July 1, 2013

DIY Sharpie Canvas Art

Happy Monday + Happy July!

Who watched the season premiere of Dexter last night? Are you as excited about the final 12 (well now 11) episodes as I am?!

Anyway, over the weekend my boyfriend and I spent some time working on the gallery wall in our office. We got a great deal on some frames, cleaned a bunch of glass, framed a bunch of prints, and then I created this:

Here's how I made it!

I used the following supplies:
  • A 24" x 24" canvas
  • A twin-tip Sharpie that had a chisel tip and a fine tip
  • A Sharpie pen with a medium tip (3 are shown but I only needed one)
  • A pencil
  • An Xacto knife
  • A ruler
  • A cutting mat (not shown)
  • A paper towel (not shown)

I also used this arrow design I created in Illustrator and had printed at Office Max for something like $2:

Start by cutting out your design using your ruler and Xacto knife:

Go slow so your lines are straight and so you don't cut yourself!

Since my design wasn't all one piece, I measured the distance between the arrow points so I'd know where to place them on the canvas:

After my design was all cut out, I measured out its placement on the canvas and loosely taped it down:

Then a lightbulb went off and I threw the above measuring idea out the window! Instead, I used the bottom part I cut out as a template to fit the lower arrow points into:

It beat trying to do the math to get everything to line up haha

I loosely taped the points in place:

And removed the template:

I measured everything a few more times just to make sure nothing shifted during the taping process and then I started to trace the arrows:

I used a ruler to make sure my lines were straight in case I didn't cut the template straight:

After the entire shape was traced, I removed the paper template:

Starting at the bottom, I began to outline an arrow point with the chisel-tipped Sharpie:

Note: it's okay if your Sharpie line doesn't cover your original pencil mark! You can always erase it later, just make sure to let the Sharpie dry for a while so you don't smear it :)

I slowly filled it in with the chisel-tipped Sharpie making sure to be extra careful around the outline:

Then I moved on to the other arrow points so I could let the first shape dry in order to avoid smudging. I traced these ones with the Sharpie pen which I decided I liked more than the chisel-tip outline (not as thick):

I filled those shapes in with the chisel-tip Sharpie:

And then I traced the rest of my design with the Sharpie pen:

After the outline was done, I filled everything in using the chisel-tipped Sharpie:

Tip: wipe your ruler off with a paper towel every time you trace a line with the Sharpie:

It's a pain and it makes the whole process take a bit longer but it's better than moving your ruler across the canvas only to leave a Sharpie smear behind!

Confession: I was afraid the Sharpie would bleed on the canvas so I tested it on the back of another canvas before I even got started. I still had my doubts but I'm happy to say that the ink didn't budge and my lines are nice and crisp:

You can see where I filled the shapes in when you look at the canvas at certain angles but it doesn't bother me too much, especially considering I'll be looking at it straight on most of the time:

If you think it'll bother you, try painting the canvas or using a vinyl decal instead!

I think it fits right in with everything else I hung on my office's gallery wall:

What do you think of my DIY Sharpie art? Think you'll make a piece of your own?

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  1. Love it, you know I'm a Sharpie kind a girl.
    I'm a huge Dexter fan but I missed the premier because we are at the beach right now. Can't wait to catch up when I get back. It's the best show ever!!!

  2. You are so creative! I love the statement of the graphic art with the black and white.

  3. Love this! So graphic! And yes, I'm dying to see it in your gallery wall!

    And crap! I missed Dexter! I must have been living under a rock because I had no idea it was on. I guess I know what I'm doing tonight. :)

  4. I love it! I can't wait to see the art in the gallery. Your instagram pictures have me all excited!

    I bailed on Dexter after the Julia Stiles season. I heard last season was great but haven't caught up yet.

  5. I like this a LOT. I've sort of developed a thing for arrows lately.

  6. Thanks Julia! Hope you're having fun at the beach! :)

    Awww, thanks Kim! :)

    Thanks Emily! The premiere was SO. GOOD. This season is going to be crazy!

    Thanks Amber! Last season was amazing! The one after the Julia Stiles season and before the last one (season 6) had a slow start and was just OK for the most part but it got really good towards the end which made us continue to watch last season and I'm so happy we did!

    Thanks Amy! I have too :)

    Thanks Erin!

  7. So quick and easy! I Love it! The pattern is delicious.

  8. I need to get in on this Dexter madness...after Mad Men.

    Love the sharpie art! It looks very fancy!

  9. I love a good sharpie project--looks great! I can't watch Dexter. I am too wussy. No serial killers or torture for me.

  10. LOVE this. SO simple, yet graphic and cool!
    Kelly @ View Along the Way

  11. Thanks Kenz! I love how you describe things haha :)

    Thanks Michelle! I need to get into the Mad Men madness...after Dexter, of course ;)

    Thanks Gretchen! :)

    Thanks Kelly! :)

  12. Doing this today!! I love it. Thanks for the inspiration!!

  13. Hello! You mention the image was created on illustrator, do you still have it or a tutorial on how to create it?

    Thanks! I love the artwork, so bold!

  14. Did you use anything to seal it?


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