Much Better

by HEAB on June 28, 2011

I had one of my favorite photos from Summer’s 4-month photo shoot made into a canvas print, but it looked so lost on our living room wall.


I thought some smaller canvas prints would look great along either side, but I was having a hard time finding an online site that would do 8×10 canvas prints. Also, I didn’t want to spend a lot of money. Then I remembered Young House Love’s wall art project and immediately drove to Michael’s for some supplies. I also ordered two 8×10 prints of photos I’d taken recently.

At Michael’s, I purchased two 8×10 canvases, a bottle of Liquitex Matte Varnish (half-off with my coupon from Michael’s website), and a small can of black spray paint. With help from Einstein, I painted the canvases black as I wanted the edges to match the print already on our wall.


When my photos arrived a couple of days later, I realized that they were a little larger than the canvases. So, I carefully measured and trimmed them down to size. Next up, I painted each canvas and the back of each photo with a thin layer of matte varnish, placed the photos on the canvases, and smoothed them out with a soft cloth.


After allowing the varnish to set overnight, I then hung the canvases on the wall.


Much better, don’t you think?

Walking by that wall makes me so happy now. 🙂

P.S. Winner of the Crimson Cup coffee giveaway is Sara. Congrats Sara. I’ve sent you an email.


Rachel July 1, 2011 at 10:56 am

Hi Heather!

Quick question (you can probably tell I’m not very experienced in DIY projects but I’m trying to get better) when you ordered the photos you put on the canvas do you have to have them printed out a special way, ie on a canvas print? Yours look great and I want to try it myself!

Thanks!!! Rachel

HEAB July 1, 2011 at 1:35 pm

Hi Rachel,
Nope, nothing special. I simply ordered two regular 8×10 prints from Shutterfly, but instead of my usual glossy, I ordered them in a matte finish b/c I thought they would look better next to the canvas print already on the wall. Good luck – it’s a fun project and super easy.

Ana June 29, 2011 at 5:30 pm

Beautiful, looks awesome Heather! Love the color of your wall too!

Danielle Discovers June 29, 2011 at 3:47 pm

What a neat idea! You’re always so creative and crafty… really, what an awesome way to ‘do it yourself’.

Kelly June 29, 2011 at 1:37 pm

LOVE the pictures! I am a fan of the “rule of 3” when it comes to wall hangings!! Wish I was as crafty as you are!!!

Anne Marie@New Weigh of Life June 29, 2011 at 1:28 pm

Beautiful! I must live under a rock, because this is the first time I’m hearing about Young House Love. What a cool blog!

HEAB June 29, 2011 at 1:46 pm

Anne Marie,
YHL is addictive. Love them. 🙂

Riss June 29, 2011 at 12:51 pm

This is gorgeous, Heather! I love how rich and classy it looks contrasted against your dark-colored walls!

nikki June 29, 2011 at 12:00 pm

It looks great, Heab. Isn’t there something so satisfying about hanging your own photos, especially when you’ve mounted it yourself?

My bedroom is decorated with my own b/w photographs and I love just looking at them.

HEAB June 29, 2011 at 1:47 pm

Yes, agreed. Very satisfying as well as a very inexpensive way to decorate. 😉

Meghan @ StruggleMuffins June 29, 2011 at 11:44 am

You’ve got a knack for home decorating Heather. You really make it look simple and easy – accessible – which is great for people like me who fumble and struggle. Now we can look to you!

Jenn June 29, 2011 at 11:44 am

Love it! By the way, today is national almond butter day. Just thought you should know 🙂 Happy day devoted to your blog!

HEAB June 29, 2011 at 1:48 pm

I know, I just found out. Need to celebrate! 🙂

Sami June 29, 2011 at 11:33 am

you should be a designer 🙂 it has a sweet simplicity that i think a lot of people overlook. those photos are absolutely precious!

Cindy June 29, 2011 at 10:51 am



Happy wall indeed!


Ameena June 29, 2011 at 10:18 am

So pretty! You are so creative…I don’t have a single creative bone in my body and could never come up with something like this. If you are interested in helping me make over the disarray I consider decoration please let me know. 🙂

HEAB June 29, 2011 at 1:49 pm

From your pics, I think your house look gorgeous. 🙂

Nolita June 29, 2011 at 9:49 am

Oooh! I will definitely have to try this at home. I have some blank walls at home that I was going to make a large graphic sign like this: but this makes more sense in my Gathering Room. Still want to to the large quote maybe for the Sunroom… both are great ideas! Thanks for sharing with us! Your pictures look great!

