Easy DIY Art And How to Hide a Common Home Eyesore
Updated: Mar 15
Recently, we have been talking about removing the door to our basement. My husband, Tim, finished our basement a few years ago and it now includes a large family room as well as his office. The basement door is always wide open because we access it so much throughout the day. So we discussed whether or not a door was even necessary. Spoiler alert, we decided that it's not.
Note - at the time of this post, we are in the middle of replacing and painting all of our baseboards and trim - hence the nail holes and unfinished work! Stay tuned for that blog post!
Why Remove It?
Removing the door opens up the space, and without the open door, the wall between the basement and garage doors is now visible. The only concern with this is now our thermostat is also visible. While it is not the most unattractive thermostat I've ever seen, I liked the idea of concealing it with a gallery wall After a little inspiration search, I decided that a thick frame and a canvas would easily fit over the thermostat without interfering with it. I've had a DIY painting technique on my list I've been dying to try, so this was the time to do it!
I used an 11x14 Ikea frame I already owned and removed the glass and backing. I bought an 11x14 canvas at the Dollar Tree for, you guessed it, one dollar, and I already had the acrylic paints. So for a gorgeous new piece of art and an easy way to hide our thermostat, I paid a whopping one dollar!
And I have to tell you, I am completely addicted to this type of art making process now! It was so soothing and therapeutic. Even just watching the video of myself making it calms me! (watch it below!) And the best part about such an inexpensive canvas is that I can easily pop out the art and glue in a new canvas whenever I want!
DIY Hairdryer Painting
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thin canvas - my Dollar Tree had 11x14 and 8x10 sizes
acrylic paints in your choice of colors
thick frame or shadow box frame the same size as your canvas
How to Make It
Make sure you're working on a surface that is covered because your paint is going to flow off the edges of your canvas!
Start by pouring your paints into disposable cups and add a little water to each one. Mix them well! The thinned out paint will spread more easily when you use your blow dryer. In some spots, I just poured regular paint straight from the bottle, but it took much longer to push the paint around.
Pour your paints onto the canvas in any placement you want. You seriously can't make any mistakes! Using the hairdryer, blow your paint around your canvas, working to blend colors and push them across the canvas until the entire surface is covered. Continue to add more paint as needed. Experiment with high and low settings, the distance between your dryer and canvas. Have fun and watch the colors move!
When you are satisfied with your creation, gently move it to another covered surface to dry. I let mine dry on a parchment lined cooling rack. Note - it might take a few days for the paint to completely dry, but the end result will be worth it! If your canvas curls a little bit as it dries, set it under a few books for a day to smooth it back out.
Once your painting is completely dry and flat, attach it to the inside of your picture frame, where the glass would normally be attached. To do this, run a small line of hot glue all around the inner edge. If you ever want to replace your canvas, it should pop out pretty easily.
So for a dollar, I created a stunning and one of a kind painting that would cost way more at a home décor store. Even if you have to buy the frame for this project, it is still much cheaper to make the art yourself!!!
Creating my gallery wall
I always like to display things in odd numbers - a common design trick. 3 seemed like the right amount of art for this small space, so I wanted to choose the other 2 pieces based upon my new DIY art. I shopped my home and found 2 pieces that worked well - complimenting each other as well as the color scheme in my painting.
The first is a vintage watercolor of State Street in Harrisburg, where we used to live. The second is a black and white photograph of the Duomo in Orvieto, Italy where I studied in college. Our home is filled with meaningful art that represents our favorite places and things. I always tell people to, "hang your happy." Don't put anything on your walls or in your home that doesn't give you joy! You're going to look at it day in and day out, so make sure it makes you HAPPY!
I hope you find some inspiration here - both in how to disguise a thermostat, unused electrical plate, phone jack, or whatever else you may want to conceal; and also how to make a beautiful piece of art for your home or even to give as a gift! Heck, maybe you'll even be inspired to take the door off of your basement entrance too!
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