Updating Home Decor: Transfer Art to Canvas for a Contemporary Look

Hey friends! I’m sharing some tips today for giving your decor a contemporary look by ditching the frame and having your art and photos printed on canvas.  Now, don’t go saying “Adrianne, this is nothing new!” until you see what I’ve done – I’ve got a great story to share.  I know printing your family photos on canvas makes for a beautiful photo gift, but it’s also a great way to give your prints a fine-art look in a modern way.

Update your art! Convert prints and sketches to canvas for a fine-art look on a budget - get the scoop at happyhourprojects.com

CanvasDiscount.com is sponsoring today’s post, where I’ll be showing you a few tricks and tips to bring classic pieces to life in a new way.  I’ll let the difference speak for itself on this one!

I started with a beautiful charcoal sketch that was a gift from my sister from years back – I almost hate to say how many!  It’s a timeless image, though.  The frame though… well, that is another story.  Of course I took care of my gift, getting it matted and framed in the style I was decorating with at the time!  I increased the footprint on the wall by using a larger 24×36 frame, but on the large, empty wall in my bedroom (three houses later, I might add) it just wasn’t being done justice as a true focal piece.

Update your art! Convert prints and sketches to canvas for a fine-art look on a budget - get the scoop at happyhourprojects.com

So I had an idea.

I looked for some options for cheap canvas prints, and the reviews from CanvasDiscount.com were good.  I reached out to them, and they let me place an order for my dream canvas in exchange for an honest review to all of you.

And they didn’t disappoint!

Update your art! Convert prints and sketches to canvas for a fine-art look on a budget - get the scoop at happyhourprojects.com

I took a photograph of the original artwork, and did a little digital tweaking to the file.  I wanted to lighten and brighten it up to match the mood of the room.  Now, because I’m an artist myself (not in my sister’s league!) I have experimented quite a bit with photographing art.  It will take some practice, but I’ve found that the following steps are crucial to getting a great image:

  • Before you begin, MAKE SURE you have the artist’s permission, if you are not the original artist.
  • Use a tripod, and position your camera at the exact height of the piece.  Make sure it faces straight on – not at an angle.
  • Use as much indirect light as possible: I find that first thing in the morning or last thing in the evening when the sky is light but the sun isn’t shining through windows is ideal.
  • In low light, using a remote will ensure the crispest photos.
  • Photo editing can assist with the rest if you have a straight, sharp, clear photo without glare.

From the original image, I was able to photograph and edit, giving me this file:

Update your art! Convert prints and sketches to canvas for a fine-art look on a budget - get the scoop at happyhourprojects.com

Note: while I got my sister’s permission for this project, I’ve marked the file with her copyright. If you’re interested in using this image, leave a comment below and one of us will get in touch with you.  

Once I had the digital photo, all I had to do was upload it to the CanvasDiscount website, select my size, crop it the way I wanted it, and place my order!  It came VERY well-packaged.  You can add mounting hardware to your order, but you’ll still have to attach it for yourself.  I also recommend using art wire instead of string for mounting, but that’s the artist in me!  (The only thing not 100% flawless with my order was that the mounting string was only 42″ long – for my 48″ canvas.  But as I recommend wire anyway, it wasn’t an issue for me!)


So NOW I have a true focal piece, at 30″ x 48″, and the prices are excellent as well!  I spent over $150 to have the original artwork matted and framed – and this HUGE canvas was considerably less than that!  If you’re looking for smaller sizes, you can save even more over going the traditional mat-and-frame route.

So, I could not be any happier with this home decor decision, and now that I know how easy it is, I will be using CanvasDiscount.com for decor in other rooms, and for photo gifts as well!  They have much more than just canvas. There’s a great selection of other items to add your photos to.

And if you’re wondering what I did with the original?  I gave it back to my sister!  She gave it to me years back as a housewarming gift in my very first house, and I gave it back to her as a wedding gift, to add back to her personal collection.  So now we can both enjoy the best parts of her art – she’s got her original labor of love back, and I can still enjoy it in a bigger way.


Thanks for joining me for this project that was close to my heart!  I’ll see you guys again soon!

Adrianne Surian


  1. Jenn Hoff says

    Awesome! You’re right; I thought it was nothing new, but by the end of your post my mind was racing with ideas on what to print! I will also give you one more tip from an old professional photographer, and that is to place the camera a little further away and zoom in a little bit when taking the picture. That reduces distortion from being an inch or two off on center/height/etc.
    I wish I would have read this sooner before the holidays bc it IS a great gift idea! (I’m up late on Christmas Eve catching up on blogs bc I know when I wake up things are going to be crazy). Merry Christmas, my Virtual Friend!

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