Monday, April 2, 2012

Canvas Board Word Art

I've been doing this project for friends for about three years now. It actually came to me in a dream, which isn't even the first time inspiration for a project came to me. I have always done Bible verses and given to friends as gifts and encouragement. My friend, Mackenzie, even asked me to make her one to use at her reception which I was completely happy to do! However, for the demonstration I used a song lyric. I chose a line from Neutral Milk Hotel's "In an Aeroplane Over the Sea." I chose it for three reasons:
  1. I love the song!
  2. The whole album is based on Anne Frank's diary, and I love history.
  3. It is a good line to think about.
Before I begin I think of a good Bible verse (or song lyric in this case) that I think a friend would like or that I would like to see as a reminder in my home.

I bought a bunch of foam letters that I have been reusing. I also usually use 12x14 canvas board, but this time I used 12x12. You can usually find canvas boards in cheap packages at Michaels. When I see them on sale I tend to buy them because sometimes they can be very expensive.
I then line the letters up before I stick them down to see how I want it. When I am pleased I peel the backs off one by one and place them down. One thing I like about foam letters is that if you mess up you can easily pick them up and fix them.
I then tape magazine pages or newspapers along the edges so that the spray paint won't mess up the sides. If you want the edges spray painted then you don't have to worry about this step.
Because I have been making these for a while I have reused all the E's which means that they have lost their stickiness. It's an easy fix. All you need is to use a little spray adhesive on the back and press it down until it sticks!
I then take it outside to spray paint. I usually do two big coats and let dry in between. You need to check your spray paint to see how long it takes to dry in order to do your second coat. Also, even if it isn't windy make sure you use rocks or something heavy to keep the pages down. Somehow wind always finds a way onto your wet spray paint. Also, sometimes you'll find that there are circles on your canvas board with the first coat. Don't worry about this. I usually just spray extra coats to get rid of them.
Then I let it dry for a while, sometimes over night. Make sure you don't take off the news papers or letters off too soon because you don't want to mess up the spray paint.
Then start taking off the letters. Depending on the canvas board you use the letters will sometimes stick harder leaving behind outlines or seeped through spray paint. Sometimes it makes it look really cool and rustic. I usually touch it up with white paint also. For some reason, this project was being really awesome and I didn't need to do that at all.
Then you're done! If you want to take it a step further you can add anything extra to your piece. I usually use  bird silhouettes on mine. My sister drew the bird and then I just traced it onto some fabric. I then used spray adhesive (like the kind I used to spray the E) and placed it on the dry board.


  1. LOVE THIS!! Great idea Jazz!! I'm going to totally steal your idea make some myself-think is acceptable to decorate the entire house with them? Haha

  2. Everyone still compliments us on it too! It's in our entry


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