Cheap and Easy Personalized Gift: Word Canvas

Last Thursday, a friend handed me six tickets to the Michael Franti concert in SLC last Sunday. Whaaaat? People are so good.

We tossed sparkling water and cocoa-almonds into a Whole Foods bag and laid ourselves on the grassy knoll of Red Butte Gardens. The older kids were whining, they didn’t want to be there. The younger ones were willing. But, waiting for the concert to begin felt to them…infernally long. I was holding out hope that the evening would get better, but it wasn’t looking good.

And then, Franti took the stage. Started singing “and that’s the sound of sunshine coming dowwwwn…”

Woes melted. Teenagers stood and jumped to the beat, arms up, heads back, laughter as they sang. In seconds, the songs ingnited all sorts of feel-good feelings. And I remembered how worth it those moments of dragging and drudgery are if you can just….wait them out. Hang on. Hang in. Hold tight.

To thank our ticket benefactor, we decided to pull together one of our favorite gifts, highlighting the lyrics of our favorite song from the concert. Don’t you prefer a personalized something to give over the standard bottle of wine or berry-scented candle? Yeah, me too.

I’ve made these gorgeously simple little canvasses for all sorts of occasions, and in all shapes and sizes. They’re absurdly simple and so fun to share.

Start with a packet of letters. Wooden letters with a bit of weight or sticker letters work best. You want to make sure the letters stay in place to get a proper look once you paint.

Stick the letters onto any size canvas. If purchasing your canvas from a craft store, be sure you tote along your cell phone and apply the weekly 40% off coupon to this bad boy. It makes it that much more affordable.

Once your letters have been stuck, toss your canvas on a plastic tarp (or straight on the grass outside if your 10-year-old has been employed for afternoon cutting), then spray paint. Layer colors or spray paint with a single color. I prefer semi-gloss or matte finish paints to get a nice, even look. Spraying in the heat of the summer sun makes this project faster than ever, you can paint and dry in a matter of minutes when drying under direct sun.

Once finished, gently peel your letters off. Wrap and gift, or hang and enjoy.

Life is nice.