On the wall!

Finally!  I get to show you how it all turned out!  I am so excited to have found a way to display these pictures well.  In the past, I’ve simply framed our pictures and hung them on the wall.  Here in Germany, I just managed the best way I could with the odd-sized frames here in Germany.  I used construction paper as a primitive mat and, while I was happy the pictures were on the wall, I was less than satisfied at the way in which they were displayed.

I happen to be Facebook friends with someone who posted an amazing technique of applying photos to canvases, making them look stunningly classy.  To give her adequate credit, I would love for you to go read Laura Patterson’s blog post over at “the crazy beautiful life of the Pattersons.”

If you prefer your instructions very simple, go with her blog.  She explains the steps very well and makes the process very easy to understand.  I’m going to show a few more steps and things I did to my canvases, so this post will be looooonnnnggg.

Here are my pictures on the wall, the night I finally got them up.  The picture itself is super yellow but I think you can get the idea.

I am very pleased with the outcome, even if a few things turned out a little different than I originally planned.  I got the photo wall layout from Pintrest, which linked me to Cherish Portraits.

If you are interested in the steps to create your own photos-on-canvas-collage, keep reading.


I am going to break this into two posts, one about how I prepared the pictures, and another about how I got the collage on the wall.

The first thing I did was order the prints and canvases.  I used an online website to order the canvases so I could get US sizes, but they didn’t have 8×10 so I went with 9×12.  I regretted that because the prints I had ordered were 8×10 which meant that there would be an edge of canvas around the print.  I decided to go to a nearby German arts and crafts store to purchase the closest sized canvas I could fine, which meant I had to trim a bit of each 8×10 picture off.  Nothing that sacrificed the look of the pictures, but still, I originally wanted the 8×10 size on the wall and I ended up with slightly smaller images instead.

Now, for the steps.

1.  I gathered my supplies:

  • black paint (paint tray and aluminum foil)
  • a roller brush for the black paint
  • canvases
  • images
  • ModPodge
  • a paint brush for the ModPodge
  • an old sock (use a wool one if you have it)
  • cardboard or newspaper to put down on the working surface

1.  Paint the front and sides of the canvases.

2.  I rested the canvases on cups to let them dry without getting paint on everything.  If you notice in the image above, it left a ring on the canvas.  I would have never done this were I to actually be painting, but for the project I was doing, the ring was not going to be visible.

3.  Once the black paint dried (which wasn’t long at all) I painted ModPodge on the surface of the canvas.  Then I placed the picture on the canvas.  (Be careful… once you stick the picture down it’s hard to readjust.  To help with this when I was ready to do the larger pictures, I put the image down on the canvas first.  Then I lifted the edge of the picture, painting underneath one half.  I rested that half back down onto the canvas, happy that it was where I wanted it.  I then lifted the other half, painting the ModPodge under that side.)

4.  And then I painted the ModPodge directly onto the picture.  (I admit I cringed a little bit the first time.)   5.  As soon as I took the picture of the ModPodge on the image, I brushed it out evenly.

6.  Very quickly I took the sock and dabbed it all over the ModPodge.

7.  And the result of dabbing the sock into the ModPodge:

If you’re going to do a picture larger than 5×7, be sure to only put the ModPodge in  areas about 5×7 inches, then dab with the sock.  When you’re done with that section ModPodge the next section, dabbing it, alternating with painting then dabbing until you get the whole image done.  The large picture of Matt and me I did in twelve sections, just to make sure the ModPodge didn’t dry while I was dabbing and start to stick to the sock.

8.  Here you can see the picture with the dabbed ModPodge dried.  (I got the “dabbing the ModPodge” trick from Jessica Ceason.  Originally I was afraid to tell her about my project, fearing that she would not want glue poured all over the pictures she had taken.  As it turned out, she liked the idea, and tried it herself!  She added the sock step and this gives the finished product the appearance of having been painted.)

9.  Almost finished…  The next step takes the stark edges and makes them look more natural.  I took the black roller and held it at an angle to the edge, rolling so that it covered the white edge of the photo and sort of sponged the very edge of the picture.

This next set of pictures shows a bit more of the white edge of Hayden’s picture before I painted the edges, and then how it blends in much better to the canvas after it’s edged.

There you go!  Those are all the steps necessary to get a picture onto a canvas.  Tomorrow I’ll post about how I got all ten of these pictures onto my wall.  I will also show you two painting tips that made life much easier during the process.

I have a few pictures from previous photo sessions that had to come off the walls when we got our storage cabinets.  They were hung on odd-sized German frames with the tacky mats I talked about earlier.  I’m going to purchase more canvases and ModPodge away, getting them all prepared for hanging in our next house.  Matt’s currently using this technique on a project that I’ll share with you some day.  I, like Laura, am addicted!

About Jennifer

"Yes, they're all mine." The answer to the question I hear most often.
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12 Responses to On the wall!

  1. Tori Jenkins says:

    This is a great,cheaper way to have canvas portraits..we are working with a client now who is wanting canvas pics of her and hubby and their 4 kids..will definately share this with her! Thanks and it looks amazing..so do you 🙂

    • Jennifer says:

      Tori, I’m glad you can share this with your clients! Laura, the friend I got the idea from, said you can also paint the canvas any color, but black so far has turned out to be her favorite. I’m thinking a deep brown would also go well. I could have used that for mine, as our clothing palette was brown, but since I was printing two images in B&W I went with black paint for all the canvases.

  2. Amie Fisher says:

    Love the wall Jenn, great job! I was looking for something different for our newest family pics too…I will have to try!

  3. mehancock says:

    I love Mod Podge!! I have to say its definitely one of my favorite craft supplies. Those canvases turned out beautiful! Love it!

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  5. Beth T. says:

    That is brilliant! I will try it nest time we do family pictures.


    • Jennifer says:

      I would SO love to take credit, but of course, I can’t. But I am very happy with how it turned out! 🙂

      MISS YOU!! (I still look for you behind me at chapel.)

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