Mamas’ Tip of the Day: Turn photos into canvas wall art

A few months ago, I had this decorating dilemma. In my family room, there is a weird space between the top of my bookshelves and the ceiling. It needed something, but I wasn’t sure what that “something” was. I spent a few months browsing at different stores for framed artwork that would be exactly the right size but nothing fit just right. Then this idea finally hit me. Since it is our family room, I decided to fill the space with oversized snapshots of the kids because I didn’t want anything too formal. I picked out four of my favorites, put them on a disc and took them to my go-to framer, Scott McGowen of Scott Frame & Art, who has been framing my kids’ photos since his shop opened in 2007.

The cool part: Instead of traditional framing, Scott suggested that we print the photos onto canvas and stretch them across a wooden frame to give it a gallery look, which is exactly what I wanted. He “gallery wrapped” the sides of the photos so that you don’t see any blank edges.

canvas31.jpgWhat I love about this idea is that I don’t get any glare off of glass because there isn’t any. And I don’t have to climb the bookshelves to dust frames because there aren’t any. But I still get great artwork (my kids’ faces) to fill the space that I needed to fill. (I told Scott what the dimensions of my space were and he helped me figure out how large each photo should be in order to balance the space.)

By the way, that white thing between the photos is a surround sound speaker that my husband insists must stay in this exact spot. Yes, I hate it. But messing around with a man’s surround sound system is not a good idea for maintaining a healthy marriage. So… the speaker stays.

canvas11.jpgI did this little home decor project last fall, so I used some photos of my kids playing in the leaves in our yard. Considering how expensive framed artwork can sometimes be, this project was very budget-friendly. It’s affordable enough for me to keep changing out the photos every year with new shots as the kids grow. (To print one photo on a 16 by 20 inch canvas and gallery wrap the edges, the cost is about $54.)

People who have stopped by for a visit have noticed my little gallery of kid photos above the bookshelves and remarked on how much they like that idea. So I thought I’d pass it along to my fellow photo-loving canvas41.jpgmamas. If you don’t have snapshots you want to use, you could easily do this same idea with some of your kids’ artwork from school and hang it in their rooms, a hallway or a play area.

Call Scott at Scott Frame & Art if you have questions about how to pull this off. He and his staff are full of good ideas on how to display just about anything. Visit them online by clicking here or call the shop at 479-696-8263.