Instagram has been my shining star app here lately and it has inspired me to take on a little gallery wall project in our living room. We have a large, oddly shaped wall that needed a statement piece, and this was just the idea to fill the space. A few friends asked how it was done, so I’ll share that here –
- Square Canvases [I used 8x8" Classic Collection brand from Hobby Lobby]
- Mod Podge [I chose the Matte finish]
- X-Acto Knife
- Foam Brush
- Photos [Printed on regular paper]
Print your favorite images (the ones I used are from Instagram) out on standard printer paper. I sized mine to 8×8, which felt big enough to me to make a statement while not being too big to blow the resolution out of whack. Lay your photos out in the order you’re going to hang them before you start cutting to make sure you’ve got it the way you want it (and to avoid unnecessary cutting in the event you have to sub one out). Cut all of the photos to size before busting out the Mod Podge to avoid a giant mess! Most canvases are not perfect, so you’ll want to triple check that you’ve cut your photo to the right size before applying the Mod Podge. It’s much easier to cut the paper before it’s mounted to the canvas.
Brush a generous layer of Mod Podge onto a clean canvas and quickly move on to layering the back side of your first photo with a thin layer. Place the photo on the canvas gently (which will allow you to shift it into place). Try to push out any air bubbles that may have formed. I would suggest even flipping the canvas over (face down on a clean flat surface) and running a few firm fingers across the back, before adding layers of Mod Podge to the top of your photo.
Add several generous layers of Mod Podge in both directions (up-down + left-right), making sure to seal the edges of the photo to the canvas. The OCD in me had me making sure the last pass was horizontal for all canvases, to avoid any odd glaring issues. I also took note of where the seams laid on the canvases to make sure they were all going the same direction :] Okay, Rain Man.
Set your canvas somewhere to dry, avoiding any contact with it until it’s no longer tacky.
Repeat this process as many times as it takes to get your arrangement as you’ve envisioned it. I have three rows of four (12 total) for now, but I plan on doubling my collection as soon as I can get my hands on more canvases. I used a (velcro-type) 3M Command strip at the top (center) of each canvas, trying to place them in relatively the same spot on each canvas so that I can rearrange and rotate them over time with ease.
My apologies for the poor quality photos, but I’ve come to the realization that it’ll probably be hit-n-miss with the photos on this blog. It’s a real-life blog and sometimes busting out my Nikon at midnight on a workday sounds like more work than it’s worth.
I smile every time I walk past these photos, as they’re some of my favorites. Not too bad for less than $5.00 a piece!*
p.s. Turn this tutorial into a crafty drinking game by taking a drink each time you read the words “Mod Podge” — just kidding.
*I’ll add a rundown of the cost to this post when I pick up the other half of the canvases, as the only thing I actually had to purchase for this project was the Mod Podge (meaning the real cost for me this time around was less than 50 cents per canvas). Benefits of being a craft supply hoarder.