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***Project submitted to Creating with the Stars hosted by East Coast Creative***


That’s what I said once it was finished. A phrase that threw us back a couple of weeks, to the first time we saw the blue square of painter’s tape on the wall.

John (somewhat condescending): “Eleeesseeaaa??? WHAT is that?”

Me (joyously, with arms raised dramatically): “It’s going to be a gigantic picture of uuuuussss!!!”

Conversations at Villa Russo go like that all the time. John asks with some hesitation what I have up my sleeve, and I charge full ahead like those bulls in Spain with whatever hair-brain scheme I’ve got thinking nothing could ever go wrong.

And this time, was no different everything went off without a hitch! I’m serious y’all. First try, first success. No tears. No emergency trips to Hobby Lobby. Just sweet success. So much success, in fact, that lover wants more art using the same technique. I float on cloud nine when he encourages more of something. Because usually, he is encouraging less. Which may be due to the fact that just about everything I do leads to disaster at least once.

Did I mention this project led to no disasters? Oh I did? Well it doesn’t look like you’re all giddy and doing a happy dance for me so I thought I would repeat it and give you a second chance.

There were NO (zero here people!) disasters during this project. Dancing yet?


I guess I understand. But I’m dancing. A lot.

So with all that said, on to the gigantic picture of us.

It was really a combination of projects. The idea first began brewing when I saw this giant portrait tutorial over at Infarrantly Creative. I loved it, but didn’t have all the tools needed to cut out such a giant piece of wood. But my saving grace finally came from the ladies over at A Beautiful Mess. They made this photo transfer to canvas and I knew I had hit the jackpot. All I had to do was the canvas transfer on a much larger scale.

I started by gathering supplies. Staples was my first stop to order a giant print. Two dollars later, I had a black and white mirror image engineer print that was 3 ft wide by 2 ft high. John approved the photo I ordered. It’s one of my favorites. Shelly Weaver Photography gets mad props for snapping the shot. I love how she captured us in such a sweet moment of laughter. If you live in the Phoenix metroplex you need to hit this girl up pronto. You won’t be sorry.

Now back to my supplies. Using my hobby lobby coupon goodness, I picked up a medium sized container of gel medium.

 I think I ended up paying about $5.50 for it after the coupon. Score. So far this project was costing me $7.50. The last thing I had to snag was the canvas. Thanks to Michael’s and their 40% off coupon, I got a huge canvas for $15. And that’s it, total cost of project is $22.50. And remember how this project had no disasters? That means $22.50 is the final cost of this bad boy.

So with supplies in hand…

 …I was ready to get started. Please ignore how my chin looks like Jay Leno above. It does not look like that in real life.

My first course of action was thinning down the gel medium. It can be mixed with water to get the desired consistency. I decided it was way too thick to start with, so I mixed in water until I was satisfied.


 To spread I just dropped a dollop down onto the canvas and started spreading. I went in all directions to start. Up, down, side to side. Once the whole canvas was covered I went back over in a swirling motion to give a nice even coat of gel medium.

 This next part you’ll just have to take my word on. I got so involved in finishing I forgot to take any pictures of the process. Lay the photo face down on the canvas, and let it dry at least overnight. The next evening, take a spray bottle full of water, and working section by section, wet the paper, and rub rub rub!!

Warning: I ended up with a blister. Just one, thank goodness, but all that friction on your fingers might give you one too. Consider yourself warned. I’m no longer responsible for any injury or finger fatalities you may incur should you choose to try this project yourself.

To be honest, I used several different tactics to remove all the paper. I started rubbing off the paper in chunks with my fingers, then tried the whole scraping with a credit card thing, and then with a wash cloth. It took several rounds of wetting with the spray bottle and rubbing to get enough paper off that the image was clear. It does take off some of the ink, so be prepared. This is supposed to look like you found it in your great-aunt-gertrude’s attic, so loosing some of the ink is a really good thing.

Once the wetting is done and the piece is dry, Modge Podge over it to seal. Enlist husband to hang. Enjoy.

 My lover’s favorite part is where the swirling came through after the paper was rubbed off.

 This corner of the room is coming together. I just need to spray paint those drawer pulls, and get baskets for inside the glass half of the dresser. So close. I can taste it.

But for now I just love laying in bed and looking at my handsome husband’s precious smile.

 It’s really hard to capture the size of it on camera, but trust me it’s big. Very, very big. I’m so happy with this gigantic picture of us!!!

Psssssttt!! I’m linking up to the Pinterest Challenge on Young House Love, Bower Power, Centsational Girl, and Ten June‘s pages. Click on over for a landslide of fun (and impressive) projects.