Monday, July 30, 2012

Burlap Canvases w/Chinese Characters

Well, the summer of 2012 is almost over... unbelievable!  I'm not ready for school to start again.  But I guess it all makes sense... we've done a lot!

When we've been home, I made it my goal to get some things done in the house.  So, hopefully if time allows, I'll get to blogging about those projects in the next couple of days.

One of the simpler projects I wanted to do was to find something unique, slightly subtle, and fun to make for over the two doorways in our kitchen.j

Here's the kitchen with the two doorways.  The ceilings are tall, so I wanted something in those spaces, but nothing too overpowering or bold.

After searching many-a-store, I gave up on buying something.  I didn't want just anything, and couldn't afford to buy something unique (i.e.

I came across two 16x20 canvases at Hobby Lobby on sale, so I decided to figure out something to do with them.

I started searching on Pinterest and saw that some people were wrapping their canvases with burlap.  Well... Hel-lo!  I love burlap.

So, I needed a picture to paint on the burlap.  I knew that English letters (words) would look a little shaky on burlap and I didn't want anything too intricate or boring.

Since we have some connections to China (youngest daughter was born there!), I decided to find some Chinese symbols that I liked.  I just Googled them 
(and then searched more and more... I wanted to make sure it was correct and that I wasn't actually printing vulgar words on my wall!  LOL)

I found FAMILY and LOVE... seemed appropriate for the kitchen, where everyone gathers numerous times a day, right?  So, I drew my own onto grid paper.

I stretched burlap (the best I could without worrying about steaming or ironing) onto a large piece of cardboard and taped it down.

I chose a light color burlap to match the walls, and found some excess paint from our office room (dark gray).

Then I slowly, carefully began to copy the images onto the burlap, using a thin brush.  I figured I'd just eyeball the image the best I could... if some strokes turned out wider than normal, it wasn't a big deal.  Depending on how the Chinese write their symbols, some look thicker.  
The one above is LOVE.  I decided to write the word LOVE along the edge of the symbol, so that we'd always remember what it said!

After the burlap was painted and dried (let it sit overnight before I removed the burlap from the cardboard), I stretched them around the canvases.
Using a staple gun, I stretched the burlap, first in the middle of each side... then panning outward.

Here is a finished canvas.

Here is the FAMILY canvas.

And here is the LOVE canvas.

I love how the burlap is almost he same color as the walls, so it looks like something is up there without being too overpowering.  

Now every time I leave the kitchen, I'm reminded about my awesome, multi-cultural family.  (OK... two cultures, but that qualifies!)


  1. Love this! Good thinking and writing/painting on your part.

  2. Looks beautiful! Great way to decorate and celebrate cultures at the same time.
    Thanks so much for linking up at I Gotta Create! <3 Christina


Please leave a message... I would love to hear from you!

Note: Only a member of this blog may post a comment.