Wednesday, June 5, 2013

Hi everyone. My name is MiMi Dibble.  I am happy to be guest posting for Rebecca today.  I am a stay at home mom for two middle school boys who I chase around all year, from sporting event to sporting event.  When I am not doing that, I find time to get messy and create.  I love journaling, recycling, and making books to put all my pictures in.  Today, I thought we'd make a canvas.

Have you ever seen a really pretty canvas that someone made and then you stop and think ... man, I wish I could make one of those?  Well you can. It's super easy and I promise, you do not have to know how to draw to make one.  All you need is a few simple supplies and a little bit of time.

Here is a list of supplies I used:
  • Gesso prepped canvas, mine measures 6 x 6 
  • old sewing patterns or tissue paper
  • 6 x 6 pattern papers  (2 or 3 different ones)
  • Mod Podge or other medium
  • 3 colors of coordinating paints
  • rubber stamps and Archival Ink
  • a texture stencil
  • rub-ons if you have them
  • molding paste
  • pallet knife
  • larger stencil for your focal point such as a bird or flower
  • markers for doodling
There are 3 easy steps to making a canvas:  create a background, add color and texture, create a focal point.  

Step 1:  Backgrounds

The first thing I did was to use Mod Podge and put down a layer of old sewing patterns.  I added some ripped pattern papers over the top of that.

Step 2: Color and textures

I bought these new craft paints because they were on sale.  I have never tried this brand before.  Usually craft paints are opaque but I was pleasantly surprised that they are a bit transparent.  That's a great thing when creating a canvas. You can add color without covering up the layers you already have.

I first added some red as the main color and then little accents of green. I used my finders to apply the paint.

Next, I used some rubber stamps to create some depth.  I used a background grid stamp as well as a couple roller stamps with a fun patterns.  Archival Ink is great for projects like this because it dries quick and won't smear.  

Punchinella with some paint is a fun way to add some contrasting paint patterns to your canvas.  

The next thing I did was add some rub-ons. I got this idea from the wonderful Christy Tomlinson.  They used to be really popular several years ago and I have a drawer full of them.  I used some fun sewing border ones.    If you don't have rub-ons, you can use a fine point sharpie to make some doodles.

Step 3:  Focal Point

So this is the part that makes most people stop from making a canvas.  People think they have to be able to draw an image for the focal point. You don't have to be able to draw girls or flowers or houses or scenery.  You just need a stencil.   

I mixed a little of the same red paint with some molding paste.  It doesn't cost very much for a tube and it lasts forever. I've had mine for over two years.  I got my tube with a coupon for $5.00 at Michaels.  

I chose a stencil with a bird on a branch. I first used my pallet knife to spread the red molding paste to make the bird.

Once that was really dry, I placed the stencil back on the canvas and lined it up with the bird. This time I used the green paint with molding paste and added the branches and leaves from the stencil.

See the big blob of green on the bottom left corner? That's some molding paste that got under the stencil.  All I did to clean it up was to scrape it off immediately, before it sets.  

Next is doodling to add some touches of shading.  Just get out some markers, any markers and create some more lines.  I love these Faber-Castell pens. They have some really good open time to work with.  I shaded around the branches and leaves, put some red dots in the berries and highlighted some of my blue punchinella circles.

See, the big green blob on the bottom is problem.

I decided the bird needed a wing but I didn't want to just draw one. I used the Tim Holtz die, Caged Bird and cut out the wing using some extra grunge board I had left over from another project.  I painted it red and outlined it in the black Pitt pen.  I also added some black out line doodles around the whole bird.

All done...see, wasn't that easy?

If you'd like to see more of my work, you can find me at Check out my junk journal series.  It's full of mixed media fun!   Hope to see you there.

Thanks again and I do hope you leave a comment and let me know what you think of the canvas.

MiMi Dibble


  1. Replies
    1. Thanks Valerie. I'm so glad you love it.

  2. Gorgeous, thanks for the step by step, love the bird, Judith xx

    1. Thank you so much Judith. Step by steps are fun to do. I hope you try.

  3. Thank you so much this is so lovely...I think I could do this! You did make it look pretty straight forward. Thanks again Mimi! I LOVE your work.

    1. Oh it is easy. Thank you. By the way, love your name.

  4. Awesome Mimi your so creative and I'm so lucky to be friends with you...I love what you created gorgeous girl hugs Terrie

    1. I'm pretty sure I am the lucky one.

  5. wonderful...and you're right..I can do the background on my canvas, but when it comes to the focal part, I get really frustrated and will just walk away....thank you for sharing this..

    1. Oh you are so welcome. Glad it helped you!

  6. lovely project - thanks for the process share - love those!

    1. Thank you and I am glad you liked the process share. I know not everyone does. :)

  7. Just gorgeous, and your process is great, so free! Thanks MiMi!

    1. Thanks Debbie. It is very free, you are right about that. That's what I love.

  8. I luv how it came out :) It looks like a fun project to try (and I like hearing that i'm not the only one who uses her fingers to apply paint lol)

    1. hahaha Anne. I use my fingers quite often. Unfortunately that means I get lots of paint everywhere, including my clothes. Oh well, it's fun. Thanks so much.

  9. I don't have any canvas on hand, although I've seen people use cereal boxes as a substitute! (0; Nevertheless, I think this is an awesome tutorial, and the same concepts can still be practiced on plain ol' journal pages (then maybe framed if we are happy with our results, right?!).... Thanks for the time you put into making such a great post! ~tina

  10. yes absolutely. You can do this same thing in an art journal page. Actually, I used the left over molding paste on a blank page in my art journal. Cereal boxes are great substitute for a canvas. Tim Coffey has a great YouTube video on how to do that. Thanks so much for stopping by.