How to Make a Light Up/ Lighted Art Canvas
How to Make a Light Up Canvas
Whether you want to make custom décor for your home, thinking of making a gift, or considering creative night light options, a light up canvas is a unique craft that anyone can make. Canvases are inexpensive and can be painted to match any room and even look beautiful left unpainted. Natural items look stunning on a lighted canvas. This idea can be customized with a tree, cherry blossoms, and even your favorite photo or painting. No matter what your skill level as a painter, a simple canvas like this is simple to create. With some affordable supplies and a little creativity, you too can make your own lighted canvas.
Supplies Needed For a Lighted Canvas
- One canvas in any size you prefer. The canvas should be mounted to a plastic or wooden frame.
- Paint for the image you want on your canvas. For this canvas, I used spray paint to create an abstract background. The fern is painted with blue and brown metallic acrylic paint
- A stencil of any image you prefer if you aren't painting an image with a free hand style
- One paintbrush if using a stencil
- A stencil in any style you prefer
- One flat stencil brush or paint roller
- A nail for poking holes or a razor with a straight blade to cut an outline
- One small set of lights. 20 to 50 lights work well. I have used a battery operated set to avoid having a cord to plug in coming from behind the lights. The more lights in the set, the brighter your canvas will be.
- Sturdy tape like duct tape or electrical tape to put the lights on the canvas
Instructions to Make a Light Up Canvas
The first step in creating your canvas is to decide on your design. For this project I wanted an abstract background in blue and chocolate. I chose spray paint for this project because it is a great way to get an abstract look for a novice painter.
To start, coat the canvas with a light color and let it dry for at least four hours. Next, apply your accent color on top of the base color. Holding the can away from the canvas while spraying will give you a lighter, abstract looking coat. Let the canvas dry for four more hours.
If you want to apply decoration to the canvas, you can paint it onto the prepared canvas. If you have no artistic painting ability like me, you can use a stencil to create a design on your photo. Choose a stencil with your desired design. Tape it to the dried canvas before painting so it stays secure and so that paint doesn't seep outside of the design. Stencils can be painted with a paint brush. I prefer to use a flat stencil brush as pictured because this method does not show brush strokes.
When finished, allow the paint to dry for four hours. When dry, remove the stencil.
Next, take a nail and poke small holes around the outline of your design. Poke the holes from front to back. Add more holes for a brighter canvas and less holes for a more subtle glow.
For the last step, tape the lights to the back of the canvas. If using a string of lights with a cord, tape it so the cord dangles at the bottom. When secure, hang the picture and turn out the lights and admire your new home decor.
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