Creepy Halloween Canvas

In case you missed it, I guest-posted last week over at Blissful and Domestic.  If you haven’t checked out Danielle’s blog, you should!  She has great ideas and she has had a parade of fantastic guest bloggers presenting Halloween projects this month!

So for anyone who didn’t take a peek the first time, I’d like to show you the same project I showed her readers.  It’s an easy one, both in terms of skill level AND on the budget. 

Distressed Halloween Canvas

Time: 45 mins. to an hour total, from start to cleanup.
(10 minutes working time with 15-20 minutes of drying time between coats.)

Supplies: these fabulous parties!

  • Mod Podge
  • Paintbrush
  • Printable or other paper design
  • 8×10 canvas (or whatever size best suits your design) Newspaper/plastic/something to keep your work surface protected
  • Sandpaper if you plan to distress your design

The hardest part of this project for me was in choosing some sort of printable to get started, which was actually trickier than I anticipated. The idea I had in mind didn’t seem to exist, so I cobbled my own design together in my generic, non-photoshop editing software. It… looked a bit sad at full-page size.  I started getting discouraged, until I thought, you know, it’s Halloween… why not just distress it to cover up all the mis-matched pixels?  But – find your own style, and see what works for you. There are LOTS of generous bloggers out there who post free printables for every holiday, so you may opt to skip the shabby-look, but I will show you how I accomplished it anyway.

First of all, because I knew I’d be abusing it, I just printed it off from my laser printer at work. Cheap paper, and less-than-crisp black ink. Worked beautifully for me.

Cover your canvas with a moderate amount of Mod Podge. Don’t forget to do the sides. I have no way of measuring how much I used, and I couldn’t really show you because it was white-on-white. But make sure there are no dry spots while also not getting it too thick. To center my design, I put the printable upside-down and centered the canvas on top.

I flipped up upright and coated the front with Mod Podge. Then, I folded the corners down, much like wrapping a gift.

Here is where I began to think this might be a terrible idea after all. The paper seemed soaked and it got wrinkly. But I reminded myself, shabby. (To my surprise, it dried just fine, so it turns out – don’t panic.)

Now – check your laundry, return a phone call, get something to eat – whatever it takes to leave it alone and not impatiently keep checking whether it’s dry. I only used one coat of Mod Podge and I think it turned out fine, but if you normally do another on your Podge-projects, then go for it.

Once it was dry, I started sanding it.  I really had to abuse it a bit, it turns out it’s pretty tough. I had my best success pressing up from the bottom of the canvas in various places, and sanding against my hand or fingers. When you’re going for a distressed look, it’s good if it’s a bit uneven.

Any little wrinkles that may have survived can actually work to your favor. Here’s a close-up of the worst of my wrinkly area, and I rather like how it turned out:

Keep sanding until you’re satisfied, and that’s it!

This is a really versatile project. You could use scrapbooking papers and punches, wrapping paper, stencils, stamps, have your kids create some art on regular printer paper – you name it. Have fun!!

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