DIY Art: Dress Canvas

I honestly have no idea what internet search allowed me to find this absolutely GORGEOUS ‘dress’ made entirely of flowers on the blog Good Day Sunshine {which has moved to here}.  

I WANT THAT DRESS!  {No matter how uncomfortable it would be – beauty is pain, right?}  Ok, so… I may not be able to WEAR the dress.  But I can STARE at the dress.  I’m ok with that.  {Not like I have a choice anyways.}  Quickly I referred back to Distressed Decor for one of my absolute favorite tutorials utilizing Mod Podge to transfer an image, and now I’m ready to create.  If you know how to use glue {and I am assuming you do}, YOU CAN CREATE THIS!  I just love DIY art!

Here is the canvas I upcycled:


 I am going to go out on a limb here and assume that since you are on the internet reading a blog you have a computer, printer, and a piece of paper {or at least access to one}.  And reading a DIY craft tutorial leads me to believe that you have scissors, an artist brush, and Mod Podge.  Photo editing software – standard with Microsoft Office, so odds are in your favor.  If my assumptions are correct, cost of this project can be as little as:

  • $1.20 For Single Canvas {cost for only one of the two canvas, and utilizing 40% off}
  • $2.80 Glass Pebbles {assuming you find at a craft store and use 40% off coupon, plus you will have lots left over to use for other things}
  • $2.40 Acrylic Sealer {using 40% off coupon}

Total: $6.40 {not including tax – but seriously, that’s really cheap!!!}



 Time to Complete:

Eh – two{ish} hours – but not consecutive.  Great project to do when you only have a little time here and there.

Materials Needed:

  • Canvas {2 pack available at most craft stores for under $4, without a coupon}
  • Computer
  • Photo Editing Software
  • Laser Printer
  • Paper {$.05 a piece, perhaps even less?}
  • Scissors or Xacto Knife and Cutting Mat
  • Modge Podge {$5 Bottle without coupon}
  • Artist Brush
  • Glass Pebbles {Similar product here for $7.}
    • Huh?  Where did I get this hair brained idea?  This was one of many projects I did for the model home, and I found these glass pebbles in warehouse storage.  They were just sort of interesting, so I grabbed them.  And this art is how they made their way back into another model home. :)
  • Clear Acrylic Sealer {$4 @ Hobby Lobby – without coupon}

How To:

  1. Download image onto computer.
  2. Use simple photo editing software {I used Microsoft Publisher – it’s so easy!}, enlarge image to appropriate size.  I sized image to 1 inch less than height of canvas.
  3. Print sized image with laser printer.
  4. Cut image out.  I used an Xacto knife, because I really wanted to emphasise the details – but your cutting does NOT have to be that precise.  Especially if you intend to leave the canvas background white.
  5. Using an artist brush, apply Mod Podge to entire image.  Apply as evenly as possible. 
  6. Place image {Mod Podge side down} onto canvas.
  7. Allow to dry.  {It takes approximately 4 hours for Mod Podge to dry completely.}
  8. Use damp sponge to moisten the paper.  {You may want to let it set a minute or so.}
    • Tip: You may want to complete the next step near a sink or trash can – it’s gonna get messy {which I see as a great sign of progress!}.
  9. Using either sponge or fingers, gently rub paper off image.  Small circular motions work well.  Make sure not to apply too much pressure – better safe than sorry.  Rub too hard, and some of the image will rub off too.  Rub too gently, and some paper residue will remain {which can be fixed, I’ll tell you how in a minute.}
  10. After rubbing paper off entire image area, allow to dry.
  11. After image has dried, take a close look at it in search of paper left behind.
  12. If any paper remains, repeat steps 8-11 until {nearly} all paper is gone.  Don’t take “all paper is gone” literally and go all crazy and stuff trying to get it off.  Just go by how it looks.  If it looks ok from a couple feet back {the way you would typically see art on a wall}, then I wouldn’t scrutinize it any further.
  13. Create a circle large enough to contain the image.  I used a pencil to lightly trace a paper plate onto the canvas. 
  14. Apply Mod Podge with artist brush to all surface area outside the circle.  Apply thinner layer near the pencil line, and really glop it on everywhere else.  {Thinner towards the line to prevent it from seeping into the image ‘circle.’} 
  15. Liberally pile on glass pebbles to Mod Podged area.  Tip: This will prove tricky along the canvas edges.  After glass pebbles have been places onto entire Mod Podged surface area, go back along the edges and use the side of your hand to corral ‘run away’ pebbles back to top of canvas.  You may even need to use your hand to hold them there for a minute before moving to the next section. 
  16. The nature of Mod Podge image transfers are appearing distressed.  Without a doubt, there will be bits of the image that either do not adhere or rub off.  On the lower part of the dress in the more ‘distressed’ areas, apply a small dot of Mod Podge and top with a single pebble.
  17. Allow ample time to dry – overnight would be best.
  18. Spray thin layer of clear acrylic sealer to entire surface area of canvas.
  19. Allow to dry.
  20. Repeat steps 18 and 19 a couple more times and you’re Dress Canvas will be complete!

See?  Anyone can be an ‘artist.’


Sundae Scoop @ I Heart Naptime , Not Baaad Sundays @ Lamb Around, Nifty Thrifty Sunday @ Nifty Thrifty Things, Sunday Showcase Party @ Under the Table and Dreaming, M.M.M. @ C.R.A.F.T., Made by You Monday @ Skip to My Lou, Craft-O-Maniac Monday, DIY Project Parade @ The DIY Showoff, MTW Cuter Mondays, Craftastic Monday @ Sew Can Do, Mad Skills Party @ Mad in Crafts, Motivated Monday @ Be Colorful

Sew Cute Tuesday @ The Creative Itch, Take a Look Tuesday @ Sugar Bee Crafts, Nifty Thrifty Tuesdays @ Coastal Charm, Anti Procrastination Tuesdays @ New Nostalgia, Tutorial Tuesdays @ Hope Studios, Topsy Turvy Tuesdays @ I’m Topsy Turvy, Tuesdays Treasures @ My Uncommon Slice of Suburbia, Talent Tuesday @ Wintage Wanna Bee, Too Cute Tuesday @ Funky Polkadot Giraffe, Show Me What Ya Got @ Not Just a Housewife, Chic and Crafty Party @ The Frugal Girls

Tip Me Tuesday @ The Tip Junkie, Tuesday Time Out @ Reasons to Skip the Housework, Craft and Tell @ Cherished Bliss, Inspiration Board @ Carolyns Homework, Creative Boggers Party and Hop @ Homemaker on a Dime, Tuesday To Do Party @ The Blackberry Vine,

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