HEAB June 29, 2011 at 2:07 pm

Wow Nolita, that is a cool idea. I’d love to do something like that someday. Be neat to do a nursery rhyme quote for a kid’s room too. 🙂

Maria @ Beautiful Busy Bee June 29, 2011 at 9:15 am

Those are gorgeous!!!! 🙂 You could charge people to do it for them.

brandi June 29, 2011 at 9:11 am

the pictures look great!

Sarah @ See Sarah Eat June 29, 2011 at 8:19 am

They look great! You did such an awesome job 🙂 Love that color on the walls too! We are getting ready to move into our first home and I’m about to go nuts researching paint colors and furniture stuff but in a good way 😉

HEAB June 29, 2011 at 9:21 am

The paint color is Whitall Brown by Benjamin Moore. We love it.

The Teenage Taste June 29, 2011 at 7:37 am

Those pictures are beautiful! You are so artistic, Heather.
My favorite print the one that you posted a few weeks ago: the socks. I love it! 🙂

nadia June 29, 2011 at 7:31 am

that wall look gorgeous! I love the b&w with the two color pics. so balanced 🙂 lovely…

Melanie June 29, 2011 at 6:41 am

Very pretty:). I especially love the picture with the socks. Most of the knit-bloggers I read would be jealous of that pic.

HEAB June 29, 2011 at 9:21 am

Thanks Melanie, I love that photo too. 🙂

Mercedes @ Cultivating Consciousness June 29, 2011 at 6:21 am

Brilliant! I think this just might be the answer to my bare-naked walls! Thanks for the idea!

HEAB June 29, 2011 at 9:22 am

You’re welcome. 🙂

Wendy Baarda June 29, 2011 at 6:09 am

Love how the colour contrasts the main black and white photo…

sally kate June 29, 2011 at 12:37 am

i’m in the same predicament right now with my new house- i have SOO much open wall space and no enough art work and i’ve been wanting to have prints and whether it was or not, you make that look really easy! i will have to try it out!

Hannah June 28, 2011 at 11:25 pm

I’m in awe. I can’t even comprehend having the skills and ideas to create something like that myself!!

…and that’s why my room looks like a jail cell.

HEAB June 29, 2011 at 9:23 am

Hannah, You could make a really cool collage with chocolate wrappers. Seriously. Save them all, put them on a canvas and paint the varnish over them. Ha, might try that one myself…but I don’t think cardboard Baker’s boxes would work as well. 😉

Hannah June 29, 2011 at 9:08 pm

That’s a BRILLIANT idea! I cry when I think of all the gorgeous wrappers I’ve thrown out over the years… 🙁

michelle June 28, 2011 at 10:29 pm

I love how creative you are

Roz June 28, 2011 at 10:26 pm

The wall looks FANTASTIC Heather!!!! I LOVE DIY projects! And yours turned out beautifully. Have a great day! PS: Love the tribute to girlfriends on the previous post. So fun.

Liz @ iheartvegetables June 28, 2011 at 10:16 pm

Oh my gosh that looks awesome!!! You’re so crafty! 🙂

Katie June 28, 2011 at 10:03 pm

I’ve been wanting to hang a canvas print in my baby’s room, too – but have held off because it was expensive. Thanks so much for sharing this – it is on my to do list!

Maryea {Happy Healthy Mama} June 28, 2011 at 9:43 pm

Ahh YHL to the rescue! I love this look and may need to try it myself. Good work, Heather. 🙂

katie @KatieDid June 28, 2011 at 9:05 pm

They look fantastic and chic! I have been trying to get a little more into DIY things, as the results are always so rewarding and it’s fun in the process! I love the random little DIY crafts you’ve posted over the past few months.

HEAB June 28, 2011 at 9:24 pm

Thanks Katie, getting more into the DIY thing myself. It’s so fun!

Emily @ Comfortable Home Life June 28, 2011 at 9:03 pm

Too adorable! It does look much better with the two extra pictures. You have a beautiful family!

HEAB June 28, 2011 at 9:25 pm

Thanks Emily. 🙂

Emily June 28, 2011 at 8:54 pm

These are absolutely gorgeous! I love what personal photography as art adds to a home 🙂

Kim @ Spoonful of Sass June 28, 2011 at 8:52 pm

So pretty and chic. Love your taste.

Katherine June 28, 2011 at 8:42 pm

It looks great!

