Pop Art Canvases

Monday, August 30, 2010

As some of you know, I'm a nanny.  Two of the kids I watch are twins and their birthday is coming up at the end of September.  I knew I wanted to make them something so they will always have a reminder of me.  I thought about doing paintings of their names, but that's been done.  Then I had the brilliant idea to do Andy Warhol style art of both of them (and their sister too because I didn't want her to feel left out).  There are tons of Web sites that offer the service to turn your portrait into pop art, like mydavinci.com, for $64.85 for an 8 x 8 print.  I knew I could do it myself in Photoshop, mount the prints to canvas and BAM - expensive art for cheap!

I used the same 6 x 6 canvases from Michael's that I used for the seasons mosaics.  It's a lot cheaper to buy a pack of four 6 x 6 canvases than it is to buy one 12 x 12 canvas - whoda thunk it?

I painted the sides and about half an inch on the top with black acrylic and let them dry overnight.

I made the artwork 6 x 6 to fit on the canvases, then had them printed as 8 x 10s at Sam's Club.  I usually have prints made at CVS because there's one right around the corner, but the price for an 8 x 10 at CVS is $3.99, so for 12 prints, it would have been $48!  Absolutely ridiculous.  Walgreen's was only $2.99, but in the end, Sam's won with 8 x 10 prints for $1.46!  Sam's is definitely the best place to get prints done, for future reference.

I used my trusty Fiskars rotary paper cutter to trim the photos down to size.

I mounted the trimmed prints to the canvas using matte Mod Podge.  They looked pretty good just like this, but I felt they looked a little too much like plain ol' prints mounted to canvas.  They needed a little texture.

I covered all the sides and the top with the Mod Podge to give a uniform look.

This is how the texture looked when it dried.  So much better than the glossy look, don't you think?  I think it makes it look more like the photo is printed on the canvas rather than glued to it.

And the finished product.  I am so extremely happy with them!  I debated on attaching them using 3 inches of ribbon in between, but in the end, I decided I liked the clean look better so I left them separate.  And what's even better... the grand total came out to less than $20 for each kid's one-of-a-kind pop art!

P.S. Isn't my subject adorable eating her watermelon?

Update: Go here to see the other two completed sets.

Update #2: Check out the full Photoshop tutorial for how to create your own pop art images here.


  1. Awesome idea!!! They came out super cool! I'm always trying to figure out ways to display my kids' pictures. Thanks for the inspiration.

  2. I love love love this! I've been thinking of this same exact idea for quite a while, but with huge wedding pictures (like poster size), but didn't want to spend the $ until I knew it was going to work! I'm so glad they worked out well for you... They look amazing!!!

  3. I love this! Great idea to use mod podge, it really does look like it's printed on canvas... Lots cheaper than even the pro canvas "deals" I see on the web all the time...

  4. Totally awesome! What a great gift! I know someone who would really love something like this (hint hint) :)

  5. Thanks everyone!

    Nellie - I will definitely keep that in mind. haha Christmas is just around the corner, after all!

  6. Great Idea. I want to do this for my oldest son.


  7. Wow! Those are really amazing and super impressive looking! I love giftable projects like this. I would love to link to these if you didn't mind.

  8. This is so cute! What effects did you use in Photoshop to do this?

  9. cute idea!!! I have attempted the traditional silk screen method, but this seems much easier with some really dynamic results.
    Love the watermelon picture tooo!!!

  10. Simple and timeless...
    A gift that will keep on giving
    Thanks for sharing :)

  11. Awesome project. I featured it this week on examiner.com's Home DIY column.


  12. Ooh, How I LOVE these! You did an excellent job and I think I might have to try my hand at making some for my family too! Thanks you for sharing your awesomeness with the web folks!
    PS, I'm a follower now too! :)

  13. I truly like to reading your post. Thank you so much for taking the time to share such a nice information. I'll definitely add this great post in my article section.