Art doesn't need to match your sofa, and it doesn't need to be centered above it, either. Build from a neutral background, like we did with this wall, sofa, and rug, to make artwork with different themes work as a cohesive whole.
Note: Each of these canvas painting ideas starts with a plain stretched canvas, available at crafts stores. See the following slides for details of each canvas project and tips for completing your own.
If you're looking for canvas art ideas for beginners, or just need some quick art, try this project, which starts with a yard of fabric and a canvas. Watch and see how it comes together. (And just how simple it is!)
Let this DIY canvas painting idea bring words of inspiration to your decor, along with artsy flowers. For the base: Paint several sheets of newspaper with a thin coat of black watercolor paint. Tear paper into strips and decoupage onto canvas. (Reserve extra.) Cut out flower shapes and adhere to canvas with removable double-stick tape to create a mask. Paint the entire canvas with gray acrylic paint. Remove flower shapes and tape. Paint flowers with a light coat of gray acrylic paint so words show through. For the flower embellishments: Cut out circles of newspaper in descending sizes from plain newspaper and black-painted newspaper. Stack six layers and attach with a brad. Cut slits to give each flower dimension. Use scrapbooking adhesive to adhere flowers to canvas. For the words: Use watercolors to paint paper in shades of orange, pink, and red. Let dry. Type and print desired words from your computer onto painted paper. Cut out each line and adhere to canvas with scrapbooking adhesive.
Add modern style to your home with graphic easy canvas wall art projects, like this one. Paint canvases off-white (we used two canvases). Let dry. Set canvases side by side. Paint a thick coat of paint in a dark color onto one side of a yardstick. Press it down so it lies across both canvases. Reload paint and apply in another direction across both canvases. Move the canvases to another position and repeat, using different colors, until you are happy with the design.
Project by Molly Reid Sinnett, Team DIY designer
Who knew DIY canvas painting ideas could feature both new and old paint. First, paint canvas using several shades of green acrylic paint. Vary thickness of layers to create a mottled effect. Scrape dried paint skins off of old paint tubes, palettes, brushes, drop cloths, and other paint tools. Use decoupage medium to adhere them to the canvas. Let dry. Frame canvas with wood remnants.
Project by Michele Beschen, Team DIY Salvage Style designer
Not all canvas painting ideas need a brush. For this abstract piece, coat canvas with metallic spray paint. (Brian used Rust-Oleum in Stainless Steel because of its low-luster finish.) Let dry. Dilute pearlized or metallic acrylic crafts paint with water to create a liquid with a subtle shimmer. (Concentration can be as thin as three drops of paint per 1/2 cup water, or as thick as 1 tablespoon paint per 1/4 cup water.) Create two or three colors. Put each into a separate empty shampoo bottle. Set canvas at a steep angle (put newspaper or an old shower curtain underneath to catch drips). Carefully drip the first color along top edge, allowing it to run down the front of the canvas in desired pattern. Allow to dry. Rotate canvas 180 degrees and repeat process with remaining colors. Create a frame from old floorboards cut to size. Nail directly to canvas frame.
Project by Brian Kramer, Team DIY designer
Wall decor ideas, like this feather and floral number, with a little whimsy will add a fanciful touch to any space. First, paint canvas with gray acrylic paint. Let dry. Pull pages from a discarded book. Paint top edge of 15 to 20 pages with turquoise acrylic paint. Let dry. Roll each page in a teardrop shape and use white glue to adhere to canvas to form a row across the canvas. For the flowers: Paint one book page pink. Let dry. Cut an imperfect circle and snip outside edges to create fringe. Glue to canvas as flower base. Cut a large circle from another page. Starting at the outside edge and working toward the center, cut a spiral into the circle. Twist and glue the spiral into a flower shape. Glue flower shape to fringed pink circle. Use turquoise acrylic paint to lightly coat the ends of feathers. When dry, glue feathers to canvas. Use turquoise paint to freehand-paint leaves near some of the flowers.
