Meet the Sullivans: Valentine's Canvas Art

January 14, 2015

Valentine's Canvas Art

Each January I go through decoration withdraw. The Christmas garland, lights and cheer are gone and we're stuck with the dreary winter weather and our standard home decor. I saw this cute idea somewhere (Pinterest, probably) for an easy DIY piece Valentine art work and wanted to recreate my own!

I bought all of my supplies at Michael's craft store and Jo-Ann Fabric, which included:
  • 12x12 square canvas
  • black acrylic paint
  • painter's tape
  • red burlap
  • assorted red buttons
You'll also need a glue gun + glue sticks & paper + scissors to make your heart shape template that you will late glue the buttons to.

I used almost all of these buttons! I wanted to use a variety or red buttons in different patterns, shapes and finishes to give the heart some depth since the buttons would all be red.

I started off by taping a few thick lines of blue painter's tape across the canvas. I just eyeballed the distance (it's not exact or perfect). I wanted the top and bottom lines to be black so I started with a white gap. I also ended up taping all around the edges of the canvas too, because I wanted clean lines and didn't want the black paint to run off at the sides of the canvas.

At first I used a roller to apply the pain, but soon realized the brush I had did a better job of laying it on thick. No artistic reasoning, because I have none -- just good ol' trial and error here. I did about 3-4 layers of black acrylic paint before letting it dry completely. In between layers I waited about 10-15 minutes, which was great because I was able to squeeze in a few other things (laundry, phone calls, playing with superheroes, etc) while I waited for the paint to dry.

For the final dry I left it out on the kitchen counter to dry while we went to San Francisco that morning for what was probably 4-5 hours, so it had plenty of time to dry, but my lines still did not come off clean. It didn't really bother me because I figure it gives the canvas a little extra character and contributes to the endearing imperfection of the poorly space lines -- no?

I made a heart-shaped template a few times to get the shape of the heart I wanted and tested it against the lines on the canvas to make sure it looked right with the line spacing. This one was the winner! Then I traced the shape onto the red burlap using a pen and cut out my shape.

Now comes the semi-tedious part. I'm wondering now if hot glue was the best choice, because it provided me some major frustrations, but it worked out in the end and my buttons are staying glued, so I'm happy.

I started by laying out my buttons so they were easy to grab and deciding to start by "framing" the heart with buttons and then working my way in so as to maximize space and get them as close together as possible. I would make a small line of hot glue and then quickly lay the buttons down carefully onto the glue. Careful though, the glue comes up through the holes!

The hot glue makes little strings, which annoyed me and annoyed me even more when I had to pick them all off in the end (the strings). And it leaks through the burlap and caused it to stick to whatever was beneath it (cardboard, parchment paper, everything I tried), so in the end my solution was to just move the heart around a bit to keep it from drying completely onto the surface below it.

I'm really happy with how this little project turned out! I don't usually get the outcome I've envisioned when I'm crafting something, but this turned out even better than I thought it would. I think this could be a cute thing to make in different colors, shapes and with various media for other holidays as well. It's a great little pop of toddler proof (i.e. not breakable) Valentine's decor for our family room!


Amy Smith said...

Super cute and such a great idea!

Amanda {Kids and Cabernet} said...

Super cute!!! What a great idea!

Jessica Scott said...

SO CUTE! I love it!

Christina said...

LOVE it. Creative, cute, and it looks great!

Lyndsey_Lofland said...

Very cute craft and I am a big fan of things that are tiny-hand friendly!

Kelly Linn Feller said...

Cute! I just started getting out Valentine's Day d├ęcor yesterday. It really is a bummer when all the Christmas decorations come down!
XO Kelly

Paige Haring said...

super cute! I may have to try this if I have a little crafting time!

Tiffany said...

That is so cute! I would love to be more crafty like this! I don't even own a hot glue gun! Lol

leah herring said...

Love this! You did such a great job!

Julie said...

Love it Colleen! So cute!