DIY Wall Art from Thrifted Canvases

How to create easy DIY wall art from thrifted canvases.

I always get excited when I get to create a project that packs a fun and colorful punch, like the DIY wall art that I’m sharing today.

And I love it when I finally get to use some thrifted finds that have been sitting in my craft room closet for what seems like, and probably has been, ages.

Time flies, right?

How to create DIY wall art from thrifted canvases

I’m a gal who has always loved and needed color in my life and in my home, and at this point in my life I’m all about celebrating and embracing my just-a-little-bit-crazy and fearlessly-creative inner child. All my home environment has to do to make me happy is make me smile.

Sounds simple, doesn’t it?

The hard part is allowing ourselves to do what we truly love without worrying about what anyone else thinks.

Your home should be your happy place, whatever that means to you. Here on the blog I enjoy sharing projects that can easily be customized to match anyone’s decor style and color preferences. You might not be a color enthusiast like me, but you can still easily do this project by putting your own spin on it.

And I hope this DIY wall art project from thrifted canvases inspires you to do just that.

I’m joining a bunch of creative bloggers for the Do It Over Designers blog hop. There’s no theme this time so we’re all doing our own thing, which I think is fun and I can’t wait to see what everyone has created. I’m sharing my project with you first, and you can find links to all the talented creators at the end of this post. Be sure to visit and check out all the fabulousness. I’m sure you’ll be inspired!

set of three canvases found at thrift store

So here are the thrifted canvases I mentioned earlier. I found the set of three at a local thrift store for $4. I had no idea what I would do with them, but I loved the fact that they were identical in size (10″ x 30″) and I was sure I’d find a way to reimagine them some day.

Well, after some years that some day finally arrived.

I’m sure there ‘s someone out there who would love them just the way they are, but that someone isn’t me. Part of the fun of DIY decorating is taking something that is totally not your vibe, and turning it on its head so that it becomes your style.


Supplies needed for this DIY wall art project

  • thrifted canvases
  • leftover scrapbook papers
  • decoupage medium
  • foam brush
  • scissors
  • sisal rope
  • hot glue gun
  • hot blue sticks

Compiling leftover scrapbook paper scraps

scrap pieces of scrapbook paper leftover from other projects

To create my diy wall art I’m using a bunch of scrapbook paper scraps left over from my scrapbook paper stairs makeover, and my plastic drawers makeover. Whether it’s fabric or paper, I never throw scrap pieces away, unless of course they’re teeny tiny. You never know when you might find a use for them.

playing with design of scrapbook papers on thrifted canvas

I sorted the pieces by pattern and color and just started playing with the placement. When I started I didn’t know what I would be using so I just put them all out there for my consideration.

Since the scrapbook pieces are all 12″ wide, and the frames are only 10″ wide, this was a match made in easy makeover heaven.

Now I have been known to lose myself in the process of a project. And I have to say that playing with these paper scraps was very therapeutic. I quite happily played with them for an entire afternoon, and I enjoyed every second of it.

The best thing is that there’s no right or wrong here. It’s just about creating something that looks good to you.

Gluing scrapbook papers onto thrifted canvases

supplies needed to glue scrap pieces of scrapbook paper on canvases

Once I decided on the look of one of the canvases I put my pieces on the side in the order that I wanted to place them. All I needed to glue them down was some decoupage medium and a foam brush.

gluing scrapbook paper scraps onto thrifted canvas

And I just started gluing the scrapbook paper pieces in place, smoothing down each piece as I went. You have to be careful not to press down too hard because these canvas frames have hollow backs. I put one hand underneath and my other hand on top, using them together, and this worked great.

Starting at the bottom, I lined up the first piece and then I just kept going. I used a ruler to make sure I was keeping things straight. I didn’t want to end up with wonky lines.

Sometimes I love me a little wonkiness, but this project was not one of those times.

At first I glued the sides in place as I went, but then I decided it was probably easier to just glue the top and do all the sides together after.

trimming scrapbook paper at sides of canvas

After I was done with the top of one canvas, I cut the side pieces because they were just a bit too long. I didn’t worry about how I cut them because I knew I was going to be covering the sides. Then I glued them down.

dry fit of leftover scrapbook paper pieces on thrifted canvases

I should say that I did a dry fit of all three canvases before gluing anything down. It’s important to see how they relate to each other to make sure you love the completed look.

Adding sisal rope edging to canvases

sisal rope used to frame canvas

After all the canvases were covered with their scrapbook paper pieces I gave them two light coats of the decoupage medium.

Then it was time to add some interest to the sides. It might be just me, but I thought they really needed a little something extra. Enter some sisal rope. I just love this stuff, and I think it pretty much goes with anything.

gluing bottom row of sisal rope around canvas frame

Starting at the bottom, I used my hot glue gun to add the sisal rope to the sides of the canvases.

gluing sisal rope around corner of canvas frame

This sisal rope is quite thick so you really need to press down to get it around the corners nicely.

gluing second row of sisal rope around canvas frame

I started the bottom row at a bottom corner and the second row at the opposite bottom corner. This makes it less noticeable at the corners where the two rope ends meet.

gluing top row of sisal rope around canvas frame

And I started the top row at a top corner, where that meeting of the ends will be even less noticeable.

I should point out here that while sisal rope is quite beautiful, it’s also very messy. It had stray strings everywhere and I had to give all three frames a good clipping with scissors before hanging.

showing one frame edged with sisal rope and one plain

Here you can see one with the sisal rope border, and one without. This is really a personal choice, but I’m all about the sisal even with the stray strings.

