Thursday, July 19, 2012

DIY Song Lyric Canvas Art

Song Lyric Canvas Art
So if getting a house ready to put on the market and taking care of a 5 and 2 year old aren't enough...Our walls were so bare because we've only been here a year and all the ideas for art I wanted to make...I hadn't gotten around to doing yet.  So as we were staging the house, I decided I was just going to buckle down and make some of the things I had been wanting to try but just haven't had the pressure to actually get it done.  That way, the house wouldn't be SO empty, especially since all we had up were family photos which we had to take down.  PLUS, the now I'll have some new art to hang up right away after we move into a new house and those walls won't be bare like this house has been.  Apparently I can get a lot done when I have no time...funny how that works!  (I've made 3 paintings this week.  I'll post the other 2 soon so stay tuned...and I will admit, there is no time for perfection or reflection so whipping these out..they are what they are and normally I haven't done a lot of painting because I stress about it, taking my time and what not..these are not perfect but it's nice to have them up!)

Pick out a canvas, I purchased a thick 3 x 4 ft canvas at the local craft store that has really cheap canvases...I think this was just over $20.  

To start your song lyric canvas word art, find the lyrics to a song or poem that you really like and then use a photo editing program like picmonkey and add the lyrics/words line by line, editing each line to fit with the font you choose. Make sure you crop/size your template to scale of your canvas...since mine is 3x4 I made my template 3000 x 4000 pixels Here is what my finished template looked like...feel free to use it if you want, it is the lyrics of the song Happy As The Sun by Tyrone Wells (no I'm not OBSESSED but I do really like him and I liked these lyrics as I wanted a happy song that I could tell my husband and kids that it was about them).  

Take your finished template and upload it to a website like blockposters and select the size you want to print your image too and it will print your image onto the right amount of pages, blowing it up to the size you want.  now this isn't perfect...The template still ended up being a little bit bigger than my cnavas, which worked out since I had the thick canvas I just decided to wrap the words around the sides to make it fit without cutting any words out.  Print out the template and then trim all the pages and tape together.  Mine printed out onto 24 pages that I trimmed and taped together.

Now prep your canvas, if you want.  You could just paint the lyrics right onto the white canvas, but I didn't want mine to by stark white so I painted grey around the canvas, leaving some areas white...then after that was dry, I added a few washes of watered down white paint so there is subtle variation in the tone but nothing dramatic and it's not bright white.  

Take some sidewalk chalk (it wipes off easy without leaving the canvas dirty) and scribble the back of the top section of your template.

Lay it over the canvas, making sure it's straight and then use a pencil and trace over the letters to make a light transfer onto the canvas.  Now the chalk doesn't show up a TON but enough to make a guide so that the basic shape and spacing of the letters are consistent.   But to make sure I didn't mess it up or in case certain letters didn't show up well, I placed the template right below so I could also have a visual reference of what it was supposed to look like.

When I was done with one line, I would cut it off so the next line would by there, right below the line I was working on.  

Once you work through the first section, remove the template and scribble chalk on the next section and transfer...working your way down the canvas.

I used a small, flat edge paint brush and japanese sumi ink to paint on the lyrics.  I like the sumi ink because it flows on so nicely...I've painted words with paint before as well and you can use that if you want, but I just think the ink is much faster and flows better, especially for a more scripty font like I used.  
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Once you are finished, make sure the ink/paint is totally dry, then you can wipe the canvas down with a cloth to get rid of all the excess chalk.  Then take some sand paper and lightly sand to your hearts content.  I didn't want the painting to be very bold and the black ink was so dark, bold and a bit shiny so I sanded away...and certain words that I wanted to pop out I sanded less.  Also, certain letters or words that were maybe a little messed up...I sanded those down a LOT which made the errors almost unnoticeable.  :)
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Now, Hang it up and enjoy!  I spent 1 morning on this, getting done just before it was time to feed the kids lunch...thankfully they were enjoying being friends and playing in the playroom without incident that morning otherwise this would have taken much longer.  


Cocalores said...

That looks amazing! I tried handwriting, but wasn't so smitten with the result ;-) Yours looks way better!
BTW I nominated you for the Liebster Blog award:

Jenny Lynn said...

Great idea and it looks great.

Visiting from craft-o-maniac

Erin @ Chronic Christian Crafter said...

I love your finished product...I just did a project with lyrics on canvas myself. I love how these type of projects can highlight special songs, etc. Yours turned out great!


Unknown said...

This is wonderful, thank you! I found your link last night on the blog hop posted on Ginger Snap Crafts. I linked to this project in a post on my blog today: Glad I found your site!

Unknown said...

I love this :-) And the fact that you used one of my favorite songs makes it even better!

dani-15 said...

Hi, I realize this was posted a while back, but I cannot figure out how many pixels I need my lyrics to be. My canvas is large, 12x18, but I do not know how to change that to pixels. Help? :)

Candace @ Candace Creations said...

Hi dani I would guess you could use 1200 x 1800 pixel

Unknown said...

Hi I love your blog! When I tried to do this, I smeared the sumi ink all over the canvas, specifically around the wood frame area that showed through from the back. Any advice on what i'm doing wrong? Thanks!

Candace @ Candace Creations said...

OH NO! I'm sorry that happened! I'm not sure what you did wrong....maybe there was way too much ink on your brush....a little of that stuff goes a LONG way. I don't know if you can wash off the ink that has already smeared, but you can paint over it with white paint or gesso primer and start over. then get just a little bit of sumi ink on your brush, dab it on a napkin to make sure it's not going to all the sudden start running. Practice on a scrap piece of paper til you get the feel of the ink and how much to use on your brush and go slow, a couple letters at a time and let it some dry before you keep going, that can help prevent accidental smudging too. Good Luck!

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hermione's mother said...

hi- what is the font you used? it looks great!