Recycling a Canvas

February 4, 2019
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Last week I was totally stuck wondering what to do for my monthly Friday LIVE stream. Inspiration struck after seeing  TheMeriAtelier create an art journal from assorted papers and a recycled canvas. (Be sure to check out Meri's YouTube channel for loads of art-filled projects.) I loved the way Meri used a painted canvas as the journal cover, and I wanted to somehow follow her example for my LIVE stream.

I decided to take Meri’s concept, with no particular idea in mind, and begin playing. I didn't want to create a journal from scratch, but I do love adding covers to all my writing and art journals. I usually create permanent covers on the ones for writing, but it's handy to be able to remove them from Art Journals so they don't get too messy.

I've had a Dina Wakley Media Journal waiting for a cover, so voila, a plan was coming together! I just love it when that happens, don't you? 

Several years ago, I painted an 8” x 10” canvas using our sweet mixed-breed rescue, Muppet, as my model. Of course, I had to embellish her image with a few colorful accessories and glasses. 🙂 Before cutting the canvas away from its wooden stretcher bars, I brushed on 2 coats of water-based varnish to protect the artwork from all the handling that is sure to happen.

Before everyone joined me on Friday for the LIVE broadcast, I precut a piece of Duck Cloth measuring 23” x 15”. During the LIVE stream I applied fabric inks, dyes and paint using stencils, stamps, etc. You can see the entire process in the video above and the photos below.

Click the photos to see all the detail!

Once the painted fabric was completely dry, I serged around the edges to prevent raveling. Next, I folded the fabric around the journal to test fit and place the Muppet canvas. After determining the canvas placement, I tacked it to the painted fabric with Aleene’s Tacky Glue. Once the glue was dry, I permanently attached the canvas with a long machine stitch.

After marking and stitching the cover flaps, I carefully turned the flaps inside the cover and pressed all edges. I inserted each cover under its respective flap and it fit just as I'd hoped. WooHoo!!

The finished journal cover is easy to remove before creating in my art journal. The cover is equally easy to replace and beautifully transforms a boring black cover into one I love to look at.

Painted Fabric

Serged Edges

Test Fit before Stitching

Canvas Stitched on Painted Fabric

Flaps Stitched

Flaps Turned Inside

Finished Cover on Art Journal

Cover Back

Art Journal Dressed in its New Cover!

If you’ve ever recycled a painted canvas and given it a new life, I’d love to hear what you did. Leave a comment below and tell me about it.

Join me the first Friday of each month for a new LIVE broadcast at 2pm Eastern. I love chatting with YOU and showing you something creative I've been working on. 😉

Until next time ~

Remember to Get Creative today! It's Easy!!


P.S. Please leave a comment below.


Barb Owen

About the Author

Barb Owen

Barb is the founder of How to Get Creative, author of "Normal Doesn't Live Here Anymore", a specialist at playing in the art studio and has an unhealthy addiction to smiles. ;-)

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