DIY Backlit Canvas

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The primary inspiration was for this project was from curbly where Michele was inspired by  Valérie Boy‘s Féérie Florale. I fell in love with this concept of back lighting.

Mine does not reach anywhere near the master piece that is Féérie Florale. Nor can it be considered a knock off… But I wanted to try making something similar.


I first ran out to get a canvas, I was not bold enough to buy a large one, cos I was not very confident about how it was going to come out. Boy’s work is on powder coated metal. She has to be true artist to cut flowers on that! Michele (curbly) stuck a piece of card stock on hers and cut the flowers on that. I loved how subtle hers look. I ended up cutting on the canvas it self.

At first tried the same design of cascading flowers, but they did not seem to work very well for me, So I took some help by using big flowers from a piece of left over gorgeous wrapping paper.

What you need:

1. A canvas
2. Left over wrapping paper
3. Glue
4. Penknife
5. Tracing paper/vellum paper
6. String lights
7. Some acrylic paint- I used a turquoise blue.

How I made mine:

First I cut out the flowers from the wrapping paper using a sharp penknife. And moved them over the canvas to see where I wanted the flowers to go.

photo 1(2)

Using a cutting mat, I made partial cuts in the flowers around the petals and stamens and almost raised them up to give a kind of 3D effect. I wanted the light to shine through this.

I stuck the flowers on to the canvas in a decoupage kind of way, taking care not to damage or glue the portions I had already slit.

Now when I placed the string lights behind,I felt the amount of light coming through the canvas was too less, so I made a few cuts in the canvas. Since this was a last minute plan, it was a little tricky. I carefully made holes in the canvas under the petal and stamens that I slit and bigger holes in the leaves so that I could push the tiny bulbs through.

The openings in the leaves turned out too big and the canvas started curling in at the edges, so I had to reinforce by gluing tracing paper on the back side.

This is when I decided white was too Blah and it needed a pop. It was the first time in my life I was painting with acrylic and on a canvas. (ya unbelievable!) But I took the leap! And it came out fine. I had to be extra careful not to paint over the edges of the flowers.

photo 5

The Fairy lights that I had were longer that I wanted, but I decided to make to with that for the time being.

If you examine it very closely, you will find many many flaws in the paint job and the over all finish. But I am super glad, I tried it out and I learned a whole lot!

WP_20141021_009

Fairy lights look great in any form and this is such a creative and beautiful way to liven up your space.

If you think this is too complicated, here is something easier from apartmenttherapy

Light it up!

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