Introduction: Easy Original Artworks

Ok these days I can feel myself growing up, and as such i look at the houses my friends have bought or are renting, with their IKEA furniture and mass produced (but pretty) artwork and thought to myself, "isn't that swell, maybe when I have a house then I should get some".

Being not only a g33k but also poor and stingey as hell, I figured I could make something to hang on my walls that would look good, be original, and cost me a little a possible.


  • Requires very little artistic skill
  • Looks good enough to be store bought
  • Stylish and contemporary
  • Cheap as chips
  • Easily replicated incase I want to make more to match

Step 1: Preparation

Materials Needed:

  • Iron
  • Ironing Board (or other heat resistant flat surface)
  • Canvasses (I used box canvasses)
  • Palette & Brushes
  • Paint (I recommend water-based acrylic)
  • Inkjet 'T-shirt' transfer paper
  • Inkjet Printer

Find an image you want to turn into a piece of art. I like using Fonts as they are really simple and I am going for a sillohette look.

Step 2: Printing and Cutting

  • Print image you don't need to worry too much about the quality settings of the printer as we will be painting over it
  • Cut out image

*TIP* I later found that you get better results if you cut around the image a little more carefully than I have in the picture.

Step 3: Position and Iron

  • Turn transfer over
  • Iron transfer onto canvas - follow instructions for your type of paper

*TIP* use some cardboard from a box and an old book to support the underside of the canvas to stop it from stretching

Step 4: Painting

  • Paint around lines of the transfer and fill in background
  • Let it Dry
  • Check for missed bits and paint over them

Step 5: Paint Inside

Carefully paint the inside of the shape a contrasting colour.

Step 6: Repeat

Repeat with more to complete the pretentious multi-canvas effect that is so popular in all trendy loft apartments


FlatLinerMEDIC made it!(author)2011-09-11

I LOVE IT ! ! the colors are great

FlatLinerMEDIC made it!(author)2011-09-11

just finished mine...theyre awesome, did brass knuckles, girl in martini glass, a hookah, and my handprint coz i messed up the painting on the last one! very decorative

golfchick005 made it!(author)2011-02-11

I recently did this, but used silhouettes of men in suits instead. And to get the image to the canvas I just printed off the image, cut it out with an exacto knife, traced it on with a pencil, and painted inside the lines. They came out great!

rustyjack made it!(author)2011-04-02

i was wondering where you got the men in suit printout. i really enjoy them

golfchick005 made it!(author)2011-04-03

I found them all online...mainly by googling men in suits clipart, or business clipart. If you want some of the ones I used, and can't find them anywhere, I can send the jpeg files to you in an email

distractable made it!(author)2010-11-27

Great instructable!
I read through really quickly so this may have been addressed but a low tech alternative is carbon copy paper to trace an image onto the canvas instead of using an iron-on.
if you're printing an image you can also just scribble with pencil on the opposite side of the page and trace around the image to transfer the carbon to the canvas.

again great instructable and great artwork!

wild_hemlock made it!(author)2010-07-05

Definitely doing this! I have a bunch of canvases I bought and need to do something trendy with. Thank you!

Leleo5 made it!(author)2009-07-31

This is a wonderful idea...i am definitely going to try it...but what do you mean by using "Fonts"

munkey_b0y made it!(author)2009-08-01

Fonts are typefaces that a computer uses. Things like Times New Roman and Comic Sans are fairly standard. However some fonts (dingbat fonts) are not constructed of letters and numbers but of symbols or pictures. These images were made using a picture font.

Leleo5 made it!(author)2009-08-01

thank you very much!

BarginsTech made it!(author)2009-09-14

You can also go to DAFONT.COM and download a variety of Dingbat fonts. They would be easier to copy, as you can print them out and trace them.

Rupert95 made it!(author)2009-08-26

Wouldn't it be possible to simply iron on the full picture?

IntoxicatedSight made it!(author)2007-09-22

where did you get those girl silhouettes from?

munkey_b0y made it!(author)2009-07-16

silhouette fonts are available @

jacetheace made it!(author)2009-07-16

google image it thats wt i did

cappatown made it!(author)2009-04-14
cappatown made it!(author)2009-04-15

btw you need photoshop to open that file, import it into shapes

bec1988 made it!(author)2008-12-29

I'd like to know where you got the lady silhouettes from also?Great work by the way. They look fantastic & I can't wait to try doing them myself.

munkey_b0y made it!(author)2008-12-30

I don't remember where I got them all from, but you can get some of them from here dafont

hope that helps

nelelr made it!(author)2008-12-05

I just found this link with tons of stencils and stuff

Print them out- and use an exacto Knife to cut out the black parts-

Then spray paint=-

StarFace made it!(author)2008-11-20

These are gorgeous! I do a lot of art and this is a technique I use a hell of a lot!! Obviously the secrets out now though!! Love the colour scheme and the women motifs. And I totally agree with what you said about how most store-brought canvas's all look the same... and for what they are, really are very expensive. These are better than anything you'll buy. Plus of course they're unique!

