DIY Wallpaper Feather Art on Canvas

I originally shared the following post on Yellow Bliss Road with a tutorial on how to make wallpaper feathers and transform them into collage art on canvas. The finished work looks like a piece of old metal with a distressed painting technique.

I have made plans to completely transform my children’s shared bedroom in a boho tribal style, which won’t fully start happening until late winter/early spring (I want to get through the holiday season without any huge upheaval in our home and the change includes moving them from the smaller of our two bedrooms, to the larger – a huge undertaking!). 
Even so, I have already started making plans for their space and want to include lots of handmade pieces for them. The first, for the room, is this feather art project. Here is the original post and instructions:

I decided to create some DIY artwork to include in my daughter’s room make-over. Don’t worry about needing artistic skills for this…you don’t! It is so easy that almost anyone can do it following these simple steps.

Supplies you will need:
Flat gray spray paint
Acrylic paint
Patterned wallpaper or scrapbook paper
Mod Podge or glue
Clear sealant

I began with an 8″ x 24″ blank canvas that I picked up at Jo-Ann’s. You could use any size you prefer, but I liked this size for laying out the feathers in a row.

I primed the canvas with flat gray paint from Rust-Oleum. I love this kind because the coverage is great, and it dries so quickly. Here is my daughter, Hazel, pointing it out to you 🙂

I wanted the canvas to look aged and distressed, so I used a technique I have found several times on Pinterest using Vaseline. After the gray paint was completely dry, I rubbed the vaseline around the edges and any other areas that I wanted to have some distressing.

Next, I mixed together my own shade of off-white, for the top coat, with acrylic paint. I combined a lot of white with some gold and just a hint of brown.

I used a house paint brush to coat the canvas because I wanted it to go on thick and have some texture.

By swiping the brush with diagonal stokes it gives a hint of feather texture.

I let this dry completely which took a couple of hours in the warm summer sun. Once it was dry, I took a piece of 6o grit sandpaper and gently sanded the edges. Wherever the Vaseline was came off easily and gave it the look I was trying to achieve. I used a gentler sanding block to go over the front because the paper was scratching it more than I liked. Once I felt it had enough of an aged look, I wiped it down gently to remove the dust.

It had the look of an old piece of painted metal.

Now is the really fun part! Making the feathers!

I happened to have a Waverly wallpaper sampler book that I found at a sale a few years ago. It has some really cool patterns in it, and I have been wanting to use them for a project for a long time. This was the perfect one! If you don’t have access to wallpaper, you could always use decorative scrapbook paper in patterns that you like. I drew several feather shapes, free hand, on the back of the patterns that I wanted to use and cut them out.

I created a template to save you this step, which is available at the end of this post.

Once I had cut out the amount of feathers that I wanted, I played around with placement on the canvas until I found one that I liked best. I used Mod Podge to glue down each feather and brushed it on top to make sure the pieces stayed down smoothly.

When the glue was dry, I used a satin finish sealant to coat the entire canvas.
I am starting to work on transitioning my almost three year old daughter’s room from baby nursery to big girl room. You can see how I decorated her nursery in this post. I want to go in a different direction for the new look, and this artwork is the perfect start to the make-over. She loves it!

If you don’t want to draw your own feathers, I created this template with several of the ones that I used, for your convenience.

Click on the link below and right click to save to your computer. Print it out on cardstock, and then you can cut them out and trace onto the back of the paper that you plan to use.

I hope you enjoyed this tutorial! I have so many more projects planned for this room that I can’t wait to share with you…like a colorful chevron tepee pillow, felt campfire, and digital art wall gallery! Join my newsletter so you never miss a thing:

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Till next time…
~Alice W.

This post originally appeared on Yellow Bliss Road on June 25, 2014.