Ok so I am laughing as I came up with the title for this post, there was so many little things involved that I wasn’t sure what to call it. The inspiration for this project came from my kiddo’s. I can’t ever throw away any of the finger painted or painted artwork they do, so I have stacks and stacks of it (they are 3 years old btw).
I use it for wrapping paper for birthdays and holidays and still have stacks and stacks. you’ll see lots of projects coming up on this site that are all about how to use your kids’ art in a fun and keepsake sorta way.
Ok onto this project tutorial. I got the style of art I wanted to do from Pink Paisley she did a great tutorial on making vintage style painting ala pottery barn style, so I used this concept and adapted it to using my kid’s art work.
- Canvas 24×36 (or whatever size you want to use)
- Cricket or silhouette to cut out vinyl letters
- Vinyl for your Cricket or Silhouette
- lots of Kids paintings (do NOT use paintings done with Tempura paint. the colors run in later steps, our kids use the crayola washable finger paints and paints and this works great)
- Modge podge Matte finish
- Acrylic Paint in White, antique white and black
- Paper Towels
- Varnish matte finish (You can get this in the same are of the craft store where the acrylic paints are)
- Fine Grit Sandpaper (180)
- measuring tape
Supplies needed for this step: kids artwork ready to rip up (fun to have them help with this part).
Rip up lots of strips and shapes of the painted artwork (our kids paint on anything from butcher paper, to construction paper to coloring books, it all works just do NOT use the Tempura paint.. it will run when you modge podge it).
Try to just use the parts that are painted, and remove any paper only.. so that you really have the full canvas covered in painted art 🙂
Supplies needed for this step: Canvas, Modge Podge, brush, ripped up painted paper
Get that modge podge out and paint it on liberally on a small section, then lay down some of the ripped up paper and modge podge over the top. Do this to cover the full canvas. you want to overlap and have seems and also have little bumps/lumps as this will make the “antique look later on much cooler!
Make SURE to be liberal with the modge podge, as this top coat is what will keep the vinyl letters from ripping the paper, it provides a protective layer over the artwork so that your not sticking vinyl on top of it.
Let it dry overnight/24 hours is best.
Supplies needed for this step: white acrylic paint, antiqued white acrylic paint, paper towel
The goal with this step is to get a nice white “Haze” over the art so the letters pop later on, we do not want to cover up the art 😉 If you want to do that, just use newspapers instead of your kids awesome art!
Now you want to do this in sections as well so the paint doesn’t dry on you.
I painted a little bit of the white paint, then wiped with a moist paper towel until I got the haze I wanted. the did this all over the painting.
when this has dried then do just a tiny bit in random places of the “antiqued white” you don’t want to go over everything, as your just going for an antiqued/aged look. so i did this by just quickly squirting dots all over and brushing fast then rubbing with a paper towel. so that only some spots have the antiqued white. you could probably skip this step and have just as good of results.
Let this dry. I let it dry overnight again, because you want it super dry before applying the vinyl.
Supplies needed for this step: Pencil, Measuring tape, Math Brain
Ok so now you need to cut out whatever text you want. I chose the “you are my sunshine song” as the girls and I sing that a lot. Since I am impatient, I got frustrated trying to figure out how to fit the whole damn thing on my canvas so I decided to just start with the size of letters I liked best and then go until the canvas was full.
Regardless. you want to figure out your sizes by dividing your width or height (depending on which orientation your canvas is) by how many rows you want. so for me, I had 6 rows, with 4″ available height in each row. so I made my letters 3.5″ height on the Cricut.
I drew straight lines across the canvas at 4″ then went in 1/4 above that for another straight line so I knew where to lay the bottom of the letters.
USE Pencil on this part!
ok so now cut out all the vinyl letters you want and start laying them out. I am not a perfectionist so I didn’t measure or space it out perfectly. I just started laying them out on my lines I’d made and went until I filled up the canvas.
Then go back through with your fingernails and really make sure the edges of all the letters are pushed down. if they aren’t, you will get paint underneath them. So take the time to rub them all down good.
Supplies needed: black Acrylic paint, paint brush,
Now comes the freaky/scary. wholly crap moment part. After doing all the work above, now you literally paint over the whole thing with black paint. It’s freaky because your like wholly crap did I just ruin this whole canvas and did I really push those edges down? (You can use spray paint, but I like the brush stroke look of acrylic).
Let it dry completely.
Now comes the coolest part! peel off all of the vinyl! You will see that in some spots the paper may tear, or you may have some little black leaks of paint into the white. just touch it up with the paints. for the white areas, you’d paint a little over the black then rub it with your finger so it’s not stark white.
Let this all dry.
Supplies needed: Matte varnish & fine grit sandpaper
once the paint is All dry, as in bone dry (not damp at all) use a fine grit sandpaper or sanding block and lightly rub over the whole painting until you get the cool antiqued look you are going for.! I love this part because all those bumps and seems when you did the paper part in the beginning start to show through, you get to see all sorts of cool colors from your kid’s artwork.
then lightly wipe over the painting with your hand or paper towel to remove the dust.
then paint it all with your matte varnish and let it dry. (PIC COMMENT: Really hard to capture what it looks like when it’s finished, the underlying artwork shows through beautifully and makes it a really cool aged look!)
Hang that baby up and marvel in your awesome accomplishment of using your kids artwork to make awesome art for your home!