24 Mar 2013

Elephant canvas for the nursery...

 I mentioned in a few previous posts my intentions to make canvas' for our nursery - ready for our new arrival in July. We are only in rented accommodation so I don't want to commit to a project too big - like wallpapering or painting a feature wall. So canvas' seems like the happy medium.
There are many tutorials on blogs and youtube and I took inspiration from these but went my own way with it too. Below is a step-by-step tutorial - including lessons that I learned along the way.

Step 1 - Decide upon your colour scheme. Prep canvas with gesso allow to dry. Paint one coat of acrylic paint - I applied mine with a foam applicator, but a sponge would work as well. Allow to dry. Apply second coat.

Step 2 - Decide upon your design. We originally wanted elephants and giraffes, but the giraffe silhouettes looked a bit strange and didn't look as cute or convincing as the elephant - so we went for one big elephant and then two little ones. I just got the picture from google.

Step 3 - Cut the design out and then trace in pencil onto chosen fabric. Remember that it will be in mirror image. Cut the design carefully out of the fabric - my fiskars scissors come in hand here.

Step 4 - Attach the fabric with modge podge to the dried canvas. Modge podge all over the top (see third picture) don't worry it will dry clear. I added heart buttons for the eyes with modge podge too.

Step 5 - Allow the whole thing to dry. On the top canvas I decided to outline the elephants in black fabric paint to add more definition.

  • Pick a dark coloured fabric as the yellow was a bit see through and up close you can see some of the glue underneath.
  •  Be very careful that you flatten the fabric down before the clue dries - as you can see the second elephant has a bit of a crease on it. Some bloggers recommended reinforcing it with modge podge first or backing with cardboard.
  • The yellow canvas also shows up some of the plush from the fabric and it dried into the modge podge. This, as I am sure that you can tell, was the first one and I might redo it as I think the little imperfections will annoy me.
  I made some canvas' of our wedding in the summer and the tutorial for these can be found here.


  1. It will make a lovely feature Mel. great tutorial too x

  2. Hi Mel,

    This is sooooo cute : ) Love those colours.
    I missed that you were expecting. Congratulations. What lovely news.
    My Hollie was borm July 9th. She'll be 14 this summer, althiugh that really doesn't seem possible. Seems not long ago she was tiny in that white babygro. I'm so exited for you xxx

  3. So cute. Love it! I have missed your expecting news so I hope my congratulations is not too late.

  4. Love it! When you turn into a stay at home mom you can open up an etsy shop and sell all these crafty things to other stay at home moms! haha


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