How to Make Canvas Wall Art with Paint and Paper

Add a bold piece of art to your home for a fraction of the cost of buying it at the store.

Creating your own canvas wall art is a budget-friendly way to personalize your home. You control the intensity of the colors, the movement of the piece, and the style. And it's the ultimate conversation starter.

"This color just screams happiness to me. It's cheerful, warm, and inviting," says Brittni Mehlhoff, Designer and DIYer at Paper and Stitch. "I have a bachelor of fine arts degree in painting and drawing, so I've always loved experimenting with different materials and supplies. When I saw BHG's 2023 Color of the Year, Canyon Ridge, I immediately wanted to play with the tonal range for an art piece."

"Canyon Ridge is one of those colors that can work in nearly any home," says Brittni. "If you're a bold color lover, it would look great painted on the walls of a colorful bedroom or lounge space. Or even as a refresh for an outdated piece of furniture or bathroom vanity. On the other hand, if your style tends to lend itself toward neutrals, using Canyon Ridge as an accent in a DIY art piece like mine, would be a nice way to incorporate the color on a smaller scale."

canvas wall art
Courtesy of Brittni Mehlhoff

How to Paint Canvas Wall Art

Supplies Needed

  • Paint (Better Homes & Gardens Interior Paint in the shade Canyon Ridge, available at Walmart)
  • Heavyweight art paper 22x30-inches or larger
  • Matte medium or glue
  • Paintbrushes
  • Ruler or straight edge
  • Pencil
  • Scissors
  • Cradled art panel
  • Water
  • Small containers for mixing

Step-by-Step Directions

Making art is a personal experience, but if you'd like to create something similar to Brittni's canvas art, here's how to make this wall art project with BHG's 2023 Color of the Year, available at Walmart.

Step 1: Mix Paint and Water

Start by creating one to three paint washes in small containers, mixing just paint and water. The goal is to get varying degrees of saturation with each wash. This will create more depth in the final painting, but still feel cohesive.

Buy It: Better Homes & Gardens Interior Paint, in Canyon Ridge ($32, Walmart)

Step 2: Paint Abstract Shapes

Begin painting abstract shapes and patterns on heavyweight art paper, using the washes you created in step one. Paint a few shapes straight from the can as well.

Note from Brittni: Don't stress about what to paint, you'll be cutting the paper into pieces later. You don't need to be precise with this part of the process. Depending on the desired size of your final art piece, you may need to repeat this process with multiple sheets of art paper.

Step 3: Create a Grid

Wait for the paint to dry. Then flip the paper over and use a ruler and pencil to create grid lines across the back of the paper. You can do this with squares or rectangles. The grid boxes can be as big or as small as you like, but note that when the grid lines are close together it will take longer to create the final piece.

Step 4: Cut the Grid Lines and Assemble

Cut along the grid lines that you created to form smaller pieces of paper, almost like puzzle pieces. Flip the pieces of paper back over and rearrange them in a new pattern that is even more abstract.

abstract wall art
Courtesy of Brittni Mehlhoff

Step 5: Finalize the Design

Once you've landed on a final look that you like, begin gluing the pieces onto your cradled art panel in the order desired. Brittni recommends using the matte medium as glue because it creates a strong bond and is almost invisible once dry, but you can use regular craft glue as well. Repeat this process until your entire panel is filled. Let dry. Add a frame, if desired, and it's ready to hang.

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