I confess. I’m a home decorating magazine and TV show junkie. Most of the time I see wonderful projects that would look great in my home, but often my actions stop there. I wish I had the time to pull off even a quarter of the projects I see on TV or rip out of magazines. (You should see the “idea files” I have. Think heaping file folders overflowing with inspiration. Sad, really, that they hardly ever get to fulfill their creative destiny!)
Though, if I think about it, I am a bit crafty, at least with simple projects. I think it was in a magazine like Domino or Blueprint (two of my favs that went under) that I came across the idea of creating a “family tree” with small blank canvases, printouts of old
family photos and decoupage.
It’s very minimalist, but I think it’s a great way of highlighting the photos rather than their frames. It’s also minimalist in execution - print photo, glue onto canvas, let dry, and glue over the top.
It really is that simple.
Here’s what you need:
* Blank artist canvases (I use 8” X 10” ones.)
* Decoupage glue (I use Mod Podge but plain white glue works too.)
* Paint brush (I use a small foam brush.)
* Photos (Don’t use originals.)
First, use your computer’s photo editing program to crop and enhance your photos to your liking. I used the “sepia” coloring effect on all my photos for consistency. Some of my originals were black and white and some were color, so using the sepia color made them all look like they came from the same era.
Print out the photos in various shapes and sizes. I made some of the photos square, some horizontal rectangle, some vertical rectangle. Making them each a bit different in size and shape adds interest. Be sure to let the photos dry before cutting them out or handling them, as printer ink has a tendency to smudge onto the canvas if it’s not dry when you glue them on (I learned this the hard way).
Next, paint the decoupage glue onto the entire back of the photo and press photo onto the canvas. I place a paper towel on top of the photo while pressing down so that my fingers do not get glue and printer ink on them and smudge the canvas. If you do get a little ink smudge on the canvas, just use a damp paper towel and wipe it away gently.
Let the photo dry on the canvas before preceding. After the photo is dry, use the foam brush and carefully paint the glue over the top of the photo and onto the entire canvas front and sides. The photo will have a milky look, but once dry, the entire canvas will have a glossy sheen. You’ll see the brush strokes a bit when dry, but I think that adds to the character of the pieces.
Tip: Paint the glue sparingly, but entirely, over the photo. The more brush strokes on the photo, the more likely the ink is to smear.
If you like, once the entire canvas is dry, you can put on another coat of decoupage glue. This will add to the glossiness.
After everything is dry, hang the canvases up. Voila! You have a one-of-a-kind family tree.
Easy peasy. Now go be crafty!