About a month ago I saw an ad for Canvas People* for a “free” 8 x 10 canvas portrait – just had to pay shipping. With Mother’s Day and Father’s Day coming up, and with recently receiving pictures from my sister’s wedding, I got really excited about this “deal”. I went to their website and placed an order for 3 canvases but when I went to pay shipping, my cost was $45! So much for “free!” To be fair, without the discount I would have had to pay $165 for 3 canvases and shipping. Either way, with a bi-weekly allowance of $100, I can’t be spending nearly half of it on presents for others, as much as I love the people in my life.
So with a quick scroll through Google, I realized I could use some good old DIY for a lot cheaper!
Canvases – I had a 20% off coupon to JoAnn Fabric, where I found individual canvases with no price listed. At the register they were $5.99 a piece! I headed over to Michael’s where I found a 10 pack for $19.99 BUT I pulled up a 40% off one item coupon on my phone and voila – $12! Each canvas was $1.20 and I have materials to make more later!
Modge Podge – JoAnn Fabric’s coupon was for an entire purchase so I got a 16 oz (smallest they had!) for $8. It will last a LONG time!
Prints – Matte prints work the best with Modge Podge so I went to Walgreens.com, uploaded the pictures I wanted, and selected 8 x 10 matte prints. Matte is only available by mail so I paid $1 for shipping. I found a 25% off coupon so prints were $3.50 each.
Sponge Brushes – These also came from JoAnn’s and were $.31 with the coupon.
Scrapbook Paper (Optional) – One sheet of paper will make for a colorful or artistic border. These usually cost $.50-$1 but I happened to have one on hand.
Scrap Newspaper or Wax Paper – Keeps your surface from getting messy and makes for easy clean up!
1. Liberally apply Modge Podge with the sponge brush to a blank canvas and the back of a print. HINT – doubled-up cupcake wrappers make great containers to use a little bit of Modge Podge for your individual project. See picture below.
2. Stick the print evenly on the canvas.
3. Cut measured strips of scrapbook paper and stick them on the border of your Modge Podge’d canvas.
4. Let dry – 20 minutes max.
5. Liberally apply Modge Podge over the entire canvas and border. It will look milky and you might get concerned that it’s not going to be pretty. Don’t worry, it dries clear!
By using coupons and shopping around, the canvases turned out to be $5.80/each. Despite spending $30 on materials, it’s a partial investment to make 10 canvases total – easily used for future gifts. Through Canvas People it would cost $650 to make all 10 canvases!!
My mom was near tears when she opened it, making it a Mother’s Day success!*And this post is not meant negatively towards Canvas People and is merely an example of the MANY professional sites out there that make beautiful canvas portraits. I’m sure they do a great job but this post is for the more frugal or crafty minded 🙂