AdamK made it!(author)2007-06-23

Making a set of these with a "The Nightmare Before Christmas" theme. Cost me 4 bucks plus tax for 4 pieces of canvas. Going to freehand the outlines (that paper can get expensive :P ) and I already had the paint. Love the idea.

mcbee04 made it!(author)2008-01-30

Where did you get canvas for $1 a piece? A 12" square canvas at the Hobby Lobby by my house runs $8.99 for a set of 2.

AdamK made it!(author)2008-03-19

I got it at my local dollar store. I don't know if they sell them in the States (if that's where you're at?), but in Canada, they sell them in Dollaramas. They might have those where you are -- who knows.

munkey_b0y made it!(author)2007-06-24

excellent, please post a picture when you are done. I would like to see your work.

AdamK made it!(author)2007-06-24

Here it is. Clockwise from top left : Jack; Oogie; Zero; Lock, Shock, and Barrel.

C:\Documents and Settings\new user\Desktop\Adam\CIMG2911.JPG
munkey_b0y made it!(author)2007-07-30

looks excellent. I like he idea of using rectangular canvases and switching between portrait and landscape. very nice.

spylock made it!(author)2008-02-18

Nice,I like em.

LP_808 made it!(author)2008-01-05

Hey can someone please help me with my questions about this? I saw that the girl on the font is all black so Im not understanding how you were able to print her out in white with a black outline? Is it something obvious?

munkey_b0y made it!(author)2008-01-06

the transfer paper is white. I decided to just print the outline to save on printer ink. I simply edited the image in Gimp (open source image editing program) reversing the colours and then erased some of the background to leave me with a crude outline. The transfer is only really there to give a guide to the painting, just to make it easier to get the image from the computer to the canvass.

I hope this has cleared it up a bit for you.

LP_808 made it!(author)2008-01-06

Okay thanks. The paint covered the black outline?

munkey+boy made it!(author)2007-08-07

hello this is the real munkey boy, nice instructible un real munkey boy

Morte_Moya made it!(author)2007-08-05

That is really great. I love the girl in the martini glass!!!

pent19 made it!(author)2007-07-28

love this project...i am an art teacher and am going to think about making it into some type of project

thumbelina made it!(author)2007-07-05

These are great, i'm making a hawaiian themed set.

Scwounch made it!(author)2007-06-19

That's pretentious as hell. I love it!

vehicle made it!(author)2007-06-03

im going to the store right now to buy this stuff! (i'm copying your color scheme too, i love it)

egadsman made it!(author)2007-04-11

i love the idea and im going to make some for my room because its a bit bland at the moment, but couldnt you just use some transfer paper instead of that iron on stuff because you could paint your background colour and let it dry and just use a roller with some paint to put your design onto the canvas giving it a crisper sharper look.

keneke made it!(author)2007-02-25

hey that's really cool! i want to make a set for my dorm now. i think i'll just be using spray paint though. where did you get your hand on those box canvases?

anarchyash made it!(author)2007-02-22

where did you get the images that you used? btw, very clever idea.

Aestheticxtattoos made it!(author)2007-02-11

Cheers to this instructable.

tradergordo made it!(author)2006-10-03

Nice concept, but you will never get a girlfriend with that on your walls. :)

Aestheticxtattoos made it!(author)2007-02-11

I have a lovely girl friend and she loves when I make this sort of art. HA! in your face. check here.

Gin+and+Tonic made it!(author)2006-12-06

Hey, I'm a chick, not a lesbian either, and I'm totally into that. If a guy had that on his wall I'd definitely... well, anyway, not a turnoff. So much better than 'three-sweaty-chicks-in-bikinis' posters, most definitely.

trebuchet03 made it!(author)2006-10-05

I disagree.... It's art, if she can't appreciate that - I personally would not want her to be my girlfriend in the first place ;)

Spoonman made it!(author)2006-10-03

Why not? That's nothing compared to what my gf and I have hanging (I'm a big fan of <a href="">Olivia's Betty Page</a> and other pinup art. You just need to find a gal who isn't hung up (that's assuming you're not). If you with a gal who has a problem with it, and you want it up there, you need a new gal. :)

EinKlaus made it!(author)2007-01-31

Great idea, nice picture congratulation for these Greetings Klaus

nail_bender4 made it!(author)2007-01-11

Well done! modern art that's still manly. Personally i'd got with a black base to a white silhouette, but that's just me. This font and many more @

Catelynxx made it!(author)2006-11-18

I think I found the font you mentioned here. Props to your girlfriend for being awesome and a burlesque dancer. Very nice instructable, look forward to more!

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