Canvas Art #1 | Old Book Pages

I made this canvas art for KT for our 2nd year anniversary.  For the second year, the traditional gift should be a gift of cotton.  This gift is more of a gift of cotton and paper.

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I first discovered that canvases are made of cotton when I was researching for cotton gift ideas.  It just so happened that I bought a bunch of blank canvases from Aaron Brothers a few months ago for art projects like this.  I have been researching different styles for DIY canvases for a long time and I decided this was the perfect time to try out one of the methods.

I decided that I wanted a picture from our honeymoon on this canvas with some kind of text overlay.  I chose a picture with a lot of blank spaces so I can add text without obstructing our faces.  Since it was just the two of us on our honeymoon, most of our pictures only have one of us in it while the other one is taking the picture.

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We took these pictures with the idea of going home and photoshopping them so that we’re both in the same photo.    So that’s what I did.

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When I first decided on doing this project, I wasn’t sure how I wanted to go about getting the picture onto the canvas.  My original plan was to print it on a transparency, then glue that onto the canvas.  I nixed that idea after realizing that I would have to go out and get it printed on a 16×20 (the size of the canvas I wanted to use) transparency.

So I decided to print it on old book pages.  And I have the perfect book for it.

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We had a lot of travel time on our honeymoon and I decided to bring my favorite classic “Pride and Prejudice”  to read on the plane and train.  For those of you who don’t know KT, he hates reading.  We can both count the number of books he read in his life time. But for some reason, he decided to give this book a try.  He LOVED it.  He couldn’t put it down.  It makes me smile just remembering it.  So this is our honeymoon book.

This copy of the book is pretty old.  I think either my sister or I bought it at a local library book sale some twenty years ago.  I didn’t mind using this book for this project because KT bought me a new book collection of Jane Austen’s works.  I have a new book if I want to read it, and this old book is recycled for a sentimental gift.

Update:: KT also gave me a “new to me” old red leather-bound Pride and Prejudice for our anniversary! The paperback to the right of it is another version we found on our babymoon and we just had to get it.

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Getting back to the canvas art, I went through and picked out pages with my favorite passages.  These will be the pages I will be using to print the picture.

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I also meant to use one of my favorite quotes from the book for the text on the picture but nothing seemed appropriate.  I ended up picking a quote from a bigger pool that was more inspirational and less lovey-dovey (or witty sarcasm from the book) so KT wouldn’t be embarrassed hanging it up in his space.  I added the text to the picture with photoshop.  I made the picture slightly opaque so the text from the book will show through.

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To print the 16×20 picture, I divided it up into quarters measuring 8×10 so that it would fit onto a letter size paper.

Then I arranged the pages of the book on a blank sheet of letter sized paper.  I made sure that some page numbers, title of the book, author of the book, chapter titles, and favorite passages are visible.  Then using photo-safe glue stick, I glued the pages down to the blank sheet of paper.

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It is important to only glue the corners and top edges of the first layer of pages onto the blank sheet of paper. This will make it will be easier to remove the blank sheet backing after it comes out of the printer. For the second layer, you should use a lot more glue to make sure those pages lay flat on the first layer of pages since you won’t be separating this layer.  Do not get any glue on the top surface of pages because any residual glue will cause the ink to smudge when the picture prints.

Put it in the paper tray and hit print.  Here’s a picture of a test copy to see how the picture will look on some book pages and how the paper/book pages combo will feed through the printer.

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Once printed, I removed the blank sheet of paper and trimmed the photos down to size and let them sit for a while so the ink can dry and set.

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Meanwhile, I used some additional pages of the book to wrap around the edges of the canvas and glued it down with a photo spray adhesive.  I used this spray.

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Once that was done, I use the spray adhesive to glue the four pieces of 8×10 pictures onto the canvas.

Using a can of left-over varnish from another project, I sprayed the entire canvas to protect the project.

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That’s all there is to it.  Here’s the finished project again:

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