The alternate title for this post is: I FINALLY BESTED THE FUSE BOX.
If you’re unfamiliar with the feud the fuse box and I have been having, let me quickly catch you up: There is a fuse box in Baby’s room. I was perhaps unreasonably annoyed by this. Smack dab in plain view of what I think is the cutest room in the house: An oversized, unsightly, purely utilitarian metal rectangle.
And you might be thinking, but Mandy, just don’t look at it! BUT I COULDN’T NOT LOOK. It was so imposing. So grey and rectangular and the exact opposite of the cute and soft vibes I wanted in Baby’s room. Covering it up became somewhat of an obsession.
I tried putting furniture in front of it, contemplated curtains, spent months searching for the perfect-size wall hanging that would be long enough to cover the length of the fuse box, but narrow enough to fit on the wall. All the while the fuse box got smugger and smugger, taunting me with its boxiness and dull metallic shine.
Enter: This DIY vegetable-stamped canvas wall hanging. I love it because it was cheap, easy to get the custom dimensions that I needed, and - as far as DIY’s go - pretty darn quick and easy. It also is easily removable.
Although it pains me to admit, the fuse box DOES serve an important purpose. So keeping it easily accessible for the times the power mysteriously goes out is important. (Husband will tell you this is not “mysterious” but rather a direct result of the hair dryer/space heater being used at the same time. I am not convinced and remain firmly on team Electricity is A Fickle Thing.)
Whether your motivation for making a DIY canvas wall hanging is a rapidly escalating rivalry with a fuse box, or otherwise, here is how you do it.
You will need:
- A canvas drop cloth (we had an extra from these curtains)
- An iron
- Acrylic paint
- A vegetable!
- Wooden dowels
- A hot glue gun
- If you plan on finishing the edges, you will need a needle and thread
Here's how you do it:
Start by cutting your drop cloth down to size. I found the easiest way to do this (since I seem to have misplaced my cutting mat during one of our moves) was to make a stencil of the size I needed by taping together printer paper.
I traced around the stencil with a pencil, and cut along those lines. Since I planned on sewing the longer edges of the canvas, I left a 1/4-inch seam allowance on either side. If you are leaving your edges unfinished, you won't need to account for this.
At this point, I ironed the canvas. I KNOW you're supposed to iron before cutting. But that seemed like extra ironing. Which is something I try to avoid. I won't tell the Sewing Authorities on you if you also choose to iron after cutting.
For a cheap and readily available stamp that wouldn't require a trip to the craft store, I used carrots to make polka dots. You can do vegetable stamping with just about any vegetable! Potato is the most popular, but I've also seen Brussels sprouts, bell peppers, and celery used. It all depends on the shape you're after!
I wanted crisp white polka dots, so I used carrots. If you also use carrots (and I would guess this is true for any vegetable other than regular potatoes), you will want to blot them off after cutting so their color doesn't tint your paint at all.
Using the carrots, I stamped rows of polka dots across the canvas. I wanted the polka dots to be well-defined, so I re-dipped my carrot after each stamp, and some dots even got touched-up with a second stamp.
Once the paint dried completely, I sewed along the long sides of the canvas.
I cut my wood dowels so there would be a 1/2-inch overhang on either end of the canvas. Using a hot glue gun, I glued one to the top of the canvas, and the other to the bottom. You could also sew the dowels into the canvas if you wanted, but I like the look of the exposed wood.
As always, when using a hot glue gun, work quickly so your glue doesn't harden before you've stuck anything to it, and also be very careful to not burn yourself. That glue is HOT.
Once the glue had fully hardened, I wrapped yarn around both sides of the top dowel and tied it off.
We hung the canvas from a nail above the fuse box, and now every time I walk into Baby’s room, I have a little extra pep in my step knowing that I (finally!) came out on top against the fuse box.