CINCINNATI -- An adorable pencil holder, a hip sunglass wall-holder, intrinsic cupcake decorations and a promise of “easy do-it-yourself.”
We’ve all been there. And by there, I mean Pinterest.
Like many semi-artistic-but-not-really people out there, I wondered if these viral do-it-yourself projects were really as easy as the website makes them seem. Or if in the end all I’ll be left with is fingers stuck together with hot glue and something that looks like a 4-year-old's art project.
Are these projects really more cost-effective than running down to Michaels and pretending you made the purchased product?
(No, of course I haven’t done that before…)
So here I am, your not-too-artsy guinea pig, who will willingly take on these “easy” Pinterest projects to save you from potential project failures and a hole in your wallet.
Who doesn’t love Instagram photos? You can edit them, change their color and modify them to make the picture a little prettier than reality.
The great idea: According to Pinner Sarah Lipoff, this simple project is not only easy, but very cost effective. If you’re not sure what to do with those square shots, you can print out the photos and make your own professional looking canvases for 75 percent less than store bought (so she says).
Cost: Lipoff says a store-bought version of the small canvas print can run up to $20 apiece. She slashes the price-tag to just around $5 for her do-it-yourself version.
Supplies: 6-by-6-inch square canvas, sandpaper, Mod Podge, foam brush, paintbrush, black acrylic paint, square picture, paper cutter or scissors and scrap paper.
Directions (seven "easy" steps):
- Select a picture you'd like for creating the print. Resize the image using your computer until it is 6 by 6 inches and then print, using the best printer settings. Gather the other materials for creating the canvas print before getting started.
- Use a paper cutter to trim the image, creating a perfect square. You can position the print over the canvas to double-check its size, trimming as needed.
- Give the front of the canvas a quick sanding with fine sandpaper, which helps the Mod Podge really adhere to the print and canvas.
- With a foam brush, coat the front of the canvas with a layer of Mod Podge and then position the print, smoothing gently. Don't worry if there are any bumps or puckers, they will smooth out once the glue is dry. Let rest for an hour before the next step.
- Now coat the print with a layer of Mod Podge, working first horizontally with the foam brush and then vertically. Once again, don't worry about any bumps; they'll disappear as the canvas dries.
- Place a piece of scrap paper under the canvas, and coat the sides with black acrylic paint, which really makes this DIY look professional. Touch up the black paint if needed.
- Once dry, find the perfect spot for hanging the finished canvas print, or give it to a special someone as a gift.
Cost: I ended up spending a total of $27.49 at Michaels on just one square canvas and the rest of the supplies. The canvas alone cost $4.49.
Simplicity: Even for me, this project was super easy.
How'd it turn out? The major issue was sizing the photo correctly on the canvas. Sounds simple, right? I ended up having paper edges that ran too far off the canvas and by the time everything was dry, I wasn't able to fix it. It did not look professional in any way.
Pinterest version My version
My opinion: I was more than excited to turn a few of my Instagram pictures into wall-hanging projects I could be proud of. Did that happen? Let's just say I won't be hanging anything on the walls anytime soon.
The only way I see this project being cost-effective is if you get a deal on several small canvases and create more than a few at a time.
It was a very easy project that a small child could do (with supervision), as long as you're careful with the size of the picture before gluing it to the canvas.
Pinterest fail or success? Fail