Have you seen wall art in sets of nine squares, hanging on the wall like a tic-tac-toe board? I have, but I wanted my own custom colors and designs. And those wall art sets can cost $250! I wanted mine for less. The solution? Scrapbook paper wall art!
Scrapbook paper is an inexpensive source of professional quality patterns, and any color you could want. How to make this wall art? It’s as simple as this:
HOW TO MAKE THIS WALL ART
Here’s how you can do this too:
- Choose nine coordinating but contrasting scrapbook papers (for help, visit my Guide to Where to Buy Scrapbook Paper). The paper is usually 12″ x 12″. Use thicker scrapbook paper. Thin scrapbook paper tends to wrinkle much easier.
- Get nine 12″ x 12″ panels. I used American Easel Wood Painting Panels from Dick Blick Art Materials. (Below I show more options for you.)
- I painted the edges of the wood panels black with acrylic paint. You can leave the edges plain or paint any color you want.
- Brush a layer of Mod Podge or Aleene’s Tacky Glue to the panels, then apply the scrapbook papers to the panels. I did one panel at a time, so the glue wouldn’t dry out.
- To smooth the paper onto the panels, use a brayer, ruler, yardstick, whatever flat edge is handy. Sometimes I use a credit card!
- Start smoothing paper from the middle and push out toward the edges.
- You can leave the papers undecorated or brush a layer of Mod Podge or Aleene’s Tacky Glue over them. I accidentally smeared Mod Podge on some papers, so I just brushed a layer of matte Mod Podge over all of the papers and this hid the smears.
- Here are instructions from Mod Podge to get great decoupage results.
The Finished Result: SCrapbook Paper Wall Art
There was a huge blank wall in my office. My workplace has lots of white and beige walls. Blah and boring to look at! This project added a big grid of color and pattern to my office wall, and this makes me happy, creative and inspired while at work. This project is great for any big space you want to cover with affordable wall art — it covers about a 3-foot by 3-foot space:
Preventing Wrinkles in the Paper
Some people have written with questions about how to avoid wrinkles in the scrapbook paper. I originally shared this project back in 2011, and since then I have also struggled with wrinkles on paper and glue projects. Here’s what worked for me to reduce wrinkles:
- Try Aleene’s Tacky Glue instead of Mod Podge. Aleene’s Tacky Glue is more tacky, less wet. I think paper might wrinkle because the wetness of Mod Podge soaks into the paper. Sometimes I notice wrinkles before I even glue the paper to the board, so this is a clue that the glue is not quite right.
- As another alternative, I’ve also had better success with Mod Podge for Fabric. The formulation is thicker and less wet.
- Let the Aleene’s Tacky Glue or Mod Podge sit for a few minutes before applying paper, so the glue is less wet.
- Try spray adhesive instead of glue, such as Krylon Spray Adhesive. Spray two coats of adhesive for good coverage. Follow the spray adhesive directions, because some spray adhesive is repositionable so you can peel the paper off and adjust it. Other spray adhesives apply the paper permanently immediately, so you gotta get it right the first time. I like the repositionable adhesive even though it might cost more. It gives you room for errors, which I’m really good at making!
- Use thicker paper. As you handle scrapbook papers, you’ll find some papers are very thin and floppy, and others are heavier and stiffer. To minimize wrinkles, use the thicker, heavier papers.
12″ x 12″ Boards and Canvas
Here are the Dick Blick American Easel brand wood panels I used. They are a bit pricier than canvas, but I like the professional look of thick wood panels:
Most craft stores like Hobby Lobby, JoAnn, and Michael’s sell 12″ x 12″ square panels made of wood or canvas. What’s more, usually every day there are coupons available for 30%, 40%, sometimes even 50-60% off in stores and online. Just check the websites, sign up for their email lists or use an app on your phone.
Yes, Michael’s, JoAnn and Hobby Lobby all have phone apps with coupons on them. Download the apps onto your phone, and check the app for coupon codes before you go to the checkout counter!
I’ve saved a lot of money with my iPhone apps.
Here is 12″ x 12″ square canvas available at Michael’s, sold in a pack of 7 canvases:
You would have to trim your 12″ square papers a bit, but JoAnn sells 10″ x 10″ square canvas in packs of 10. So there, in one package you are ready to make your set of wall art! I can’t promise what the price will be on any given day, but on November 1, 2015 I checked this product and I got a 30% off coupon plus this was on sale for $19.99:
You can also cut inexpensive 12″ wide wood boards from Home Depot, Menards or Lowes into 12″ x 12″ size. If you don’t have a saw, sometimes they will cut the boards at the store for you.
I’ve found an inexpensive surface idea at home improvement stores — ready-made MDF shelves! You can get shelves 12″ wide by 36″ long for only about $5 each. You can line up three 12″ x 12″ scrapbook papers on the shelves. See how I did this for another scrapbook paper wall art project:
Wondering where to buy scrapbook paper?
Disclosure: This post contains affiliate links, which means I receive a small percentage of compensation at no cost to you if you purchase after clicking the link. I post affiliate links when I’ve purchased from the company myself or used the product myself, and can confidently share the company or product. This helps offset the cost of running this blog for you!