Teen Librarian Toolbox
Inside Teen Librarian Toolbox

TPiB: 10 Things to Do with a Blank Canvas, part 2

All you need to create some original art is really a blank canvas and some Mod Podge.  Well, and a few things to put on your canvas.  But the beauty is, you can take all that fantastic art you see in the store for a high dollar amount and create your own less expensive versions.  And then – no one has a piece of art like it but you! You are one of a kind, so shouldn’t your artwork be as well?  Yes, yes it should.  Yesterday I shared the first 5 of our 10 Things to Do with a Blank Canvas projects.  Here are the final 5.  Keep in mind, these are only 10 ideas, there are so many more.  And although it would make for a great tween or teen project, think room renovation, don’t forget that you can also use these projects to decorate a library or classroom.  And they would make wonderful, personalized gifts.

Blackout Poetry

This is a screen shot of all the different examples you can find if you do a Google image search for Blackout Poetry

Blackout poetry is where you take a piece of the newspaper and a black marker to black out most of the words until you have created a unique poem.  Once you have made your poem (and the black marker has thoroughly dried), decoupage your page onto an appropiately sized canvas and make your poem into wall art.  There is more information and a book full of poems at Newspaper Blackout.

Duct Tape It

My canvas art project does not look nearly as good as this one over at Duct Tape Fashion by Danielle Carter, but I wanted you to see how intricate it can truly be.  You can learn more at Duct Tape Fashion.

Six Feet Under the Stars by Danielle Carter, posted on Duct Tape Fashion

Look, you can cover anything with duct tape.  Anything.  So why not a blank canvas? You can make designs.  Buy a pack of 4 mini canvases and create a series that corresponds to the colors in your room and make basic designs.  Remember you can cut the tape to make shapes, it doesn’t just have to be lines, stripes and patterns.  Layer your tape to create a sheet (they actually sell the sheets by the way) and cut out any shape you can think of.

This is my idea of a Duct Tape project.  I covered the canvas with chalkboard paint and did a little edging with Batman Duck Tape for Christie’s office door.  Yes, that really is about the level of my ability.

Peel Away Book Quote Art

This is brilliant and outlined expertly by Erin from The Library as Incubator Project.  Just do it.  Any colors.  Any quotes.

Chalkboard It

They have an excellent example and instructions for this at LivingWellSpendingLess.com so go there

Chalkboard paint is a thing.  You can buy it.  It is fun.  Paint your canvas with chalkboard paint.  Then you could use something easy – say Duct Tape – to create a colorful border.  Voila. You have a custom designed chalboard for your room that matches your unique style and decor.  This one that they made at Living Well, Spending Less is awesome. And then there is mine:


Invite a bunch of your friends over.  Prep your canvas by spray painting a base coat.  Now, everyone paints their hands.  Yep, you know where this is going.  Make a handprint on your canvas.  You can use stickers or markers to write words, names, dates, etc. onto your canvas (once it has dried).  Then, seal it with a clear coat.  Or, you know, you could always just paint on it.  Or do some combination of projects 1 through 9.  In fact, you can buy a 12×12 canvas and just decoupage a scrapbook page.

Made with scrapbook paper and stickers. Don’t laugh.

Check out Part 1 for some other ideas and some general tips.

More Canvas Ideas
More Pinterest
Hey, Even More Pinterest


  1. Great ideas! I love creating fun teen programs for Y.A. librarians. Check out http://www.libraryarts.com and look under the teen section.


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