Jess@atasteofconfidence June 28, 2011 at 8:29 pm

Looks beautiful, I can see why it makes you happy!

Alyssa June 28, 2011 at 8:28 pm

It looks great!!!

Clairerose C June 28, 2011 at 8:07 pm

That’s awesome,Heather!! I may follow your lead:-)cc

Annie@stronghealthyfit June 28, 2011 at 7:20 pm

Awesome job! The pics look great on your wall.

Eden June 28, 2011 at 6:54 pm

I just realized summer has done more photoshoots than I have in a lifetime.

I trust you won’t let her get all crazy with diet pills and cocaine like all the other model babies.

And your wall looks gorgeous, btw.

HEAB June 28, 2011 at 9:03 pm

Hehe. One of my friends gifted us with a photo session every 3 months for Summer’s first year. Definitely one of my favorite gifts. 🙂

lindsay June 28, 2011 at 6:30 pm

much better, and i like the color contrast. Nice job HEAB!

The Delicate Place June 28, 2011 at 5:49 pm

i love the color of the wall! precious photos! getting things matted is def expensive, i have a crutch in my hubs the artist 🙂

Nicole@GFonaShoestring June 28, 2011 at 5:46 pm

I’m so impressed. And humbled. And intimidated.
It’s irrational, I know, but any sort of craft project scares the tar out of me. Even hanging it on the wall scares me. Growing up, hanging anything – and I mean anything at all – on the wall was a major project. It took a whole afternoon. There was swearing, a given. There was mind-changing, followed by more swearing. It was a nightmare.
So now I can’t hang anything on the wall. I have to rely upon my husband to do it, upon request. And he works a lot. So I have quite a few bare walls. They’re painted pretty colors, but I’d sooner put in a window than hang something on a wall. I imagine studs, and finding them. And I break out in a sweat.
That wall looks so lovely, Heather. I’m humbled. 😉


Baking 'n' Books June 28, 2011 at 7:54 pm

LOL – send your husband my way! I can’t hang anything on a wall to save my life…except my calender 😉

Looks beautiful HEAB! I am so NOT surprised you are crafty though – I feel you’ve really sparked in your creative, artistic…soulful side these past few months. 🙂

HEAB June 28, 2011 at 9:06 pm

I can relate. In the past, I would just start hammering away and usually ended up with about 4 nail holes per hanging picture/print. I think this is the first time I actually put some effort into it and measured with a measuring tape before hammering. Still had 2 nail holes for one of them. 🙂

J3nn (Jenn's Menu and Lifestyle Blog) June 28, 2011 at 5:43 pm

I love it!! You did a great job. It looks really nice–professional, even! 🙂

Little Bookworm June 28, 2011 at 5:25 pm

It looks lovely Heather. Great photos! 🙂

Michaela June 28, 2011 at 5:21 pm

this looks so much better! I love the shots! You all look beautiful. I have never even considered making my own canvas prints- such a great idea, I will definitely try that.

Monica June 28, 2011 at 5:20 pm

Great decor upgrade! I love the way the colors compliment the center print!

Tabitha June 28, 2011 at 5:08 pm

Lovely. I’m really enjoying your sharing more of your lifestyle with us.

HEAB June 28, 2011 at 9:06 pm

Thanks Tabitha. 🙂

Sarah R June 28, 2011 at 5:08 pm

Perfect! They look great Heather!

Cait's Plate June 28, 2011 at 4:43 pm

Oh my gosh – that little DARLING!!! Walking by that wall would absolutely brighten my day as well! She’s beautiful Heather 🙂

HEAB June 28, 2011 at 9:07 pm

Thanks Cait. 🙂

Melissa R June 28, 2011 at 4:33 pm

beautiful i love that … ima have to try it!

Ricki June 28, 2011 at 4:20 pm

It looks so great!

Samantha June 28, 2011 at 4:17 pm

The photos look lovely, you did a great job! Just adore the ‘feet’ shot, so sweet.

elise June 28, 2011 at 4:17 pm

honestly i cant get enough of summer and your adorable little family. im gaga over you guys!! haha. so cheesy.

HEAB June 28, 2011 at 9:08 pm

Thanks Elise…I’m still gagaing over your chai chia oats. 😉

sarah (sarah learns) June 28, 2011 at 4:13 pm

oh those photos look perfect now!! 🙂 i love it!

Deb (SmoothieGirlEatsToo) June 28, 2011 at 4:11 pm

Your blog is becoming the best DIY blog! Love the color of your room too.

