Backlit Canvas Art

Do you have one project that you’ve been longing to do, but just haven’t found the time yet? This is it for me.
I call it my Backlit Canvas Art and the inspiration piece has been pinned in my “Crafts to try” Pinterest board for ages. 
My “pin”speration is an artist’s piece made from metal that has hand cut flowers all over it. Its backlit by Christmas lights, and I pretty much love it
So I decided to give it a go and create my version. 
There are two main differences between the two: 
1. The scale. Mine is way smaller! 
2. The media. The artist used metal while I used cardstock! 

The idea of the canvas is that during the day (ie. with the Christmas light off) you have a beautiful sculpture while at night (you guessed it, with the Christmas lights on!) you have a fun and unique piece of art.
How about a tutorial?
Supply list
Mounted canvas (mine is 10″x10″)
cardstock to fit on your canvas (mine is 12″x12″)
stamps
ink pad
X-acto knife
light source*

*I wasn’t sure if I wanted to use a single bulb or Christmas lights so that is why both are in the above picture. Ultimately I was worried that the single bulb could get too hot if left on too long so I went with the Christmas lights.

I decided to go with the same flower theme as my inspiration piece. 
I randomly stamped various flowers across my cardstock. I went with gray ink on the brown Kraft paper because I wanted it to be subtle during the daylight hours.

How you cut the flowers is entirely up to your artistic eye!
The main thing you want to take care of is not completely cut the flower off of the paper. 
Take your time. Look at each flower individually and see what flows. 

I cut some of my flowers very literally as they looked stamped. 
For others I made different patterns with the petals.
For the butterfly I decided to completely cut out the thin swirls on his wings to let the light shine through.
After you’re done cutting (or while you’re cutting if you’re impatient like me!), from the back of your paper, gently push the paper out so that it “pops” from the front. Be gentle.

Time for the lights!
I took a scrap piece of cardboard and trimmed it down to fit the back of my canvas. 
I also snagged a couple of spare Command strips I keep around for just such an occasion. 

I cut the Command strips in half lengthwise to 
1) make them go further, and 
2) slim them down to fit on the exposed wood frame.
After trimming, I arranged the Command strips where I wanted them to go and adhered them to the canvas. 
Next I set my cardboard on top of the strips so that everything would be lined up appropriately.
Tuck the Christmas lights between the canvas and the cardboard. Be sure to spread the lights out so all of your light is not concentrated in one area.
The cord from the lights should easily fit between the canvas and cardboard backing.

Since my canvas is white and my cardstock is brown, I decided I wanted to paint the sides of the canvas. 
I went with a metallic gold from Martha Stewart Crafts.
I feel like it makes the canvas look “framed!”

Its time to trim the cardstock down to size and attach it to the canvas.
If you know me, I like multipurpose projects. 
It makes for less storage and seriously just makes me happy!
This flower art was so fun to make that I decided I would definitely be doing it again. 
Maybe even holiday pieces! 
So I want to be able to use the canvas again and change out the cardstock.
So I used clear photo corners to mount the paper on the canvas. 

I think this turned out SO fun! 
You can literally use any color of paper and any pattern to make a unique piece of art for your home.

I definitely love the way the piece looks during the day. 
The subtle shadows created by the cut flowers really draws the eye!

And backlit?
Well its just fun!

Be sure to check out my superhero backlit canvas art, too! 


I link to these fun parties!



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Comments

  1. says

    I apologize if you have already answered this question; is that an xacto swivel knife? I have attempted this project with a regular xacto and I’m finding it hard to do curved lines without lifting the knife and making torn up edges!! I love this idea and love that there are so many different things you could do with it! thanks for sharing!

  2. says

    Thank you so much for posting how to do this project!! I loved the “original” I saw on Pintrest and after following many URL’s, I want not able to find how it was made. When I stumbled upon your page, I felt a tickle in my brain and now, my living room needs to start making space for the many creations I have been able to make, thanks to you!!

    Great job! Love it!

