Old Canvas to New Art for a Teen Bedroom: "What Would Hermione Do?"

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by Robin

I thought I was pretty darn sophisticated when I bought this Monet print back in university.  It was printed on CANVAS - which among college-aged kids back then meant you were clearly upper crust.  On the back of the print - in magic marker - the price of $49.95 is scrawled (so classy, no?).  I can only assume there was a 50% sticker somewhere else.  (And even THAT seems like a budget stretch for me back then.)

Whether I was being sentimental or cheap (both) - I have kept this canvas for all these years.  I am so pleased to be able to use it again and for such a fun project with my best girl!  This craft is easy - and has great impact.  Perfect for a kids bedroom or any space with a sense of fun.

My daughter is Hermione Granger personified. I remember chatting with her teachers in the schoolyard - as Charlotte walked by wearing the Gryffindor scarf that I'd knit for her and her brother.  The teachers shared my view: that scarf was perfect for her. She IS Hermione (minus the big, messy hair and bad teeth - that fans will recall - those features didn't make it to the screen).

My daughter is clever and loves books.  She's intolerant of rudeness, a defender of the innocent and a fierce friend.  Hermione, right?!

While we were looking around for inspiration for her new teenager bedroom we stumbled across this quote: "What would Hermione do?"  It felt exactly right to the both of us.

Friends, this phrase is a perfect touchstone for my girl - and maybe any teenage girl.  What would Hermione do?

  • Hermione wouldn't measure herself against the other girls' looks or status.  
  • She wouldn't hide her intellect to disapparate into a peer group.  (See what I did there?)
  • Even when others mocked her mission to help the house elves - she persevered.  
  • She would know when she was right and not let the boys make all the decisions.
  • And Hermione would push herself physically - even though she knew she wasn't athletically gifted.

THIS is the approach to surviving adolescence that I want for my daughter.

I love that she will wake up each day and this message will be the first message she'll read.  I also love that we're reusing this old canvas and creating something new and fresh together.

Here's how we took an old canvas and paint to create new artwork with a great message...

  • one old canvas or print (mine is Monet's Waterlilies)
  • letters for your phrase: I used both stickers and paper letters
  • Low tack adhesive spray - needed if you use lettering that isn't a sticker
  • spray paint in a contrasting colour
  • a straight edge that is as wide as your canvas
  • scraper or another firm tool to smooth the letters down
  • Tape for edging I used Duck Tape in gold (which has a coppery sheen to it)

I used 3 fonts for interest.

I couldn't find a premade question mark - so I cut down an "8" and cut out a dot.
Dry lay your letters to get your placement just how you want it.

A long straight edge is your friend.  I worked hard to make sure the "Hermione" was lined up perfectly. (I wish I'd worked as hard on the top line...)
Not shown: use the low tack spray adhesive to adhere any letters that aren't stickers.

We smoothed down the stickers to make sure no spray paint bled underneath.

3 light coats of spray paint - follow the instructions from your particular paint for dry times.

Lesson learned: use more low tack adhesive on the paper letters!  There was some light bleeding of the paint - the sticker letters are much crisper.  My daughter LOVES this look - and that's all that truly matters!

We did our best - but there was a few spots where the paint was thin - we went back with a foam brush and some of the same paint to do minor touch ups.

The edge of my decades-old canvas was pretty beat up - see below - and we knew we'd cover it - so we didn't protect it from overspray. 
I LOVE the colour of this Duck Tape!  It's a warm gold and has a great sparkle.

Above - how I covered the edges and finished the corners.

Finished!  I love the edge and the pretty colours showing through on the letters.  

This artwork is the perfect compliment to her IKEA window seat and the denim DIY window seat cushion. Slowly this room is coming together!  She is so happy with it - which makes this momma happy, too!

To see more of our teenage daughter's room makeover, check it out here!

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