It was very clear to me that we could indeed do it for much cheaper than Grandin Road wanted for it.
Here's a photo of the original art work she loved.
It's 3 canvases across, and 4 canvases down, for 12 total canvases. In this instance, it resembles a telephone pad. The canvases are sold separately, at a cost of $119 each for 16x16, and $159 each for 24x24. To buy 1 each of the 16x16 canvases, you are looking at spending $1,428. Want to splurge on the larger size? $1908 in all.
Well, it was a no brainer to me. Obviously we could do it a LOT cheaper than that, and fully customize it while we were at it!
This weekend, I drove over to her neck of the woods with my older daughter Raegan, and we got started.
Telephone Pad Wall Art
- 12 Canvases- we went to Dollar Tree and picked up 12 of the bird printed 5x5 wall art picture, which are stretched like a canvas around a wooden frame, but the "canvas" is more of a plasticy feel.
- Mod Podge
- Scrapbook Paper or Fabric- We used 2-3 patterns for each canvas, but the scraps left over on most of them were large enough for some numbers or contrasting. I would recommend 12 sheets of 12x12, and 4-6 sheets of 12x12 for extra paper
- Distress Ink
- Stencils or computer print outs of numbers- we used stencils on some, free hand on some, and computer print outs on some
- Paint brushes
- Buttons- we used these for dots on the number 3 block, but this can easily be skipped.
We picked up the stencils for $3.50 after a 40% coupon, and they're totally reusable, so I'm not counting that as a cost necessary to this project. I had Mod Podge, but we also bought some, again with 40% coupons. I had everything else on hand that we needed.
So total costs:
For a total of $30 spent, probably less when I subtract papers not used. $2.50 for each of 12 pieces for this large wall art. I -freaking- love it. We "saved" $116.50 on each piece we made, for a total savings of $1398. Almost $1400 saved by "Doing It Yourself!"
And now, for the tutorial.
- First, do as I say, not as I did- match each paper up with 1-2 contrasting papers for the numbers or design. Trust me. Once you've matched it, lay it all out in the order you want them in- rearrange so you
don't have all orange on top, and all green on the bottomhave the colors matched up where you want them. Take a photo, and number the backs of the paper in pencil. Trust me.
- Decide which paper will be the back ground. We decided to crumple some, and leave some flat. The crumpled paper got distressed immediatly. From there, start covering the canvases. You'll want to measure the paper out to about 1/4" wider than the canvas, give or take a bit.
- Spread the top of the canvas with Mod Podge (we used Matte, and it turned out great), and smooth the paper on. From there, start folding and Mod Podging it around the edges. Take care to remember where the hanger is on the back, and don't podge over it.
- As the canvases dry, distress them to your liking. We used 4 different colors, so some were more brown, some had a touch of black, some red, etc.
- Once all the canvases are papered, it's time to start cutting out your numbers. While we did do the phone pad, we didn't do a number, precisely, on each one. The 4, for instance, spells out FOUR in a square, instead of the number 4. The 5 is hash marks. The 3 resembles a dice with 3 dots. Be creative. Also- this is where you'll notice that while a large chunk of paper A stands out nicely against paper B, when cut to a thin number, it blends RIGHT in. Ugh. This is where chunks of scrap paper came in nicely to form blocks behind some of the numbers. I also took advantage of my distress ink to high light edges, or create square blocks behind numbers.
- When you are satisfied, start to podge over the tops, adding the numbers.
- Seal the top with more podge.
- Viola! You are done!
A few of the paper covered canvases
Trying to figure out/remember what papers we picked to go with which papers. Oops- this is where my stressing of doing this first came in.
A few finished canvases
This one, we wound up going back and outlining the letters with a cranberry colored marker, because while the print stands out, the letters themselves blend in, and it was very hard to read the letters FOUR. I did not, however, get a photo of it outlined.
(I just LOVE the 2 with the circle around it!)
And finally... The whole thing!
The entire project, put together- isn't it fantastic? The awesome thing about this? Well, aside from being FRUGAL? It's totally customizable when you DIY. Don't like the colors? The fonts? Want letters instead of numbers? Totally doable. It came out great, and we had a lot of fun making it!
I'm hard pressed to pick an all out favorite, because I love the entire project. And I also love that I "saved" us almost $1400 with some ingenuity and craftiness.
One last comparison:
Once my mom gets it hung, I'll get some photos of it, but I was too anxious to post this wicked awesome project to wait for them!
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