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DIY Drop Cloth Stencil Canvas

By 86'n It on Jan 18, 2013

Here is a brief tutorial on how I made the DIY Drop Cloth Stencil Canvas.

This idea of using rigid insulation instead of stretching a traditional canvas has been all over the interwebs, so it is nothing I came up with. It seemed easy and quick. Plus, we had two big sheets of leftover rigid downstairs. After researching that there is in fact NO formaldehyde in the sheets, I decided it was a go.

I swear I had a piece of canvas drop cloth left over from the DIY nursery curtains, but I could not find it to save my life. So instead of being free, this project cost me $7.99 worth of a 5x5' drop cloth from Lowe's. Good thing about it is that this drop cloth has a bit of a pink/blue tinge that actually ties in the wall and crib wood color. Happy accident!


While I knew I wanted a canvas with a stencil, I was at a loss for what stencil design. Luckily at the time Marc and Franca were in NYC, and Marc kept going on and on about how cool the old Delancey Street subway signs were.

Since this nursery already had a NYC-ish "theme" (cringe), I googled the sign and loved it too.

Typography nerds, that's us!

This also lead us to Mina's middle name. We started a place/geography tradition with Franca's middle name (which is Catalina after the Santa Catalina Mountains in Tucson - where Marc and I met). We had been searching and searching for a similar middle name from a place we had lived. Nothing was right, and while Delancey isn't the most beautiful street in NYC, it seemed to just fit.

Here is a rough step-by-step:

1 - Trace stencil in photoshop, print and cut out.


2 - Cut rigid insulation to size.

(Can I NOT get a sharp blade up in this mother?)


3 - Iron drop cloth.

Super77 (spray mount) both the drop cloth and the rigid.

Stick them together, smooth out, and start stapling.


4 - Continue stapling and folding corners, cutting out extra fabric.


5 - Spray-mount stencil paper to canvas, use whatever you have around to guard canvas.

(Sorry Metropolis, I think you've really gone downhill as a publication.)


6 - Do a shitty job of guarding canvas and leave slight line to the right of stencil. Shit.

Marc claims to like it. Character, he says.


All and all, not too bad for $7.99 and 30 minutes of my time, right?


Ok, now that I look at this photo, it is going to drive me crazy that these two canvases are mounted at different heights. Le Sigh.


Confession: Shortly after this was taken, the canvas fell. I had researched how people hung their DIY canvases. Several just used the 3M Command strips, others duct tape/wall hanger combo. I tried both and they didn't work for this canvas and this wall. Ugh.

It's pretty important that something hanging over a crib be secure, so I decided to fasten it all mechanically, no tape or adhesives. I used two normal wall hangers (the OOK ones) with braided picture wire secured to the canvas/insulation with a wire hoop thru the side and back. In retrospect, I would have installed these loops before I did the canvas covering, but meh, hindsight... Important thing is this thing is not going anywhere now!


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