Saturday, February 18, 2012

Foil Embossed Canvas

We were inspired by "We Heart Art" this week, it's a great blog with several ideas I filed away (okay I "pinned" them away). As soon as I saw this idea I knew we had to give it a try. I had three 8 x 10 canvases sitting around waiting for a project, which meant I could make one too! :-) All you need is yarn, Glue-All, spray adheasive, foil and permanent markers. Anytime my girls get to use permanent markers they are thrilled so I figured this would be a winner.

For the first step, I asked the girls to create a design with the glue and yarn. I asked them to not make any actual objects (like ladybugs, or people or anything). I just wanted them to create an abstract design.

(edited to add on 10/2/2012)--I have done this project since and discovered that TACKY glue works great to create the lines and it leaves a smooth line to cover. The glue covered yarn was so rough that sometimes it ripped the foil when I covered these. For the new project, I had Ella draw her image on canvas board first with pencil. We went over the pencil likes with the glue. I even went over the glue an extra time to make it a bit "puffier". Let it dry 24 hours and then use a GLUE STICK to attach the foil to the canvas board. This worked FANTASTIC! And I think an easier and quicker process than I describe before. Though, using the yarn and glue is a much more tactile experience. Both processes work, you can just use whatever works best for you. Here is the link to our second project
It's so funny how when I give the girls a little leeway, their personalities really come out. My older daughter is very ordered and likes a lot of structure. She is a major rule-follower and likes things to be just so. Can you tell all that in the design she made? :-)
And my other daughter is much more go with the flow and indecisive. She isn't as particular about as many things as my older daughter. Can you see that in her design?
And I think I'm a little bit of both when it comes to my personality. My design ended up being a little free flowing, yet symmetrical. :-)
The next day, I used spray adhesive and covered the canvases with heavy duty aluminum foil. I was a bit nervous about this step because I didn't want to mess them up. There was a bit of a learning curve. I found that it seemed to adhere a bit better if I let the adhesive sit for a few minutes before I covered it with foil. You also have to be careful when you are pushing the foil down in the negative spaces because it can rip fairly easily, even with the heavy duty foil. I actually used a Q-tip instead of my finger to push the foil down. I was afraid my nail might cut into the foil. The Q-tip actually worked quite well.

I also cautioned the kids about pushing too hard with the markers when they were coloring. We ended up letting the first coat of color dry and then they colored a second coat the next day which made the color even brighter. They did a great job! And I'm so excited about how they turned out. I've had this space on our kitchen wall that has needed something ever since we moved in over 5 years ago. And this is how it looks now! Yippee!!


  1. Oh those look gorgeous!!!!! Thanks for sharing!

  2. I've been messing around with these at home before I do them in my classroom and discovered if you wait five min after putting on the spay adhesive the foil sticks the best and then I've been using a scrap of felt to rub the foil. It has really cut down on any ripping.

  3. ooh! a scrap of felt is a great idea! Thanks for sharing. I will remember that for when we do this project again.

  4. thanks for sharing im decorating my bedroom and wall looking for ideas to decorate it so will defo try this one thanks <3

  5. do you think this might work with cardboard instead of tacky board?

    1. Hi Rachel,

      I don't see why this wouldn't work with cardboard. I don't think the glue would soak in. That is the only thing I would worry about with cardboard.