas out to the edge. Be gentle with this part because you don't want to tear the paper.
Once you've gotten all the air bubbles out, you can almost see the picture showing through (yes, you have to look closely) Okay here is the hard part - let it dry. I had to leave it overnight and it almost killed me. So... I may be a tad impatient...maybe.
Is it dry?? Good. Time to soak it. Yeah, I know it sounds counter-productive but trust me. Get the spray bottle and soak the canvas... soak it! You can see that my first soaking was not good enough so I had to re-soak. It needs to be wet, people.
This is the fun (and tedious) part. Pull the wet paper off and Viola! the picture stays on the canvas! I know, I was a little shocked too. You can see from the picture on the left that there is a film of paper that stays put that needs to come off. This is the tedious part. I rubbed carefully (I was a little scared) in a circular motion. I let the canvas dry so I could see how far I got, and you can tell from the picture on the right I needed to do it again. I re-wet the canvas, but this time very lightly. I found that if you over rub or over wet, the picture will start to bleed onto your fingers...oops. Go over the pic until you are happy with the look and then let it dry... again.
**UPDATE** I've had a lot of questions about this step so I wanted to update this part and give a step by step.
After you soak the canvas, IF you can pull the paper off the canvas, go for it. I was able to pull the paper off because I had a slight overhang on one side from when I put the paper on the canvas. If you can't pull the paper off (like in the picture on the left), then begin to rub lightly in a circular motion and you will feel that the paper starts to come off. If you were able to pull the paper off the canvas, you will notice that there is a sort of film of paper still over the picture - you will be able to see the picture, but it will be really light. You need to get that film off. If the canvas as started to dry, re-wet it. You need to rub lightly in a circular motion and the remaining paper will start to come off. You need to continue doing this until you are happy with the look of the canvas. It will help to let it dry at least once so you can see how much you've gotten off and so you don't go to far. That is what I was doing when I took the picture on the right. You can rub too much and picture will start to bleed or come off the canvas so you do need to be careful. I found myself being more careful around Macie's face because I didn't want to lose her features. I hope this update helps a little bit more - keep the questions coming if you have problems ... now back to the original post!**
To seal the picture onto the canvas, just cover it with the Gel Medium again and let it dry. One of the things I love about the Gel Medium is that once it's dry, it leaves a faint brush stroke over the picture to give it a finished look.
And that's it! Done!!
I love it!!!