That, right there, is a canvas photo collage of four of my favorite Instagram photos taken on our very recent trip to St. Marten to celebrate our 5th anniversary and “babymoon” (yup, that’s me 26 weeks pregnant!) It’s also nothing short of a holiday miracle. Maybe I’m exaggerating. But considering we took this vacation less than two weeks ago and I have memory cards full of photos from vacations over the past two years still hanging out untouched… I’d say it’s quite the accomplishment.
So what made me do it? The fact that my hubs and I said “no Hanukkah gifts” and he proceeded to get me pajamas and then ask for three nights in a row where his gift was. (Ok, maybe I asked for pajamas – but only because I’ve stolen half of his clothes as I’ve gotten bigger and bigger and I figured he might want some back.) And because it’s impossible to shop for a man who needs nothing.
You should know that making something other than food has been way out of my comfort zone for years, even though I lived for arts & crafts as a kid (and subsequently as a teen and then a sorority girl.) In other words: If I can do this, so can you. To help you out, I documented the steps of my Instagram project in a series of Instagram pictures. Clever, huh? In case you weren’t following me yesterday, I’ve got the full story here.
I got the idea from Tarah at Smells Like Home, and followed her lead to Pinterest and then other various blogs to figure out what I was supposed to do. After tinkering around between my phone and computer a bit, I managed to print my four pictures in 4″ square size on photo paper (if I had thought about this ahead of time, I would have easily ordered prints from Printsagram – thank you Tarah!) Then I went and grabbed the following supplies:
- 8″ square canvas
- acrylic black paint
- mod podge
- foam brushes
- spray-on acrylic sealer
As soon as I was back home, I painted my canvas black – all the way around the sides as well as across the front.
While waiting for it to dry, I trimmed my photos. If you’re going to print your own pictures like I did, it’s a good idea to have a paper cutter as well. You can buy a small scrap-booking one pretty inexpensively.
Next, time for the podge. Yesterday, I was a mod podge newbie; now I’m on my way to pro. (Meaning, it’s that easy. In case you’re scared, like I was.) Paint on a thin, even layer…
… then stick your photos where you want them. And walk away to let it dry, because you’ll probably be freaking out that it’s not going to dry clear and you’ve just ruined the whole thing (you haven’t.)
Even though I saw the first layer of mod podge ultimately turn clear, I still had anxiety over the subsequent layers (two or three of them) I used to seal the photos on top of the canvas. No worries, it all worked out in the end.
Lastly, once it was all clear, I gave it a spritz of clear acryclic sealer. Out in the garage, so I didn’t have to inhale the stuff. Probably better that way, right?
I have to say, I was pretty impressed with the end result. But even more so the smile on my husband’s face when he unwrapped his homemade Hanukkah gift
I already a few ideas for which photos I’d like to use next!
What are your favorite homemade gifts to give?