This post shares my DIY nursery canvas art using an owl tapestry and an old canvas. Easy DIY canvas art is a great way to make a big impact in a room without spending a lot.
How to Make Nursery Art Using a Tapestry and an Old Canvas
Hey all! Today I am sharing an older project—a piece of DIY nursery canvas art that remains one of my favorite DIY wall art pieces I’ve done. And the good news is that it’s really, really easy to do.
It didn’t start off in the nursery, though. I actually made this after we moved into our house and I was setting things up and doing projects. I just loved this cute little owl so much! Looking back, it really was out of place downstairs, but it looks perfect in Ramona’s nursery. Here it is downstairs:
Isn’t he ADORABLE? Here’s a disclaimer, too: Yes, I know that the original canvas is a Gustav Klimt. Some people lost their marbles when I first did this, saying I shouldn’t paint over its beauty. Well guess what? It was a $30 reproduction from Ikea, and I didn’t like it, so I painted over it. And I love the owl. Matter settled. 🙂
(Affiliate links below; read more about those here)
- Old canvas
- Hand-held staple gun
- Tapestry of your choice (little owl is here!)
- Iron and safe ironing surface
- Neutral-colored paint
- Small roller
- Optional: Spray bottle with water
Here’s how to make DIY Nursery Canvas Art using an owl tapestry and an old canvas!
Step 1: Paint over the old canvas
The first step I took was to paint over the old canvas using neutral-colored paint and a small roller. Since the majority of my tapestry is white, the color showed through too much for my liking. A little roller will help you knock this step out quickly and will also ensure even, one-coat coverage.
If your tapestry is not see-through or your canvas doesn’t have bold colors, you might be able to skip this step. You could also skip this step by using the drop cloth liner method I used for my oversized peacock wall art tutorial.
Step 2: Determine placement
While the painted canvas dried, I ironed my tapestry to get out any major wrinkles. For the stubborn ones, I used a spray bottle with water in it to damped the area on the tapestry just slightly. This will help you “stretch” the wrinkle out when you attach the tapestry to the canvas.
To determine tapestry placement, prop your canvas up against a wall and drape the tapestry over. Mine was pretty easy to place, but I did want to ensure the owl was centered. You can make marks on the back of the tapestry or canvas as necessary.
Step 3: Begin attaching the tapestry
Once I’d settled on placement, I carefully laid the tapestry out flat, face down. I used my floor because I don’t have a workspace big enough for this. Smooth out all of the wrinkles and carefully place your canvas down onto the tapestry.
Begin attaching the tapestry to the canvas by folding the fabric over the back of the canvas (along the top) and stapling in a straight line. Once you are done, you can use your scissors to trim excess fabric on the remaining three sides. Remember to leave enough on all three sides to fold over and staple.
Step 4: Attach the remaining three sides
After you’ve finished the top, check the front to make sure everything still looks A-ok and is lined up well. Then flip the canvas back over, smoothing out all the wrinkles, and begin stapling the bottom. I recommend starting from the center and pulling the tapestry taut as you go along.
Once the top and bottom are stapled in place, you can tackle the sides. Begin on one side in the middle, pulling the sides taut as you did with the bottom. Then do the other side. For the corners, just wrap them tightly around to the back like you would a present. Staple in place.
And that’s it! This DIY nursery canvas art looks amazing in Ramona’s nursery. I have gotten so many compliments on this piece over the last few years—both when it was downstairs and now that it’s in her nursery! Also, she loves looking at it now and saying “hoo, hoo” which is pretty damn adorable.
Where to buy large inexpensive tapestries
I highly recommend Society 6 as a resource for large inexpensive tapestries! I love everything I’ve gotten from Society 6. The art above our murphy bed is also a tapestry wrapped around an old canvas (it’s Mariana, here). So is gentleman sloth in the bathroom downstairs, but we made a frame for him.
The tapestries come in small, medium, and large, so there’s definitely something for every price point and space. Plus you’re supporting a small business owner just trying to get their art out there. There are usually 30% or more off sales going on for the tapestries, too. So if you don’t see a sale, wait it out for a bit!
For more easy decor projects, check out my abstract black and gold leaf canvas art, my easy DIY fabric wall art, my galaxy-inspired epoxy resin art, my list of easy DIY planters to help you decorate with plants, and Ramona’s cute nursery!