  3. says

    Great idea, love how it looks! You make it look so easy, like even I could do it. Makes me want to try.
    I checked out a few links, also the pinterestchallenge.com link, but it seems the site is gone?
    If I remember I’ll check back later this month to see if it’s available again, as it seems like a very inspirational site!
    Found you through stumble btw, I love discovering gems like this :)

  4. says

    Hi MICHELE!!!
    Your “Backlit Canvas Art” was really INSPIRING….
    I have seen the original quite some time back and pinned it to do some day,then i stumbled across yours,and gotta much needed push to do it now….
    and you know what …i had finally done it….thanks to you….
    have a look at mine….http://designbyshilpi.blogspot.in/
    I LOVE the idea that you can change your art on canvas AWESOME!
    One question though….i would LOVE to enter in your challenges…
    and somehow i have not been able to do it…
    plz guide..
    Thanks
    Regards
    Shilpi

  5. says

    Awesome Michele….
    i hv been dreaming of doing this for ages….
    tried flattened tin from soda cans…tried canvas itself….n finally card paper….
    yet i hv been wondering what else to give it such a cool look n here i see ur version….simply awesome…..
    i’m new at blogging….so i’m learning the ropes as i go….so
    my email ID is
    designbyshilpi@gmail.com

    i read ur profile too….n felt so good….hats off to u to manage all this….
    i try but hvn’t been able to reach the fine balance of kids,home n work…..
    You are great inspiration….
    soon enough i hope to achieve the elusive balance that u have,till then i’ll follow ur PINs,and get inspired….
    Thanks a lot for sharing…
    regards
    Shilpi

  6. says

    So cool! I was wondering though–is it possible to paint the cardstock and then stamp & cut out? I think it would make it look more complete. But would the ink stay? Thanks. :D
    -Lily

  7. says

    Thnk you so much for this.. I saw one in a store but was made with metal, and I didn’t know that I could use it like this.. it was like 800 dollars, and now I can make it myself for SOOOOOOOO much cheap.. you just saved me so much money.. lol
    thanks again..

  8. says

    I have you on “My Yahoo” and I like most everything you do..but somehow I missed this. And I just saw it, WOW, beautiful, amazing! I love yours so much more than the inspirational piece. I am such a perfectionist and fail miserable for the sheer fact that I never try. But I want so much to try. Even if I never do thanks so much for sharing, you did a wonderful job, it really is an amazing work of art. Melinda mxmomma05@yahoo.com

  9. says

    I’ve been looking to try this out and I was a bit worried about techniques and such because the last tutorial I saw had you using stickers and then spray painting over before peeling the stickers off to let the light shine through. I like your option better because it allows me to give the piece more flare during the day so it pops. Thanks for posting this. It’s incredible. Seriously, you’ve done an amazing job.

  10. says

    This is very very unbelievable amazing… Thanx for inspiration…just stopped over from The Sunday Showcase Party at Underthetableanddreaming… Greetings from Germany from Jutty&Poppy from popeyetalk, The Blog with the Dog!

  11. says

    Absolutely gorgeous! I’m visiting from Under the Table and Dreaming. I hope you’ll come share this at the Knick of Time Vintage Party! It starts on Tuesday morning.

    Blessings,
    Angie @ Knick of Time

  12. says

    This is so cool! Thanks for sharing, I love your spin on this pinterest idea. Very pretty! (found you through the linky party on Shabby Creek Cottage)

  13. says

    Hello my Dear and THANK YOU very much for sharing your this fabulous creative work…It really something so great and fun to make…I must give it a try for my newly build home …it will be a great decor idea for a wall… Thank you so much and I am your newer follower with linky follower too …
    There is interesting tutorial I posted of a double sided pillow…If you are interested please check it @
    http://craftaworld.blogspot.com/2012/05/double-sided-pillow-case.html

    With love
    Farah

  14. says

    Now I am going to be the one with this project sitting on my pin board :)
    But seriously I am going to try this one!
    Found you via Sugar bee Crafts and am your newest linky follower!

  15. says

    I think my comment disappeared….
    This is just gorgeous…really, really pretty. I wonder if I have the patience to try this…becasue I really want to. You did an amazing job!

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