Clare @ Fitting It All In June 28, 2011 at 4:10 pm

Looks SO great Heather! You’ve inspired me to check out YHL for some ideas for my new apartment!

HEAB June 28, 2011 at 9:14 pm

I’m a little obsessed with YHL. I love their taste, and how they post everything they do step-by-step. I’ve gotten so many great ideas from them.

Sarena (The Non-Dairy Queen) June 28, 2011 at 4:07 pm

You have gotten so crafty lately…I love it! The pictures look great! I love family photos. It really makes your house feel like a home.

I’ll email you soon to see if we can set up a time to get together before you go. Tony and I will probably in Nashville in a couple of weeks.

HEAB June 28, 2011 at 9:16 pm

Sounds good Sarena, hope we get to meet up, but if not, then definitely when we get back!

alli June 28, 2011 at 4:05 pm

look at you, miss crafty! those look great !
is it weird that i’d love to see a tour of your house? it look so beautiful just from those pictures you posted. i love the wall color, trim & windows. simply beautiful!

HEAB June 28, 2011 at 9:15 pm

Thank you, and no, not weird at all. I love seeing inside other people’s houses b/c it always give me ideas and allows me to learn more about them. Perhaps I’ll do a home tour post one of these days. 🙂

Lorne June 28, 2011 at 4:02 pm

I think the wall looks beautiful – the happiness wall :0)

HEAB June 28, 2011 at 9:17 pm

Yes! The Happiness Wall. 🙂

Lisa June 28, 2011 at 4:02 pm

Heather, I love the color of your walls! Gray is such a great choice, understated yet classy. Your pictures look great on it too!

Debra June 28, 2011 at 4:00 pm

Love this idea! Am going to steal it from you. Summer is very cute. Hard to believe she’s already 4 months old. I enjoy watching her grow and change. You’re taking great care of her.

HEAB June 28, 2011 at 9:18 pm

Thanks Debra, and Summer is actually 8 months old. Can you believe it?!? I just finally got around to getting that canvas print done. Hope you enjoy the project. It was so easy, and I had a lot of fun with it.

Errign June 28, 2011 at 3:52 pm

So. freaking. adorable.

The two new pictures really do make the center one look much larger than it did before. 🙂

Averie @ Love Veggies and Yoga June 28, 2011 at 3:46 pm

You are SO CRAFTY!! Look at you, miss I had a baby, make my own laundry soap, make my own canvas prints and in all my spare time run a “food” blog and change diapers 🙂

Lovin’ the wall art! Seriously awesome work!

tea-bag June 28, 2011 at 3:44 pm

wow, that’s absolutely beautiful!

Carbzilla June 28, 2011 at 3:44 pm

Look at you, crafty Mama!

Kelly @foodiefresh June 28, 2011 at 3:40 pm

So cute! You’re so crafty! 🙂

Erin @ Naturally Addicted June 28, 2011 at 3:40 pm

I love those pictures! What a beautiful family!

Lauren June 28, 2011 at 3:39 pm

Very cool idea! Thanks for the tip!

Ann Claire June 28, 2011 at 3:39 pm

So precious, I love it!

Katelyn @ Chef Katelyn June 28, 2011 at 3:36 pm

MUCH better 🙂 Slash those are beautiful upon beautiful pictures. I can’t believe she’s already 4 months old!

HEAB June 28, 2011 at 9:20 pm

Thank you, and Summer is actually 8 months old. Can you believe it?!? Just took me a while to get the canvas photo done and up on the wall. 🙂

Katie June 28, 2011 at 3:32 pm

Now, you need to come and decorate my walls!!

I love this idea, Heather! I really think I might have to steal it. 😀

HEAB June 28, 2011 at 9:21 pm

I’d love to – too bad you aren’t in Flagstaff anymore. We want to go visit there next time we’re in AZ.

Nora @ Natural Noshing June 28, 2011 at 3:27 pm

Beautiful! Nice work Heather 🙂 I love homemade art projects, so fun!

Victoria (District Chocoholic) June 28, 2011 at 3:08 pm

Your home decorating skills amaze me. And inspire me to try this myself.

HEAB June 28, 2011 at 9:22 pm

Thanks Victoria. This one was easy – you should totally try it.

The Healthy Hipster June 28, 2011 at 2:59 pm

Looks adorable!

molly June 28, 2011 at 2:55 pm

love it! so cute!

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