I love fall. It’s my favorite time of year. Aside from the fact that the temperatures cool down to the point where I can come out of my air conditioned hibernation, this fall was even more exciting because I scored big on clearance fall decor at Michael’s last year , so I had some new decorations to put outside. But besides having all of the store bought tackiness outside that I can stand (scarecrows and witches and dancing ghosts and foam pumpkins, woot woot!), I found this idea (and here’s the original source ) that had me running to buy a canvas and some paint. Oooh, I did I have some perfect feet in mind for this!
Can I just take a detour for a second and tell you that I have NEVER been the type of mom to be cool with paint + toddlers? The transformation I’ve undergone during the last year and a half at home (since His Majesty was born) is just surreal. Don’t get me wrong, I still thrive on order and routine, but I have made some vast improvements, even calmly standing by while His Majesty painted a few masterpieces at our local kid’s art museum a few weeks ago. Thank goodness I got over my anxiety over getting a little paint out, there’s so much fun stuff to make! Prepare yourself for some gratuitous cuteness. Awwwwwwww…
Anyway, back to the Ghost Feet Wall Art. Here’s one of the original source’s masterpieces.
The original source mentioned that while you could do this on construction paper, but both she, and I, elected to use canvas rather than construction paper. I used a 40% off coupon at Hobby Lobby (Do you get their weekly emails? There’s always a coupon for something, and they only send one email a week.), so a four pack of 12 x 12 inch canvas rang in at less than $4.79 (40% off of the regular price of $7.99). I knew I was going to use the other canvas eventually, so I went ahead and got the four pack. In fact, I had another Halloween kid created masterpiece in mind, so stay tuned for more on that later! Anyway, each canvas rang in at $1.20 pre tax, and then I hopped basically across the street to Michael’s where I then purchased two 2-ounce tubes of acrylic paint (one in black and one in white) on sale for 67 cents, and a roll of black and white polka dotted ribbon. Educators, including home educators, get an additional 15% off every day at Michael’s (bring proof that you are an educator to show at the register), so the ribbon total for those 3 items was about $5. I already had a brand new roller brush to paint the canvas, and regular brushes to apply paint to my boys’ feet, so, I didn’t need to buy more of those, making my total out of pocket cost for the project less than $7. Not bad!
Then, oh happy day, when I got home and gathered my brushes, I found an unopened pack of stencils that I had snagged on clearance back in the summer for something like 50% off the sticker price of $4.99! I decided to use them rather than try to hold my usually-shaking-from -too-much-caffiene hands to the task of writing directly on the canvas. Major score for something forgotten and then found at the perfect time! Usually when I find something useful, it’s when I’m putting things AWAY from a project–doesn’t that drive you nuts?!
You may notice something is missing from this picture…something crucial to the project… FEET! Yes, that’s ok. This was a two part project. I painted the canvas black at night (two coats using the roller brush) and then gathered the feet the next day, after the canvas was good and dry.
After I applied the second coat, the hubs and I watched another episode of Breaking Bad (we were catching up on season 4… whoa, that show is SO GOOD!!) and went to bed, leaving the canvas out to be finished in the morning. And the next morning, we got started right away, before His Majesty was dressed, and when Christopher would have been happiest to remain sleeping.
We did His Majesty’s print first. He resisted, and fought back, but we bribed him with the promise of bananas, and he cooperated. Not a bad print for a first timer!
Look at Christopher’s foot next to His Majesty’s! Where does the time go? Hard to believe that Christopher’s feet were ever that small 😦
Something to note: If your print isn’t even, or if you have fuzziness where the foot didn’t make a good impression, you can easily fill it in with more white paint to fill out your footprint. Likewise, if you end up getting the look of 6 toes, like on His Majesty’s print, you can fine tune it with a bit of black paint. This is a very forgiving project. You could even paint all over it and start from scratch if you were so inclined. That’s why I didn’t worry about the white splotch that we got when we printed His Majesty’s foot– I knew it would be an easy fix. Plus, it’s kid art, so part of it’s charm (*I* think) is in the little imperfections. I added the “eyes” using a cotton swab, and used the stencils to do the lettering. I decided not to write the boys’ names, since it was obvious which print belonged to which kid. Thinking more about this, you could also glue on wiggle eyes if you wanted to be really cool.
After you let everything dry again, you just have to attach your ribbon. You can also just hang the canvas as is, and forgo the ribbon, too. (Or you could hang the canvas with pop tabs. Have you heard of this? I tried a few months ago with some canvas that I painted for our bonus room, and it worked *like a dream*. As in perfectly. Although, getting the pop tabs off of the cans fully intact was not as easy as I thought it would be. Check out this source blog for more about the pop tab idea.) Anyway, I liked the idea of using ribbon, like the original source, so I asked my husband to attach it to the back of the canvas with a staple gun.
There’s when my husband suggested that we spray it with an acrylic sealer, which would allow us to hang it outdoors without worrying that the weather would ruin it. Since we already had sealer, I figured we’d might as well, which then added a full day to the total craft time (it needed to dry for 24 hours before we messed with it again).
Anyway, after the drying period passed, he went ahead and stapled on the ribbon for me.
And Ta-dah!! Done!
Including drying time, this wasn’t exactly a 5 minute masterpiece, but it was about as easy as it gets to create, and pretty cheap to boot. Plus cute. And festive. Don’t you think? This is something that will surely bring a smile to my face from year to year.
Have you created anything beautiful lately?