Experiments in home decorating, DIYing, and vintage furniture collecting.

5 easy steps to give an old canvas a fresh look

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October 16, 2015

This beautiful print is actually just a swatch of marimekko fabric stretched over an old canvas. This genius (and really simple) idea is courtesy of Old Town Alexandria-based interior designer Barbara Franceski who I interviewed for Refinery29 a couple of years ago.

I love that you can make this work with any fabric. Here are the steps to re-create this for your own home:

#1 Choose a large piece of fabric you love

Find swaths at Joann, the flea market, Etsy, or even eBay where I found a yard of marimekko for $5!

#2 Pick up an artist's stretched canvas

Use an old painting you already own, or find on at Michael's, Jo-Ann Fabrics, or Amazon. You can use any size, but a medium or small canvas will be the most manageable to create. 

#3 Place the swatch of fabric face-down on the floor 

Then place the canvas face-down on the back of the fabric, and use a fabric marker to trace your 'cut line' on the fabric ~2 inches around the border of your canvas.

#4 Cut the fabric along the line you traced

It doesn't need to be perfect, because it will be folded along the backside of the frame. 

#5 Stretch the fabric over the canvas

Use a staple gun to staple it in place. The process works just like recovering the seat of a dining room chair (instructions available here if you need them). 

Once you're done, hang it on your wall anywhere you're looking to add some color. I love how beautiful this print looks above the lucite table with simple frames and the tufted ottoman.

Do you have any ideas for repurposing old canvases? I'd love to hear about them!
Photo by Angie Seckinger, courtesy of Barbara Franceski

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