DIY Project Idea: Paint Chip Art Canvas

Apartment Therapy Reader Project Tutorial

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This DIY art project comes to us from Allison at Simple Silver Linings, who wrote in to share this great idea for making your own custom canvas out of paint chips. It's not terribly difficult and just requires some patience, a computer, and maybe a few trips to the paint department of your local home improvement store. Here's how:

What You Need

Materials

  • Paint Chips - lots of paint chips!
  • Paper Glue
  • Blank Canvas
  • Envelopes (optional)
  • Acrylic Spray or Mod Podge

Tools

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Instructions

1. Choose an image you'd like for your mural — be creative! When you have an image picked, Heavy Mural will take any image and pixelate it for you. You might have to try several different images before you're satisfied with how the pixelation turns out, so don't be afraid to play around! Pay close attention to the "pixels per row" box, as this will determine just how large your mural will be (and how big a canvas you need), depending on how big your square punch is. A 1/2 inch-sized square punch was used for this artichoke mural.

2. Once you have your pixelated image, print it out on your color printer, and draw gridlines through it, separating each pixel. You will then label letters across the top for each column, and numbers along the side for each row. (This can probably be done on the computer somehow too, but you get the idea).

3. Now comes the tedious part. Start a spreadsheet, and make a list of each pixel involved in your mural. (Now that you have gridded them out, you can label them A1, A2, A3, etc). Open the Olympic Paints Desktop App on your computer, and open the digital copy of your pixelated image from Heavy Mural. Using the desktop app, select each individual pixel from your image, and color match it to the coordinating Olympic Paint color. BRILLIANT!! Make a note of each paint color match for each pixel on your spreadsheet, so each pixel has a coordinating color. (Be sure to note the color code/number as well as the name, as this will make your life easier when you have to find all of these paint chips at the store.) Yes, this will probably take you a while. But it's worth it!

4. When you are FINALLY finished, use pivot tables (if you are Excel savvy) or old-fashioned elbow grease to count up how many pixel squares of each paint color you will need for your mural. Now hit up Lowe's!

5. Next, start hole punching with your square hole punch. (Use envelopes to keep all of the colors grouped together if it's easier.) When you have all of your squares, or pixels, ready, start gluing them to your canvas! Grid your canvas with pencil beforehand — it makes it much easier to be precise when placing your squares. However, go light with the pencil in case you have trouble erasing all of the marks later.

6. Using your list of pixels and their matching colors, now go through and glue the paint chip squares to their coordinating location on your canvas. This is the best part — you'll slowly see your image take shape!

7. When finished, coat the canvas with an acrylic spray to seal it if you like. Mod Podge will also work.
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VOILA! Your very own piece of paint chip art, and for super cheap!

(Image credits: Simple Silver Linings)

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Main, DIY, Budget Living, Crafting, Tutorials

When Dabney's not writing around here, she's digging through other people's attics for fun and interesting stuff, or running around with her bloodhound Friday. Originally from the East Coast, she's still shocked to find herself living in Missouri.

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