Craft Project: Cut-out Ombre Canvas Art

Another mid-week art project!

You know that in order for me to do an art project, it has to be simple and I have to be able to do it in 15-20 minute chunks. This one totally fits the bill. If you want to try this (and you totally should!) you can do each step and stop and come back to it. I did Steps 1 and 2 in the morning. Then came back after work and did Step 3 and so on. Doing DIYs doesn’t have to take up all your time🙂 It’s just a little reprieve from watching tv or doing dishes or vacuuming or whatever.

Okay – onto my inspiration!

Once again, walking through Target, I spotted these ombre metal cut-out wall hangings. (I think it was the same trip to Target where I spied the Nate Berkus tray I ended up knocking-off!) I quite liked them, but at $20 each I wasn’t totally sold. Then a couple days later, I snagged some blank canvases at the thrift store for $3 each. It dawned on me that I could recreate the cut-out ombre look for a heck of a lot less!Cut out Art

Here’s what you need:

  • A canvas
  • Craft paper large enough to fit over/on your canvas (Mine is 18×22 roughly and I used a roll of easel paper from Michael’s that is $5.99 for a whack of paper.)
  • Pencil, a ruler and scissors
  • Exacto knife and cutting board
  • Cast-off cardboard (I used a box from our recycling bin)
  • Acrylic paint in white and a colour of your choice and a couple of brushes
  • Staples, thumb tacks or glue

Step One: Cut your paper to size. Using your colour, start at one end of the craft paper and do a thick stripe of solid colour. Then add a touch of white to your colour and blend in another stripe. My canvas is much bigger than the inspiration piece, so my stripes are quite wide. Cut out art 1

Step Two: Ummm… basically keep doing that🙂 Eventually you’ll get to the point where you are adding colour to the white paint instead of vice versa. Just like your first stripe was solid colour, your last stripe will be all white. I’d switch to a totally clean brush to do this one, just to avoid any streaking. (I still had a few small streaks, but oh well.) Then I advise hanging your painting to dry to try and lessen the ‘curling corners’ effect.Cut out art 2 Cut out art 3

Step Three: Give your canvas a light coat of white paint all over (or really a colour might be nice too!) Because mine was from the thrift store, there were grubby finger prints on it (GEEER-OOOSSE), so the white paint cleaned it up nicely.

Step Four: Using your ruler and pencil, trace your cut-out shapes onto your cereal box cast-off cardboard. You could do different sized circles, triangles, zig zags, whatever you want! I chose to stick to the ‘arrows’ to mimmic the arrow pillow I made. Cut them out.Cut Out Art 5

Step Five: Now measure and trace your shapes onto the BACK of the canvas and carefully cut them out using your Exacto knife and cutting board. If it’s absolutely necessary, you could use some light sand paper to smooth out the edges – either way, make sure your blade is good and sharp.Cut out art 6 Cut out art 7

Step Six: Affix your ombre painting to the back of your canvas using tacks, staples or glue – whatever combination works for you. I ended up using staples. I pinned it to the back with thumbtacks and then pulled the top tight and stapled, then the bottom and the sides. That seemed to prevent the majority of the wrinkles or gaps that were forming because of the wavy painted paper. The whole idea is that the painting is an inch (or the width of your canvas wood) away from the cut-out, so it looks 3D.Cut out Art 4

Step Seven: Do it all again! This time with green paint😛 Add picture hangers on the back … And voila!🙂 (Obviously, you don’t have to do it again haha. I had two canvases I needed to use to fill the wall space.)Cut out art 8

Ultimately, I would like to make some little wooden frames for these, but I have a couple other projects to get to first. I’ll probably do a separate post on how to frame your own canvases later on.Cut out Art 10

I’m really digging the ‘handmade’ vibe coming from this spare room now! There aren’t many more projects to go before I can do a mini-reveal.

What I won’t have done (on purpose) are the window coverings or the light fixture. Everything else, though, should be good to go!Cut out Art 11

I am pretty happy with how this little experimental art project turned out. I just snagged a big 20×26 unopened Ikea frame at the thrift store (!!) and I’m considering doing something large scale to put in it… something colourful for a blank space left in our living room (at the bottom of the stairs and leading to the dining room.)

The next two projects we must get to are this dresser🙂 and our garden room recycling station.Cut out art 9 We have the garden room organized now, it’s just a matter of slapping up some paint and new knobs. Weather dependent we should be able to tackle that this weekend (If it’s minus a bagillion, then it’s not happening!) This dresser might take until next week, but I’ll give you a little sneak peek at my plan😉 My hope is I can start ‘warming’ up this space, as it’s still quite stark with all the white. Dresser reclaim sneak peek

Happy Wednesday everyone🙂 And just in case you’re interested, you can see how I made that geometric wall and those faux-taxidermy wall hangings too!Cut out Art 12 I hope you like my little Target-inspired arrow art and, as always, thanks for reading.


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25 thoughts on “Craft Project: Cut-out Ombre Canvas Art

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    • Thanks Alexis! I’m finding the response to this little art experiment somewhat overwhelming… it’s nice to know people still find joy in the little things🙂 Appreciate the comment, Erin

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