What to do with unwanted art? Upcycle it!
So what to do with unwanted art? Upcycle it of course!
Nothing in my world ever goes to waste. I picked up this Hobby Lobby print at a garage sale for $5 last year. I thought the smudge that was on the front by the word “is” would come off with a little cleaning.
It did not.
Even if it had come off, there isn’t anything interesting about this piece. It’s a big huge blank canvas with some words PLUNKED on it without much care. It’s basic. And not in a good way.
What to do with unwanted art? Time to Upcycle!
The reason this piece has been sitting around for a year was because I wasn’t sure what I wanted to do with it. Should I donate it to the thrift store and hope someone else could figure it out? I didn’t wanted to throw it away. The frame was still good after all.
I love when inspiration strikes! I could replace the boring Hobby Lobby art with this very cool vintage eye chart design. When I discovered the size was almost exactly the same size as the canvas (it’s slightly larger) I couldn’t click buy fast enough!
First Things First
The first order of business was to block the words on the canvas.
If you look closely at the image above where my finger is pointing you can see the words come though the paper. I knew that if I tried to glue the paper down the words would be clearer, so I had to do a little cover up.
I had a little white paint leftover from another project. As you can see it has been in my stock for awhile. The color had begun to separate so it’s good that I get it used up. A quick mix and it will be white again.
I put a coat of paint over the entire surface concentrating heavily on where the words were. Unfortunately, the words were slightly indented where the gold was. It must have been heat set. So for those areas I had to lay the paint on thick to fill the words.
Once the paint was dry I gave the surface a light sanding to make the surface even.
Some of you may have notice in the Roycycle image above that the design is not centered on the paper. It’s slightly off centered to the right so for my purposes I had to line the right edge up to make sure my design was centered.
To make sure it stayed put while I was gluing things down I clamped the paper in place.
I chose matte mod podge to glue everything down. I wanted the final product to look old and aged so a glossy finish wouldn’t have worked.
Again, I wanted an aged and slightly decrepit look to the finished product so I used a paint brush to apply the glue and it was thick and uneven. If you want a more even finish then you’ll need to work in smaller sections. Using a foam roller will give you a more even coverage.
Working in sections I smoothed the paper down with my hands. Your hands are the best tools because you can feel where there’s too much glue and where there’s not enough glue. You will also feel if the paper shifts around on you.
I wasn’t too worried about wrinkles because I wanted an aged and ragged look. That makes my job so much easier. That’s probably why I default to decrepit! :-p
Once the glue was dry I used a plastic razor blade to trim off the excess paper. I like using a plastic razor blade because there’s less chance of me cutting myself or damaging the frame. I also used the blade to scrape off any excess glue on the frame. I’m a bit of a sloppy crafter.
The Roycycled paper already had an aged look but I wanted the aging to look more authentic. The watered down wax would help accomplish that. I stayed to the edges of the piece. I also hit a few places around the image wanting to give the piece more aging.
This is all person preference. You can certainly skip that part if you like the image as is.
While the dark wax was out, I decided to darken the frame a little. So I used the watered down antiquing wax and brushed it over the entire surface of the frame.
Here it is all finished! I’m thrilled with how this turned out. It’s headed to the shop with a $40 price tag. This has now replaced my Upcycled Tote Bag as my favorite upcycle project. But you should still check out the Tote bag project. It’s a good one!
What do you think?
I’m curious what you would do with unwanted art? Do you think you might attempt this project with your own unwanted prints?
Please share this post on Pinterest and your other social media feeds! Maybe we can keep more unwanted art out of the landfill!