Photo canvases seem to be all the rage. So far I haven’t taken the plunge and ordered one yet, they are cool but pricey. I guess I’m more into the DIY thing right now anyways….
The other day when I was crazily decorating for my daughter’s Lalaloopsy Cute-As-A-Button birthday party, I found a dollar store canvas and easel that I had bought without a specific purpose in mind. I kind of thought that I would glue buttons to it, in the shape of the birthday girl’s age…but at the last second, decided to make a photo canvas to display this cute photo that my photographer friend April snapped of her at a kitty birthday party. I went to handy dandy Pinterest and looked up how to print an image onto tissue paper. Hmmm, seems easy enough! Let’s try it out, I said to myself. I went for a black and white photo since I have run out of colored ink! I work with what I have!
Honestly, this craft took almost no time if you have the supplies on hand. I usually have some Modge Podge somewhere on the premises, so I started the project before I exactly checked…turns out the Modge Podge I have is an antique colored Shimmer finish. (Modge Podge is the brand name of a water-based sealer glue and finish, a paste-like medium from PLAID and is usually completely transparent, but you can find different finishes like glossy or matte.) Oh well, I thought it might work, and in the end I was quite pleased with the look it gave the canvas….if you don’t mind a sepia tint and shiny finish.
So the supplies are: Modge Podge, paint brush, white acrylic craft paint, a printer, tissue paper, double-sided tape (or even clear tape should work), paper confetti (optional), a canvas and easel, and some photo editing software to touch up your photo and print it out. Here’s the canvas I used, sorry I don’t have a photo of the Modge Podge and my camera battery is dead at the moment…Here is the fairy easy process: first, edit your photo. (don’t spend too long on this if you don’t want to. You can always print off a photo w/o editing it and then just snip off the corners etc. of the tissue paper copy).After cutting out her arm, blending her hair and cutting off the corners of the photo, I blurred the edges and erased a bit more, then I added some digital embellishments, like swirls and some flowers with buttons in the center (from my digital stash), but of course this step isn’t necessary and real embellishments could easily be glued onto the canvas afterwards.Now print off a test photo, to see the effects and to see where to position the tissue paper. Using a sheet of white tissue paper, cut out a rectangle. I thought it had to be almost the same size as the paper, but apparently it only needs to be bigger than your photo. I used double-sided scrapbooking tape to tape the tissue to the regular printer paper, but I think even regular scotch tape should work. Make sure there is no stickiness showing! The tape showing must not be sticking!! I can only image what kind of a paper jam that would cause!! It’s hard to see in the photos, but you can kind of see the edge of the tissue paper (in the photos above and below). When you go to run your paper through the printer, be sure you know what side it will be printing on!! To check that out, when you print off your test copy, add a small X with a pencil to the corner of the paper before it prints, then check to see what side was printed on. Then you’ll know whether to load your tissue papered paper face up or face down (I hope that sounds clear?)Cut as close as you want around the tissue paper photo and test it out on the canvas….this is the tissue paper just setting on the canvas….(I should have photographed the tissue paper held up to the light, it’s so cool, but I was in a big hurry…..)Now add a layer of glue, Modge Podge, to the canvas…See how yellow the glue looks in the jar? It’s harder to see on the canvas, but paint on your glue then quickly get the tissue paper on before it dries. I actually had to peel off the photo, add some more glue and try it again. It worked without tearing!! yay!I wasn’t sure if I should paint right over the photo, as is usual with Modge Podge, as it is a sealant, too. But I didn’t want her face to get too yellowed looking, and since my Modge Podge is shimmery and a bit shiny, I knew that if you look at it from the side it would just glare…hmmm, what to do? But first I added some white paint to the edges, to kind of soften them up and hide the edge of the tissue paper a bit (not that is showed very much) and I wanted to downplay the yellowish sepia color, too and make it look a bit like a painting….So this is what I ended up doing, following the direction of her bangs with brushstrokes of shiny glue…I only painted over the edges of the photo with the Modge Podge, and left the face free of it…so this is how it looks with the light shining at an angle.I seem to always have to do that extra little bit, add that extra detail, it’s the hardest thing in the world to stop myself (I know, Art is knowing when to stop, and that’s why I don’t make money by my “art”!!) so of course I threw some paper confetti that I had laying around from some other party decoration onto the canvas while the glue was still wet. I like it anyhoo. And my little buddy was quite pleased, too!! :)I hope this little tutorial has been helpful to someone! Now I just need to make 3 more……