Crafty people please help

I am trying to come up with a large piece of artwork at an affordable cost.

My idea is this: Buy and inexpensive cloth patterned shower curtain and attach it to a large canvas art board. As a sort of print/fabric canvas piece?

My problem is this: What is the best way to attach the fabric to the canvas? Spray glue? Staples?

Also, is there a cheaper option for the base than canvas? Since it wont show, I suppose it would not matter much? But I dont really frequent Lowes or know the cost of wood/board/etc or the feasabillity of hanging such an item?

All you Martha Stewart types feel free to chime in with ways to make this happen or with other/better ideas?

There’s no need for canvas: nail a few 2X4’s (or 2X2’s or whatever size works for you) into a rectangle - you probably want a stabilizer on each corner going diagonally, and wrap and staplegun your fabric to that.

I’ve seen similar stuff done with old windows with no glass or discarded doors, if you don’t have a woodshop handy. If you want a square, hit the thrift store for an old card table, unscrew the legs and cover the table.

I’d use foam-core. You can pick it up in various sizes in office supply stores. It’s lightweight, (fairly) durable and inexpensive. Almost any adhesive works with it, and office supply stores would probably have a variety of options there, too.

A craft store should have Stretcher bars.
http://www.rexart.com/rex_canvas_stretchers.html
has sizes ever 2", from as low as $0.62 per side.

http://www.artsparx.com/canvasstretching.asp
has a nice step-by-step instructions for stretching canvas. With a shower curtain you probably don’t need to be as tightly stretched, but the idea is the same.

If you have wood, a t-square, and nails, you can make one. But if you don’t know how to square something, or are all thumbs, then buy stretcher bars at a craft store. They are very cheap.

The problem is, if you buy just the stretcher bars, then there’s no canvas attached. So you’d have to buy that too. And stretching pliers, which ain’t cheap, and a staple gun. Do not attempt to use regular pliers to stretch fabric. It will definitely rip. Or, leave off the canvas but then your fabric will probably “flutter” somewhat, even if you stretch it pretty damn tight. And if you stretch it too tight, you’ll rip it. Canvas doesn’t rip easily when stretching really hard because it’s so strong, but a shower curtain is going to rip.

Depending on the size you want, buying stretched mounted canvas can be cheap. You can get 16x20 or 18x24 for a few dollars apiece (I’ve bought 16x20 for as little as $1.50) on sale at a place like Michael’s. Getting a few (an odd number; it will look better) might prove much easier and cheaper than doing one large piece. You can do 3-5 of all the same fabric and hang them in a square or in a row. That can look super nice.

Another option if you want to keep it as one large piece is to hem the top and bottom and go to Home Depot and buy two long pieces of either 1x2 or dowel and fit them through the hems. Then attach ribbon, chain, nylon line, whatever goes with your decor, to the top and use that to hang it. The wood or dowel in the bottom will weigh it down so it hangs well. This can look really nice too - like a kind of moderne tapestry.

i just get the stretcher bars and staple the material to that. the foam core works well, and you can use it as a tack board as well. there are spray adhesives that will tack the material to the board.

or you can get cheap frames at the dollar store and frame your fabric.

Oh you guys are great at this. I like the idea of foam core. And I like the idea of doing three average size squares in a row.

At present I only own a screwdriver and a hammer so I dont think much construction would be reasonable…and besides that I am really not good with the putting of things together with wood and nails.

But I like the stretcher bar option and the foam core too…I have a Michaels and Hobby Lobby so maybe I can find some good sales. Thank you all for your suggestions!

Stretcher bars are a more stable long term option. Foam core will react a lot more to changes in temperature and humidity and you could end up with a warped looking thing with puckery edges

I don’t know what size you are going for, but what about using a sheet of plywood? The hardware store can cut it to size for you, either for free or for a nominal fee (particularly if you go to a mom&pop or Ace hardware instead of Home Depot or Lowe’s) Then you can either use staples or spray adhesive. I would put a sheet of foam between the plywood and the fabric, to make it look more finished. Upholstery shops and some of the bigger craft or fabric shops usually have inches thick cushion foam that works great.

Valid point. I had not thought of that.

I am going to go to Hobby Lobby this weekend and just price some different options.

I am known to attempt these crafty things that sound good on paper and then end up costing me lots of time and a fair sum of money after all is said and done. So I am trying to think this one through before I end up wishing I had just purchased the pre-made artwork and avoided multiple splinters and headaches. :smack:

Thanks again so far and feel free to keep the advice flowing.

Are you using a shower curtain in particular because one has a design you like? I’m asking because fabric by the yard is probably much cheaper than a finished shower curtain. Moot if you’ve already found a curtain you like.

I’m assuming you are going for a minimalist look like this? (They use foam core only, and double-sided tape.) Otherwise, you could simply frame the fabric using large-size (poster) frames, but again that adds extra features and you may just want it very simple?