Wednesday, February 4, 2015

Canvas Silhouettes

I saw the idea for canvas silhouettes of facial profiles in a brochure from Lowes or Home Depot, can't remember which. I thought what a cool idea this would be to incorporate into the Tween Zebra Room?! My daughter is in love with all animals, esp exotic or wild animals; i.e., lions, tigers, zebras, wolves. 

The brochure had a very brief description of how to make a silhouette using spray paint: spray paint the canvas 1 color, lay down your silhouette and spray over it. Tada! Sounds easy enough right? Not. So, through trial and error I came up with my own way. 

I followed their short, indescriptive directions initially. I had no idea how to make the silhouette stay in place without blowing away with the first spray. So I thought to myself...painters tape. I put a little underneath the silhouette I had cut out and sprayed away. This was my result :(

Plenty of over spray AND you can see were the painters tape had been holding down the ears.

Disappointed, I stopped there and finished up other projects. I told my husband about my dilemma and he suggested weighing the image down AND I figured out how I had so much over spray initially. So here's my step by step instructions on what worked for me.

Choose a canvas size. I chose 8x10 that I found at Walmart for approximately $2-$3 for a pack of 2. I checked out Michaels, but their canvases must be made of gold because it was way too expensive for my taste.

Pick any image you want, but I would suggest sticking with an image with less detail, such as teeny tiny lines. As you can see above, I still have a bit of over spray on the lions tail and legs.

Print your image onto cardstock and cut out. Make sure your image will fit in your canvas how you want it. Then set it aside for later.

Spray your canvas with the color you want the silhouette to be. We chose pink silhouettes to coordinate with her room. I suggest 2 light coats so you have an even finish.

Once the paint is dry, place your image on the canvas and weigh it down. I used a half empty spray bottle. Don't use anything too heavy. Make sure you don't have any edges of your image sticking up. You can bend them down a little if your cardstock has warped a bit from handling.

Now it's time to spray your second color. To avoid over spray, DO NOT spray at a horizontal or slanted angle. Keep a vertical angle (facing straight down) when spraying. This will definitely help keep crisper lines around your silhouettes and less over spray. While the paint is still tacky, use tweezers to lift up your image.

Have you noticed yet that I did not spray the edges? There is a perfectly good reason for this too. I believe this is how I end up with most of the over spray on the first canvas I tried. So my MacGyver kicked in (just go with it) and I decided to wait to spray the edges until I could cover the top.

Once the canvas was dry, I cut out a piece of paper smaller than the canvas and taped it over the top of the image, using painters tape. Then I sprayed all the edges. Worked out much better this go 'round!

I still have small amounts of area with over spray but my daughter doesn't mind, which I find reassuring since she can be quite OCD like me haha.

I am open to suggestions if any of you have had more success with reducing over spray! Please leave comments below. I have one more canvas I want to do for my son's room...just not sure what design yet.

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