Monday, October 1, 2012

Fall art tutorial - from failure to success

Have you ever had a great idea for a DIY project in your head, then when you go to do it, reality takes over and it just doesn't quite work out how you intended?

That's what happened to me with this Fall art project. I was about half way through when I realized it was not going to end well. Sigh.

However, all was not lost. With a bit of tweaking and simplifying, I was able to make it all work out. So, if you will stay with me, I will lead you through my Fall art how-to, from failure to success!

This all started because my front porch was in need of some Fall-themed wall art. You can check out the spring/summer look of my porch in this blog post that shows the reno/redecorating of the porch.

My idea for the wall art was inspired by this image I found on Pinterest (original source here).

I love the simple elegance of the lace on burlap. I thought I could capture that look by covering an art canvas with some burlap and spray painting a lacy stencil on it using some doily scrapbook paper I had on hand.

This project started off well. I even took a nice picture of all the supplies you would need: two small canvases from the dollar store, burlap, scissors, staple gun, white spray paint, and doily scrapbook paper. I did forget to include a utility knife and ruler in the photo.

Using a lightweight staple gun, I covered two small canvases with some burlap I had leftover from my wedding decorations (we had a fall wedding three years ago). 

This part of the project went off without a hitch and looked great (except that I ran out of staples half way through and had to make a trip to The Home Depot).

Then I cut a section of the doily paper. My idea was to use it as a stencil to spray paint onto the burlap. Simple, right? WRONG!

This is where it all fell apart. Spray paint on loosely woven burlap is not a good idea

Luckily, I was smart enough to do a test piece first before actually spraying my burlap-covered canvas. The burlap was too porous and sucked up the paint. A lot of the detail was lost. 

This wasn't quite the look I was going for.

So to salvage the project, I decided to simplify things and just use actual lace and ribbon like in the Pinterest photo. I dug into my box of ribbon remnants and came up with these pieces.

I used the staple gun to attach the lace and ribbon at the back of the canvas. Here are the finished products.

And here is how the art looks in my front porch. I used the same nails that my round black and white wall art usually hangs on.

Here is a shot of my Fall display below the art. I added some lace and burlap to tie it all together.

Even though my original idea didn't work out, I love it when I can work an idea through and come up with a revised solution. 

The best part? The finished product was actually easier to do than my original plan!

I'm linking up with these great parties this week. Be sure to check them out!


  1. It turned out PERFECT!!! Love everything!!

    Thanks so much for sharing this at The DIY Dreamer.. From Dream To Reality!

  2. i think it looks just as pretty, if not prettier...I found that when I work with burlap dabbing the paint with a thick brush is better than anything else...It's a tricky one...but you did succeed.....btw if I don't see you on Sunday....HAPPY THANKSGIVING...XO

    1. Thanks for the painting tip Lucy! I will keep that in mind for next fall :)

  3. awhhh so so so cute!!! I love these! Thank you SO much for the inspiration and for linking up at happy hour!
    Jaime from Crafty Scrappy Happy

    1. Thanks Jaime! I'm loving being part of happy hour!

  4. This is so cute! Love the finished projects. :)

    1. Thank you Aramelle! I'm glad they turned out in the end.


I appreciate your comments and read every one!