Thrifted canvases before makeover

set of three canvases found at thrift store

Here’s a reminder of what the before canvases looked like.

DIY wall art using scrapbook paper scraps

DIY wall art from thrifted canvases before hanging

And here’s the after.

Easy DIY wall art from leftover scrapbook paper pieces and thrifted canvases

And here they are on my hot pink bedroom wall. I made them specifically for this wall above the bed. Our upstairs ceilings are 9 1/2 feel tall, and the height of the canvases helps to fill this wall.

One fun thing about this makeover is that the two canvases on the outside can be flipped for a different look. The one in the middle should stay this way, unless you don’t mind upside down birds. lol.

Easy DIY wall art hanging on bedroom wall

And here you can see how they relate to the bed and the bedding. They do help to pull the colors together. I have to say that I really love how they turned out. They remind me of colorful little quilts, and the sisal borders give them an almost three dimensional look.

I have a few more projects to do for the bedroom including something between the wall and the ceiling. Not sure what I’m going to do there, but I have a couple of ideas. The vintage dresser will be getting its third makeover and I already started pulling off the fabric squares from its last decoupaged dresser makeover. And the two vintage sewing bins, that I use for storage, will also be getting a makeover.

This will be the fifth time I’ve given this bedroom a makeover in the 25 years we’ve lived in this house (yes, I do love to decorate) and for this one I’m letting my inner child completely take the lead.

Decorating should be fun, and I intend to have lots of it. I hope you do too!

I hope this project has inspired you, and now for more inspiration be sure to check out the other Do It Over Designers listed below.

Southern Sunflowers
Sum of Their Stories
Tea and Forget-Me-Nots
Pandora’s Box
The Apple Street Cottage
Birdz of a Feather
Exquisitely Unremarkable
Little Vintage Cottage
Modern on Monticello
Purple Hues & Me
Color Me Thrifty – that’s me!

It would be greatly appreciated if you would pin this project to your favorite Pinterest board, and also share it with your friends.

Thanks so much for reading and until next time,

keep on keepin’ on!

XOX

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28 Comments

  1. I think we might be twins, separated at birth! I also love colour and releasing that crazy fearless inner creative child, I also love me a bit of wonkiness (when appropriate) as well! Your pink walls are just divine, I have such wall envy right now. I love what you did to these canvases, so simple and yet to beautiful, what a lovely and versatile idea.

    1. Thanks very much Julie! It’s always nice to know there are other color lovers out there. This is really such an easy project. A little time consuming maybe, especially if you love to play. lol. But totally worth it.

  2. I love how these turned out too Tuula and I’m right there with you on embracing your inner child!!

    1. Thanks Sara! I think sometimes we adults overthink this whole creativity thing. Kids are so brave and just do what they love. That’s really the way to go no matter how old we actually are.

  3. I love the line…”after some years”…how many of us have been there, holding onto thrifted finds forever!! 😉 They were definitely worth the wait though, they fit that space perfectly and your paper choices are beautiful. Ps…great colors in the bedroom!!

    1. Thanks Kim! I’ve been there with the thrifted finds that are waiting for their makeovers many, many times. And will probably be there many more times too. Sometimes there’s a reason why we hold onto things. It’s destiny. At least that’s what I tell myself. lol.

  4. Patti @ Pandora's Box says:

    Clever idea – what a unique way to add some additional color and design to your bedroom!

  5. Let me just say that I love your fearlessly creative inner child! This is a fantastic project that can be adapted to anyone’s decorating style, although I love the colors and patterns in yours.

    1. Thanks very much Ann! I’m honestly the happiest when I just let my creative inner child go wild. It’s when the adult in me gets in her way that things don’t turn out the way I want them to. So I’ve learned to embrace the freedom and tell my adult second-guessing self to be quiet. lol.

  6. What a cool project, Tuula! You’ve created the perfect wall art display to go with your colorful bedroom! I love that you can also easily switch them out for a new look if you want!

    1. Thanks Gail! This is such a super easy way to add easy diy wall art that matches any space. I can totally see this with purples!

  7. Those are so pretty Tuula! I see these kinds of canvases all the time at the thrift stores too.

    Tania

    1. Thanks Tania! Yes I see them in all shapes and sizes too. They’re so perfect for makeovers.

  8. You took some generic canvases and made them so full of life. What a great addition to your room.

    1. Thanks Rachel! The great thing about thrifted canvases like these is that no matter what they depict, they’re basically blank canvases. The makeover possibilities are pretty endless.

  9. Really nice, Tuula!! And they look so perfect on your wall! I remember when you used those fabric squares on your dresser, and I thought nothing could be more perfect! So I’m REALLY looking forward to your future projects!!

    1. Thanks Dona! I don’t know if the dresser will be better, but it will definitely be different.

  10. Maureen Dongoski says:

    This is a great idea! Using thrifted canvases sure saved money. I love your finished artwork. And it goes so perfectly in your gorgeous bedroom. I’m a colorful girl too.

  11. The combination of papers you used is perfect for that room. I know you will enjoy these for years. Now I will be tempted to bring some canvases home the next time I thrift shop. Thanks for sharing.

  12. Debra Hubbs says:

    These came out so pretty and match your room perfectly!

  13. That turned out so cute! Your colors coordinate so well. You have a great eye for color.

  14. I can relate to *finally* making use of the thrifted items stashed away. You have definitely made excellent use of your canvas panels. They look amazing with all those pretty colors and patterns blending into one another! Looking forward to seeing the dresser and sewing bin makeovers.

    1. Thanks very much Allyson! It’s always fun to play with colors and patterns.