Every small child I know has a special blanket or a stuffed animal that they must NOT, under any circumstances, be sent to bed without. My own daughter can't sleep without "Bun-Bun," her stuffed bunny. She also has a special blanket that has been loved into little bits. Bun-Bun and her blankie are inseparable and a must-have item every evening at bedtime. The comfort they both provide for her is so priceless to me, I thought it would be sweet to find a way to honor both items and the special place they have in our lives. A visit to the local FedEx Office® provided me with the perfect inspiration. When I realized they offered custom canvas art prints, I knew immediately that it would be the perfect medium for creating heirloom-worthy art to decorate my little girl's room. No matter what your child's special companion is (my son's is a stuffed dinosaur), here is a list to get you started:
- A clear photo of your child's "Bun-Bun"
- Custom Canvas Photo Art Print from FedEx Office
- A small piece of a special blanket (loved off naturally by my daughter)
- Fabric glue
- Glitter paint
- Small bit of decorative ribbon
- Small art paint brush
- Ink blocks to add color to the fabric and canvas (I used DerWent Inktense Blocks, which are sold in many art supply stores)
To start with, I did a simple photo shoot with Bun-Bun in indirect, natural daylight and then used a free photo editing program from the Internet to make a collage composition of 4 identical photos. It’s a matter of personal taste, but I desaturated the colors in my photo a bit to give the image a slightly ethereal look. Once I got the effect I was looking for, I simply uploaded the image online directly to the FedEx Office® Print Online website and placed my order. I was surprised (pleasantly!) to receive a phone call less than 24 hours later that my Canvas Photo Art Print was ready for pickup.
Once I got my canvas print home, I gathered a collection of craft supplies to add to the canvas to make it a more personal item for my little girl. Because the print was on canvas, it was a natural fit for doing a little painting directly on the print. I added a bit of a color wash to the background. Then I decided to highlight the pink ears and nose of Bun-Bun, which I did with pink glitter paint. For a little bit of a dimensional accent, I snipped a tiny bit of ribbon that had "Love You" printed on it and used my fabric glue to adhere it as a little tag right where Bun-Bun's real tag would be.
The fun thing about customizing my canvas print was that I really had no limits. My favorite touch was a last minute thought. I have been saving the bits of my little girl's special blanket as she "loves" them off and I realized that it would be a nice tribute to both of her favorite things to add one of the satin hearts from her "blankie" directly to the canvas too. All I needed was a bit of fabric glue and I placed the heart at the bottom of the canvas to appear as if Bun-Bun and her mirror image were holding the heart.
I was able to complete all of my custom touches on the "Bun-Bun Art Canvas" in just over an hour while my little girl was at school. I listened outside her room later that day when she went in to discover the art already hung in her room. She positively squealed with delight! I couldn't have asked for a better reaction and I feel confident that this personalized art canvas will be something she treasures for years. I can *almost* envision this (very, very far in the future) in a grandchild's room.
For more of Angela’s creativity, you can find her blog at www.angeladaniels.squarespace.com or watch her web series "The Guilty Crafter" (www.guiltycrafter.com) where Angela shares quick, inexpensive and mostly upcycled crafts. Angela is also now one of the contestants on the new TLC show Craft Wars. FedEx Office is compensating Angela to share her ideas for fun, creative projects on the Out of Office blog.