by Liz on 05.21


 Moving can be expensive. It seems that no matter how much stuff you’ve amassed, once you get in a new place, you realize you have a giant list of things you need- drawer organizers and extension cords and the perfect painting for the blank spot on the wall.

Art can cost a lot of money (and rightfully so- something I have enough opinions about that I’ll probably end up blogging about it at some point. To your sheer delight, I’m sure). If you don’t have a bunch of cash lying around, it’s easy to leave “pretty things” at the bottom of the priority list. But, for about twenty bucks you can get yourself something nice to hang on the wall and some additional hipster cred for having made it yourself.

You’ll need:


acrylic paint

painter’s tape

wide brushes

newspaper or cardboard

Most canvas is sort of expensive, but as a result, a lot of art stores have pretty regular sales on it. I usually won’t buy canvas unless it’s 50% off, because it’s so commonly on sale. You’ll want to measure the space on your wall to decide what size to buy (when I try to eyeball it, I always end up with canvas way too small).

Acrylic paint (versus any other kind) is important because of the way we’ll be layering the paint. Acrylic is thick and easy to layer, and it mostly remains opaque, even when layered over dark colors. You’ll want to pick between four and eight colors that you like, with one being sort of neutral or muted. This project is really good for a room that already has a lot of color and could use one piece of art to tie everything together.

For me, it was my bedroom.

We have gray and white sheets, duvets and curtains (yet to be hung, clearly) and all of the furniture is white or dark wood. Except for that crazy red dresser. Other accents around the room are mustard yellow and bright teal. Altogether, it’s bright without being overwhelming, but I guess it could use something to make the colors make sense together.

I didn’t take photos as I went along (that thinking ahead business has never been my strong suit), but lucky for you, this is easy enough that you don’t need instructional photos. We can just keep looking at the pretty close-ups.

You’ll want to lay your canvas on the newspaper or cardboard and cover the entire thing- including edges- with your neutral or muted choice of paint. I chose gray. Let that dry for a day (or more, if it needs it) and then determine how wide your stripes will be. Lay a piece of painter’s tape down the length of the canvas and paint your first colored stripe. Let your stripe trail off somewhere at the bottom half of the canvas. Let that dry overnight (or more) and repeat with the rest of your colors until the canvas is filled with stripes.


Make sure to scrawl your initials in the corner so that when friends ask (and they will), “Gasp! Where did you get that amazing painting?” you can smugly point to the signature and flip your hair with a smile.

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Your Comments | Add a Comment

Amanda says:
May 21, 2012 8:48 am

Very hip indeed. It makes me think of Rothko


Shaelyn says:
May 21, 2012 9:24 am

Looks awesome! And I can see why you picked the color scheme for your blog, too — online mirrors off :)


jacqueline says:
May 21, 2012 3:46 pm

I kind of love that it’s the same color as the blog. These must be the colors of Liz’s soul.


Jo says:
May 21, 2012 3:08 pm

I love it.


linda says:
Jan 13, 2013 6:06 pm

how fun….it sure gives a beginner a head start.


Lori Andersen says:
Feb 27, 2013 12:54 am

Can you tell me what paint colors you used? Those look perfect for my living room!


Liz says:
Feb 27, 2013 8:11 am

Hi, Lori! I wish I could, but I mixed my own. That actually may be the best way to do it. Grab a few big bottles of primary colors, and splash around in them til you find what works. Good luck!


Canvas Art says:
Mar 18, 2013 3:37 pm

I really like the more minimalist style of art for the bedroom, it’s easy and comfortable to wake up to. I’ll consider a more colorful canvas when I get around to that aspect too. Love that the mirror is simple and elegant as well.


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