Project by Leslie Poyzer, Team DIY designer
Start your day off bright with these canvas painting ideas. By grouping art around a color family—blue—we could add bits of oranges, pinks, and greens without overwhelming the space. Use your favorite words and phrases, so you’ll be inspire every time you see your artwork.
Note: See the following slides for details of these DIY canvas art ideas and tips for completing your own.
Try this for a quick wall decor project, which is also a great canvas art idea for beginners. Choose three shades of the same acrylic paint color. Tape off canvas into thirds. Paint lightest shade on top third of canvas, medium shade on middle third, and darkest shade on bottom. Remove tape. Let dry. Add fun color names with white paint.
Project by Jessica Hansen, Team DIY intern
This DIY canvas art idea starts with a trip down the produce aisle. Chop stalks of bok choy or celery 2 to 3 inches from the bottom. Blot off moisture and let dry for an hour. Pour dark blue crafts paint onto paper plate. Use bok choy or celery end as a stamp: Press cut end into paint, then onto canvas in random pattern. Let dry. Repeat with lighter blue color, overlapping as desired.
Project by Pamela Porter, Team DIY designer
Tape off or cover each third of the canvas separately to paint in three shades of blue. Let dry between coats. Use store-bought stencils and a foam pouncer to paint words atop the base coats. Buy a clock mechanism (or take apart an old clock). Paint clock hands blue. From the back of the canvas, poke the "stem" of the clock mechanism through to the front of the canvas, securing the back to hold it in place. Cut thin strips of paint-color chips and arrange them in a fanlike pattern around a circle. Use decoupage medium to adhere strips to the canvas. Project by Brianne Sanchez, Team DIY designer
Start with a vintage map, or soak a new map in strong, cold coffee to give it a weathered look. Let dry. Use decoupage medium to adhere map to canvas. Let dry. Use highlighters to write notes, trace roads, or draw hearts and shapes on the map. Lightly tape stencils spelling desired phrase onto map and fill in using paint markers. Remove stencils; let dry. Project by Bethany Kohoutek, Do It Yourself editor
We love this combination of graphic (lyrics to a punk-rock song and heavy black lines) and girly (the bird and flower and feathers). The addition of a picture ledge adds variety to an otherwise two-dimensional display and affords bonus space to prop favorite objects that complement your art collection.
Note: See the following slides for details of each canvas project and tips for completing your own.
Place an oversize decorative key (found at crafts stores) on canvas and paint around it with green acrylic paint. Dry-brush around the canvas edges to give perimeter a rough, textured look. Purchase or make (print from computer and cut out) word stencils. Lightly tape stencils in place. Use a foam pouncer to add black paint to letters. Project by Katie Leporte, Team DIY designer
Paint canvas black using oil paint. Let dry. Snap and print a photo or find an image in a magazine of a flower against a dark backdrop to use as inspiration. Use oil paint, brushes, and artist's knives to freehand-paint the flower image, blending and shading where necessary to achieve desired tonal dimension. Project by Meredith Ladik, Team DIY designer
Paint canvas a deep neutral color using oil paint. Enlarge a simple, graphic pattern or theme. (Meredith was inspired by a steel sculpture in a park near her home.) Using the image as inspiration, load black oil paint onto a brush and apply in thick, steady strokes. Project by Meredith Ladik, Team DIY designer
Spray-paint canvas sky blue. Let dry. Freehand-draw bird image (or search online for "bird silhouette") onto patterned wrapping paper. Cut out. Freehand-draw branch onto canvas, then fill in with paint. Let dry. Use decoupage medium to adhere bird cutout to branch. Use two sizes of foam pouncers and two shades of pink acrylic paint to create flowers on branch. Puncture canvas with a needle or tip of fine-point scissors. Push the wire end of a silk flower through canvas. Curl wire to keep flower in place. Project by Lacey Howard, Do It Yourself group editor
Draw a geometric design all over the canvas using a pencil and ruler. Using a diluted watercolor wash, fill in each shape with complementary colors. Let dry. Freehand-draw feathers onto canvas. Using a curved upholstery needle and yarn, embroider the feathers' outlines. Project by Alexa Fornoff, Do It Yourself assistant editor