Several of you have sent me emails asking about how I turned our wedding song into a work of art, so I thought I would whip up a step by step tutorial in case you were wanting to do the same thing. You could do any special score, whether it’s your wedding song, your favorite hymn or just a song that makes your feel good. It is so easy, inexpensive and gives you a unique piece of art that is meaningful. I know I have said this before, but I love to display items that are truly special, that bring back memories…items that are cherished because they represent something to me or to my family. When I was trying to figure out what to display above the refinished cupboard, I thought it might be fun to display the first song Sam and I danced to as husband and wife. So, I jumped in and muddled my way through it and overall it was a very simple and quick project.
First of all, a little background info: You can easily get this done in an afternoon and depending on the size of your art, you are going to be looking at spending anywhere from $20-$80. I hate to even say this because I know we just kicked off the New Year and everything, but this would make a great Valentine’s Day present. For all you guys out there…(not sure if any men actually read Scout & Nimble) but if you do this for your wife or girlfriend, I can promise you, it will not turn out bad! In my opinion, this would be so much better than getting some flowers. So, here are the items that you are going to need:
- a canvas in your desired size (I bought a 30×40 canvas at Hobby Lobby for $20 by using their 40% off coupon)
- an open wood frame fitting the size of your canvas. These type of frames are consistently 50% off at Hobby Lobby. They have a pretty wide selection. Mine was only $40 after the 50% discount.
- Mod Podge in a matte finish (this is available at most craft stores and of course Hobby Lobby) fyi about this product, it will go on milky and dry clear so don’t freak out when you first brush it on
- foam brush
- old phone book or newspaper, torn into long strips
- tea bag steeped in a little water
Step 1. Pick out a song that has some particular meaning to you. A wedding song is a great choice. But, you could pick any special song, hymn, symphony, literally anything.
Step 2. Find the actual sheet music for your song. I bought mine (Van Morrison’s Someone Like You) from here. They have a huge selection of music. Just search for what you are looking for and use their digital print download to print off your sheet music. They charge $3.99 for ONE print. Yep, you have one shot to print it off, so make sure you are not low on . Not to put pressure on you or anything.
Step 3. Your sheet music may be printed out on 1, 2 or 3 pages. I knew that I wanted the layout of my piece to be 30×40 so I took my two pages and cut each line up and pieced it together. You don’t have to make it look fancy, just cut it up and tape it onto a new sheet of paper making sure all the lines match up.
Then take it up to a print shop and have them enlarge it to the size you need. I had our local print shop take the words off my sheet music, but you can definitely leave them on…it is entirely up to you. They can also lighten or darken the score depending on what look you are going for. This will cost under $4.
Step 4. Next, you are going to place your enlarged music on something that won’t allow liquid to leak through…I used wax paper, but you can use whatever you would like.
I really wanted the music to look old and worn…to give it a little bit more of a vintage feel. To achieve this look all you have to do is steep a regular ole tea bag in a little bit of water for a few minutes.
Then you can just paint the liquid on your paper. I didn’t even use a brush, I just used the tea bag as my brush and painted it all over my paper squeezing the bag slightly as I went. You may want to test your “antiquing liquid” on another sheet of paper to make sure it’s the color you are going for. There was no special technique, I just tried not to splatter the liquid otherwise you end up with dark little circle marks on your music.
And you can even go over it again if there are areas that are too light.
Step 5. While you are waiting for it to dry, grab your canvas, mod podge and phone book or newspaper strips.
I decided to create a “base” for this piece the same way as I did in Oliver’s artwork. I really wanted the music to have some nice texture to it and not be perfectly flat. If you don’t like that texture, feel free to skip this step, but I really think it helps the piece to look more expensive and less homemade-ey. Basically, what you are going to do is take a small amount of mod podge on your foam brush and paint it on a small section of your canvas. Then, simply place a couple of the phone book or newspaper strips over the top of the wet area and use your brush to smooth it out. You will get some air bubbles and that’s ok…I just smoothed them out as best as I could. You should instantly start to see the texture that this creates.
And eventually when you finish, your canvas will look like this. Don’t bother doing the sides because you will not be able to see them due to the frame.
Step 6. Once your sheet music and canvas is dry, you can continue with this step. I figured out where I wanted my music positioned in the frame. All I did was lay my frame on top of the dry sheet of paper, which should be a little crinkly when dry, and marked the corners on the sheet of paper with a pencil. That way, I knew exactly where to position it on top of the canvas. Oh, and if you can prevent your kids from walking on it, or better yet, crawling with a spoonful of peanut butter in their hand over it, you are better than me.
You can really see that just antiquing the paper gives it some nice texture, too.
Step 7. Now comes the fun part. Time to glue the paper down to the canvas. You can do this however you want, but mod podge can dry fairly quickly so I found it better to work in 2 sections. I quickly covered 1/2 of the canvas with mod podge and when I say quickly, I mean I poured out a ton of mod podge all over 1/2 of the canvas and quickly smoothed it out. Then I lined up my pencil marked corner of my paper to the actual corner of the canvas and used my hands to push the paper down onto the canvas while simultaneously smoothing it out. Now there are going to be small bubbles and wrinkles here and there and that is what I was going for. Then once you have that 1/2 done, you will do the same with the other half. The final part to this, is going over the top of the music with the mod podge. Again, I ended up pouring a fairly large amount out top of the music and then used my hands and the foam brush to spread it all around evenly. I had to be speedy while I was doing this step…not to mention the hands full of glue, so sorry, no pictures of this step.
Step 8. Once the glue is dry fee free to stick the canvas in the frame and get it up on the wall.
We My husband put some nails in around the back of the canvas to hold it in the frame. I am certain there is a more professional way of doing this, but this got the job done…I didn’t say it was pretty. I had mentioned once to Sam Sam the picture hanging man that maybe we should get his staple gun and he gave me “the look” so I just let him do his thang. I didn’t say anything about the fact that that little nail head could do a nice job of scratching up our wall if the picture moves from side to side…noooo, definitely did not mention that.
Next, my picture hanging man screwed in some eyelets to hold the wire so we could hang this baby up on the wall.
On a side note, I got this incredibly handy and organized box full of picture hanging supplies from Wal-Mart for $4…we use this thing so often, we actually keep it in our kitchen. I highly recommend it.
And now for my favorite part! Stand back and look at your handy work all while clapping and squealing about how much you love it. And it always helps to compliment your handy helper on their amazing job of hanging it “just right”.
Here is a close up so you can see all the texture.
Congratulations!!! You are done!!!
I’m linking this up to these blogs