SC Johnson Family Economics Blog
Tuesday, December 2, 2014

Small Canvas Wall Assemblage | Family Economics


Cathe Holden 


Creating your own unique customized wall art can be both fun and rewarding no matter what your level of craft or art skills. Using nine panels of small stretched canvases from the craft store, here is a project that can be modified in so many creative ways to suit your style or as a gift for someone.


  • 9 - 5”x5” deep edge stretched canvases
  • Acrylic craft paint and 1” wide paintbrush or sponge-brush
  • Photocopier
  • Decoupage adhesive or slightly water-thinned white glue
  • Collected items such as papers, trinkets, fabrics, photographs, and other images
  • Fine grit sandpaper

This project begins by choosing a theme, such as:

  • Color(s)
  • Event (wedding, birthdays, anniversary, birth)
  • People
  • Pet(s)
  • Animal(s)
  • Travel
  • Landmark(s)
  • Objects (Favorite toys, vintage kitchen tools)
  • Nature
  • Books, Literature
  • Patterns
  • Holiday
  • Vacation, Adventure

The chosen items can be a range of things in a range of sizes. An example of a favorite pet theme could include a close-up photo of the pet’s face, a full body photo of pet in action, the image from a painting of a similar breed found online or a piece of fabric from the pet’s bed.

For my arrangement, I simply chose the colors blue, black and antique white in various hues with a vintage look. Then I found items I had in those colors. I used fabric, a map, a vintage canvas painting, a photograph, a book cover, an advertisement page from an early Farmers Almanac, a book of alphabets, some game pieces, a vintage postcard, and an old tax stamp. I photocopied some of the items - enlarging or reducing in size to fit to the 5-inch square surface of a canvas.  

items for canvases 

Once I had nine items or series of items to use on the nine canvases, I trimmed each main piece to fit the canvas.

I painted each canvas, top and sides, with a coordinating acrylic paint. 

painted canvases 

Once the paint was dry, I painted adhesive to the back of each photocopied print and other components and pressed or smoothed each to adhere them to the canvases. When all glued pieces were dry and secure, I used the sandpaper to lightly sand along the edges of any papers to soften the hard edge of trim lines. After covering the nine canvases, I placed them in various arrangements until I found the one I liked best. Canvases can be hung on a wall individually and spaced equally. I hot-glued my canvases to a 17” wooden square and hung them together as one unit. Over time I will continue to embellish the canvases with trinkets and clippings, creating a ever changing piece of art.

finished assemblage 

What theme would you choose for a project like this?

Photos courtesy of Cathe Holden.

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1 Comment so far

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On Wednesday, January 21, 2015, Pamela D. wrote

Beautiful Great idea !!!! I have a blank wall I have been waiting to fill We hope you feature more projects from this talented artist Thank You


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