I was recently inspired by a fellow Pinterest-er at PB&J Stories. I have been wanting to do something with a canvas grid for a while, but I haven’t seen anything that really sparked my imagination until this. I LOVED the idea of memorializing the memory of something as special and precious as the lyrics to our “first dance” at our wedding which happened to be Elvis Presley’s “Can’t Help Falling in Love With You.” Great song, I know ;) I think this project could be easily adapted for anything though, children’s songs, poems, excerpts from a favorite novel….
I was having a difficult time finding canvas squares in just the right size I had in my mind. They were either too large, too small or too thick/deep. Then I ran across these while strolling with Zac in the Dollar Spot at Michaels. They are PERFECT: just the right size AND dirt cheap! They aren’t real canvas (more like vinyl) but I was just going to decoupage right over them anyways so I didn’t care.
I created a design for the lyrics in Adobe Illustrator and then printed them out as 6x6in. squares (the size of these canvases) on white cardstock. I then painted the edges of the squares with black acrylic paint.
Then I spread a thin layer of Mod Podge on top of the squares and carefully placed the printed squares on top. I used 3 coats, allowing to dry 20 min between each coat. The more coats = more texture.
Things I learned the HARD WAY when using Mod Podge for this project:
1. You gotta WORK fast. This stuff gets tacky quickly and makes placing and moving difficult.
2. Many thin layers > fewer thicker layers. Spreading it on too thick will end up in bubbles.
3. Bubbles WILL happen. It doesn’t matter how carefully you work, bubbles WILL happen on occasion but do not panic. They will 95% of the time settle out. I did not have enough patience, ripped off the papers and started over twice before I finally gave up and settled for imperfection. Lo and behold when I visited them in the morning, the bubbles I had resolved to ignore had miraculously disappeared!
4. UPDATE: When completing this project, I did not have an issue with smudging. However, a recent Etsy customer (Thanks Lacey!) mentioned that she had some serious smudging while modging. I am not sure if I was able to avoid this because of the viscosity of my modpodge or if it was the technique in which I applied. BUT, Lacey made a wonderful discovery for any of you who might have this same issue. Using the ModPodge clear acrylic sealer beforehand prevents any and all smudging! Good to hear! (If you can’t get your hands on the acrylic sealer, I have a feeling that the aerosol spray clear coat used by artists to seal chalk and charcoal sketches would work just as well.)
After arranging them in a grid on the wall, I wish I would have placed them closer together like I initially had arranged on the table. However, we are renting this stupid apartment so I am trying to keep holes in the wall to a minimum. Someday when we move, I will make sure to hang them a little closer together.
Overall, I am proud of this project and how it turned out! I think Zac appreciates it too :)
For those of you who wish to purchase a custom lyric arrangement printed on cardstock to complete this project on your own, you can place and order in my Etsy shop here.